Reading time: 5 minutes

Entering a creative competition is a good way to get your name out to the public, test your skills or win some extra cash. On the other hand, it is a great way for an organisation to promote their brand while having you do a piece of creative work for them. In that respect, it can be a bit of a win-win or lose-win situation. Below, we outline some key issues you should first consider before entering into a creative competition.

Read the Fine Print

When you enter a creative contest, you will be entering into a contract. Typically, your entry form will include the terms of the contract. Otherwise, the entry form will ask you to “agree” to the terms and conditions of entry, listed in a separate document. It is important you track down and read the terms and conditions before you “agree” to the terms of entry.

Upon agreeing to the terms and conditions, you will be obliged to comply with them. Breaching a condition may disqualify you and you may lose your entry fee or even expose yourself to litigation.

Eligibility Requirements

A term of entry will usually include eligibility criteria. Look out for things like minimum age requirements and perhaps relationship to those who are running the competition.

Personal Details

It is not uncommon that the conditions of entry will ask for your consent to have your name, photo and other details used in a certain way. For example, if you win, your photo and other information about you may be published. You should read this clause carefully. It is your personal information they are asking to use and, especially if you are a private person, you don’t want it used in any way that will make you uncomfortable.

Copyright

You might be aware that copyright subsists, amongst other things, in literary and artistic work that is presented in a material form. Therefore, in entering a creative competition, it is likely that you will be creating work that will automatically attract copyright protection. As the creator of copyright work, you will have the exclusive right to distribute and amend your work. However the terms of entry, or implied terms of entry, may alter your exclusive rights – so be alert!

Express or implied copyright licence

When you hold the copyright, you have the right to allow others to use your work. This is commonly known as licensing your copyright. Licensing your copyright can be done on express terms negotiated by you or by implication. It is of note that in licensing your copyright, you will still retain copyright ownership of your work.  

Submitting your work to a competition does not, in itself, strip you of your copyright privileges, unless there is a condition in the terms which states that you agree to assign or transfer copyright to the competition organiser, which we discuss below.  

There may also be a clause upon entry that states the competition host or organiser will be able to use, disseminate and reproduce your work for certain purposes or in their discretion. Upon agreeing, you can be giving them licence to distribute your work in a certain way that the terms of entry will govern. The terms of entry may also list any time and jurisdiction restrictions on the licence.

There may also be an implied licence, in that, the competition might represent that they intend to publish the creative works of winners in various ways. In this situation, it is likely you have given them a licence to distribute your work by implication.  

Assigning or transferring your copyright

When you assign or transfer your copyright, you are giving up your right to control how it used in the future. In this situation, it is important you read the terms of entry and see if there is a clause about assigning your rights to copyright, whether upon entry or upon winning the competition. This may sway you in your decision to enter the competition in the first place.

Moral Rights

It is important you understand your moral rights. Even if you have assigned your work to the competition host, as the creator of copyright work, you will always have moral rights, and they cannot be assigned, though they can be waived.  

Moral rights were introduced in 2000 and are governed by the Copyright Act 1968. Moral rights protect you by ensuring you are always attributed as author/creator and protect the integrity of your work. However, you can “consent” to particular treatment of your work – that is, waive your moral rights in specific ways. These waivers, if any, will be set out in the terms of entry also.

Warranties

It is common that upon entry to the competition, you will be asked to declare and provide assurance that the creative work is your work and not the work of a third party. It is often framed as a warranty and accompanied by an indemnity clause, whereby if you breach the warranty you will be obliged to pay for any loss resulting from the breach. In this case, ensure the work is yours as failure to do so can expose you to significant liability and loss of reputation for plagiarism and other breaches of copyright by you.

***

Creative competitions are an excellent way to get your name out into the public space. However, upon entering, it is always important that you closely consider and agree to the terms of entry. If you have any questions about creative competitions or need assistance reviewing the terms of entry, get in touch with our contract lawyers on 1300 544 755. 

Webinars

Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Online
Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards