Addressing the lack of local expertise in arts law

Published 23 August 2006

Southern Cross University is the venue for an upcoming seminar for lawyers, accountants, producers and artists interested in the latest developments in copyright law.

The seminar will also look at issues related to film law, including chain of title, film financing and distribution.

A lack of local expertise in this area of law is causing local film producers and artists to pay around $210,000 annually for legal and accounting services outside the region, according to Arts Northern Rivers.

They hope the information provided during the seminar will encourage more lawyers and accountants to support the region’s growing legion of people working in the creative industries – currently about six per cent of the local labour force.

The seminar, Entertainment Law for Lawyers, will be held at the University’s Lismore campus in room L-111, in the School of Law and Justice building, from 4pm – 6.30pm on Wednesday, September 6. Cost is $110 and bookings are essential on 1800 221 457 or email

It is being held as part of Northern Rivers Arts Law Week which runs from September 4 to 8 and has been co-sponsored by Southern Cross University, Arts Northern Rivers, the Arts Law Centre of Australia and Tweed Shire Council.

Presenter Alida Stanley, a senior solicitor with Arts Law, has spent the last five years in New York in the leading law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges and before that worked in the area of intellectual property for Sydney law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

The seminar is one of a series of otherwise free workshops on legal issues for artists, arts organisations and creative people, which are being held right across the region from Grafton to Tweed Heads during Arts Law Week.

Other seminars include copyright and intellectual property rights for Indigenous artists (Tweed Heads and Grafton), navigating insurance protocols for festivals and events (Murwillumbah and Grafton), writing and entertainment law (Byron Bay) and running an arts business (Lismore).

Full program details are available at by following the ‘news’ link.

Some interesting facts from Arts Northern Rivers:
• 18 local screen producers recorded a 2005 annual spend of $7 million – of which $3.6 million was spent locally.
• Approximately $210,000 in legal and accounting fees from these productions was spent outside the region because of a lack of specialist knowledge within the Northern Rivers.
• These film producers predict they will turn over $27.8 million in the coming 12 months, of which $13.8 million will be within the region.
• The Northern Rivers has the highest number of screen practitioners outside Sydney and Melbourne and the highest concentration of professional artists outside capital cities.
• Six per cent of the region’s labour force is engaged in creative industries.

Photo: Alida Stanley, a senior solicitor with Arts Law, will be the keynote speaker at the Entertainment Law for Lawyers seminar.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley media officer, 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.