9 changes to entertainment industry laws that you need to know

This is a guest post from Amy GIbbs, from Brett Oaten Solicitors in Sydney. Amy has kindly summarised some important legal changes affecting the entertainment industry in NSW.

The Entertainment Industry Act 2013 commenced on 1 March 2014.  The Act aims to streamline the regulation of the entertainment industry, and improve the efficiency and transparency of relationships between performers, artists and managers.

The important changes to the Act include:

  • Licensing and bond requirements have been removed.  License fees lodged since 1 March 2013, and any monetary bonds will be refunded accordingly.
  • The term ‘performer representative’ has replaced the separate categories of ‘agent and manager’. The role of a performer representative may include seeking work opportunities and publicity for performers, negotiating performance agreements and finalising payment procedures for their clients. Similarly, the Act now refers to ‘venue representatives’  (formerly venue consultants) and ‘entertainment industry hirers’ (anyone who engages or contracts a performer for a performance).
  • Management agreements are now referred to in the act as entertainment industry managerial agreements. Agreements must include an ‘additional fee acknowledgment’ which explains that a manager can charge an additional fee if they perform duties on top of those set out in the agreement. The Act also introduces a three day cooling-off period for performers.
  • The Act introduces a Code of Conduct, providing performer representatives with more guidance on the standards of service, conflict of interest requirements and ethical considerations of their role.
  • Performer representative fees are now capped at 10% of the total amount payable to a performer working in film, television and electronic media. For performers working in live theatre or musicals, the cap is 10% for a period of up to 5 weeks and 5% thereafter. A performer representative can not charge any more than this unless they are also acting as a career manager, or if its agreed in writing under a managerial agreement.
  • Trust accounts should be established on behalf of the artist to receive performance money.  Any money not paid to performers immediately should be paid into this trust account within 14 days of a performance representative or venue representatives receiving that money on the performer’s behalf.
  • Performer representatives must now provide performers with the ‘Information for Performers’ fact sheet before entering into an entertainment industry managerial agreement. In the case of child performers the fact sheet should be given to their legal guardian, as well as the Office of the Children’s Guardian ‘Parents Fact Sheet explaining the Code of Practice’.
  • Performer representatives, entertainment industry hirers and venue representatives must also keep certain records, including financial statements, at their principal place of business for five years after they are made.
  • Failure to comply with the Act will see parties issued with penalty notices, prohibition notices, enforceable undertakings, and offences listed on a register of information.

If you want to discuss these changes further than you can contact Amy at Brett Oaten Solicitors on + 61 (0)2 9557 7173. Or let me know if you’re too shy, and I’ll introduce you.

Amy Gibbs is a solicitor at Brett Oaten Solicitors. She has been a presenter on FBi Radio for six years and currently hosts the weekly arts and culture show Canvas, interviewing local and international artists, curators, writers and other leading creatives. Amy is also the secretary of the board of FBi Radio. Prior to joining the firm, Amy spent two years working at Sydney law firm Minter Ellison.





Published by Brett

Brett is an experienced lawyer and business executive who focuses on commercial outcomes. He has worked across three sectors in England & Australia advising and leading initiatives in digital, media and technology

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