Show Me the Monet; Improved Terms & Conditions

About three weeks ago we published a story concerning the BBC TV show "Show Me the Monet". The BBC have commissioned a second ten part series of this program fromĀ Lucky Day Productions. The program will follow the fortunes of artists from the UK as they compete for a place at the 'Show Me the Monet' exhibition which will be held at the Royal College of Art in London. Our story reported a number of concerns with the terms and conditions that artists had to comply with in order to participate in the competition.

Discussions took place with Lucky Day Productions (LDP) whose legal team, taking into account BBC guidelines, had drafted the competition's terms and conditions. The following issues have been addressed;

Waiving of Copyright: Artists no longer have to 'waive their copyright'. This statement has been removed from the T&Cs.

Additional Forms; Rules 4.1 and 5.4 required artists invited to appear before the hanging committee to complete various additional forms but originally failed to state whether these forms required artists to agree to further claims on their IP rights. This has been clarified and the rules now make clear that no further grant of intellectual property rights is required by these forms.

All Artists Grant Rights: Originally the T&Cs required all artists entering this competion to grant rights whether or not their work featured in the program. Following discussions this has now been modified such that only those artists whose work is featured in the program have to grant rights. This is a significant improvement in that it leaves those artists not featuring in the program with their full and exclusive intellectual property rights.

Crediting: It was always accepted by us that when an artist appears in the program along with his work that the identity of the creator of the work is not in doubt, that is, the artist's moral right to be identified as the author of their work is met in such cases.

This left unresolved the issue of those works displayed fleetingly on screen, as in a fast moving montage sequence that may be used to demonstrate the extent and variety of submitted artworks. The production company have updated the T&Cs in respect of this point to say that they "shall use our best endeavours to ensure that Artists whose Works are reproduced in the Programme but where it is not clear who the creator of that work is (for example in a fast moving montage sequence) will be provided with a web credit."

Duration of Rights: This is still in perpetuity but it now only affects those artists whose work appears in the program. The Artists' Bill of Rights (ABoR) principles require a time limit to be set on the use of works submitted to a competition. However, the ABoR has an exception that applies to winners of a contest, winners works may be used in perpetuity to promote the contest. Some prestigious competitions have been running for decades and have exhibitions of past winners, winners galleries, etc., and such use is seen as conferring distinction and honour on all concerned.

With regard to 'Show Me the Monet', it is arguable that those who benefit only from a fast moving display in an agregate of artworks for a fleeting moment are not really winners and we confess we would have been happier to see the perpetual usage apply only to those who appeared before the hanging committee. That would of course have required some changes to the format of the program. However we welcome the progress that has been made on this issue.

Waiving of Moral Rights; We could not reach agreement on this issue. We did suggest ways that we thought would obviate the need to require participating artists to waive their moral rights. We understand that BBC guidelines require waiving of moral rights. Despite the progress on other concerns failing to make headway on moral rights prevents ABoR from promoting the competition on our Rights On list, moral rights are at the heart of our campaign.

While we could not resolve this issue on this occasion we will continue to campaign and seek to persuade BBC and other broadcasters to accept that they should at all times honour artists moral rights. Moral rights are more than just about crediting the author, they are also about the integrity of the artists work, the artists honour and reputation, they should never be waived. Without artists broadcasters would have no programs to broadcast.

The Outcome

We thank Lucky Day Productions and their Managing Director for the good will they have shown throughout our discussions with them and for their willingness to seek solutions. Progress was made; artists may feel that the T&Cs are more acceptable and that they may benefit from participating in the 'Show Me the Monet' program.