Legal handbook to protect freelancers launched

This article is more than 12 months old

After freelance videographer Derrick shot and edited a video for a client last year, the client said it did not meet her standards.

She demanded a full refund of $4,000 and removed his rights to the video.

But he later found out that she had released a video containing about 75 per cent of his work. He was not paid or credited for any of it.

"I did not (sign) an official contract or have the money to engage a lawyer," said Derrick, who did not want to give his full name. In his four years as a freelancer, he has had to deal with clients delaying payment or paying less than the agreed sum.

At the launch of a free legal handbook, Advocates For The Arts, on Tuesday, Mr Adrian Tan, vice-president of the Law Society of Singapore, advised freelancers to sign a contract with clients. He encouraged them to get a lawyer to draw up a one-time contract that can be reused with different clients.

The new 12-chapter handbook contextualises laws for the creative arts industry, and it aims to inform and educate artists about their legal rights.

It was launched by the Law Society Pro Bono Services (LSPBS) and the National Trades Union Congress at the NTUC Centre in Marina Boulevard.

The handbook will be available for downloading next week on the NTUC U portal ( and the LSPBS site (