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Junior Masterchef – Would You Sign The Contract?

With Junior Masterchef now auditioning this year’s show, young future chefs parents are now signing the contract to allow them to be on the popular series.

However like a lot of reality TV contracts the conditions are such which would make me very hesitant to sign if it it were my kid.

I am no lawyer but some of the clauses would be a concern to me (see relevant clauses at the end of the post). These are:

  • Details of any medical or psychological testing can be made public;
  • The producer and broadcaster can use the child’s voice, actions, likeness, name, appearance, biographical material, and any information contained in, derived from or obtained in connection with the Child’s application for use in all media now known or not even invented in perpetuity;
  • That they are able to edit as they deem fit whether or not such acts or omissions constitute an infringment of the Child’s moral rights as the term is understood pursuant to any provision of law prevailing now or in the future in any part of the world.

What I find a concern is that there are parents signing up eight year olds, that even when they get to adulthood will have no control over what has been edited or shown.

I would be concerned about the ongoing ramifications for children who may have sensitive medical/psychological information released or just getting a bad edit.  For instance these kids do have to go back to school, and will be entering the workforce at some point.

Shouldn’t there be a sunset clause in the contract that it ends when children turn 18, and then they have to sign a contract to consent to the continued use of their images and information.

Parents in their haste to sign up their kids to be on TV may tend to sign now and not realise the ramifications until later. Also they may not want to rock the boat by querying the contract as they know there are 100’s of other people who would be willing to sign.

Independent legal advice is expensive and not something people would think of obtaining. The other issue is these production houses have much more legal muscle then the average person.

The contract also states the participant won’t be paid money for their appearance. Not withstanding that the Masterchef franchise has been extremely profitable and it could be argued they should give the children money in a trust for their time on the show, I would be concerned that by giving no remuneration may mean the participants in the program are not covered by law under the Children (Care & Protection) Act 1982 which regulates employment for people who are paid but are under 15 years of age.

I should add that there have been no allegations against Shine Australia, who produce the show, about the conditions that were in place on the set of Junior Masterchef last year. In fact I understand great care and consideration was taken to ensure the children were looked after.

But what would concern me with the increase of reality shows and the future ones that may involve children less scrupulous production houses could exploit them and the conditions they film them under.

Onerous clauses have been found in other reality TV contracts however some people have managed to have them changed.

A season one Masterchef Australia contestant who I spoke to said they had a clause change to reflect the production house could only take a percentage of earnings related to activities in relation to Masterchef, not related to any business activities or employment not related to the show.

They also urged that people should get these contracts looked over by a lawyer.

Below is excerpts from the Junior Masterchef contract that I thought were interesting:

(b)     By submitting this application:

  1. i.     I hereby consent to the recording, use and reuse by Producer, Broadcaster, and any of their respective licensees, successors, assignees, parents, subsidiaries, or affiliated entities, and each of their respective employees, agents, representative, officers and directors (collectively “Releasees”) of my Child’s and my own voice, actions, likeness, name, appearance, biographical material, and any information contained in, derived from or obtained in connection with my Child’s application to be a participant in the Program or in any materials submitted by me or my Child or a third party in connection with my Child’s application (which includes, without limitation, any personal information as defined in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) or otherwise (“Personal Information”)), (collectively “Likeness”)  as edited, altered, or modified by the Producer or by any of the other Releasees, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe in perpetuity, in or in connection with the Program.
  1. ii.     I further agree that the Producer exclusively owns all right, title, and interest (including, without limitation, all copyrights) in and to any and all recordings made by the Releasees and in and to any and all video that I and my Child have provided in connection with my Child’s application and any other materials that I and my Child have provided or may provide in connection with my Child’s application or the Program (collectively the “Materials”), including, without limitation, the right to edit, alter or modify the Materials and to use all or part of the Materials and my child’s Likeness in any and all media now known or hereafter devised throughout the universe, in perpetuity.

 

 

  1. i.     Without limiting the foregoing, I acknowledge that I recognise the needs of television production, promotion and distribution and hereby irrevocably consent to the Releasees (and persons authorised by the Releasees) editing, producing, amending and adapting the results and proceeds of my and my Child’s contributions to the Program, the Likeness and the Materials (the “Works”) or any other act or omission in relation to the Works as the Releasees deem fit in their absolute discretion and whether or not such acts or omissions constitute an infringement of my or my Child’s moral rights as that term is understood pursuant to any provision of law prevailing now or in the future in any part of the world (“Moral Rights”). I acknowledge and agree that the Releasee (and persons authorised by the Releasees) will not be liable to me or my Child and that I and my Child will have no claim against the Releasees or any other person for any act or omission of the Releasees (and persons authorised by the Releasees) resulting in any prejudicial or derogatory portrayal or representation of me, my Child and/or the Works or any other act or omission which might otherwise constitute an infringement of my or my Child’s Moral Rights. In all other respects, my Child and I irrevocably waive to the extent permissible by law and agree never to assert any Moral Rights arising out of or in connection with the Works against the Releasees or any other person throughout the universe in perpetuity. My Child and I will not institute any action on the ground that any changes, deletions, additions or other use of the Works violates my or my Child’s Moral Rights.

 

  1. ii.     Without limiting the forgoing, I agree that the Releasees shall be entitled to:

 

1. alter, adapt or make additions to or deletions from the Program (and my and my Child’s Likeness thereon) at their discretion;

2. make and exploit and to authorise the making and exploitation of any recording or fixation of my and my Child’s Likeness separately from or in conjunction with the Program throughout the Universe in perpetuity in all media whether now known or hereafter invented;

3. dub my and my Child’s voice in any language; and

4. use my and my Child’s Likeness, the Materials, photographs of me and my Child and recordings of interviews with me and my Child separately from or in conjunction with the Program in all media and formats throughout the Universe including but not by way of limitation in advertising, publicity, promotions, marketing and exploitation material. For the avoidance of doubt, I irrevocably consent to the Releasees (and persons authorised by the Releasees) transferring Personal Information about my Child and I overseas to related body corporates and third parties associated with the Program and to use the Personal Information in accordance with the provisions in this Agreement.

 

vi I agree that neither I nor my Child will be paid any money for giving the Releasees the rights referred to in this Agreement or for signing this agreement. Furthermore the Producer will not reimburse my Child and I for any travel expenses. However, I acknowledge and agree that the Producer’s labour and expense in making arrangements relating to my Child’s participant application for the Program and the opportunity provided to my Child and myself to potentially appear in or in association with the Program, (the “Benefits”) include sufficient and adequate consideration for the use and exploitation of my Child’s and my contributions to the Program, the Likeness and the Materials (including without limitation my Child’s and my appearance in any and all episodes of the Program) by any means and media, anywhere in the Universe and I and my Child waive any right and/or entitlement to any equitable relief, remuneration or other payment howsoever arising in connection with such use or exploitation. I further acknowledge and agree that the Benefits also include full and final consideration for my Child and my attendance at any and all activities as required by the Producer in connection with the Program. I also acknowledge that no repeat fees will be payable to me or my Child in respect of any subsequent rebroadcast or retransmission or any other use by the Producer (or any assignees or licensees) of the Program or any part thereof.

(d) I hereby authorise an appropriately qualified person or entity as designated by the Producer to conduct psychological and physical examination of my Child as required by the Producer. I further authorise the individuals conducting such examinations of my Child to disclose to the Producer and their representatives all information about my Child obtained in connection with such examinations, and authorise Producer to utilize such information in selecting participants for the Program.

(e) Without limiting the forgoing, I authorise and consent to the use of Personal Information (which may include “sensitive information” as defined in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)) given to the Producer or collected by the Producer under the terms of this agreement in determining my Child’s suitability for the Program and to the use of such information in researching and producing the content of the Program and other programs (including but not limited to content related to my and my Child’s background and participation in the Program) and to the communication of such information to third parties, including but not limited to the general public through television broadcasts of the Program and otherwise and I agree that there will be no restrictions on the use of Personal Information relating to me or my Child that is contained in the recording of the Program. Information provided by me in relation to my Child to the Producer may also be disclosed to:

  • The Producers related bodies corporate in Australia and overseas;
  • any Program prize supplier or sponsor who may use the personal information at their discretion;
  • television networks in Australia and overseas and their related bodies corporate;
  • an  audience when the Program is  broadcast or otherwise exhibited.

vi I agree that neither I nor my Child will be paid any money for giving the Releasees the rights referred to in this Agreement or for signing this agreement. Furthermore the Producer will not reimburse my Child and I for any travel expenses. However, I acknowledge and agree that the Producer’s labour and expense in making arrangements relating to my Child’s participant application for the Program and the opportunity provided to my Child and myself to potentially appear in or in association with the Program, (the “Benefits”) include sufficient and adequate consideration for the use and exploitation of my Child’s and my contributions to the Program, the Likeness and the Materials (including without limitation my Child’s and my appearance in any and all episodes of the Program) by any means and media, anywhere in the Universe and I and my Child waive any right and/or entitlement to any equitable relief, remuneration or other payment howsoever arising in connection with such use or exploitation. I further acknowledge and agree that the Benefits also include full and final consideration for my Child and my attendance at any and all activities as required by the Producer in connection with the Program. I also acknowledge that no repeat fees will be payable to me or my Child in respect of any subsequent rebroadcast or retransmission or any other use by the Producer (or any assignees or licensees) of the Program or any part thereof.

49 comments

1 brain dead dave { 07.01.11 at 5:07 pm }

Both the producers and appalling parents are exploitative bottom feeders.

2 smauge { 07.01.11 at 5:35 pm }

Certainly a point for concern. I can also imagine a well meaning parent letting their child apply, then upon baulking at the contract, having their child plead “Pleeeeease Mum! I reeeeeeally want to do it!”
The thing is, the same rules pretty much apply to anyone who signs up to any social media (including this blog – no personal comment on Ms Raver, whose intentions can be considered nothing if not pure)
I know of one case of when a lady sent out a lovely christmas portrait of her family to all her Facebook friends, only to have one travel to an Asian holiday spot and find said portrait up on a billboard advertising insurance or whatever. There are whole websites dedicated to this sort of thing.
But in answer to the original question, no, I would not sign that contract!

3 Kaylen { 07.01.11 at 5:44 pm }

Agreed, BDD.

Sure, adults are fine to sign into such things – they can make their own choices. Whether ill-advised or not, it’s still their choice (at least).

Children? I’m sorry, but signing anything like the above is like signing them into legalised slavery.

Though I would question whether it is “legal” or not, per your points you made RR. Though I would assume Ten lawyers would have made sure to get around it so that it is.

Gah. What happens when they’re adults? Even then, though they didn’t sign it, they’re contractually obliged to it. Sunset provision, at least! Let them sign another contract at 18, when they are legally able to do so.

Forcing someone to abide by something that they had no say in (which the child doesn’t)?

Not cool.

As I said: adults are fine. Information is made available, and assistance is there for them to make an informed choice. Though I doubt many do; it’s at least there, and it is then their choice.

Kids don’t have that. As such, they shouldn’t be held to something that they didn’t sign, unless they Sunset and re-sign at 18.

Exploitation at its’ finest.

What’s worse, though? People assume that it’s okay.

Gah.

4 brain dead dave { 07.01.11 at 6:53 pm }

Once every couple of hundred years you’ll get your Mozarts writing symphonies at five and Shirley Temples etc but child prodigies at cooking?

Pull the other quail leg,Ma$terchef!

5 smauge { 07.01.11 at 10:39 pm }
6 noog { 07.01.11 at 11:27 pm }

“I and my Child waive any right and/or entitlement to any equitable relief, remuneration or other payment howsoever arising in connection with such use or EXPLOITATION.”

Gotta give em one thing, at least they got that right.
Sad that a parent would even consider signing such a document.

7 Suziekue { 07.01.11 at 11:48 pm }

I find this exceedingly scary. How can this not be exploitation in the real meaning of the word. I thought the law would have inbuilt protections for children against this behaviour despite their parents signing the agreement. Children are not property to be exploited as unpaid serfs, forever in the thrall of exploitative media, even if said children are willing at the time. Can any legal eagles give us their opinion?

8 AnonyMousse { 07.02.11 at 9:47 am }

It’s difficult to believe that the law allows you to sign away your children’s rights beyond when they are an adult – surely you don’t have a legal right to agree to any contract on behalf of your child if it goes beyond the point of their legal adulthood.

9 Paul { 07.02.11 at 2:03 pm }

Whilst I agree the contracts are a bit draconian, the networks basically govern themselves on the exploitation front here.

Its not in their interests to present children in a bad light. Audiences turn off very quickly from that sort of stuff and I find it difficult to recall where a popular television show on a mainstream network has knowingly presented the kids in a bad light. Just doesn’t happen.

Some kids can cope with this sort of stuff. We are not all wired the same.

However, I will say the payment issue is terrible. They are making a fortune for MC and to not even get guaranteed a penny is shocking. But if parents are willing to do this for nothing, then thats their decision, I guess.

10 smauge { 07.02.11 at 2:41 pm }

I really find it hard to believe that, upon turning 18, the kids could not successfully challenge this in court. Prostituting your kids in this manner is one thing, but when the child reaches an age to have a say, it could be challenged I’m sure. I’m no lawyer, but I see loopholes all over this.

11 Paul { 07.02.11 at 3:04 pm }

smauge – the only problem I really have is the issue of payments. As I said before I would find it unlikely that a network would ever present a child in a bad light. Just not a good look for them.

But the money side is really poor. To draw an analogy you would bet the kids from The Brady Bunch are still getting paid royalties and rightfully so.

Oz Junior MC has been shown overseas. Someone is making money and for them to not be paid for this is really wrong

12 brain dead dave { 07.02.11 at 3:50 pm }

Paying them would only attract even more desperate bottom feeders. It’s an ersatz baby bonus .Got to have some standards

13 brain dead dave { 07.02.11 at 7:47 pm }

It’s child prosciuttotution.

14 Michelle { 07.02.11 at 7:56 pm }

I agree it’s a pretty terrible contract (and you’ve got to worry about the parents who agree to it) but in Channel 10s favour in the first JMC they didn’t seem to have negative edits, that I saw. They seemed to be sensitive that they were dealing with children.

15 CG { 07.02.11 at 8:39 pm }

Disgusting. But for every one parent who is unwilling to sign and who wants to protect their children’s long-term interests there will be 50 parents lined up behind them willing to exploit their child, blinded by their lust for “fame and fortune”.

The only way to change this is to vote with your eyeballs. Don’t watch!!

Even without these new facts about the children’s contracts, I thought last year’s series was so manufactured and boring, I stopped watching after the first few shows. With any luck this year’s series will be the last and Junior MC will go the way of “Celebrity” MC.

16 brain dead dave { 07.02.11 at 9:41 pm }

The medical/psychological lowdown on the parents would make for some good television.

17 Reality Raver { 07.02.11 at 10:57 pm }

Paul – I think the majority of the editing was pretty good. I am not sure the edit of Henry who spoke a little posh was fabulous, though they were subtle about it.

Clauses like these, in reality TV contracts would have minimal impact on most contestants, but could have a diabolical effect on a very small percentage.

BDD – LOL.

18 NT Kate { 07.02.11 at 11:52 pm }

The problem is surely not just the immediate cut of the show, but what could be done with it (and any unused but preserved footage and personal information) down the track. I can envisage ways it could be reedited and packaged to make quite a different show with quite a different view of the contestants years later.

Just as a mild example, say for example the child became a politician, and the film of a tantrum was sold to a thrid party and endlessly replayed in the lead up to an election. Or something bad about the parent later came out. Or the franchise becomes a cult thing and is reedited to make the ridiculousness of it all even more obvious!

In the short term, they will mostly want to present them positively. In the longer run though, once the film is there, who knows how it might be exploited to make money by subsequent owners of the material, and damn the consequences…

19 Reality Raver { 07.03.11 at 12:11 am }

NT Kate – great point, I had not thought of that angle at all that aspect at all.

20 Reality Tidbits – Saturday Night Edition | reality ravings { 07.03.11 at 12:41 am }

[...] the SMH today and I had to laugh that Max Markson said people should sign up to it. If you missed my blog post on my thoughts on the Junior Masterchef contract go here, and also it was a small part of a segment [...]

21 RarelySeen { 07.03.11 at 6:28 pm }

Dark & greedy Ma$terchef, maybe parents could create a small family owned company, then sign their rights away to themselves prior to signing the Junior Ma$terChef contract and then the 2nd contract would become null & void, either in a mistake or error or something I havn’t quite worked out yet. The initial contract could have all sorts of fun clauses in it.
Yet again very funny Brain Dead Dave.

22 TheSnackHound » Blog Archive » Keeping up with this season of Master Chef { 07.29.11 at 2:46 pm }

[...] this Master Chef season I can’t really decide who I’m pulling for. But I am leaning towards the travel writer [...]

23 chloe { 07.31.11 at 7:04 pm }

my kid lve to cook she like to cook our famliy food. sheis 10 years old

24 Xanthe { 03.04.12 at 6:11 pm }

hey i like the type of food that you make i really want to sign up

25 Susan Naboulsi { 04.22.12 at 11:28 am }

My daughter is a really good cook I would love to sign her up she is always wanting to cook family meals and they taste great she is 10 and her name is jumaimah

26 krish vij and ryan simpson { 06.04.12 at 9:04 pm }

dear masterchef my son wants to be on masterchef and hewants to know how it feels like and know ia m going to let my churan come on know hi masterchef i just want learn and cook. from krish and ryan

27 krish vij and ryan simpson { 06.04.12 at 9:08 pm }

dear masterchef hi my name is krish and my name is ryan and we just want to cook and make a cook book. from krish and ryan

28 samantha smith { 08.16.12 at 1:18 pm }

can I go on junior master chef I am 20

29 Reality Raver { 08.16.12 at 1:28 pm }

Samantha – no the age was 8-12 years of age, and the show has been axed.

30 zain { 08.19.12 at 9:28 pm }

I Really want to go to masterchef tobe a cook which people could understand and like my food.

31 zain { 08.19.12 at 9:30 pm }

It is my passion. i was born to cook

32 Jehankhattak { 11.16.12 at 11:30 pm }

I want to go to master chef

33 lara { 11.21.12 at 3:02 pm }

hi my names Lara I’m 11 years old and i would like to join junior master-chef at home in the kitchen i do a lot of cooking my dad try’s my food and same with the rest of my family and they always give me a 100% I like cooking fish,spaghetti bolinase, cakes, ster fry and many more when my friends come over they love my food i cook and they always ask for seconds and i give them seconds i also like to cook tarts and pies my design

34 lara { 11.21.12 at 3:14 pm }

master-chef your the best yous are my food followers my inspiration use are the one who got me into this and I think its changed my life I just cant stop cooking plz except me into master-chef competition i love to cook i am a very talented cook keep junior master-chef on don’t drop the competition even though u have just pud it back on us kids love master-chef

35 tom { 02.16.13 at 2:30 pm }

iam a very good cook i come from sunshine coast i can cook all sorts of dishes i could probably beat the older marster chef competators not joking iam funny iam 12 and won 20 cooking compotitions i think i should be in marster chef 2013 cause ill win i could even beat the spice girls there food looks discusting i would be top in the ladder easy ill be breaking records choose me

36 katie { 02.16.13 at 2:46 pm }

Hi I’m Katie I’m a good cook, I think. I always watch master chef at home and i love it. I live in the sunshine coast were the sun lives. I make lots of meals and cakes for my family. THANK YOU…

37 katie { 02.16.13 at 2:53 pm }

Hi I’m Katie am 11 years old and I’ve been cooking for years. I come from sunny coast. I love watching master chef at home and i love it.PLEASE PUT ME ON MASTER CHEF KIDS. THANK YOU……….

38 Phoebe { 03.23.13 at 8:12 am }

I am phoebe birch I am 13 years old 14 in 3weeks i come from Kidderminster I love cooking I won’t to be on the show I love watching master chef I love making puddings & different meals. I my cakes for people’s birthdays hope you pick me to go one the show ;)

39 Phoebe { 03.23.13 at 8:14 am }

I am phoebe birch I am 13 years old 14 in 3weeks i come from Kidderminster I love cooking I won’t to be on the show I love watching master chef I love making puddings & different meals. I make for cakes for people’s birthdays hope you pick me to go one the show ;)

40 Rearabetswe { 03.30.13 at 12:18 am }

Hi my name is Rearabetswe I live in the free state. I will come speshal I love to cook it is fun and I am the best baker at school. And I will try my very best to win please take me i

41 Sadie { 04.14.13 at 6:25 pm }

Hi my name is sadie and i love cooking! For my parents annaversary I cooked chocolate moose rasberry icecream and cream pies for dessert. I guess you could say i’m a dessert queen! I would love to be on the show!!

42 Brittany { 04.29.13 at 11:28 pm }

Hi my name is Brittany grech I’m from NSW I would like to be on the show because I watch it when it is on.i cook dinner for my family and myself every night. I make cakes for people’s weddings and birthdays and celebrations. I’m really good a making home made pizza dough and cakes,cupcakes,puddings,doughnuts,pies,curry s,pancakes,sausage rolls and much more so please pick me to be on the show. Thank you :)

43 Maddi and Alanah { 05.04.13 at 2:52 pm }

Hey guys you rock me and my sis are 10 we are twins awesome cooks and would like to join junior masterchef

44 Rhianon { 09.03.13 at 7:54 pm }

Hey my name is Rhianon I live in the ACT. I am 12 turning 13 on the 24th of November. I love cooking, I cook a lot at home. I can cook both dinners and desserts, I like to get my family to give me feed back about it. . I always watch Masterchef and I watch how they present it and cook it and how you can be judged. I have cooked for celebrations for eg I have cooked my sisters birthday cake and it was 3 layers. I would love to go on junior masterchef so please pick me!!!!!!!!!! Thanks :D

45 Payton { 09.13.13 at 10:18 am }

Hi my name is payton and I really love to cook! I cook everyday for my family and every holiday! I can cook from a small little soup to a medium rare steak with steamed green beans and homemade barbaque sauce! And rasberry crepe with homemade wipcream and homemade camrel. And much more I just just turned 13 and I love junior masterchef I know exactly how to prepare for this amazing experience! Please it would be a honor to be on the show the money will go to my grandmas doctor bills she needs money for. She just got diagnosed with pacrence cancer and they said she may not make it to 2015 so please I would love to have a chance to be on the show please email me!

46 brian { 09.20.13 at 8:14 pm }

I love cook

47 destiny thompson { 10.12.13 at 11:48 am }

Im destiny thompson& im 13 Turning 14 oct 16, wensday & ive been cooking since i was 6 yrs old i enjoy cooking alot , im a very competitive person , i love to get the work done . Cookings in my blooyud , i think that if i would have a chance on the show i could beat every one confidentiality im made many dishes from steak, gumbo, roast, red beans, shrimp creo, & Ect im prepared for any challenge i got it. Just need one chance i have hope.

48 Pirri wiseman { 11.25.13 at 7:44 pm }

Hello my name is pirri I love cooking I cook alsorts of fodd and really enjoy it i cook most days my favorite food to cook is coconut rice it is really yum I am 12 and are from burnie tas

49 Pirri wiseman { 11.25.13 at 7:44 pm }

Hello my name is pirri I love cooking I cook alsorts of foodand really enjoy it i cook most days my favorite food to cook is coconut rice it is really yum I am 12 and are from burnie tas