New startup, Creators’ Legal, is offering contract templates for content creators. Will these professionalise the space? Or might they lead to brands feeling a false sense of security?
New startup, Creators’ Legal, is offering contract templates and other deal-making tools designed for content creators. The online platform offers three pricing tiers. Single-use contracts start at just $10; bundled contract packages covering individual projects start at $30, and unlimited use of all contacts is just $40 per month with a 20% discount if creators commit to a one-year subscription.
The firm’s Brand Ambassador Contract covers longer form deals between a Brand and Talent. Priced at $15 the company website’s blurb says this contract “is perfect for brands of all sizes to secure the services of an influencer, athlete, or just about anyone that can have an influence on the target demographic”.
This agreement covers appearances, social media postings, travel, post approvals, brand exclusivity, etc. A digital briefcase enables creators to draft collabs, executed them and then store them online.
However, although set up by veteran lawyer, Eric Farber, the site is at pains to remind users that Creators’ Legal is not a law firm and cannot give legal advice.
Will Creators' Legal professionalise the space or provide false security?
Are these template documents a good idea? Do they professionalise the space? Or might they lead to brands feeling a false sense of security that they have a contract in place which may not hold water in the event of trouble?
"There are, obviously, going to be limitations with a one-size-fits-all template contract" says Rupa Shah, legal and regulatory consultant and founder of Hashtag Ad Consulting. "but, if it’s affordable and covers the basics, then it should be a good starting point for many creators."
Shah reasons that if the new raft of templated contracts encourage creators to think more carefully about their legal rights and responsibilities then that’s definitely of benefit to the industry as a whole.
Anecdotally the terms and deliverables of around 40% of all brand collabs with influencers are conducted via Instagram direct message and email threads without being formalised in a legal document.
However, the concept of a templated contract is not alien to established brands and agencies. "Most will use an in-house template contract with e.g. a Schedule section that they adapt to include the finer details of each individual sponsorship deal," explains Shah.
The templated contract should not replace two-way negotiation, though. There is often a level of communication and negotiation with adjustments suggested by both parties, so a template contract cannot and should not replace that process.
Shah also points out potential issues around jurisdiction: "It’s also important to note that this particular service is based in the US, and the contracts are therefore likely to reflect US law, so may not be appropriate for e.g. UK use."