YouTuber Law: Negotiating a YouTube Video or Channel Sponsorship Agreement?
Lior Leser, Esq.
Technology, Internet and Software Law
You’ve reached a point where your ready to accept sponsorships for your YouTube videos.
It might include cash payment for opining on a restaurant. It might include a free camera for the purpose of product review. Or it might just be a payment for associating your channel with a particular brand.
Whichever sponsorship opportunity you’re negotiating, you’ve got to focus your negotiations in drafting an agreement.
Never accept a sponsorship without having a written agreement.
For those of you who are intimated by the formality of contracts, even a simple one page list if winters with signatures on it is better than no agreement at all.
So why did we negate in these YouTube Sponsorship Agreements?
Very important. You ned to reach agreement on where the sponsored segment will be placed.
Will the entire video be about the sponsor’s product or service?
Will the sponsor’s products be mixed with other non-sponsored products?
Will the Sponsor’s product or service be shown, mentioned, demonstrated, linked to?
If you don’t pin down these obligation details, you will never know if and when you’ve fulfilled your obligation.
II. No Approvals
You need to resolve whether the sponsor has any approval rights. Will the sponsor have any control over the final video?
Will the sponsor get to see the video before it is published?
Will the sponsor get the right to edit the video or withhold publication?
III. Competitive Ads
Will you be allowed to advertise products or services competitive with the sponsor?
In the same video?
Within a period of time?
What if the Channel is sponsored? Will you ever be allowed to show or discuss competitors?
The should be the fun stuff.
How will they pay you.
Flat fee based on a published video?
How many views?
How many likes?
How many shares?
Is there a minimum or use payment with a success fee based on “likes”
Will there be a success fee based on affiliated sales?
What can cause the sponsorship to terminate?
Not delivering video on time?
Not the kind of review they thought it will be?
Not happy about elements in the video?
Can the get their money back?
Can they prevent publication?
Must you remove reference to product if they terminate?
Who’s video is it?
Is it yours but hey have a license to it?
Are they limited to the license provided users on YouTube?
Do they have special rights like publishing on other servers (outside of YouTube)
Can they include the video in other promotions they are running (like contests)?
Can they show the videos on other media (like TV)
You will have to protect them (cover any legal costs) in the event your work is infringing?
like using copyrighted music or pictures.
If you defame someone in the video
But how will they protect you?
A store that provides you with products needs to indemnify you in the event the manufacturer objects to the review.
A doctor needs to indemnify you if his services cause harm to your views.
A manufacturer needs to indemnify you if their product causes injury to others.
Negotiating Sponsorship Agreements is a true milestone.
You should be proud.
Just remember to negotiate, write and sign an agreement.
Don’t permit sponsorships, no matter how much they pay you, with out a written agreement.