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After winning a tournament or becoming popular on Twitter or Twitch, Esports players often receive many offers, from sponsorships to team invitations. You might be tempted to take the first offer you get without negotiating the terms.

However, having a well-constructed contract is beneficial to both parties, particularly the player. Before signing a contract, consult with the experienced attorneys for esports players at KJK to protect yourself and your future.

We’re Here for you:

Representing Amateur, Collegiate and Professional Esports Athletes

At KJK, we represent esports athletes at all levels, from those just beginning to professionals with years of experience.

Regardless of your level, there are legal considerations whenever you sign an agreement, monetize your play on a streaming service or join a team. Because the team at KJK has a wide range of experience with esports, including franchise creation, generating contracts, negotiating with sponsors and players, and helping Esports venues plan events, we can advise players on any esports legal question.

Sponsorship Negotiations

Sponsorship is the dream of many young esports athletes but offers sometimes come with strings attached. Having an experienced esports lawyer negotiate on your behalf protects your interests since most sponsors have their own legal representation advising them.

Your lawyer can help you ensure you receive a reasonable monthly fee, keep as much of your IP as possible, and retain control of your social media accounts.

 

Drafting and Reviewing Contracts

Whether you’re joining your University team or a professional esports organization , you will need to sign a contract. These legal documents could have a significant impact on your future career since they sometimes include exclusivity language, requirements for social media promotion and many other requirements.

KJK can help facilitate agreements between you and the team, giving you legal advice and career guidance. Because our team works with esports teams and franchises, we know what terms are common in players’ agreements. We can act as your legal representative, meaning you can focus on improving your game and leave the legalities to us.

When considering a contract, esports players should consider:

  • Do you receive a monthly fee?
  • Do you keep ownership of your social media accounts?
  • What are the bonuses for winning tournaments?
  • What non-playing responsibilities do you have (i.e., promotion on social media, attending events)
  • What is the cancellation policy?

Protecting Your IP (Intellectual Property)

Intellectual property, or IP, is one of the hottest topics in esports law and also one of the most complicated. Regardless of whether you’re joining a team, signing a sponsor contract or just starting to monetize your streams, you need to be aware of which content you own, which content you must pay to use and which content the other party owns.

The specifics of who owns what IP depend on a variety of factors, including the streaming platform you use, the game you play and contracts you’ve signed. IP in Esports is an extremely complex issue. The esports lawyers at KJK can help you protect your IP.

 

Copyright Issues

Another important aspect to consider when streaming your play is what background music you have on. Most streaming platforms have policies not to infringe on existing copyrights, including musical copyrights. Recently, players have received copyright infringement notices for past streams dating back to 2017. If you’ve received one of these or are concerned about how to protect yourself, KJK can give you advice on how to receive permission to play music.

 

Ending a Contract

If you want to leave a team or end a sponsorship, you may receive some push-back from your sponsor, particularly if you are leaving for a higher-paid sponsorship or better team. KJK can help you review the terms of your contract, ensuring you don’t break a contract that could open you up to legal problems.

Player Representation

At KJK, we also offer representation to players. We can act as a match-making company, connecting players with interested sponsors, event venues and franchises. Because we have worked with a variety of people involved in esports, we know which players and sponsors can work together well.

 

Esport Athletes:

Privacy And Terms of Use Policies

Privacy policies and terms of use policies are ubiquitous across industries. They exist to protect you, your donors, your sponsors and your team from legal action. Additionally, by following a strict privacy policy and data protection policy, you can protect yourself from hacking.

Why Do Esports Athletes Need Privacy Policies?

In 2016, the EU passed the GDPR, an overarching bill that protects consumers’ data and prevents companies or freelancers from storing or sharing data without permission. Even if you live in the US, if you have a sponsorship with an EU-based company or receive a donation from someone living in the EU, you must abide by the regulations of the GDPR.

Esports is an international business, with people all over the world tuning in to Twitch streams, so it’s essential you have a privacy policy to protect yourself from fines from the EU. The team at KJK can ensure your privacy policy follows both US and international regulations and can help you create data storage policies that protect your donors’ privacy.

Terms of Use Policies and Esports

While you may not have a personal terms of use policy, you must have a complete understanding of the terms of use policies for any platform you use. Esports athletes depend on a variety of platforms, from the company that produced the game to the streaming platform of their choice to make their money. Before you start monetizing the process, carefully read through each platform’s terms of use policies.

  • For example, recent copyright infringement cases could have been avoided with a careful read through of the terms of use policies. Additional potential pitfalls include age limits to play the game, particularly for Mature-rated games, failing to keep your account information up-to-date or promoting harmful content.
  • Each gaming company has slightly different terms of use policies, with some creating unique policies for each game.  
  • Terms of use policies are often dense and difficult to understand. At KJK, we have an extensive background in esports’ legality, including the various terms of use policies.
  • You may want to include a terms of use policy in contracts with a sponsor or a team, including how they can use your brand, image or streams.

We’re Here for you:

Further your Esports Career with KJK

Esports players have the opportunity to earn significant amounts of money. However, without guidance and legal advice, they could find themselves manipulated or breaking copyright laws accidentally. Call KJK today to learn how our Esports Group can help you in your Esports career.

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