YouTube Star’s Legal Dispute Could Re-shape E-sports Contracts

What do you do when a young, up-and-coming YouTube/E-sports star who plays the online game Fortnite outgrows his contract?  Well, a new lawsuit filed against Faze Clan, a popular e-sports organization and YouTube network, by one of the internet’s most popular personalities is shaping up to be a milestone moment for online content creators.
Turner “Tfue” Tenney is one of the most prominent Twitch streamers in the world, having catapulted to the upper echelon of online creators thanks to his prolific Fortnite playing and consistent performance in the game’s competitive circuit. But a new lawsuit filed by Tenney’s lawyers today alleges that his employer, Faze Clan, has taken financial advantage of him by way of an exploitative contract and unlawful behavior on behalf of Faze’s management.
“Because the esports industry is so new, there is little to no regulation or oversight,” attorney Bryan Freedman writes in the complaint. “There are no real organizations such as unions guilds to help protect the content creators/streamers that drive the industry.” E-sports organizations are complex entities, often acting as entertainment businesses, talent agencies, apparel companies, and collectives of social media influencers simultaneously. Creators like Tenney sign contracts with these organizations as a way to boost their careers, but it’s often in exchange for a cut of earnings for any and all of these platforms and business avenues.
Forbes reported in 2018 that “e-sports revenues will grow 38 percent this year, to $906 million, and reach $1.65 billion by 2021.” It’s also an industry heavily intertwined with YouTube and Twitch content creators, reliant on the hard work and ambitions of young creators who often do not have sound business or legal guidance.
The lawsuit is more than just Tenney looking for his fair share of income he’s deserved, according to Freedman. It’s a statement of resistance. Freedman told The Hollywood Reporter, “The time is now for content creators, gamers and streamers to stop being taken advantage of through oppressive, unfair and illegal agreements.” He wants to use Tenney’s case as “a wake up call that this behavior will no longer be tolerated.”
So one man’s online video game is another’s massive legal dispute.  That’s because disputes, like YouTube videos, are everywhere!  And when those nasty things including landlord/tenant matters, contract issues, collections and even nuisance ADA suits affect YOUR business, call in the good guy real-world litigator, Dean Sperling, to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind! 

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