Faze Clan and Tfue’s legal dispute could reshape e-sports and YouTube contracts forever

One of the most popular Internet personalities presents a new lawsuit against Faze Clan, a popular electronic sports organization and the YouTube network. It is becoming a key moment for creators of online content.

Turner "Tfue" Tenney is one of the most outstanding Twitch streamers in the world, which has catapulted to the highest echelon of online creators thanks to its prolific game [19459005Fortnite and a constant performance in the competitive circuit of the game . But a new lawsuit filed by Tenney's lawyers today alleges that his employer, Faze Clan, took advantage of him financially through an exploitation contract and illegal behavior on behalf of the Faze administration.

The lawsuit establishes that Faze deprived Tenney of certain business opportunities, did not pay the player Fortnite his share of the income from the trademark and, to some extent, reduced his profits by taking up the 80 percent of your earnings. Situations The lawsuit also contends that Faze is operating in violation of California law, specifically the Talent Agency Act, essentially operating as a talent agency without an adequate license or complying with the necessary regulation. The complaint also alleges that Faze members encouraged Tenney to play and drink to minors.

"Because the sports industry is so new, there is little or no regulation or supervision," writes the lawyer Bryan Freedman in the complaint. "There are no real organizations, like unions unions, that help protect the creators / transmitters of content that drive the industry." Electronic sports organizations are complex entities, often acting as entertainment companies, talent agencies, clothing companies and groups of influential people in social networks. simultaneously. Creators like Tenney sign contracts with these organizations as a way to boost their careers, but often it is an exchange of profits for each and every one of these platforms and commercial channels.

Tenney first signed the contract, referred to in the court document as a "Player Agreement," in April 2018, when he was 20 years old. The contract specifically states that Faze gets 80 percent of all the revenue that Tenney gets through sponsored videos on Twitch and YouTube, where it has more than 10 million subscribers, according to Tenney's attorney.

It's a number that has other creators in the game space surprised, including Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, who said such terms would be "a joke." Blevins talked about the demand in his Twitch flow, and told his audience that "80 Percent is crazy." Ali "Mito" Kabbani expressed his sympathy for Tenney by tweeting: "I really feel so bad for [Tenney]." Freedman refers to the breach as "highly oppressive, burdensome and one-for-profit" in the complaint.

Faze is calling those numbers and inaccurate claims.A company statement sent to The Verge indicates that since Tenney signed the contract in April 2018, the organization has not raised money from Tenney based on Twitch, YouTube or social media revenue, Faze's statement also states that he has not raised a single cent in tournament winnings since Tenney started competing on behalf of the electronic sports organization.Tenney is the second highest earning player Fortnite in the history of the game, having won a series of important competitions that have awarded more than $ 500,000.

"We have only raised a total of $ 60,000 from our association, while Tfue has earned millions as a member of the FaZe Clan," the statement said. The contracts are different for each player, all of them, including Tfue, have a maximum of 20 percent for the FaZe clan in both tournament winnings and content, with 80% for the player. In the case of Turner, FaZe Clan has not collected any of those things. "

The case of Tenney It is based on a series of factors that have become standard industry practices in the space of largely unregulated creators, ranging from mobile applications such as Instagram to video platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.The creators are often young and inexperienced and, in many cases, they do not fully understand the legality behind a contract that could determine their earning potential for years.

This becomes problematic when creators, like Tenney, explode in popularity and start earning money. Rate neither the creator nor the entertainment organization that signs them in advance. In the case of Tenney, he became one of the most watched creators of Twitch on the platform in just a few months of signing with Faze, and his followers of Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have experienced meteoric increases.

For creators in these positions, there is often no formal representation to help guide their careers. The companies that exploit young and naive creatives are not new. But like the regulations for young actors, Tenney's lawyer says that he and his client want the same thing to happen within the space of content creators. It is an area that only keeps growing. Forbes reported in 2018 that "revenues from electronic sports will increase 38 percent this year to $ 906 million, and will reach $ 1.65 billion by 2021." It is also a very interrelated industry with the content creators of YouTube and Twitch. the hard work and ambitions of young creators who often do not have a solid commercial or legal orientation.

"Most of these content creators / transmitters are also very young and, often, they are not sophisticated, they are not seasoned and they are confident," writes Freedman. "As a result, these young content creators / transmitters are likely to be exploited and exploited, often by those who are supposed to be caring for their best interests. Unfortunately, this has become the industry standard. "

This may be the first time that an electronic sports organization as popular as Faze is sued by one of its most popular personalities, but this is not a new story In the world of online creators, YouTubers has complained for years that the so-called "multichannel networks (MCN)", which are companies that essentially act as intermediaries for brands and content creators, have exploited the creators of videos since became a YouTube personality became a viable career path more than a decade ago.One of the most prominent MCN, Defy Media, is currently involved in its own legal problems after several creators sued the now defunct company for not paying adequate funds for video revenue.

Anthony Padilla, a YouTube veteran, is perhaps the most emblematic of exploitation in the YouTube world. He sold his popular YouTube channel, Smosh, with more than 20 million subscribers, "for zero dollars." Although he said he was "in it" for not having read the contract more thoroughly or taking the time to fully understand what he was signing, he wanted his case to be a lesson for future YouTube creators. "We did not have representation. "We did not understand it," Padilla said in a 2018 video. "I do not know if we were taken advantage of on purpose, but they did take advantage of us, and that's bad."

The members of Faze began to respond to Tenney's demand. Richard "Banks" Bengtson, possibly the most popular member of Faze, tweeted his own statement after news of the lawsuit began to spread online.

The lawsuit is more than simply that Tenney is looking for his fair share of income. Deserved, according to Freedman. It is a statement of resistance. Freedman told The Hollywood Reporter : "Now is the time for content creators, players and content transmitters to stop being exploited through oppressive, unfair and illegal agreements." He wants to use Tenney's case as "an awakening call that this behavior will no longer be tolerated".

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