Eric Farber has been a sports and entertainment lawyer for over 20 years. The consumer law firm he founded still exists. While he remains one of the owners, he is no longer actively involved with it. As a lawyer, he has represented diverse types of creators including award-winning filmmakers, athletes, authors, artists and entertainers.
One of Eric’s most notable clients was the Tupac Shakur Estate that he represented for 18 years. This covered various matters including infringement issues, trademark, copyright and other matters dealing with Tupac’s music and record label Amaru Entertainment. It was while working with the Tupac Shakur Estate that Eric saw firsthand the power of influencer marketing.
“This is many years ago when we were setting up all the stuff for Tupac. And I was trying to convince the marketing company how powerful the voice of Tupac was. We had set up and we’re about to go live with the website. It was the first Tupac website. I said ‘You don’t understand how hungry the fan base is for this type of content’. They were much hungrier than the marketing company thought. Within five minutes, the servers had crashed. It went live at midnight, crashed by 12:05am. Within months, we had six million people on our Facebook page.”
Creator Space is the Entertainment Business
Eric considers the influencer space as not too different from the entertainment industry he’s worked with for decades.
“The creator space is the entertainment business now. The walls of distribution have come down. The Intermediaries, the middlemen that you used to need to get your creative work out into the marketplace are gone. Today, if you are a filmmaker, you can shoot a film on your phone and have it distributed within hours. Regular Hollywood and the regular entertainment business is still there. But you can clearly see where they are getting their content. It is coming from the creator economy.”
He sees influencer marketing as something that has existed throughout history in some form.
“We can look back throughout history, there have been plenty of influencers, famous faces, famous voices and famous actors etc., have always been able to be spokespeople for brands, been able to be, push products. This is just the evolution of the ability of anybody now with a good voice, a good look and something interesting to say, being able to build a fan base and then becoming an influencer.”
Eric co-founded Creators’ Legal with Phil Alberstat, author of the Content Creators’ Handbook. While Creators’ Legal was launched just a few weeks ago, Eric had been working on it for a couple of years after he noticed a legal services gap in the creator space.
“Creators are businesses. In running your business, one of those really important things to do is get your legal right. We realized that creators are building all this content and failing to document, failing to run their business in the right way. Traditional legal just doesn’t serve the needs of creators.
Creators’ Legal is a platform that gives creators access to industry standard contracts as well as the tools need to manage these contracts, Eric says.
“We are the first and only platform for creators to get legal in a couple of clicks. They can grab a contract, get it filled out and have a couple of minutes and get it sent to somebody for signature and then actually store it so they have a record of it. Everything is digital. It converts to a PDF when done. get digital signatures built-in. Stored in Digital briefcase called project briefcase.”
Eric points out that Creator’s Legal does not provide any legal advice but is rather a DIY service.
“We have an easy use form builder. Most contracts can be done in ten minutes. Can do completely on their own. Form builder guides them a little bit but Most people can get them done in under 10 minutes.
Eric cautions that hiring an agency does not transfer the creator’s responsibility for getting legal right
“They may hire an agency, but that doesn’t assure that that agency that when they are creating their product or when get stiff do on behalf of working for that brand, responsibility of getting the legal done is still on the creator.”
Eric’s vision is to make sure creators are getting legal right without the need to call a lawyer.
“If you did a web series and Netflix is calling, you will probably hire a lawyer. But in getting that web series made, dotting I’s, crossing T’s, and Netflix says where the rights located, are all the contracts of everything who created this series, you can say let me send it to you, I’ve got it all on my dashboard at Creators Legal”
The speed of content creation is faster than ever, Eric says.
“The speed at which creators create has never been faster. Projects go from idea to distribution in a matter of days or hours. We wanted to make sure that we built that tool to be able to help creators in a way that they could get things done very quickly.”
Creators’ Legal is not free but is designed to be much cheaper than hiring a lawyer, Eric says.
“We give creators access to legal they could never otherwise have. We want that to be really accessible. 80 percent of people who need lawyers in America can’t afford them. The average lawyer in America is $350 an hour. The average entertainment lawyer is upwards of $700 an hour.”
Creators’ Legal has three pricing tiers. Contracts are as cheap as $10. You can get package at $35. Subscription is as cheap as $32 per month for unlimited use of entire platform.
“We have sold quite a lot. People seem to like our product.”
Contract for Creator Type
A key challenge building Creator’s Legal was the similarity of contracts.
“we want ted to break it out and be specific. Social media for independent film different from social media manager for a podcast or for live theatre.
Today, Creators’ Legal has contracts for different creators, Eric says.
“If location license. Podcaster needs a guest release agreement. That You have the right to broadcast, advertise and monetize without someone coming back and saying. You made a million bucks and never gave me anything. The We have social media which is important for influencers. We have standard contracts for influencers for brand agreements. Actual Influencer agreements for them to do posting on behalf of brands. We have brand ambassador agreements, it’s really who they are going to collaborate with. So if collaborating with another influencer, better make sure you outline right, obligations. Who owns, who monetizes, what are the splits.
Eric Farber’s Advice for Creators
Eric advises creators to see themselves as businesses and as mini studios.
Understand building business and part of that is creation of content. And all that has rights You want to be owner of that right. the value is in the content they own. Its Building vast library of materials. Make sure own it the right way. Somebody participating in it, get a release. Get a release. Get an agreement on it. Own it in the right way. Value is that library. To Use it. Monetize it. If you Fail to get those I’s dotted and T’s crossed, you may be able to use it later on when its really valuable.
Eric is excited about the future. He hopes to see big distribution get out of the way of content creation and distribution even more.
“I hope user generated content doesn’t get in the way of creators in same way traditional medial distribution got in the way. Hope they Leave it open. It Continues to be a democratic way of distribution. I’m Excited to see how this plays out in a global market. Its Bringing world closer together.
He wants to see Creators’ Legal become a major business tool for creators and an important part of their ecosystem.