Information

The media landscape is constantly evolving and so are our clients businesses in the Media, Creative & Digital sectors. This evolution is something that we are passionate about. It gives us the chance to use our creativity and industry experience, to devise solutions; whether these relate to funding models, collaborations, technologies, services or products.

We work with traditional film, media and broadcasting clients as well as those adopting more disruptive content production and distribution models, such as Youtube channels and “on demand” content platforms. We think creatively about funding and sponsorship for clients in this sector, as we know how crucial it is to get the right advice at the right time, to enable opportunities to happen fast.

We have a long history of advising Digital & Creative Agencies on all aspects of their businesses, including preparing for sale or acquisition, through to the day to day running of digital projects, contracts with clients, use of freelancers and all important data. We are so supportive of this sector that we have created the S&C Collective just for them.

Through this work and our experience in this area, we also advise many clients and investors on Digital platforms and mobile app developments. This has included award winning location based apps and app trails, through to sporting and dating apps and platforms.

We also advise gaming clients on all aspects of game development, publication and distribution. Our experience of advising on digital collaborations, coupled with our experience of IP means we have been instrumental in giving leading architecture practices strategic advice on the implementation of various stages of BIM.

Our lawyers are recognised as some of the best in the industry for Media, Creative & Digital and have won numerous awards. Our work in this area, coupled with our creative minds, means we understand the issues for businesses in this sector, and know how to resolve them.

We are a long-standing preferred supplier of Bristol Media, and support other trade associations and organisations focused on the Media, Creative & Digital sectors. 

Creative & Digital Agencies increasingly provide a wide spectrum of constantly evolving digital, print and creative services. The value clients place on these services means they require more detailed contracts to ensure they’re delivered on budget, on time – and with minimal risk. 

We work with multiple agency clients across the sector to advise on everything from one-off Master Service Contracts, through to drafting and advising on template contracts to use with clients, suppliers, freelancers and employees. This includes advice on processes and best practice around quotes, pitches, data, project management, risk, insurance and IPR.

We are also frequently instructed to advise investors and businesses on service agreements with Creative & Digital Agencies to procure branding, website, platform and app development. 

When projects and client relationships don’t go to plan, we are experienced in providing proactive and reactive support in dispute resolution. 

We are a long-standing preferred supplier of Bristol Media, and support other trade associations and organisations focused on the Creative & Digital Agency sector.

Highlights

  • Acting on behalf of Hiscox Insurance to resolve a dispute on behalf of a digital agency and a client in relation to a football App development
  • Advising True Digital on its client and freelancer contracts
  • Working with Rebel and Slaughter on its business contracts and supporting contract negotiations with client on large brand and online development project
  • Advising e3 on a range of new contracts for use across its business
  • Advising Calvium on its App development contract for the Tower of London and Historic Royal Palaces
  • Advising Studio Six on its collaborations with freelancers and suppliers, and white label opportunities for digital platforms
  • Working with award winning open source developers, Gravitywell on its customer terms and conditions and various large scale projects

Key Contracts / Services

  • Master Services Agreements
  • Freelancer Agreements
  • Terms and Conditions for the Supply of Creative and Digital Services
  • Statements of Work
  • Advice on Agile and Waterfall developments
  • Subcontractor Agreements
  • Data and Privacy
  • Licensing of Content and Databases
  • Software Licensing
  • Use of OSS
  • Brand Licensing

Content now comes from so many sources, in so many forms, and can be re-used in multiple formats across multiple platforms. We’re constantly evolving the way we add value, finding the best way to maximise revenue, maintain and develop licensing streams, and minimise risk.

From our work with leading broadcasters, animation and production companies, and digital, gaming and online platforms, we cover all sources of content. Whatever the source, we use our extensive experience to ensure we protect the content’s IPR, help build and create assets, evaluate commercial opportunities, and add value to transactions, from commissioning and licensing, to making content available.

We advise on everything from TV and animation productions for major broadcasters, films created with public funding, gaming and user-related content, through to related content for games channels and digital platforms.

We act for creatives, writers, broadcasters, games and digital platforms, and production companies.

Highlights

  • Advising Calling the Shots on its £1 million funding agreement with the Arts Council
  • Negotiating option and roll back agreements in respect of children’s formats with AOL
  • Drafting standard terms for appointment of talent to Yogscast and development of “Yogs” channels
  • Drafting talent contract with Michael Rosen for a children’s animation series
  • Licensing in events related content for a digital events platform
  • Advising and negotiating commissioning contracts between the CBBC and A Productions in relation to a series of different bitesize education productions for the online service
  • Delivering production packs for the production of a series of short films commissioned by Channel 4
  • Advising on commissioning and option agreements for Nickelodeon
  • Providing advice and negotiating commissioning, co-production and sponsorship agreements for the UKTV and Virgin channels
  • Negotiating a licence in of content with leading broadcasters and production companies and drafting distribution and supply terms for bespoke clips DVD business

Key Contracts / Services

  • Ad Funded and Branded programming
  • Sponsorship Agreements
  • Social Media Channel Agreements
  • Talent Contracts
  • Presenter Agreements
  • Commissioning, Co-production and Publishing Agreements
  • Rights and Content Acquisition, Production and Licensing and Monetisation
  • Funding Agreements
  • Option and Roll Back Agreements
  • Content and Brand License Agreements
  • App Development and Creation
  • Computer Games Development and Creation
  • Data and Privacy
  • Regulatory Issues

From online brands to e-commerce platforms selling goods or services, diverse digital platforms require fast and relevant legal advice.  We advise clients who operate dating websites, social media channels, data dashboards (PAAS), podcast services and media companies and rights owners seeking to exploit content online. We like to get involved early in the development stage to help guide clients in relation to industry specific and relevant legal and regulatory issues.  This often means we are as keen as you to see the early design phases of the platform.  As the platform develops we help to create bespoke terms and conditions for the operation of the site and privacy and cookie policies. We don’t just hand these out – we ensure these terms are designed specifically for the site and the data being captured. Alongside this, clients in this sector need relevant contracts to help them to appoint developers, hosting and back-up services and secure or licence rights.

Highlights

  • Advising ASK.FM on risk, terms and conditions and operation of ASK.FM platform
  • Advising dating website, Present Partners on its membership terms and conditions, privacy and data protection issues
  • Drafting membership terms and conditions for audioboom.com and advice on operation of the site and access to content
  • Working with an events platform site to provide all aspects of legal services from inception to sale, including content licensing, terms and conditions, hosting and data agreements
  • Drafting terms and conditions and providing advice on privacy and use of cookies in relation to the Vernon Francois website prior to and supporting launch
  • Advising award-winning Sinclair Designs on various product launches and regulatory implications of selling knives online
  • Advising on the sale and negotiating the sale agreement for a telco billing solution
  • Negotiating licensing agreements for entire catalogues of content for one of the first online film and music on demand services with Warner Music, Vidzone and Sony BMG
  • Advising on the development and licensing model for data analysis dashboard, SecondSync and advice on all legal aspects of its business from creation to sale including first-round funding and advice on subsequent sale to Twitter
  • Advising on the agile development for a billing platform

As the traditional gaming and digital content worlds collided, we were well placed to advise on new arrivals to the sector.

From App developers to advising on licensing the rights to online games for use on digital platforms, we can apply our IP, Technology, Gaming and Content Production experience to the challenges the industry faces.  This often involves advice on regulatory matters, licensing of brands and working with celebrity bloggers and contributors.  Through our work with Creative & Digital Agencies we are able to advise on the implications of publishing gaming apps on various App Stores. 

Highlights

  • Advising Yogscast, one of the most popular gaming channels on YouTube, on its contract with Maker Studios
  • Advising on App games development projects for an award winning App developer, including advice on developer contracts and IP and underlying IP in the game
  • Advising on game licensing for a digital games channel
  • Providing legal advice for poker channel including licensing, programme commissioning, talent and supply contracts together with regulation advice

Key Contracts / Services

  • Games Development Agreements
  • Freelance Developer Agreements
  • Ad-Funded and Branded Programming
  • Sponsorship Agreements
  • Social Media Channel Agreements
  • Talent Contracts
  • Presenter Agreements
  • Commissioning, Co-production and Publishing Agreements
  • Rights and Content Acquisition, Production and Licensing and Monetisation
  • Funding Agreements
  • Content and Brand Licence Agreements
  • App Development and Creation
  • Data and Privacy
  • Regulatory Issues

BIM is the first truly global digital construction technology. Soon, this game-changing technology will be deployed in every country in the world. It’s heavily supported by the UK government, and through our work with architecture and professional service practices we can support these clients on the risks, IP implications and operational challenges of using BIM.

Highlights

  • Advising Calling the Shots on its £1 million funding agreement with the Arts Council and commission by Channel 4

  • Drafting standard terms for appointment of talent to Yogscast and development of “Yogs” channels

  • Advising e3 on a range of new contracts across its business

  • Advising Calvium on its App development contract for the Tower of London and Historic Royal Palaces

  • Advising Six on its collaborations with freelancers and suppliers, and white label opportunities for digital platforms

  • Advising on the development and licensing model for data analysis dashboard, SecondSync and advice on all legal aspects of its business from creation to sale including first round funding and advice on subsequent sale to Twitter

  • Advising True Digital on its client and freelancer contracts

Key contracts / services

  • Master Digital Services Agreements

  • Freelancer Agreements

  • Terms and Conditions for the Supply of Creative and Digital Services

  • Agile and Waterfall Development Agreements

  • Subscription Agreements

  • Talent and Presenter Agreements

  • Commission, Co-production and Publishing Agreements

  • Rights and Content Acquisition, Production, Licensing and Monetisation Agreements

  • Ad Funded and Branding Agreements

  • Option Agreements

  • Regulatory Issues

Case Studies

Animation Production

Our client is often commissioned by the BBC to produce animated TV series’ for the BBC. We worked on a number of productions, including the “Playing With Words” series, starring award-winning author, Michael Rosen. We advised on the commissioning and distribution agreement between our client and the BBC and drafted and negotiated a presenter and script writers contract with Michael Rosen’s agent for his work on the series. We also prepared contributors agreements for all the other contributors to the series (such as cameramen), ensuring that all necessary rights were obtained.

Other work for this client, includes advising on the commissioning of music for a new animation production series. Since the music was a collaboration between a number of artists, our work firstly involved carrying out due diligence to establish the correct contracting entities of the contributors to the music score and the composition. Once this was resolved we completed the agreement with the respective artists and the series is now in development.

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Award Winning App Developer

Our client is a development agency that builds award-winning Apps for its end clients. We worked with them to review their entire contractual process with its customers to ensure projects would run smoothly with minimal risk and maximum profit. This work included redrafting its terms of business, creating template statements of work and change notice forms. After putting these new templates in place, we also worked with our client, to support their negotiations with their customers on high value projects and work with other subcontracted agencies. 

In all of these relationships, as well as advising on sound commercial principles learned from the regular work we do in this area, we also sought to ensure that the client retained the Background IPR they had developed (and continues to develop), relating to  core Apps and templates, libraries and tools. These enable the client to develop new Apps more efficiently, accurately and cost effectively, but also creates a valuable bank of IPR in the business.

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Calling the Shots – Film Production

Our client had been awarded £1,000,000 investment by the Arts Council, to produce a series of short films featuring young film makers, which would potentially be licensed by Channel 4 for its Random Acts series. We advised and assisted our client on the negotiation of the agreement with the Arts Council. Specifically, this meant the complex intellectual property provisions in the agreement, as well as and the residual rights provisions, which enabled them to value residual opportunity for the footage. We also crafted a pack of template production documents for our client to use for the productions, including filmmaker agreements, music buy-outs, location agreements, contributors and performers contracts and post-production contracts. Once production had started, we advised on the incidental production matters which arose during filming.  

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Creative Design Agency – Collaboration

Our client is one of the top 100 creative design agencies in the UK. We worked with them on their collaboration with another creative agency, carefully defining the lines of ownership between them in the intellectual property that was being created. We also established the treatment of rights in the work that was being produced by their subcontractors appointed in the same collaboration.

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Digital advertising and marketing agency

Our client is an award-winning digital advertising and marketing agency. It wished to conduct a comprehensive review of its engagement by clients and of suppliers and contractors to tighten up on processes, rights acquisition and its management of risk.

First off, we set up a workshop with our client. We looked at a sample of its legacy contracts and templates and walked through how, on a practical level, it worked in conjunction with its clients, suppliers and contractors. As a result, we were able to identify improvements to processes, that helped with issues such as scope creep, project timelines and project changes. We then set about drafting a set of template contracts to suit the different ways in which the client worked. So, for example, we crafted a framework agreement that the client could use for its engagement by its customers where it was retained to work on multiple projects over a period of time. In this template, we provided for a range of variable options which the client could select, depending on the level of commitment the customer was prepared to take on. We also crafted a series of template agreements tailored to each type of supplier/contractor that our client typically engaged, ensuring that the obligations imposed on them, dovetailed with the obligations our client was taking on in respect of its customers. It also ensured that the risk it was taking on in its agreement with its customers was ‘back to backed’, to the extent appropriate in the supplier/contractor templates.

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Digital Services Provider – Online Platform Development

Our client developed an online platform, that allows family members (particularly those whose relationships have broken down), to plan activities and communicate efficiently and positively. We worked with the business since its inception, providing a guiding hand in connection with its business model, its intellectual property rights, data protection, and hosting of the platform. We also drafted and negotiated the platform development agreement with the developer, the agreements with the brand designers, drafted the subscription terms for membership of the platform, as well as the terms and conditions, privacy and cookie policy for the platform, ensuring they were all legally compliant.

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Gaming – Use of Avatars

Our client, a well-known YouTuber in the gaming field, is developing a new mobile game. As well as drawing on his existing IP, he was seeking to use the name, likeness and avatars of fellow YouTubers working in the same gaming field. We worked with the client to understand his future plans for the game, and what the other YouTubers might expect in terms of exploitation of the game. We then created a re-usable template for him to use with each of them, to acquire the relevant rights and to ensure he had the freedom to exploit the game and the underlying rights to the name, likeness and avatars of the contributors, in all formats and across all media. 

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Website Terms and Conditions for celebrity hair stylist

Our client, a celebrity hair stylist of black and textured hair, was ready to set up his online business, selling UK-manufactured hair care products into predominantly the UK and US consumer markets. Our task was to ensure that the site was legally compliant, could work as a UK site selling into the US consumer market and enabled our client to use the data collected in a way that both protected users and meant he could make the most of the rich data being collated. That meant ensuring compliance with a variety of laws, including consumer protection, e-commerce, data protection and privacy regulations. 

We understand that start-ups need to strictly manage their legal budgets, so following a review of the test version of the site, we prepared draft documents, that we could walk the client through to obtain their detailed feedback. We also spoke directly with  relevant team members and the site developer, to work in the most efficient way possible for us and the client. We were also conscious of the need to make the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy, reflect the simple, clean ‘look and feel’ of the site. We worked with the developer to ensure that they were presented in an easily digestible way, using plain language so they could readily be understood by consumers, while still protecting our client to the fullest possible extent.

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Who to contact

Rebecca Steer

Rebecca Steer

rebecca.steer@steerandco.com
+44 (0)117 230 9700
+44 (0) 7887 627063

“Steer & Co provides industry-specific advice to media and technology clients, including Bristol Media, SecondSync and Yogscast. Clients say "very helpful and flexible," as well as "extremely knowledgeable on the creative and technology sector".”

– Chambers and Partners 2015, ranked in Media & Entertainment, UK-wide – Leading Individual.

“Steer & Co is a preferred supplier of legal services to Bristol Media. It also recently advised a social media start-up on various contractual matters.”

– Legal 500 2013, ranked in TMT, Media and Entertainment, South West.

“Steer & Co “inspires confidence” in clients with “intelligent, creative approach and ability to think outside of the box”.

– Chambers and Partners 2011, ranked in Intellectual Property, South West – Leading Individual.

“Rebecca Steer at Steer & Co is “knowledgeable”, “pragmatic” and “commercially focused”, and advises on media regulation and the development of e-commerce platforms, games and apps.”

– Legal 500 2014, ranked in TMT, Media and Entertainment, South West.