Terms of Service & Legal Agreements
Storyhunter is a venue for freelancers and clients to collaborate, communicate, negotiate and, eventually, form a legally binding agreement for services between freelancers or production companies (“Sellers”) and the clients (“Buyers”). You can read our Terms of Service here. On a project basis, Buyer and Sellers may enter into an agreement that is executed on the platform, which may be Storyhunter’s default Independent Contractor Services Agreement. Clients may have separate agreements with Storyhunter that are different from these terms of service. For other legal questions, please read our Legal FAQ.
If a client meets a new freelancer on the Storyhunter platform or through any tools, events or services Storyhunter provides, or visa versa, all payments between those parties must happen on the Storyhunter platform. See our terms of service for more details.
De-activating and Deleting Account
Any user has the right to de-activate or delete their account and Storyhunter will do so promptly do so. Email Support@storyhunter.com for details.
Re-Selling Work & Copyrights
In most cases, you can’t sell the same content to another Client since that would violate our standard Independent Contractor Services Agreement, which you agree to every time you begin a project. Some clients on Storyhunter may choose to have their own agreements with different requirements, which will be visible in the project view. If you’d like to negotiate different terms, please do so on the project thread citing the terms you’d like to replace. Read our legal FAQ for more details.
Clients may want freelancers to sign and return release forms for a location or for talent. Make sure you coordinate this before you begin production. These requirements are under the discretion of the client, not Storyhunter.
Transparency & Copyrights
Whenever you use music, stills, or additional footage in the content you submit to a client that is not your own, please make sure that you always inform the client right away. Freelancers must reveal to clients any content supplied that is not fully owned by the freelancer.
What are the basic terms of the Storyhunter’s standard Independent Contractor Services Agreement (the “ICSA”)?
The ICSA is a binding agreement between Buyers and Sellers on the Platform. There is no substitute for reading the entire thing, and this summary does not cover all of the terms.
Provisions of the ICSA include:
- All work is to be performed in a professional and workmanlike manner;
- Buyer may review all work product prior to acceptance;
- All fees are paid by Buyer to Storyhunter, and Storyhunter remits payment to Seller after receipt from Buyer;
- Sellers are independent contractors, are not entitled to benefits from Buyers, and are responsible for their own taxes;
- Sellers must treat all non-public information received from Buyers as confidential;
- 100% transfer of all copyrights in newly developed Seller work product delivered to a Buyer;
- Sellers provide several warranties, including on their work product and compliance with the agreement;
- Buyers can terminate the agreement on 30 days notice. If termination is without cause, a kill fee payable to Sellers may apply.
Can we negotiate any of the terms regarding content rights?
The ICSA is a template, and may not be suitable for all deals. If Buyers and Sellers would like alternative terms, they are free to use their own negotiated agreement with different terms. These can be uploaded to the Assets Tab in the project view in order to be downloaded and signed by both parties.
Where are negotiations of these terms conducted when using Storyhunter and how do I know that both parties have agreed?
The applicable legal agreement between Buyers and Sellers becomes binding when both parties accept a Project on the Platform.
If a custom agreement is posted by Buyer for the Project at the time of acceptance, that is the applicable agreement. If custom separate agreement is posted, the standard ICSA applies at that time.
You also can negotiate changes to the ICSA on Storyhunter on the message thread regarding the Project. When negotiating changes to the ICSA, make sure to reference the section of the agreement you’d like to change, and state your requested change to the agreement. It’s often helpful to enter the entire section of the agreement you’d like to change and then enter the new language you’d like to propose. You can negotiate changes to any part of the ICSA agreement, whether it is regarding content rights, “Kill fees”, or the size of any cash advances facilitated through the Storyhunter platform.
One part of the agreement you cannot negotiate is payment being paid outside of Storyhunter. All payments-- whether expenses, advances or payments for services—must be paid through the Storyhunter platform.
If an idea for a story is sent via a call for pitches on Storyhunter, who owns the actual idea?
There are generally no intellectual property rights in the ownership of an idea for a story. Absent a binding agreement with a Buyer, Buyers are typically under no obligation to Sellers to use Sellers to proceed with a story idea submitted in a pitch. Note that the creative content of a pitch is still owned by a Seller unless and until the point that a Buyer purchases that content.
What if a Buyer creates a bigger series or feature film about story I did for them?
The terms of your agreement with that Buyer will apply. Under the standard ICSA, a Buyer owns all new intellectual property rights, so if the series a Buyer creates later is based on content or rights a Seller sold to Buyer or which were works for hire for Buyer, the Buyer would own those rights.
So if a Buyer commissions a story idea from a call for pitches, and then later decides to create a feature film or series on that topic, does the Seller need to get any credit or royalties?
The terms of your agreement with that Buyer will apply. Under the standard ICSA, a Buyer owns all new intellectual property rights, so if the film or other properties created later are based on content or rights a Seller sold to Buyer or which were works for hire for Buyer, the Buyer would own those rights.
Can a Seller negotiate with a Buyer to make sure the client adds their name to the credits?
Yes. Buyers and Sellers can negotiate and enter into any relationship they want. These negotiations can take place on the message thread of the Project.
Should Buyers still use non-disclosure agreements, location release or image releases?
Buyers should operate their projects as normal, with the legal agreements they deem appropriate.
As a Buyer, what happens if a Seller doesn’t show up, shows up late or performs the services far below what is advertised on their Storyhunter profile? What rights do clients have to not pay for services that don’t meet what was agreed upon?
If using the standard ICSA, Sellers are warranting that their services will be performed in a professional and workmanlike manner, and Buyers are entitled to review and accept/reject deliverables for conformance to their required specifications before paying. If services or work product does not conform to the specifications agreed to in the ICSA, they can be rejected.
Can I invoice clients and then ask them to pay me off the platform?
That is the one of the most important rules of Storyhunter, since that is core to our business. Both the clients and the freelancers agree when they sign up that they will not do this, as part of our non-compete clause in our Terms of Service. Our community of clients and freelancers are integral to our value as a company, so asking to get hired off the platform is not allowed. We have this clause in our Terms of Service for freelancers because we have had issues where freelancers try to get paid off the platform; it puts clients in an awkward position because they want to abide by the agreement they’ve made with us. Since we are building a community based on trust, we’ve found that it’s better that all parties are aligned and know the rules.
Why would I want to get paid through Storyhunter if I already knew the client?
Getting paid through Storyhunter provides a number of benefits to the freelancer. We guarantee payments within 30 days, without any hassle. We allow freelancers to build their reputations through reviews. We provide freelancers access to new clients and jobs. And, we are an ally with freelancers as they grow their businesses. If a freelancer requests to be paid through Storyhunter, no fees are incurred on the freelancer and our non-compete does not apply.
What are some circumstances where that non-compete does not apply?
Good question. If a freelancer has done business or had a relationship with a client before Storyhunter, the non-compete does not apply. But if a freelancer applies to a posting on Storyhunter, they are still required to receive payment for that posting through Storyhunter.
I got an email saying that a conversation was flagged. Does that mean I can get kicked off of the platform?
Yes, Storyhunter always reserves the right to deactivate any user's account who doesn’t abide by our Terms of Service. We want to create the most trusting, professional environment on Storyhunter so we’ve created some functionality to allow our system to “flag” certain behaviors so our team can look into the severity of the behavior. If messages or actions on the platform indicate offensive or aggressive behavior, an attempt to get paid off of Storyhunter, or other activities that violate Storyhunter’s Terms of Service, a freelancer’s account may be flagged That said, we recognize that there are usually two sides to every story so we would certainly reach out to the freelancer directly for their side of the story if any issues occur.
I saw in your help desk that clients can “block” freelancers. Is that true?
Yes, clients have the ability to block certain freelancers who they no longer want to do business with or interact with. Each client has control over this and Storyhunter does not have any influence over who the client decides to add to this list.
I’ve noticed some clients have different policies on Kill Fees. Is this true?
Yes. Storyhunter does have a standard, default Kill Fee in our Terms of Service but most clients have their own policies on this within their own agreements that are executed on our platform. Clients have the ability to adopt their contracts when using our freelancer management system, so freelancers should negotiate directly with a client with regard to Kill Fees. Remember, we are set up like a marketplace, so the agreement is with the end-client themselves (we offer the e-signature and act as a payment agent, but the content and agreement with the end client is between the freelancer and the end client, not us). Because we work with some of the largest companies in the world, each client often has different legal policies and requirements. That said, any element of these contracts can be negotiated by the freelancer on the message thread and are binding if both parties agree to the changes. While each company has their individual policies, Storyhunter always steps in to mediate where there is a problem, and we almost always negotiate a mutually agreeable solution.
What if I get sick or need to cancel a project for some reason?
If a freelancer needs to cancel a shoot for any reason, they may do so without owing the client any compensation. We at Storyhunter will do our best to find the client a suitable replacement.
What about if I’ve worked with the client before and they’ve “invited” me to the platform?
If a freelancer knew a client personally or as a business contact before Storyhunter, or they were invited to the platform by the client, this non-compete does not apply.