Life just got easier for digital producers, now that ACNE, B-Reel, North Kingdom, Perfect Fools and Unit9 have released a new boilerplate master service agreement for digital production on stndrd.org, the open source digital production resource site B-Reel launched last November.
The companies say they created the agreement "in the spirit of Swedish collectiveness. We just spend so much time talking about the same basic points in nearly every contract, and it would be good to be on more common ground when starting working with an agency or a client," says B-Reel CEO Anders Wahlquist. "Contracts are often based on other media, thus not very appropriate for digital, and they are normally within 60-100 pages which costs a lot for especially smaller vendors with less resources to go through them."
Wahlquist says that all the agencies involved began "to discuss the most important points in a contract and found there are only ten paragraphs that you really care about. Then we tried the approach with some clients and got really good feedback, which we added, and then we got some help from Worm Law to get the lingo right."
The MSA can be used as is, paragraph by paragraph added to an existing contract or as a boilerplate to which companies can make their own additions—which, of course, they're encouraged to do, given that Stndrd.org is an open source site. "It feels ready to be ripped apart by wiki-users," says Wahlquist. "We hope users will use it and add to it, as we have over the years. This is just a refined form of what we use every day in our business."