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New Games Workshop NDA for influencers UPDATE 2: The document appears to be real.


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16 minutes ago, Sarouan said:

Better not to pay anymore attention to it. Whatever truth there is, it's just not worth it.
 

Throwing up your hands is a convenient take for someone whose position the whole time has been that it's fake, and if it's not fake, it's normal, and if it isn't normal, it doesn't matter because it's their own fault for signing it. Which is fine, that's up to you, nobody can or should force you to care. But it's not going to be particularly convincing to people who do care. 

 

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I can't wrap my head around why someone wouldn't care about this, if it's true (as it seems to be). This isn't just anti small business (content creators). It's anti-consumer, as this serves to turn objective reviewers into people who are unable to give an unbiased or critical opinion. Why would a customer of GW be okay with this? 

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Lots of people have an attitude toward business that pretty much anything goes, and that if someone gets into trouble, that's their own fault for not protecting themselves sufficiently. It's basically the Milton Friedman argument that corporations have no responsibility to do anything other than make the maximum amount of profit. 

I don't agree with it personally, but I don't think it's that hard to understand, especially when it's a convenient position to take because you are favorably inclined to whatever corporation is being accused of sharp practices. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Orbei said:

Why would a customer of GW be okay with this? 

Because there is a very sizeable proportion of the fanbase who either legitimately could not care less because they know/will not ever stop buying GW products short of Nottingham being taken by a sinkhole, or are so fanatically devoted to The Product that they cannot possibly comprehend GW as doing anything wrong, whether that's some kind of sunk cost fallacy, earnest belief GW are their friend or have shares in the company and therefore feel 'responsible' for defending it.

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35 minutes ago, Orbei said:

Why would a customer of GW be okay with this? 

Simple. If true, it actually only matters to those looking these so called "content-creators". I'll be honest : to me, it targets primarily "influencers", who were never objective and always have a subjective opinion on the products they advertise. Them having a NDA with GW or not doesn't mean to me they're "clean" or not in itself - really depends about the youtuber's personnality and principles...and nothing forbids them to warn they're in a NDA with GW to their viewers if they wish it so (at least, I didn't see anything in the "leaked" document clearly stipulating it).

It doesn't really matter to me because I see the youtubers as what they are : people with their subjective opinions, and I take their content appropriately. NDA or not...even if I'm be more willing to follow those who are honest to say they may not be "free" to say everything they want because of contracts they signed. Like youtubers making placement products ; there are those who say they do it and those who don't.

Moreover, not all GW customers are actually following youtubers to tell them if they must buy GW products or not - either they look for information like reviews of books, or they want to be entertained. And the content that could be "problematic" because of this NDA if true is quite specific and easy to spot, to be blunt.

 

So yeah, the truth doesn't really matter here, IMHO. Especially when drama between youtubers is involved...the real "scandal" has less to do with GW and more with the youtubers' respective behaviors, in the end.

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5 minutes ago, Clan's Cynic said:

Because there is a very sizeable proportion of the fanbase who either legitimately could not care less because they know/will not ever stop buying GW products short of Nottingham being taken by a sinkhole, or are so fanatically devoted to The Product that they cannot possibly comprehend GW as doing anything wrong, whether that's some kind of sunk cost fallacy, earnest belief GW are their friend or have shares in the company and therefore feel 'responsible' for defending it.

What would you like those fans to do?

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I don't think that sort of inflammatory language is particularly useful. Getting into the fanbois vs haters things never leads anywhere productive, it just stirs people up. If people don't want to care they won't care no matter how much you try to shame them for it. 

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4 minutes ago, Sarouan said:

and nothing forbids them to warn they're in a NDA with GW to their viewers if they wish it so (at least, I didn't see anything in the "leaked" document clearly stipulating it).

Well, except that it does - 1.1 (ii) clearly states that the fact that you signed an NDA is itself confidential information that you are not allowed to reveal. Which is yet another problematic part of the agreement.

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36 minutes ago, Orbei said:

I can't wrap my head around why someone wouldn't care about this, if it's true (as it seems to be). This isn't just anti small business (content creators). It's anti-consumer, as this serves to turn objective reviewers into people who are unable to give an unbiased or critical opinion. Why would a customer of GW be okay with this? 

Wouldn’t anyone receiving free early copies of product from GW need to mark their videos as paid advertisement or sponsored?

I know on IG the influencers we send our products to for free always stipulate as such on their posts, even though all they’re getting is free product. 

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6 minutes ago, ArkanautDadmiral said:

Wouldn’t anyone receiving free early copies of product from GW need to mark their videos as paid advertisement or sponsored?

I know on IG the influencers we send our products to for free always stipulate as such on their posts, even though all they’re getting is free product. 

They don't have to mark it as a paid advertisement or sponsored, but they do have to disclose that they got the product for free. The standard formula these days seems to be "thank you GW for sending us this free review copy!" which is language that is clearly specifically engineered to put a positive spin on what's happening. 

And even if they did, that's a bit different from disclosing you signed an NDA that prohibits you from saying or doing anything that leads to GW customers anywhere in the world buying less of any GW product. 

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9 minutes ago, yukishiro1 said:

Well, except that it does - 1.1 (ii) clearly states that the fact that you signed an NDA is itself confidential information that you are not allowed to reveal. Which is yet another problematic part of the agreement.

Ah, well I stand corrected, my bad for not reading well ;) . So it all goes down to the youtuber's principles, like with placement product : there are those who do and those who don't.

And like said by others in the beginning, it's only a problem for the people signing it. Which is why this case has been going crazy with this whole drama about "doxxing", and why the truth is mostly about the involved youtubers' respective behaviors now...certainly because it's actually more interesting than the contract itself.

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No youtube reviewer with principles would sign and follow an agreement that they agree not to do anything that would result in any GW customer anywhere in the world buying less of any GW product. That makes it impossible to do an honest review, if you get a bad product your only choice is not to put out a review at all. 

One of the biggest fallouts from this is that all youtubers who get advance copies are now going to be under a cloud unless GW comes forward and makes clear that the NDAs they signed don't include these provisions. 

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1 minute ago, yukishiro1 said:

They don't have to mark it as a paid advertisement or sponsored, but they do have to disclose that they got the product for free. The standard formula these days seems to be "thank you GW for sending us this free review copy!" which is a very roundabout way of disclosing that fact.

And even if they did, that's a bit different from disclosing you signed an NDA that prohibits you from saying or doing anything that leads to GW customers anywhere in the world buying less of any GW product. 

I’m not referring to it in regards to disclosing you’ve signed an NDA. 

More that you’re likely not going to receive a balanced review if the video is marked as paid promotion etc. And viewers can use that to make their choices. 

Unfortunately I think just the risk of not getting free stuff anymore if you leave a less than favourable review is enough to deter most content creators from an unbiased review without having to throw an overzealous NDA in there too. Especially when it comes to Warhammer where the only thing most of them are covering is just GW products anyway.

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5 minutes ago, ArkanautDadmiral said:

Unfortunately I think just the risk of not getting free stuff anymore if you leave a less than favourable review is enough to deter most content creators from an unbiased review without having to throw an overzealous NDA in there too. Especially when it comes to Warhammer where the only thing most of them are covering is just GW products anyway.

I think this is largely correct. Which is why the terms in that NDA seem so unnecessarily punitive. They shouldn't need to force people to agree to never do anything that could result in any GW customer anywhere in the world buying less GW product. They already have the stick of just terminating the agreement and not giving them advance copies in the future. Most of these overreaches in the NDA don't seem to even serve GW's interests. GW isn't going to sue someone who didn't do anything wrong, so why include a provision for indemnity without fault? GW doesn't need to get people to sign in blood that they don't do leave bad reviews, because people won't leave bad reviews anyway if they want to continue to get free GW product. GW doesn't need to get people to agree not to sell T-shirts to their fans without GW's advance permission, because why would GW actually care about that?

That's largely what made me question whether it was real in the first place. This is both an oppressively one-sided agreement...and one where the oppressive one-sidedness doesn't seem to even benefit GW much in practical application. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, yukishiro1 said:

No youtube reviewer with principles would sign and follow an agreement that they agree not to do anything that would result in any GW customer anywhere in the world buying less of any GW product. That makes it impossible to do an honest review, if you get a bad product your only choice is not to put out a review at all. 

Don't be narrow-minded, of course you can do a honest review and say all the bad things on GW you want if you like it so.

You simply have to buy the product at the same time than every other customer. ;)

People clicking on the pre-order button as soon as it's online don't look after review for "information before buying", anyway. And those who do...well, they are willing to wait so they can wait more for their favorite (and more honest !) youtuber to have time to do its review before buying, aren't they ? :P

 

When I look one of Ash's reviews video, I know full well he has products well in advance before us common customers - and what I'm looking for in his videos isn't his opinion : it's the book's pages he's flipping during the review.

 

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7 minutes ago, yukishiro1 said:

I think this is largely correct. Which is why the terms in that NDA seem so unnecessarily punitive. They shouldn't need to force people to agree to never do anything that could result in any GW customer anywhere in the world buying less GW product. They already have the stick of just terminating the agreement and not giving them advance copies in the future. Most of these overreaches in the NDA don't seem to even serve GW's interests. GW isn't going to sue someone who didn't do anything wrong, so why include a provision for indemnity without fault? GW doesn't need to get people to sign in blood that they don't do leave bad reviews, because people won't leave bad reviews anyway if they want to continue to get free GW product. GW doesn't need to get people to agree not to sell T-shirts to their fans without GW's advance permission, because why would GW actually care about that?

That's largely what made me question whether it was real in the first place. This is both an oppressively one-sided agreement...and one where the oppressive one-sidedness doesn't seem to even benefit GW much in practical application. 

 

 

Is there a type of recipient you would expect that NDA to be more appropriate for?

Maybe they messed up and sent the wrong one? Or would that type of NDA just not be appropriate in any circumstance?

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9 minutes ago, Sarouan said:

Don't be narrow-minded, of course you can do a honest review and say all the bad things on GW you want if you like it so.

You simply have to buy the product at the same time than every other customer. ;)

Again, this is wrong. If you sign that NDA, you agree not to do anything that would result in lower GW sales to any customer, for a period of 36 months after you get any confidential information. You can't just go buy a copy of a specific battletome yourself then give it a bad review. 

 

 

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Just now, yukishiro1 said:

Again, this is wrong. If you sign that NDA, you agree not to do anything that would result in lower GW sales to any customer, for a period of 36 months after you get any confidential information. You can't just go buy a copy of a specific battletome yourself then give it a bad review.

Thing is, you don't need to sign a NDA if you buy the products with your own money and at the same time than everyone else, then review once you have them in your hands and have time to make the video.

That's how you're 100% sure to make a honest review. And those who have free products in advance (and thus signed something, obviously) usually can be noticed easily : they are the ones putting the videos online on the day on the pre-order. ;)

Even so...amongst those who sign it, there are those who are more honest than others. You also usually tell them apart with time, since it's usually tied to the youtuber's personnality and principles. Eventually you see them. Signing a NDA in itself doesn't mean you're manipulative. People who are didn't wait to sign it to be that way.

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8 minutes ago, ArkanautDadmiral said:

Is there a type of recipient you would expect that NDA to be more appropriate for?

Maybe they messed up and sent the wrong one? Or would that type of NDA just not be appropriate in any circumstance?

Bits of it are flat-out inappropriate period - e.g. defining Restricted Customers to be the entire GW customer base, and the no-fault indemnity provision. The stuff about not doing or saying anything that would result in lower sales for GW, and not selling to GW customers, would make sense for an actual employee of Games Workshop. Like if you were say a GW sculptor getting a salary from GW, it would make sense that you would agree not to give GW products bad reviews, or to sell your own products to GW customers without permission. But the 36 month term is too long for an employee for a non-compete. It would be ok to put a 36-month restriction on using any of the confidential information after separation, but no court is going to uphold a provision that says that if you quit working for GW, you can't sell any products to any GW customers without prior written approval from GW for 3 years, even if what you're doing has nothing to do with the confidential info you got. 

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3 minutes ago, Sarouan said:

Thing is, you don't need to sign a NDA if you buy the products with your own money and at the same time than everyone else, then review once you have them in your hands and have time to make the video.

My comment was premised on "if you sign the NDA..." If your response to "you can't give honest reviews if you sign the NDA" is "don't sign it," that's making my point re: how a principled youtuber who does reviews couldn't sign that NDA. 

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1 minute ago, ArkanautDadmiral said:

Wouldn’t anyone receiving free early copies of product from GW need to mark their videos as paid advertisement or sponsored?

I know on IG the influencers we send our products to for free always stipulate as such on their posts, even though all they’re getting is free product. 

I don't believe so, no. First of all, the NDA prohibits them from disclosing the agreement. But I watch a good amount of content from people who I know get things early. Facehammer and Tabletop Tactics comes to mind. They don't have a disclosure statement before every video, though I know both have acknowledged receiving things early in the past.

Tabletop Tactics is a good example of why this is problematic. They recently released a video along the lines of "Has 40k become too complicated?" If they had been under this NDA they could not make such a video, since it is not entirely positive. Which is a shame because it was thoughtful, constructive, and came from a place of love for the game.

11 minutes ago, Sarouan said:

Simple. If true, it actually only matters to those looking these so called "content-creators".

You don't place any value on that content and so this doesn't impact you, which is fine. This has the potential to have an adverse effect on other hobbiests though. These content creators get tens of thousands of views, sometimes more. These aren't people who are simply bored, for the most part. Many people do look to those content creators for an opinion before spending their hard earned money on a product. 

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7 minutes ago, yukishiro1 said:

My comment was premised on "if you sign the NDA..." If your response to "you can't give honest reviews if you sign the NDA" is "don't sign it," that's making my point re: how a principled youtuber who does reviews couldn't sign that NDA. 

Well yes. Because that whole case is about how this "leaked" NDA is "such a big deal"...while the answer has always been "well...don't sign it if you don't agree with it".

Because that's how contracts work.

You're trying to bring the conversation to the point assuming people MUST sign it. Thankfully, they don't. True, they may have less benefits than having a deal with GW and, like, receiving free products in advance...but in the youtuber's market, there is nothing really free.

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29 minutes ago, Orbei said:

Tabletop Tactics is a good example of why this is problematic. They recently released a video along the lines of "Has 40k become too complicated?" If they had been under this NDA they could not make such a video, since it is not entirely positive. Which is a shame because it was thoughtful, constructive, and came from a place of love for the game.

It's still arguable they may not have made that video, though. It's not because you 'think' GW wouldn't allow it than they would actually do (we saw in the previous buzz about so called censorship on content-creators that it was more nuanced than that). But they indeed feel more "free" if they didn't sign such a NDA before.

 

29 minutes ago, Orbei said:

You don't place any value on that content and so this doesn't impact you, which is fine. This has the potential to have an adverse effect on other hobbiests though. These content creators get tens of thousands of views, sometimes more. These aren't people who are simply bored, for the most part. Many people do look to those content creators for an opinion before spending their hard earned money on a product. 

Yeah. And how do you think people make their opinion ?

a) they see the product itself in the video, regardless of what the youtuber is saying

b) they only listen to the youtuber not showing much (usually work only for the books, because well...if it is to preview miniatures and how new paints work, it makes more sense to show rather than tell)

If a), they can make their own opinions from the product they can see themselves. The youtuber's opinion is just a bonus here.

If b), that means they trust the youtuber and we all go towards the principles and personnality. If it's a dishonest youtuber ready to tell you anything that sells, it will show soon and to be honest, be it for GW or another random company, the problem will still be the same with this youtuber. If it's a more honest youtuber, his own review will show it too. Signing such a NDA doesn't mean you're hands and feet tied and you can't say anything but lies to your viewers. You're still in control of what you will say in your videos and how you present it. And there are ways to present something in a less positive way than if you were totally convinced yourself on it without breaking the NDA's conditions and with it still showing in the video. ;)

As for myself, I tend to look for youtubers following the a) pattern. And I believe most people really looking for information before (pre-)ordering would rather have that one than b). b) is more for people having a favorite youtuber they trust (or people clicking for the 1st result in the research, I guess :P ). Usually, informed people don't stop at just b), they'd be more fine if they can find a a) somewhere and fact-check the first video's opinion with what they can actually read. The hardcore customers wait for the release date (not the pre-order date ! :D ) and having more reviews from customers, thus not people who signed a NDA, and gathering all info from what they have before deciding if they buy or not.

Limited content usually doesn't follow there rules, especially those who are sold out in 5 minutes...those who really want it just click on the button, regardless of any review, and it's usually tied to bundles of miniatures you can already see on GW's website...

Anyway, a youtuber telling lies on GW products they advertise is quickly spot on by the community...not to say the customers themselves who bought it. It's not really a winning strategy on long term in this niche market...it's not like the size of mobile video games.

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14 minutes ago, Sarouan said:

You're trying to bring the conversation to the point assuming people MUST sign it. 

No, I'm not doing that at all. Feel free to point out anywhere in this entire thread I said anything remotely even suggesting that.

Please don't distort what people say to make it easier to argue against them. It's a waste of everyone's time. 

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Sarouan, I am curious if you watched the Hoeg's law video on the NDA? Regardless, we seem to have quite different views on acceptable business practices and the purpose/value of content creators. 🙂 I don't want to go down a rabbit hole of back and forth on the matter. It's good that this won't negatively impact you.

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