Model Contracts as Legal Agreements
While joining independent listing sites, cam sites and service can be a great way to acquire new clients and add value to our businesses, it’s always important to read the model contract before signing on to a new site or service, so you know ahead of time how (or if) your interests will be protected. Model contracts are more than just an outline of promises, they are legal agreements that covers both your rights and your responsibilities and what recourse you may have (or not as the case may be) if something goes wrong.
In reading model contracts a few questions to keep in mind are:
1) Who owns the site? How many employees are involved in the company? What is their track record and prior work experience ?
2) in joining the site/service, do I retain ownership over my cam name and content?
3) am I allowed to watermark my pictures and videos?
4) what is the minimum payout, and how frequently are payouts sent? what payout methods are offered?
5) are chargebacks covered? If not, what is the site’s scrubbing system? (the system that automatically zeros in on red flags when client tries to make a payment). Are payments collected in full prior to me performing on cam?
6) What sort of content is prohibited on the site?
7) What nation forms the largest source of traffic? (you can use alexa.com to get a general breakdown on this). One US visitor is worth 100 visitors from Indonesia and Iran (for example, and no disrespect to Indonesians or Iranians, I just used those as examples because those countries can’t use most Visa/MC processing systems). Also, I know Alexa stats are outdated and generally useless, but for the ‘nation that’s the largest traffic source’ info it’s a good tool.
8) in what jurisdiction is the company located? this is important because you need to know where you stand regarding tax forms (1099’s, etc) and what legal recourse you would have if things go wrong
9) what processing system does the owner use? Is it an IPSP like CCBill or Epoch or is it a private merchant account?
Some other things to think about:
1) is the owner responsive and patient when you ask questions? (send an email asking a question or two, to get a sense of this)
2) is the owner open about who he/she is, and who his/her company is? Veiled references to prior experience are a warning flag absent any concrete list of projects or accomplishments.
3) what do other models who use the site/service think of it? do their payments arrive on time and in full?
4) is the owner open to explaining the specifics of the business plan? does the plan appear logical and sustainable?
The camming niche is different than most other areas in the adult industry, because as models we possess a tremendous amount of agency. Speaking as both a cam girl and a site owner, sites and services need cammers far more than we need them, so never be afraid to do a little digging, ask questions, scrutinize the business plan and trust you gut. New sites and services rise and fall with alarming frequency and for the most part our industry is unregulated. That means we have to protect ourselves, and reading and understanding model contracts is a vital element of that self-protection.