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September 5, 2020

Vince McMahon, WWE give talents 30 days to end third party deals

It would appear that the era of WWE talent using Twitch, Cameo, YouTube, and other third parties to make extra income and build names for themselves outside WWE is coming to an end.

First reported by Wrestling Inc. and confirmed by our Bryan Alvarez, Vince McMahon sent a letter to talents on Thursday, saying they have 30 days to stop engaging with third parties or else face fines, suspensions and even termination at WWE's discretion.

It's unclear what "third parties" means, however. Several wrestlers operate successful Twitch and YouTube channels where they interact with fans while playing video games or other activities.
The letter comes following a Sunday meeting with talent about the "reinvention of the product" where it came up that WWE owns the real names of talent in addition to their character names.

WWE wrestlers are independent contractors, so there is a legal question of what WWE can mandate and what they can/do own.

From the letter: "Some of you are engaged with outside third parties using your name and likeness in ways that are detrimental to our company. It is imperative that these activities be terminated within the next 30 days (by Friday October 2). Continued violations will result in fines, suspension, or termination at WWE's discretion.

Wrestling Inc. also said McMahon wrote that these actions are necessary as part of WWE's rebuilding process as they "enter the next phase of growth at WWE."

source: wrestling observer


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