Live from your Email… It’s Pete’s NDA!
On his current tour, Pete Davidson requested all attendees of the show to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). According to a fan in San Francisco, the agreement was emailed out to all attendees ahead of time along with instructions to print the agreement and bring it with them the night of the show.
Believe it or not…
NDAs at comedy shows have been increasingly used in our always-online era. As comedians develop their standup routines, they more frequently want to avoid any undeveloped jokes from being shared or making it online. Pete Davidson’s NDA had a hefty $1 million fine for any person who breached the agreement. Is this an effective way to prevent attendees from “spilling the beans” about the comedian’s show?
Without an actual breach and following suit, there’s no way of knowing whether the full $1 million fine would be enforceable. Regardless, this particular NDA certainly acts as a deterrent to prevent attendees from sharing any footage or material from Davidson’s tour.
What is an NDA?
Non-Disclosure Agreements are contracts establishing confidentiality between two or more parties. The “non-mutual” aspect of this NDA refers to the idea that the owner, here Pete Davidson, has his ideas and information protected, while the attendee of his show, who signs and is bound by the NDA, has no information protected. This type of NDA is sometimes referred to as a “unilateral” NDA. The owner bears the ability to sue those who sign the contract and breach by breaking confidentiality. For example, even if a show attendee tweeted after the show about how Davidson’s joke about XYZ was hilarious (which would most likely benefit Davidson), he would still be able to sue that person—potentially for the full $1 million.
Does using an NDA in this way accomplish Pete Davidson’s purpose?
Does it do more harm than good? Is there another way Davidson could achieve the same result? Was making attendees sign an NDA before attending intentional, a publicity stunt, a commentary on the widespread use of NDAs themselves? Or is this the new standard for live performances going forward?
This article was prepared and written by Abbie, WD’s IP Magizoologist. Standard, hopefully familiar-sounding, disclaimer: Any opinions expressed here are of the writer’s. Any information provided is for educational or informative purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.