Can someone explain the disclaimer at the bottom of the Answer Hub?

“By contributing information to this and other Epic Unreal Engine support outlets, including but not limited to Unreal Developer Network websites and mailing lists, you agree that any such software code, comments, and feedback (“Information”) regarding the Unreal Engine you, your employees, assignees, sub-licensees, agents, or representatives (“You”) post or otherwise submit shall become the sole property of Epic. You hereby transfer and assign to Epic Games, Inc. all rights, title, and interest, including copyrights and other intellectual property rights, in such Information.”

Does Epic have this in place in order to help protect their users from IP theft, or is it part of Epic’s secret plan to conquer the world >=)

Hi Kaladin,

First, as a disclaimer I am not a lawyer / this is not legal advice.

The disclaimer on AnswerHub (also part of the Subscription EULA, section 8 for Feedback or Submissions sent to Epic) is in place so that we can incorporate feedback/bug fixes/feature requests, etc… back into the engine, without having to acquire individual copyright assignments on a per-person, per-post basis.

You can still use stuff that becomes Feedback / Submissions (the capital phrases defined in the EULA), as mentioned by the EULA:
“However, you may continue to freely use any Feedback that you provide to Epic, and you may continue to use, in any way consistent with the License, any Submission that you make available to Epic.”

Michael Noland

This is to ensure that when folks post feedback, code, knowledge, or documentation contributions to Epic’s web sites and repositories, we at Epic have the unambiguous right to incorporate it into the engine, translate it, publish it, make it available for developers to legally use in their UE4 projects, defend it against copyright infringement, etc.

See the EULA’s section on “Feedback” for more detail on the topic. For example, when you contribute back to Epic this way, of course you retain the right to continue using your work.

The need for terms of this sort arises from copyright law, where ownership of copyrightable material needs to be clearly established in order to prevent future fragmentation and loss of control of the overall work.

Read the Wikipedia article on open source “Contributor Licensing Agreements” for background on the subject and the approaches various organizations have taken to the subject.

(Sorry for the lack of hyperlinks, posting from an iPhone)

Good time to bring up the things no one talks about.

The nature of copyright is the IP belongs to whomever conceived it unless such rights are conveyed to another by agreement or terms and conditions.

This is an important point to consider if you are putting together your own team as all items contributed to the project remains the property of the individual contributing the works unless some form of Contributors Agreement is put into place and they agree to the terms and conditions.

The ideal would be to first establish a limited company or partnership as the holding company and that all things contributed to the project becomes the sole property of that partnership.

Such an agreement prevents someone from rage quitting, and in the process voiding all of the work they did do as necessary based on best practice, as well most major points of distribution won’t touch you unless you can prove clear ownership of all elements that makes up your game.

Thank you!

Thanks everyone for the detailed replies. I can’t believe the founder/CEO of Epic posted in my thread :o

Thanks for the engine, Epic. Y’all are truly doing great things for both indie and industry developers!

That is pretty sound advice.

My nightmare legal scenario is hiring an artist who them provides me with previously copyrighted material which then becomes null and void when it is found out…

I agree, the devs have been extremely supportive of the community!

I will be even more impressed if this level of commitment and interaction continues on into the months and years after release.

Huh. That’s weird. So, if I publish some code for review on AnswerHub, then Epic owns it, and I can only use it under the 5% license? That’s bizarre, and not even possible for various kinds of code (like, if I post some MIT or GPL code or whatever.)
It would make much more sense if Epic got a royalty free perpetual worldwide license to the same rights that I have to the contribution. Just taking all rights and then giving a restricted version back to me (at a royalty) seems bizarre (and, I hope, not actually enforcible.)
So, given that the EULA is just words on a screen, I hereby give notice to Epic that I modify the agreement between Epic and me to mutate the “Epic gets all rights” clause to be “Epic gets royalty free shared rights.” So there! :slight_smile:

Ten characters

Schooled by Timmy.

Good catch, though (OP). Very few people attempt to troll videogame EULA’s when they are as open as this company’s.