Happy New Year, everyone! Recently, there have been questions around how the Unreal Engine Marketplace team reviews content that may be protected by copyright or trademark law. This FAQ thread is meant to provide clarity and serve as a channel for discussion.
What is Epic’s policy around copyright and trademark-protected content in the Unreal Engine Marketplace?
Epic has always required that sellers have full rights to assets they are distributing on the Marketplace. The following language has been in the Marketplace Distribution Agreement since the store’s launch:
b. You represent and warrant that you have all intellectual property rights necessary for you to grant Epic the rights set forth in this Agreement, including all necessary patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other proprietary rights, in and to your Content. If third-party materials are included in the Content, you represent and warrant that you have the right to distribute the third-party material in the Content. You agree that you will not submit material to the Marketplace that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret, or otherwise subject to third party proprietary rights, including patent, privacy, and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from the rightful owner to submit the material to the Marketplace.
c. You represent and warrant that none of your Content, Brand Features, or Developer Materials:
i. violates, infringes, or misappropriates any copyright, trademark, trade secret, trade dress, patent, publicity, privacy, or other right of any person;
The following is also included in the Marketplace Submission Guidelines:
15. Restricted Content
The Seller must have legal rights to redistribute all components of the content.
The content must not use any logos or branding for which the seller does not have appropriate legal rights.
Submissions must be free of any trademarked or copyrighted designs and/or materials (unless owned by or adequately licensed to the Seller).
What does Epic do to enforce this policy?
Our team conducts a manual review of all content submitted to the Marketplace in order to ensure that assets comply with guidelines and standards. Content can be rejected due to a number of reasons, including but not limited to copyright issues, poor quality, or not working as described, for example.
When a submission is rejected for reasons related to IP, our team relays specific feedback to the seller, who can then modify and resubmit content for approval, if desired.
Why does it seem like policy around IP compliance is being enforced more strictly these days?
While we have always rejected content that is found to infringe on copyright or trademark, over the past few months the Marketplace has been armed with more resources for content review. As a result, we have renewed our focus on upholding these stated guidelines.
What is Epic planning to do about assets already on sale in the Marketplace that may be in violation of policy?
While the Marketplace team has been heavily focusing on reducing turnaround time in the submission review process, we recognize that policy enforcement should be handled consistently. With wait times in a better place now, we are planning to audit assets that may be in violation of copyright and trademark policy.
When will this audit of Marketplace content occur?
The audit will happen over the course of the next few months. We will contact sellers individually through email to notify them of assets that are found to be in violation of terms. Sellers will have a set period of time (current thinking is 30 days but we are open to feedback) to modify and resubmit their assets for approval. Assets found to be in violation after the grace period for changes will be removed from the Marketplace.
Why post this here instead of on the Creators Hub (private sellers forum)?
We believe this is of enough importance and community interest to be openly discussed in the public Marketplace forum.