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    Marketplace Policy on Copyright and Trademark-Protected Content

    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:

    Section 2:
    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.

    Section 5:

    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.

    #2
    Hey Amanda! Happy new year to you too!

    After reading this my initial questions/thoughts are:

    1. Will buyers of packages that wont be updated due to this infringement be contacted and refunded? (or at least warned that their content might get them into a hot mess when used in a project)

    2. Will there --Besides an email telling them they are now suddenly in a violation-- be an honest apology for not catching this when the pack was submitted? imho they deserve that.

    3. 30 days might be a very short time, especially for sellers who have a looooooot of packages on the marketplace. It takes time to create and recreate these things.

    4. Will creators that are contacted get accurate proof that their content is in fact copyrighted or trademarked? Because it would be rather unfortunate if something is flagged and the creator cant find any clear info on this. (heck, I tried with the weapons and even after a day of searching the internet my findings where all but conclusive)

    5.
    our team relays specific feedback to the seller, who can then modify and resubmit content for approval, if desired.
    Can we get an official promise of this? general consensus has often been lacking details and information, especially since we have had this conversation before pointing out this feedback was all but helpful or actually did not made it clear they could resubmit.

    6.
    Our team conducts a manual review of all content submitted to the Marketplace in order to ensure that assets comply with guidelines and standards.
    Can we get an official promise of this? my fireworks pack --before I fixed it-- had 152 non-working emitters and still got accepted. not to mention how often I see redirectors, unnamed parameters, and other things that do not comply with the standards mentioned here.

    7. Can we get a list of content that will be flagged so we can double-check if we have said content and either want a refund or find out if the creator will be spending valueble time to fix these issues?

    8. Not directly related, but when will Stephanie be back
    Last edited by Luos; 01-02-2018, 07:32 PM.
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    Comment


      #3
      I guess it's kind of hard to swallow that what appears to be a change in policy is actually just a sudden interest in enforcing existing policies when there appears to be no interest from the marketplace team in actually improving the marketplace in any way.
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      Comment


        #4
        additional thought:

        1. Can we get a list of copyrighted content? i.e. you find something that's not allowed (yet unclear/rather unknown in the community, i.e. the red cross sign) and keep adding to that list?
        something like:

        1. Red Cross symbol - Documentation/copyright url here.
        2. Nike shoes - documentation/copyright url here.
        3. unreal logo - documentation/copyright url here.

        [CENTER] [URL="https://LuosArts.com"][IMG]http://luosarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/LuosArtSig.png[/IMG][/URL][/CENTER]

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Luos View Post
          1. Can we get a list of copyrighted content? i.e. you find something that's not allowed (yet unclear/rather unknown in the community, i.e. the red cross sign) and keep adding to that list?
          That's basically impossible; just assume all real world objects are copyrighted.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ambershee View Post

            That's basically impossible; just assume all real world objects are copyrighted.
            How is that impossible?
            If the team flags something, add it to the list. easy as that.
            ​​​​​​​
            If we'd assume all real world objects are copyrighted, 99% of marketplace would need to be removed
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            Comment


              #7
              Hmm. so this basically eliminate all the possibility for a game to create any real world scene... because in a real world scene there are lots of signs and outdoors with brands everywhere. So, there is no way to reproduce in a game a Tokyo or Vegas or New York scene, since they are flooded with such copyrighted stuff... Im wondering how movies do that? For me a brand to be visualized in any game is like: FREE ADVERTISEMENT, so I think I would have to be paid for this
              Last edited by NilsonLima; 01-03-2018, 09:55 AM.
              [SIZE=12px][I]Nilson Lima[/I][/SIZE]
              [SIZE=11px]Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios[/SIZE]
              [SIZE=11px][B]Art is a state of Spirit

              Join us at Discord: [URL]https://discord.gg/QJUb5Wk[/URL][/B][/SIZE] [CENTER][B]UE4 Marketplace:
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              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Luos View Post

                How is that impossible?
                If the team flags something, add it to the list. easy as that.

                If we'd assume all real world objects are copyrighted, 99% of marketplace would need to be removed
                It's impossible, because you *do* need to assume that real world objects are copyrighted. If somebody designed it, it's copyrighted - it's that simple.

                Originally posted by NilsonLima View Post
                Hmm. so this basically eliminate all the possibility for a game to create any real world scene... because in a real world scene there are lots of signs and outdoors with brands everywhere. So, there is no way to reproduce in a game a Tokyo or Vegas or New York scene, since they are flooded with such copyrighted stuff... Im wondering how movies do that? For me a brand to be visualized in any game is like: FREE ADVERTISEMENT, so I think I would have to be paid for this
                Movies as an example replace all billboards and signage with fake brands - if it isn't a fake brand, then it's actually a paid-for advert. On a related note, most TV and movies actually use the exact same mock newspaper, because even things as simple as a newspaper front page are copyrighted;

                Comment


                  #9
                  In this case though, even the silhouette of the newspaper wouldn't be allowed on the mp
                  To quote Josh
                  "Even without branding, the silhouette was enough to flag it."
                  [CENTER] [URL="https://LuosArts.com"][IMG]http://luosarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/LuosArtSig.png[/IMG][/URL][/CENTER]

                  Comment


                    #10
                    ambershee that newspaper is a blast... never noticed it. I understood the point,


                    I found myself in the need of rethink a lot of things... I am right now stopping all activities untill I am sure no current work will have such issues with copyright. The silhouette issue is giving me headaches at the moment.
                    [SIZE=12px][I]Nilson Lima[/I][/SIZE]
                    [SIZE=11px]Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios[/SIZE]
                    [SIZE=11px][B]Art is a state of Spirit

                    Join us at Discord: [URL]https://discord.gg/QJUb5Wk[/URL][/B][/SIZE] [CENTER][B]UE4 Marketplace:
                    [URL="https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/cloudscape-seasons"]Cloudscape Seasons[/URL][/B][/CENTER]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      May I suggest a stream with Amanda.Bott 's help to arrange it with Epic's copyright specialist lawyers? The person will answer stream questions and pre-made questions posted in the stream announcemen thread.

                      This is really urgent and the whole community must be aware of this.
                      [SIZE=12px][I]Nilson Lima[/I][/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=11px]Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios[/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=11px][B]Art is a state of Spirit

                      Join us at Discord: [URL]https://discord.gg/QJUb5Wk[/URL][/B][/SIZE] [CENTER][B]UE4 Marketplace:
                      [URL="https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/cloudscape-seasons"]Cloudscape Seasons[/URL][/B][/CENTER]

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Luos View Post
                        In this case though, even the silhouette of the newspaper wouldn't be allowed on the mp
                        To quote Josh
                        "Even without branding, the silhouette was enough to flag it."
                        Sorry but how can any possible newspaper silhouette be copyrighted , uh?
                        So no one can create any newspaper page from scratch on his own, why? What is copyrighted ? Some schools and universities have their own internal newspapers.. are they infringing any copyright perhaps ? I don't think so. Why would they? They are doing their own thing.
                        AFAIK there is no copyright royalties tax to be paid to create a newspaper. Then that being a business in most countries obviously there are taxes and licenses to publish but it's not that if you want to create any newspaper pages you have to pay some famous newspaper in any country for the copyright royalties...
                        And I don't think any country in the world has so far put any taxes on virtual newspapers inside PC or console games.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          First, let’s take a minute to talk about what constitutes copyright and trademark.

                          Copyright applies to creative work (credit: Wikipedia):
                          Eligible works

                          Copyright may apply to a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms, or "works". Specifics vary by jurisdiction, but these can include poems, theses, fictional characters plays and other literary works, motion pictures, choreography, musical compositions, sound recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, computer software, radio and television broadcasts, and industrial designs. Graphic designs and industrial designs may have separate or overlapping laws applied to them in some jurisdictions.

                          Copyright does not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed. For example, the copyright to a Mickey Mouse cartoon restricts others from making copies of the cartoon or creating derivative works based on Disney's particular anthropomorphic mouse, but does not prohibit the creation of other works about anthropomorphic mice in general, so long as they are different enough to not be judged copies of Disney's. Note additionally that Mickey Mouse is not copyrighted because characters cannot be copyrighted; rather, Steamboat Willie is copyrighted and Mickey Mouse, as a character in that copyrighted work, is afforded protection.

                          Trademark, however, applies to recognizable designs and expressions that distinguish themselves from other symbols, creations, etc. (credit: Wikipedia):

                          [A trademark] is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings...

                          A trademark identifies the brand owner of a particular product or service. Trademarks can be licensed to others; for example, Bullyland obtained a license to produce Smurf figurines; the Lego Group purchased a license from Lucasfilm in order to be allowed to launch Lego Star Wars...
                          Terms such as "mark", "brand" and "logo" are sometimes used interchangeably with "trademark". "Trademark", however, also includes any device, brand, label, name, signature, word, letter, numerical, shape of goods, packaging, color or combination of colours, smell, sound, movement or any combination thereof which is capable of distinguishing goods and services of one business from those of others. It must be capable of graphical representation and must be applied to goods or services for which it is registered.


                          1. Will buyers of packages that won't be updated due to this infringement be contacted and refunded? (or at least warned that their content might get them into a hot mess when used in a project)

                          We are not aware of actual infringement claims against any items in the Marketplace, nor do we know how buyers are using the content they’ve purchased. We do not plan to contact buyers who have purchased items that are flagged or modified. Epic is proactively conducting an audit of Marketplace content to ensure that policy enforcement is happening consistently.


                          2. Will there --Besides an email telling them they are now suddenly in a violation-- be an honest apology for not catching this when the pack was submitted? imho they deserve that.

                          Our terms around IP infringement are clear in the Marketplace Seller Agreement, the Marketplace Distribution Agreement, and the Marketplace FAQ. Sellers promise they have full rights to release their content when they launch their assets on the Marketplace. We respect IP in the Unreal Engine Marketplace and do not apologize for this.


                          3. 30 days might be a very short time, especially for sellers who have a looooooot of packages on the marketplace. It takes time to create and recreate these things.

                          In most cases, we intend to request a 30-day timeframe. We will work with sellers on a case-by-case basis to consider extending their grace period, for instance, if they have a significant number of assets affected by this audit.


                          4. Will creators that are contacted get accurate proof that their content is in fact copyrighted or trademarked? Because it would be rather unfortunate if something is flagged and the creator can’t find any clear info on this. (heck, I tried with the weapons and even after a day of searching the internet my findings were all but conclusive)
                          Accurate proof of infringement would be a court order, which we will not be providing. Epic reserves the right to determine the level of risk we take concerning assets in the Unreal Engine Marketplace and will flag assets accordingly. Sellers will have the right to make changes to their content in order to comply with our guidelines.


                          5. “Our team relays specific feedback to the seller, who can then modify and resubmit content for approval, if desired.” Can we get an official promise of this? general consensus has often been lacking details and information, especially since we have had this conversation before pointing out this feedback was all but helpful or actually did not made it clear they could resubmit.

                          Seller can always resubmit their assets to the Unreal Engine Marketplace. Once changes are made to comply with our guidelines, assets are then approved and added to the Marketplace.

                          An unapproved asset can fall into one of two categories: "Rejected" or "Changes Needed". Unless the work submitted clearly belongs to another artist, we use "changes needed" and not "rejected" for copyright and trademark-related concerns. The email sellers receive describes what changes need to be made to comply with our guidelines. The ideal outcome is for seller to make the necessary changes so that their products can be approved.


                          6. “Our team conducts a manual review of all content submitted to the Marketplace in order to ensure that assets comply with guidelines and standards.” Can we get an official promise of this? my fireworks pack --before I fixed it-- had 152 non-working emitters and still got accepted. not to mention how often I see redirectors, unnamed parameters, and other things that do not comply with the standards mentioned here.

                          It is first and foremost the seller’s responsibility to warrant compliance. While our team strives to be as thorough as possible during content review, it is not possible for us to catch every single line of code or aspect of content that does not comply with standards. There will always be content that is approved because it is high-quality or valuable enough despite having room for improvement. While our team will always work to make sure that assets completing review meet the standards laid out in the guidelines, this is a system that succeeds when we all work to hit the quality bar together.


                          7. Can we get a list of content that will be flagged so we can double-check if we have said content and either want a refund or find out if the creator will be spending valuable time to fix these issues?

                          It sounds like you are asking for a list of audit results before the audit takes place. This is not possible and we will not publish the results publicly. Rather, we will work with individual sellers to update or sunset content. If you think you need a refund on content you’ve purchased, please contact Marketplace support.


                          8. Not directly related, but when will Stephanie be back

                          We do not comment on the personal details of our employees.


                          9. Can we get a list of copyrighted content? i.e. you find something that's not allowed (yet unclear/rather unknown in the community, i.e. the red cross sign) and keep adding to that list?

                          This is beyond the scope of this discussion. Please see copyright and trademark definitions above. It is the responsibility of sellers and those creating commercial content to comply with copyright and trademark law.


                          10. May I suggest a stream with Amanda.Bott 's help to arrange it with Epic's copyright specialist lawyers? The person will answer stream questions and pre-made questions posted in the stream announcement thread. This is really urgent and the whole community must be aware of this.

                          Yes - This is an excellent idea. We will plan to do this and will keep you all posted on the day and time.
                          Last edited by Amanda.Bott; 01-03-2018, 02:15 PM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            That answer is very thorough and very professionally stated. And I appreciate it.
                            Thanks for clearing that up

                            If the marketplace will be handled just as professionally this upcoming year, that will be a massive improvement.
                            I'll do my best to withdraw myself from actively discussing the past, current, and future happenings of the marketplace from now on and see where this year leads us.

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                            Comment


                              #15
                              I agree, Im very satisfied with the response... not everyone is a specialist on this matter, and for me this comes down to the same approach Epic was doing with Indie's needs on addressing the Market and related stuff. This information's understanding is a requeriment if you want to be a successful content creator, and these responses will help and allow us to do better our jobs and our products. Thank you!
                              [SIZE=12px][I]Nilson Lima[/I][/SIZE]
                              [SIZE=11px]Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios[/SIZE]
                              [SIZE=11px][B]Art is a state of Spirit

                              Join us at Discord: [URL]https://discord.gg/QJUb5Wk[/URL][/B][/SIZE] [CENTER][B]UE4 Marketplace:
                              [URL="https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/cloudscape-seasons"]Cloudscape Seasons[/URL][/B][/CENTER]

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