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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.

  • replied
    Originally posted by Luos View Post
    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.
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    What are the marketplace limitations on text in a quiz game? Are they considering quiz questions on Copyrighted works Restricted content? A quiz style game with questions in text form about a movie, TV Show or let say a quiz game template created blueprints containing 100 questions on video games like "Fortnite" etc... Generally trivia games that ask factual questions in text about all kinds of subjects are considered fair use.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    The content must not use any logos or branding for which the seller does not have appropriate legal rights.
    Quick question, let's say I'm adding the default third person UE4 Mannequin to an example level in my marketplace asset, do I need to remove the logo on his chest?

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    copyright being violated also resides in the shape/silhouette of the asset
    Well, in most cases these aren't actually copyrights in question.
    The rights that may be involved here are either design patent rights or the so-called "trade dress" rights.

    1) The design patent rights actually grant the owner copyright-like powers over ornamental (e.g those not dictated by the item's function or constuction) features of the design (this may be the whole external look of the issue, if not dicated solely by technical considerations). These rights however, last AFAIK 15 years in USA and up to 25 years elsewhere (the laws differ from one country to another). So things designed before 31.12.1992, or 31.12.2002 for the US are most likely free from design patent rights.

    2) The trade dress issue is a bit trickier. The "trade dress" is actually a trademark right, granting the owner trademark powers over ornamental (e.g those not dictated by the item's function or constuction) features of the design (this may be the whole external look of the issue, if not dicated solely by technical considerations).
    Becaus it is a trademark right, "trade dress" could be registered in only one country, or it several, or variably across the globe.

    Here ( http://www.wipo.int/branddb/en/ ) it is possible to consult the register (not all countries are covered, but international trademark applications as well as US, EU, Canadian, German, and some other trademarks are.
    If a particular design is not registered as a trade dress, things actually get much easier - unregistered trademarks are granted far less protections if any at all (depends on the jurisdiction in question, really).

    As the "trade dress" are trademarks, they are protected only if a) the have the capacity to indicate a source of origin for goods, b) they are used in commerce and not abandoned. From there arise several considerations.
    1) If an unregistered trade dress have become generic (this means the desing is used in commerce by several different firms, each marketing the design under their own trademarked names for significant time) it is not protected and more still, no-one particular would be there to complain alleged misuse.
    Considering the question of firearms design (they, as I heard, caused most questions here) this means that designs like M1911, or generic pump-action shotgun, or generic lever-action Henry rifle are free to be exploited by members
    2) If an unregistered trade dress is not used in commerce by the owner (item get out of production) it is not protected. For practical considerations the designs originating with the now-defunct manufacturers or those out of production for a decade or more are most likely free to exploit.

    Also, some specific cases you might find somewhat interesting

    1) The M16 rifle. Associated trademark and trade dress ( http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=78...e=statusSearch ) invalidated and declared generic. With the patents on it also expired by the virtue of time passed - no restrictions would apply on using the design.
    PS: Colt, FN, Colt's and FN's logos and brand markings remain trademarked
    2) The M4 carbine. Associated trademark and trade dress ( http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=76...e=statusSearch ) invalidated and declared generic. With the patents on it also expired by the virtue of time passed - no restrictions would apply on using the design.
    PS: Colt, FN, Colt's and FN's logos and brand markings remain trademarked
    3) MP5 SMG. Trademark applications ( https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/get-deta...nchorTrademark , https://register.dpma.de/DPMAregiste...632/DE?lang=en ) refused on grounds of the design being functional or aesthetically functional.
    PS: H&K, their logo and brand markings remain trademarked
    4) XM8 rifle. Trademark application abandoned ( http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=78...e=statusSearch ) more than 10 years ago.
    PS: H&K, their logo and brand markings remain trademarked
    5) Beretta 92FS (M9) pistol. Trademark application abandoned ( http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=73...e=statusSearch ) more than 20 years ago.
    PS: Pietro Beretta firm, their logo and brand markings remain trademarked

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Hi all,
    I wanted to make sure everyone saw that we'll be having a livestream today to talk about copyright and trademark laws. You can find the details here.


    Josh

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Socke81 View Post
    1. Epics AudioCapture plugin can record audio and convert it to UE4 specific audio formats and .wav format. I am working on an voip/voice chat plugin. I want to use few parts in my own code. Not a exact copy but parts to get data from mic and maybe to convert it to a sound cue or wav.

    2. Epics AudioCapture plugin uses a thirdparty library. This:
    UE_4.18\Engine\Plugins\Editor\AudioCapture\Source\AudioCapture\Private\RtAudio.h
    UE_4.18\Engine\Plugins\Editor\AudioCapture\Source\AudioCapture\Private\RtAudio.cpp
    http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~gary/rtaudio/

    I asked the support whether I could use this library too. And is this still Third party? It is a part of UE4.
    I was told not to use anything. Absolutely nothing. That's why I asked here. This is not open source in any way.
    I have checked the page and you can use it "if" you follow these instructions at the License page:

    "License

    RtAudio: a set of realtime audio i/o C++ classes
    Copyright (c) 2001-2017 Gary P. Scavone

    Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

    Any person wishing to distribute modifications to the Software is asked to send the modifications to the original developer so that they can be incorporated into the canonical version. This is, however, not a binding provision of this license.

    THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE."


    check that you MUST put the copyright notice somewhere with your product source folders and also put it on the files where you use the library code, including the link as Epic did. It is also a good procedure, to create a document with the link and its content, the use you will give to it also, to be autenticated at (notary's office - register) that the link at the date of the authentication had the exactly text above. It is your safeguard because that content might change and you need proof you are legal.
    Last edited by NilsonLima; 01-09-2018, 06:43 PM. Reason: the register/notary's office authenticarion included

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    1. Epics AudioCapture plugin can record audio and convert it to UE4 specific audio formats and .wav format. I am working on an voip/voice chat plugin. I want to use few parts in my own code. Not a exact copy but parts to get data from mic and maybe to convert it to a sound cue or wav.

    2. Epics AudioCapture plugin uses a thirdparty library. This:
    UE_4.18\Engine\Plugins\Editor\AudioCapture\Source\AudioCapture\Private\RtAudio.h
    UE_4.18\Engine\Plugins\Editor\AudioCapture\Source\AudioCapture\Private\RtAudio.cpp
    http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~gary/rtaudio/

    I asked the support whether I could use this library too. And is this still Third party? It is a part of UE4.
    I was told not to use anything. That's why I asked here. This can't be right. Why shouldn't that be allowed?
    Last edited by Socke81; 01-09-2018, 06:35 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Socke81 View Post
    Hello, me again.
    I'm confused right now. I'm programming a new code plugin. I want to use a part of the C++ code from the AudioRecorder plugin. I have sent an email to support and I'm not allowed to use anything from Epics plugins.

    Why not? Do the plugins have a different license?
    How much of that code is replicated in your code? That code is as free as the engine. The logic 1st applied is that you cannot generate a version of the engine or its components and resell. So, it all depends on "how similar" that part of code is, basically a code is not copyrighted unless that part of the code belongs to a specific algorithm (unless it is yours), technique (unless it is yours) or way that will only work on the engine.

    Lets say I want to redesign the Renderer module and make it better. That Renderer, besides it can be switched in the engine code, it so tighly attached to it, that it will not work without the rest of the engine, and probably will not work in other engine aswell, so by design, even if it is better, you cannot sell it, because the intrinsic dependencies. You can thou, have it as part of your own custom engine version (4.18.2.Socke81) and create a game and sell this game, but you can't come up with this piece of code and try to sell for the engine users, because the dependency makes it not belong to you.

    Im sorry if Im not well enough in english to explain this, but I hope I could achieve it.
    Last edited by NilsonLima; 01-09-2018, 05:37 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Hello, me again.
    I'm confused right now. I'm programming a new code plugin. I want to use a part of the C++ code from the AudioRecorder plugin. I have sent an email to support and I'm not allowed to use anything from Epics plugins.

    Why not? Do the plugins have a different license?
    Last edited by Socke81; 01-09-2018, 05:23 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Socke81 View Post

    Thank you very much.
    So it was a mistake? Will the promised 10-15 working days be met now?
    That was my fifth plugin and I always had to wait about 2 months.
    Happy to help! Barring any unforeseen circumstances, your asset should be ready in 10-15 days.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Amanda.Bott View Post

    Hey there - I followed up with your pack and it was accidentally marked as a duplicate due to its name being similar to another pack you submitted. The team is fast-tracking your asset and it'll be going into review shortly. Apologies for the mix-up there!
    Thank you very much.
    So it was a mistake? Will the promised 10-15 working days be met now?
    That was my fifth plugin and I always had to wait about 2 months.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Maximum-Dev View Post

    Hi Amanda, can you please tell somebody to also look up #98945 ?

    We've done the required change 1 week ago and it basically only needs someone to allow us to publish but nobody answers in the email.
    It's still in final review, but should be completed within the estimated time you were given.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Amanda.Bott View Post

    Hey there - I followed up with your pack and it was accidentally marked as a duplicate due to its name being similar to another pack you submitted. The team is fast-tracking your asset and it'll be going into review shortly. Apologies for the mix-up there!
    Hi Amanda, can you please tell somebody to also look up #98945 ?

    We've done the required change 1 week ago and it basically only needs someone to allow us to publish but nobody answers in the email.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Socke81 View Post

    Seriously? My code plugin is in Approval since 11/21/2017. 33 working days. Nothing's changed. Nothing is better now.
    Hey there - I followed up with your pack and it was accidentally marked as a duplicate due to its name being similar to another pack you submitted. The team is fast-tracking your asset and it'll be going into review shortly. Apologies for the mix-up there!

    Leave a comment:

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