Hey Episode Creators!
Recently, we’ve seen a lot of talk about our guidelines surrounding crossovers, specifically featuring characters from Episode community stories.
While we know this is confusing, our guidelines specifically do not allow the use of other people’s copyrighted material in stories on the Episode platform. Episode authors are the copyright holders of their work and this means characters, plotlines, etc from one Episode story, cannot be used in another Episode.
Here is the relevant text from our content guidelines (found here):
“In addition, by publishing your story, you agree that it does not include any content that infringes the intellectual property rights or rights of publicity or privacy of any third party. This may include using any of the following without permission:
- any works of authorship of other parties, including excerpts or passages taken from literary works, video games, television or film;”
What if my friend gives me permission?
Even if your friend gives you permission, Episode has no way of tracking or enforcing this. Because of this, crossovers are not allowed on our platform. This is to ensure that your stories and characters don’t end up being misused!
4/22/2019 You asked some great questions about crossovers in the comments below! Here are the answers to the most common ones:
What do we mean when we say characters are copyrighted?
When we say characters are copyrighted, we aren’t talking about the combination of Episode assets used to create their visual appearance in the app.We are talking about their name, combined with their background, history, and personality. These make them a unique creation that can be covered under copyright.
Can my own characters guest star in other stories I’ve written?
Yes! Your characters (again: named characters with uniques backgrounds, histories and personalities) are all a part of your authorship (and you own their copyright), and so they can appear in any one of your stories.
Can I still create a forums thread/ask for others to create characters for my story?
In some cases, the answer will be yes. If you’re specifically looking for designs for background characters from others, that’s okay. A fully created character (a named person with a personality, background, history, etc) that is from another author’s story would be considered a crossover, or a character based on a real person would not be in line with our guidelines.
I would like to use another author’s character, and I have written permission. Why can’t I use that? What can’t Episode create a form to keep track of these for us?
We appreciate all of your suggestions on this process! We’ve brought up similar ideas internally before and we could not get clearance from our legal team.
My friend and I co-authored a story! Is this a crossover?
No, this isn’t a crossover, this is a collaboration.
I already wrote a crossover, and I want to publish it, or I have already published one. Will I be banned?
You, or your story, are not likely to be banned for having a crossover. Remember, banning, or completely removing stories from the platform is the last resort for the review team. Our review team doesn’t actively look for crossovers, but if they come across them during their regular reviews, they may ask you to change it as a part of a larger request for other revisions.
Why aren’t Ink stories allowed to have crossovers? Would this happen if I wrote in Limelight?
All of our guidelines apply to all our styles: Classic, Ink, and Limelight. There are no style specific restrictions on Episode. Please feel free to write your story in whatever style you want to!
We’re sorry for any inconvenience this has caused, and hope this cleared up why this rule is in place. If you have other or specific questions please reach out to Support Team for more help.
The Episode Team