Crossover Guidelines

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.

With love,
The Episode Team


Does this mean you have to change the episodes you have crossovers in?


So what will happen to stories with crossovers? I know a couple of stories that have a two or three episodes dedicated to a crossover :grimacing:






So is The New Girl and The Shaw Brothers going to be taken down or told to change up the episodes? They are really popular stories…


@Unicorngirl2 @amberose

There is no deadline to remove stories that feature Episode-centric crossovers.

If authors would prefer to edit or archive these stories on their own schedule, rather than waiting for the possibility that we might ask them to do so in the future, they can do it whenever they want. The only thing that might happen to an author who has written a crossover story is IF we come across it, we may ask you to change or remove it.

We don’t want to “punish” authors who have previously written crossovers.

Authors should be concerned with not writing crossovers moving forward.

I hope this clears things up!


Would rules apply within your stories as well? Not just crossovers either. How about kiss list. Did you get permission from the original author to create this story? Oh, I’m sorry, you can’t track that. Did you think about the rules to keeping your stories under pg13 for the young readers on episodes? Oh, I’m sorry, you create rules but are not enforced to follow them.

Maybe what episode needs are episode creators and people in charge that can lead by example instead of doing the very thing you enforce others to not to do.


This is absurd. I’m struggling to comprehend, why is using another authors character copyright? WHY?
Literally every story I read has a ‘guest appearance’ or ‘crossover’ plot from another story. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to clear things up but it should be made clearer in episodes TOS because as of late, A LOT of rules have been broken recently. Coincidence :woman_shrugging:t2:



@RainbowCat , idk maybe @days
You should see this


I’m so sorry, but… this hurts…




One rule for one and one rule for another!


I cry

@flowersasthorns :sob:




Your name says it all


It’s a new rule I don’t see the problem


If you’re an episode author, it would be a problem. Some stories have crossovers so it’s becoming an issue aka The New Girl and The Shaw Brothers. :confused:


What is a crossover?


i wanna know to


This has always been in the guidelines, but I always thought that only applied to actual copyright, where people base their stories off of/use characters from TV shows or movies or books? Didn’t think it applied to friends using each other’s characters. Thanks for clearing it up!

However, could you maybe clarify why this was posted on your official Instagram account? Wouldn’t this be encouraging crossovers, which are against guidelines? :thinking:


And it’s needed, because sadly it would be misused if not… Somehow…