We’ve noticed that there has been some recent confusion around our Terms of Service (TOS) and we want to address some of your most frequently asked questions. Please let us know if you think we missed anything and we will do our best to answer them! Before we dig in, we want to acknowledge that we are covering some complicated things in this post that deal with legal issues - as such we have to remind you that anything in this post is not legal advice nor should it be treated as such. If you want or need advice for your specific situation you should consult a legal professional.
Did you update your TOS without telling us.
Nope. The current TOS is the same one we’ve had for years. We made one small change to include language about the profiles feature when we introduced it, but that’s it.
Does your TOS give Episode the right to take our stories and make them your own?
It does not. As stated in the TOS, you own your story and we cannot sell the rights to your story to a movie or TV studio, turn it into a book, have someone else write it or publish it as an Episode Official story without your permission.
What about Section 7 of the TOS? It makes it sound like you can take our work and use it.
Section 7 gives Episode permission to have your content on our platform. This type of use license is very common for platforms that include user generated content. It also allows us to use your content in ads and promotional materials. We do own the tools you use to create your stories and any art, animations, etc. that we provide on the portal. If you wanted to produce your story on another platform or turn it into a book you wouldn’t be able to take those aspects with you, but the story itself is yours.
What about the part about our likenesses? Section 7 says you have the right to use and exploit our name, voice, persona and likeness included in any User Content.
This only relates to material that you include within your story. For example, if you create a character that looks like you in your story, we can use that likeness of you.
We hope this helps clear things up. As always you can contact our support team if you have more questions.
Also, just a little thumbs-up that we can recreate our stories on Wattpad or publish them as a book and Episode has no legal rights to make their own version of our story or penalise us for creating another version elsewhere simply because we agreed to the TOS. Episode (or the creator) is still liable for plagiarism if a featured story resembles ours too much?
Glad to see that this has been officially been addressed now. Thanks.
@Liz In addition to what others have asked already, I just have a couple of questions about Section 11, since it is directly mentioned in Section 7:
From what I’m understanding from the first quote, Episode can still perform those tasks for as long as they please after the termination, right? Also, how about that survival clause in the final quote? Does this mean that the specified sections (Section 7 included) will remain in effect after termination? Sections 1-4 are the only ones not included, so I am just curious: Is this only in the event that Episode is granted those specific rights aforementioned in Section 7 by the author?
I am confused about the parts that I’ve bolded out. If Section 11 can also be clarified as-well, I think that would be greatly appreciated by many.
We are working on another post to hopefully address more detailed questions around copyright and potentially plagiarism. This will have to wait until after the New Year, because some of the team needed to help with these answers are off for for the Holidays.
Generally, I can tell you that titles cannot be copyrighted. This is true for books, movies and tv shows as well. On many platforms, not just Episode, you can find content that shares the same or similar titles.
If you have specific questions about copyright or plagiarism that you would like answered you can post them here or DM me and I will do my best to get answers in the next post.
As stated in the TOS, you own your story and we cannot sell the rights to your story to a movie or TV studio, turn it into a book, have someone else write it or publish it as an Episode Official story without your permission.
If you wanted to produce your story on another platform or turn it into a book you wouldn’t be able to take those aspects (meaning Episode art, animations, etc) with you, but the story itself is yours.