While Wattpad supports the creativity and expression of writers through the stories they tell, we work extremely hard to protect and respect the copyrights of storytellers on and off our platform.
At Wattpad, it is strictly prohibited for our users to post the copyrighted works of others without their explicit legal consent. We are deeply committed to this in our Copyright Policy, which can be found in our Terms of Service. With that, Wattpad does not allow users to publish adaptations of existing works.
Repeat infringers - In addition to the above policy, we may, when appropriate and at our discretion, terminate the accounts of users who repeatedly or actively infringe the intellectual property rights of others. If an account has multiple copyright infringements or an additional violation is discovered at a later date, the account will be closed. Please note that users' actions are linked to the holder of the account, not the account(s) themselves.
Note: We cannot determine whether or not your story is an infringement on your behalf. You can refer to our Copyright FAQ to learn more about copyright on Wattpad. If you need further information, we advise you to consult with a lawyer. If you are unsure of whether a work infringes your copyright, we encourage you to seek professional/legal advice before submitting a notice.
Can I post my own existing work on Wattpad?
As long as you own 100% of the copyright to the work, you can absolutely upload your work on Wattpad! Wattpad does not claim copyright over your works, meaning that you can continue to do whatever you want with them without having to worry about Wattpad restricting you, or controlling your work as long as it is in accordance with our policies. Please keep in mind that this might not be the case for the platform your work is already on. For example, Amazon does not allow you to have an ebook posted anywhere else on the internet if it is currently enrolled in its Kindle Select program.
I want to adapt another author’s story. What should I do?
Contact the author! You must obtain permission from the original author or copyright holder if you would like to adapt an existing work and publish it on Wattpad. For more information on adaptations, please check out our article: Infringing adaptations and fanfiction.
Can I publish an adaptation of another story if I specify that the story ‘does not belong to me’? (I.e. saying ‘all rights are reserved' to the original author)
Wattpad users cannot publish a story that does not belong to them unless they have explicit permission from the original author or copyright holder. Crediting an author on an adaptation that you do not have permission to publish is a copyright infringement. Adding notations, such as ‘all rights reserved to the original author,’ ‘story does not belong to me’, or ‘non-profit,’ in the story description or the story itself is not enough and your adaptation can still be taken down. Please contact the original copyright owner of any stories you wish to adapt and make sure you have received permission before publishing the adaptation.
Can I use existing artwork, for example, in my story cover?
While it is common for individuals to include existing artworks in their stories, it is a copyright infringement to do so unless the image is copyright-free, in the public domain, or if you have asked and received permission from the copyright holder. If you use an existing image, the original copyright owner has the right to submit a DMCA takedown notice to have it removed. Please note that giving credit does not give you the right to use an image protected by copyright.
Can I write a story using dialogue or the events of a TV show/film/video game/etc?
It is a copyright infringement to rewrite a movie, video game, TV show, etc., and upload it to Wattpad without permission from the original owner. This includes using direct dialogue from a movie or TV show script. It is also still a copyright infringement to use TV/film/game content and change or add characters or locations, as well as to rewrite its unique events or dialogue on Wattpad. For additional information, please check out our article: Infringing adaptations and fanfiction.
Can I translate a story I've read and upload it to Wattpad?
You must obtain permission directly from the author to translate their story. Using their work in any way (including translations) without their permission is a copyright infringement, which is illegal. Giving credit isn't enough unless that author has indicated that they are okay with others using their work or their work is in the Canadian Public Domain.
Can I use existing titles, characters, places, themes, or celebrities in my story?
Story titles, character names, similar plots, locations, and similar themes do not constitute as a copyright infringement. Stories, television shows, and movies exist everywhere with the same plot, but they aren't necessarily copyright infringements. An example we reference is the movies No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits. Both movies share the same theme, and plot, are the same length, and even came out within a few months of each other. The main differences are the unique events and the timeline in which they occur, so it is not a copyright infringement.
There is often a very fine line between what is acceptable as similar plot and themes and what is a copyright infringement. Therefore, we strongly recommend being as unique as possible and keeping elements similar to other stories, like plots and themes, to a minimum. Unfortunately, if you are unsure, we cannot determine whether or not your story is an infringement as we do not have the proper context and cannot offer legal advice. If you need further information we advise you to consult with a lawyer.
Can I use someone else's song lyrics in my story?
While it is common for individuals to include existing song lyrics in their stories, there is always a risk that the original copyright owner will submit a DMCA takedown notice to have it removed. We highly recommend that if you are going to include them in your story, to give proper attribution (credit) to the copyright holder. Please note that while it is rare for the original copyright holder to contact us, it does happen from time to time so even if you give credit, the author has the right to submit a DMCA takedown notice.
Can I use work that is in the public domain?
As Wattpad is located in Canada, we follow Canadian Public Domain law. Public domain law in Canada was recently updated to the following: works by creators who died in 1971 or earlier are now in the public domain (their life plus 50 years) while works by creators who died in 1972 or later, including those still living now, will be protected for their life plus 70 years. Please remember that Public Domain laws sometimes differ from country to country, so while a work may not be in the Public Domain where you are located, it might be elsewhere! If a work has truly entered the Canadian Public Domain, you can upload it on Wattpad.
We always recommend saving any original works you create outside of the Wattpad platform. In the event of an account closure due to a violation of any of our policies, we will not restore or transfer story content, which may include your original works that are not an infraction.
We also recommend checking out our Support Bot when looking for quick answers! You can find our bot by clicking on the icon in the bottom right corner of the Help Center (https://support.wattpad.com/hc/en-us), or going to your Settings > Help Center on the app.