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Wattpad encourages all storytellers to express their creativity and imagination through original stories. We do not allow any copyright infringement or pirated material on the platform and will remove any works that we discover to have been published illegally. While some users may not be aware of copyright law, we do our best to educate and inform our community while building an engaging audience for all writers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a copyright infringement?
- Posting the copyrighted works of others without their legal consent
- Posting on behalf of an author and giving credit to them. This is still a violation of copyright and will be treated the same way. Consent is ALWAYS required from the author.
- Adaptations or slight alterations to a work, such as changing names, copying the events and writing them in your own words, changing character point of views, are a violation of copyright.
- Using an image that you do not own. This includes making a cover with an image that you do not own the rights to (unless it is in the public domain).
What does and doesn't copyright protect?
Copyright only protects the physical representation of an idea, not the idea itself. Unfortunately, similar plots, story themes, and titles are not enough to constitute a copyright infringement. This is why there are many stories and movies that are very similar to each other. Unless there is substantial evidence of copyright infringement that can hold up in a court of law, website administrators will not be able to remove the story. If this is the case, we suggest you try to contact the other writer and respectfully try to resolve the issue in private. If you are unsure of whether a work infringes your copyright, we encourage you to seek professional/legal advice before submitting a notice.
How does Wattpad deal with copyright infringement?
Wattpad takes copyright infringement very seriously. Users are not permitted to post stories they do not own unless they have legal permission from the owner and can provide evidence when requested. Any published works that are reported to us, or that we discover, are removed immediately. If the work is not published, we require the owner to submit a DMCA request and we will remove infringing works as quickly as possible!
How does Wattpad protect my work?
There are currently hundreds of millions of story uploads on Wattpad and upwards of hundreds of thousands of new uploads are added every day. We have several measures in place to limit copyright infringement on Wattpad. It’s a monumental task, but one we take very seriously. Your work is automatically protected under Copyright Law as soon you put it into a fixed format, like writing it down. There are several copyright license options that you can select when posting a story on Wattpad and you can find them in our Copyrights article. We abide by the DMCA process, so if you believe your work has been copied improperly, you can submit a DMCA Takedown Request and we will respond as soon as possible. The copy/paste functions are also disabled on Wattpad, which prevents users from easily copying your work. To get the most protection for it (or sue if someone unlawfully infringes on it) you need to register it in your country’s copyright office.
How do I report copyright infringements on Wattpad?
Please check out our Reporting Copyright Infringement article for information on how to report published works and what to do if you find a non-published work on Wattpad.
My work has been copied and published on Wattpad or another website. What can I do?
Please check out our Reporting Copyright article for more information and instructions on how to report copyright on Wattpad and what to do if your work was copied from Wattpad onto another website.
I don’t want to provide the personal information requested in the DMCA Take-down notice. What can I do?
The take-down request form will ask you for your personal information. This is a legal document and we are required to collect the information to move forward with the request. We do not share your personal details provided in the take-down notice with the other party when we remove the work. We are simply required by law to collect the information. We, unfortunately, cannot proceed with the request if the information is not provided. We recommend messaging the user and trying to solve the issue personally.
Potentially infringing videos in your story are on the YouTube platform and are simply embedded into your story. It is YouTube's responsibility and must be reported through them. If it is removed from YouTube, it will no longer work on Wattpad. Wattpad's Content Guidelines still apply and we will remove videos from your story that are in violation of Wattpad policies, but cannot remove them from YouTube.
Selecting Copyright Language
When you post your story on Wattpad using Advanced Options, there are multiple copyright options that you can select from. Each of the options only applies to the work that you can copyright; if you include song lyrics, lines from books, films or tv shows, or famous people and historical figures, you’re not claiming copyright ownership to them by selecting any of these options.
Selecting copyright language doesn’t register your work with any copyright offices, or transfer copyright ownership to Wattpad (you grant Wattpad some limited licenses when you upload a story or other content). If you want to register it with your country’s copyright office, there are a lot of resources online to help you. You can search for your country’s copyright office through WIPO’s Directory of Intellectual Property Offices at http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/urls.jsp.
You may have noticed that 'non-specific' is no longer available as it is not a proper selection. Stories with this are treated as 'All Rights Reserved' as it is most common, and will be reverted to this. If you see a work that still contains the 'non-specific' selection, this does not mean that the work can be adapted or distributed without repercussion.
The most commonly used licenses are the following:
All Rights Reserved
The copyright holder retains all the rights provided by copyright law, such as distribution, performance, and creation of their work. In some ways, you have total control over your story, but since copyright doesn’t give you a complete monopoly, others can still use your story in certain ways, by including short excerpts in reviews and recs, creating fanart or covers for you, etc.
It’s also known as “No rights reserved”. Technically, putting a work in the public domain in most countries can be a complicated process, but if you select this option, you’re telling everyone that they can use your story for any purpose; they can print it and sell it, they can make a movie out of it, anything they want. If you select this option, you relinquish all copyrights that you hold in the story.
Creative Commons has shared the text of a number of types of copyright licenses. If you select one, you reserve some of the rights to your story, but you’re also giving the general public some licenses, like the right to translate your story or make a film using your dialogue, or even print it to sell at a fancon. Individuals wanting to collaborate with a writer must go through this route. There are several Creative Commons licenses to suit your needs including Attribution [CC BY], Share Alike [CC BY-SA], No Derivative [CC BY-ND] and Non Commercial [CC BY-NC]. For more information on Creative Commons copyright options, please visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/