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Copyright FAQ

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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 (FAQs)

 

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 points of view, are a violation of copyright. For more information, check out: Infringing adaptations and fanfiction
  • 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. Infringing content that is reported to us, or that we discover, is investigated according to our policies and removed should we find it is indeed a copyright infringement. Owners are encouraged to submit a DMCA takedown notice if they find a copy of their original work so that we can remove it. 

 

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.

 

How does Wattpad protect my work?

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 article: Copyright permissions. We abide by the DMCA process, so if you believe your work has been copied improperly, you can submit a DMCA takedown notice and we will respond as soon as possible. For more information, check out: How we protect your stories

 

Does Wattpad own my work?

Wattpad does not own any of the work you post to the platform. This means that you are free to post your work elsewhere as well as remove your work from Wattpad at any time. You can learn more about this in our policies: Terms of Service

 

What is piracy/copyright spam? 

We do not allow copyright infringement on Wattpad, including promoting and/or facilitation of piracy. This includes piracy in any form, from requesting free download links to sharing full PDFs and even uploading existing works of authors.

We kindly ask everyone to be respectful and help Wattpad to be a friendly and safe environment to enjoy. Please be advised that we reserve the right to delete messages and suspend any accounts that have violated our copyright policies without prior notice.  To report piracy on Wattpad please check out our article: Reporting copyright infringement

 

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 infringement 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.

 

Can I use their story, cover art, characters, etc.?

You must obtain permission directly from the author to use their story as your own. Using their direct work in any way (including adaptations) 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. For more specific information regarding using other peoples' art, characters, and more, check out our article: Can I use their work/story/content? 

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Can I report my fanfiction?

If your fanfiction is your own original work, aside from the existing characters, you may submit a DMCA takedown notice as the original content is protected by copyright law. If your story is an adaptation, meaning you are using more than character names, we highly recommend you check out this article first:  Infringing adaptations and fanfiction

 

Can I report a story if they've copied a movie/video game/TV show?

Yes, copyright infringements can include rewriting a movie, video game, TV show, etc., and uploading it to Wattpad. This includes using direct dialogue from movie or TV show scripts.  For more information, check out:  Infringing adaptations and fanfiction

 

Can I use 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. For more information check out our article: Can I use their work/story/content? 

 

Is my report anonymous?

We at Wattpad are committed to protecting your privacy and keeping your information safe. Reports that you submit to Wattpad are kept confidential. As such, we will not disclose your personal information to the reported user, or the copyright owner. The majority of reports are confidential on Wattpad. There are very few exceptions, specifically in certain legal requests, where information will be shared, but this will be communicated clearly with you should this be required.

 

How can I help with fighting copyright infringement on Wattpad?

We're always looking for Wattpadders across all languages and are passionate about safety and copyright on Wattpad! If you’re over 18, you can apply to the Wattpad Ambassadors Program. They do a lot of work with us and always welcome applicants passionate about keeping Wattpad safe. For more information, Check out the Ambassador profile here: https://www.wattpad.com/user/Ambassadors

 

What do the copyright options mean on Wattpad (Public Domain, All Rights Reserved, etc.)?

When you post your story on Wattpad using Advanced Options, there are multiple copyright options that you can select from.  To learn more about what those mean and how they apply to your story, please check out our article: Copyright permissions

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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