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Infringing adaptations

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 Content Guidelines. With that, Wattpad does not allow users to publish adaptations of existing works.

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 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.

 

Common questions about adaptations


What is an adaptation?

A story adaptation is a work that is based on, or derived from, one or more already existing works in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This means that only the original writer/artist can adapt or give someone permission to create an adaptation of their work. Translations, rewrites, sequels, or transcriptions are all examples of adaptations that need permission to publish. For more information and other examples of derivative works, please refer to this infographic by the US Copyright Office.

 

Can I post another author’s story if I change the name/gender of the main characters?

No. Changing the names and/or gender of the main characters still infringes on the original author’s copyright. Imagine you have worked hard to craft an interesting story with complex characters, and a simple name change allows another person to copy that story. We don’t think that respects your creativity and ownership. We don’t believe you would either. Any reported story that copies an existing work will be reviewed and may be taken down for copyright violation.

Note: Copyright only protects the physical representation of an idea, not the idea itself. Similar plots or story themes may not constitute copyright infringement.


Is there a difference between Fanfiction and Adaptation?

In copyright, there is a difference between “fanfiction” and an “adaptation”. Fanfiction is the use of existing characters or settings (For example, Percy Jackson and Camp Half-Blood) in an original story. An adaptation, however, is taking an existing work and changing certain elements. For example, writing a story about Percy Jackson and his peers reading the novel “The Lightning Thief,” and including content from the novel would be an adaptation and copyright infringement.

 

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.

 

I want to adapt another author’s story. What should I do?

Contact the author! You can obtain permission from the original author or copyright holder if you would like to adapt an existing work and publish it on Wattpad. However, explicit permission is needed before posting the adaptation. Without a response and affirmative approval, users cannot publish an adaptation on the platform.

 

I posted an adaptation and my account was deleted for copyright infringement. Can my account be restored?

The removal of stories, images and/or accounts due to copyright violations will not be restored unless you have evidence of obtaining permission from the copyright holder to publish their original content.


Why did my adaptation/story get deleted if I see other people posting adaptations and it’s not taken down?

Wattpad works hard to take down copyright infringements as quickly and accurately as we can, but with the volume of stories on the platform, we can’t find every infringement without them being reported to us. If you see a copyright infringement on Wattpad, please do not assume we allow copyright violations. Instead, after confirming there is an infringement, please report the story.

 

I found an infringing adaptation. What should I do?

As the copyright owner of your original work, you have the right to submit a DMCA takedown request to any website you find your work being infringed on, including Wattpad. If you find an adaptation of a published work on Wattpad (for example, the Harry Potter series) you can report those without being the original owner.

To learn how to report a site who you believe is stealing your content, please check our guidelines and reporting procedures in Wattpad’s Copyright articles: Reporting Copyright Infringements & Content Guidelines.

 

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.

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