Envato Content Policy

In this article you will find important information regarding Envato's copyright and intellectual property policy and Membership Terms, vital to both Marketplace Authors and Buyers.

Contents

How is content protected?

What if you think your content's being used without your permission?

What can you do if you've been sent a notice?

What’s our role?

Violations

Contact us

Introduction

At Envato we want to help people earn and learn online. We respect our community and we respect intellectual property. We insist that people using our Marketplaces respect intellectual property too.

We've put this guide together for two main reasons - to help you know what to do if you:

  • suspect that content is being used without permission; or
  • receive a claim from someone else asserting that you are using content without permission.

We use the word 'content' to describe anything that's been created as an original work such as artwork, code, photography, designs, written materials, logos, sound or video.

How is content protected?

It doesn't matter whether the creator is a company or an individual - creators of original content have legal rights over their content and content can't be used without the creator's permission.

Content you see online is usually protected by one or more intellectual property rights (IPRs). IPRs include copyright, trademarks, designs and patents.

Although different countries have different details in their IPR laws, generally the main purpose of all IPR laws is to give creators of original content exclusive rights to use their content and the right to take legal action against those who use it without their permission.

IPRs are economic rights - you can buy and sell your 'property' to make money, and you can take legal action for unauthorised use and claim money in damages. In some countries, content creators might also have moral rights such as the right to be identified as the creator and the right to stop your content being used in a derogatory way. And in some places people also have more personal rights to control images of themselves, under rights of privacy and publicity.

  • Copyright gives the creator of original content the exclusive rights to use and exploit that content. The rights usually start on creation and can be licensed or assigned. Depending on where you live, you don't always have to formally register your copyright.
  • A trademark gives a person exclusive rights to use a particular phrase, name or logo if these are being used to set products or services apart from those provided by others. These rights are often registered.

You can read more about IPRs on our Knowledgebase and country specific information here:

We have also developed the Envato Marketplaces and Intellectual Property resource which you should read if you’re joining our Envato Marketplaces community.

What if you think your content's being used without your permission?

Consider whether you wish to contact the Marketplaces author (sellers of items) whom you think might be breaching your intellectual property. There may be a misunderstanding that you and the author might be able to sort out without resorting to the formal processes outlined below. Details are in the DMCA FAQ page.

In any case, consider keeping screenshots of any activity that concerns you so you've got the details recorded.

There are two main ways to let us know if you think your content is being used without permission:

  • for copyright owners - the DMCA takedown notice process;
  • for other IPR owners, including trademark owners - the general IPR notice process.

If you're a copyright owner the DMCA takedown notice process applies.

If you believe someone is using your copyright content without permission, you can use the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) process by sending us a DMCA takedown notice. We act promptly when we receive valid DMCA takedown notices. Although the DMCA is US law, and we're in Australia, we follow the DMCA rules.

Please make sure you understand what rights you are claiming before you submit a DMCA takedown notice because it is a serious legal document. Consider whether you need legal advice. It's really important not to make false claims as this could have serious legal consequences.

You'll need to prepare one document that:

  1. Tells us about the content that you claim infringes your copyright, including a description and where we can find it - include the URL;
  2. Tells us about your copyrighted content and let us know where we can see this published - include the URL;
  3. Gives us a detailed explanation about how you believe the content violates your copyright;
  4. Includes your full name and contact details, including your address, phone number and email address;
  5. Includes the following two statements:
  • "I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law."
  • "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

At law, you need to sign and date your notice. If you send us the information via our support system here please note that by entering your full name you are providing us with your digital signature which is legally binding. If you want to sign a physical document you'll need to scan the document and attach it to the support ticket.

We have to send this DMCA takedown notice to the other person, which means your details will be passed to them. The other person can submit a DMCA counter-notification if they disagree with your DMCA takedown notice and they might contact you directly using your contact details.

The content in question will generally be disabled from our Marketplaces when we receive a DMCA takedown notice so we recommend that before you issue a DMCA notice, you screenshot any relevant pages including the member page and relevant site pages for your records. If we receive a counter-notification and you don't confirm you've taken legal action against the other person within 10 business days, we will re-enable the content.

If you have any further questions please visit our DMCA FAQ page.

If you're the owner of another kind of IPR - the general IPR notice process applies.

As the DMCA process only applies to copyright, we have a similar process for other claims (general IPR notices). If you believe that someone is using content that is protected by another form of IPR, such as a trademark, we ask you to send us a general IPR notice that contains detailed information about your claim. The notice needs to:

  1. Tell us about the content that you claim infringes your rights, including a description and where we can find it - include the URL;
  2. Tell us about the rights you claim, the basis of the ownership claim, and where we can see evidence of your right - include the URL. If you're claiming a trademark right include the trademark registration number, country and class of registration;
  3. Give us a detailed explanation about how you believe the content violates your claimed right; and
  4. Include your full name and contact details, including address, phone number and email address.

You need to sign and date your notice. If you send us the information via our support system here please note that by entering your full name you are providing us with your digital signature which is legally binding. If you want to sign a physical document you'll need to scan the document and attach it to the support ticket.

We will respond appropriately depending on what your claim is about. We may ask for more information and send a copy of your claim to the other person. That person might contact you directly using the details you've provided.

What can you do if you've been sent a notice?

The easiest way to avoid being at the receiving end of a complaint or DMCA takedown notice is to avoid using content that belongs to others. If you don't know whether you have a right to use something - please don't use it on our Marketplaces or give it to others via our Marketplaces!

If you've been sent a DMCA takedown notice:

If you receive a DMCA takedown notice you can consider whether you think the claims made in the notice are valid. You might choose to seek legal advice, especially if you're not sure whether there is any legal validity to the claim.

You can choose to accept a DMCA takedown notice - if so your content will be taken down and remain disabled. Or, you can choose to respond to a DMCA takedown notice by sending us a DMCA counter-notification which:

  1. Tells us about the content that has been taken down, including a description and where it was found - include the URL (this is on the original DMCA notice).
  2. Makes a formal statement about why you think the content should be reinstated. Include the following words: “I make this statement under penalty of perjury, I have a good faith belief that the content was...[add the reason why the content was not used in an unauthorized way]” (for example “removed or disabled as a result of mistake or mis-identification of the content”.
  3. Includes your full name and contact details, including your address, phone number and email address.
  4. If you are a US resident, includes a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district where you live. If you live outside the United States, includes a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the courts in Victoria, Australia (where Envato is based), and the courts located in the United States federal district in which the person who sent the DMCA takedown notice (claimant) lives. Includes a statement that you will accept service of process from the claimant, or their agent.

At law, you need to sign and date your notice. If you send us the information via our support system here please note that by entering your full name you are providing us with your digital signature which is legally binding. If you want to sign a physical document you'll need to scan the document and attach it to the support ticket.

We'll send a copy of the DMCA counter-notification to the person who sent the DMCA takedown notice (claimant), then wait 10 business days. Unless the claimant sends us a notice that court proceedings have been filed against you within the 10 days, we'll then reinstate the content within 14 business days from when we received the counter-notification.

Please take care to understand this process because it is possible that the claimant can take legal action against you if you file a counter-notification. If you have any further questions please visit our DMCA FAQ page

It's really important not to make a false claim, as this could have serious legal consequences. Please seek your own advice if you're not sure about what the counter-notification process means.

If you've been sent a general IPR notice, or another type of complaint has been made about your content:

Complaints about the use of IPRs can cover a wide range of issues.

If we send you a general IPR notice, or tell you that another type of complaint has been made, we'll generally ask you some specific questions about the complaint and the content or let you know what else is needed.

How else could you try to resolve the issue with a person who has sent a notice or made a complaint?

You can always consider contacting the claimant to discuss and resolve the issue directly using the contact details they provide on the DMCA takedown notice or general IPR notice.

We are unable to give specific advice about IPR claims, but factors that you could consider raising with the claimant could include:

  • Whether the content was independently created, the dates of creation of your and the claimant's work, and other copyright law issues such as whether any defences apply.
  • Whether the claimant's work has the same scope as your content. Alternatively, whether it is just one component of your content (eg a graphic within a website template) and can be removed from your content.
  • Whether the claimant is seeking monetary payment from you, or simply to have your content taken down permanently. If monetary payment is claimed, relevant factors include earnings from the sale of the content, whether a licensing fee might be appropriate, and how the claimant's work was used.
  • Where you and the claimant live, and relevant legal forums for resolving disputes.

What's our role?

When we receive claims about unauthorised use of content on our Marketplaces, depending on the circumstances and who has made the claim, we can apply the DMCA law and our processes for other content as already explained.

We will always try to work with everyone involved fairly and in the spirit of our community. Unfortunately we can't help you by giving you legal advice. We can't make legally binding judgments either as we are not a court of law!

We may check content submitted (e.g. Marketplaces items) for quality purposes, and while doing so we may identify potential issues with the rights of others, or potential violations of our terms. If this happens we may notify the person submitting the content and let them know that there could be an issue with it. But  we are not obliged to review content for intellectual property or other legal matters. 

It’s for this reason that you should not assume that we will check content for the existence or ownership of copyright. If we’ve accepted content, it does not mean that we have checked and cleared copyright or other intellectual property rights.

Violations

As you'll know, serious consequences can flow from IPR infringement including legal action against infringers. Our Marketplaces Terms prohibit unauthorised use of content by anyone who uses our platform. 

If you're a Marketplaces user and you receive more than one valid DMCA takedown notice (and do not submit any valid DMCA counter-notifications), or we think that you're acting in breach of our Marketplaces terms, we can disable your account. Other violations like the following may also result in your account being disabled:

  • Uploading an item that is the output of a tutorial.
  • Submitting items that are not your own creation or that contain component assets that are not yours and that have not been properly licensed or sourced (this includes for use in item previews).

Contact us

Please visit the DMCA FAQ page if you have any further questions and use our support link to send notices and communication. If you're unable to use this system you can always post to Envato Copyright Agent at PO Box 16122, Collins Street West, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 8007, email to copyright@envato.com or fax: +61 3 9018 3043.

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