Envato operates an online marketplace, through various content-specific sites, at which Members are entitled to sell and buy the right to use works owned or licensed by selling Members (Sellers).
Content offered for sale at each Envato marketplace are works which are protected by intellectual property rights, including copyright.
In this policy, “work” or “item” means any work of authorship – be it a template, theme, graphic, code, sound clip, moving image or photograph.
Copyright is a complex area of the law. There are many misconceptions surrounding the use of works which are protected by copyright.
Copyright laws were first introduced with the advent of book publishing and since then have been updated to address the advent of new technologies permitting works to be created in different ways.
In order to improve knowledge among our Members and reduce the number of copyright misconceptions, we have information and reference materials on the topic of copyright for those who want to know more about the subject. See Envato – Copyright 101 and other articles in our Knowledgebase.
Dealing with intellectual property rights in works is also made difficult because items may also include component assets (like images) in which other rights exist, such as a trade mark or a design or a performance. There are also, in certain places, special laws which protect public buildings and laws which give people rights to their own image.
Evaluating intellectual property rights in items is complicated by these additional special laws, as well as differing applications of copyright laws in different countries.
See our Knowledgebase for more information on other relevant intellectual property issues, such as trademarks and model releases.
Intellectual property laws and practice will continue to evolve and we will update our policies and knowledgebase from time to time as needed.
2. Respecting intellectual property
We recognize the importance of and respect intellectual property rights.
We encourage all Members to do the same. It’s up to everyone in the Envato community to understand, and play by, intellectual property rules.
Copyright is a valuable economic right. It allows the owner of a copyright work to make an income by allowing others the right to use the work. This is the purpose of the marketplace – to provide a forum at which Sellers and buying Members (Buyers) can come together to conduct business.
Of course, in any online marketplace there is the possibility that items may be offered by a Seller who is not authorised to do so, for example because the Seller does not own the item or does not have appropriate license rights for the item or some of its component assets. In such cases, the Seller may be in violation of our Membership Terms, as well as having violated another’s intellectual property rights. We do not offer a copyright clearing service and rely on the promises made by Sellers about their items.
Envato marketplace items are reviewed before they are allowed to be offered at the marketplace but this evaluation focuses primarily on quality control and technical issues.
But we do reserve the right to not allow publication on an Envato marketplace of any content that we believe, in our sole discretion, violates the rights of any third party or otherwise violates our Membership Terms.
While we are based in Australia, our objective is to comply with copyright laws in other key jurisdictions, including the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
We will promptly act upon take-down notifications made in accordance with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
3. What we expect of Sellers
We expect Sellers to respect the copyright and other proprietary rights of others.
Before Sellers offer their first item on an Envato marketplace, they must successfully complete an online tutorial about intellectual property rights, including copyright.
It is the responsibility of each Seller to check, and ensure, that he or she owns or has the appropriate rights to any item (and its component assets) uploaded onto an Envato marketplace.
A Seller must not upload any content unless he or she owns the content or has obtained appropriate licenses and consents from the applicable rights owner(s). For more information on using another’s assets with a Seller’s item, see here.
We have developed House Rules which should be followed by Sellers offering items on an Envato marketplace.
4. What we do before Sellers can sell
We may check each item a Seller submits for quality purposes, and while doing so we may identify, and notify the Seller of any, potential issues with the rights of others, or potential violations of our Membership Terms.
However, we are not obliged to review submitted items for intellectual property compliance or to notify the Seller of potential issues.
Sellers and Buyers must not assume that we will check and verify the existence or ownership of copyright. Acceptance of content by us does not mean that we have checked and cleared copyright or other intellectual property rights.
5. What we expect of Buyers
We expect Buyers to respect the copyright and other proprietary rights of others.
Buyers should only use items in accordance with the terms of the applicable license. Buyers should also observe the House Rules which we have developed for Buyers.
It is up to the Buyer to obtain all necessary licenses, clearances and consents that may be required for the Buyer’s specific use of the work.
We rely on Buyers to behave responsibly by complying with the terms of the license which they are granted to use the item. These are limited use rights and must be strictly observed.
6. What to do if you believe your copyright is infringed
Envato does not authorise or condone infringement of intellectual property and proprietary rights, like copyright.
More specifically, we do not, and have no obligation to, police copyright infringement, but we will act promptly if we receive notice of an alleged infringement made in accordance with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). We also reserve the right, but are not obliged, to investigate and act on other notifications about alleged copyright or other intellectual property infringement.
If you claim that an item or user content offered on an Envato marketplace or other Envato websites infringes your copyright, you should send us a DMCA notice by following the steps outlined in How Do I Claim Infringement of My Copyright?.
7. What we do if we receive a DMCA notice
We will respond promptly to alleged copyright infringement notices made in accordance with the DMCA.
Where the copyright infringement relates to an item or user content uploaded to an Envato marketplace (or other Envato website), we will take down the item or content on receipt of a valid DMCA notice of alleged infringement.
The alleged infringing Member will be notified and will have an opportunity to file a counter notice. For more information, see A DMCA Takedown Notice Has Been Issued Against My Item. What Does This Mean?
8. What to do if you believe your other rights have been infringed (including trademarks)
If you claim that an item or user content infringes any other type of right (not copyright), please:
Set out in a notice the following information:
- Specifically identify the item or content that you claim infringes your rights (include the URL).
- Set out in detail the rights you claim and the basis of the ownership claim (including, if a trademark, the trademark registration number, country and class of registration).
- Explain how the item or content violates your claimed right.
- Include your full name and contact details, including address, phone number and email address.
- Sign and date the notice.
We will respond appropriately, depending on the context of the claim.
9. Consequences of repeat DMCA notices or violations of Membership Terms
Serious consequences may flow from any infringement of another person’s copyright or other intellectual property.
Sellers may become liable to the rights owner for damages and other consequences.
Sellers whose items are the subject of repeat DMCA notices or whom we consider, in our discretion, to have committed one or more violations of our Membership Terms about intellectual property, do not meet our expectations.
We reserve the right to deal with such Sellers by disabling their accounts, with or without prior notice.
We also reserve the right to withhold payment of any money standing to the credit of the Seller in their Envato account for up to 12 months.
Examples of violations:
Here is a list of examples of the types of actions that will likely lead to account disablement, particularly if they result in more than one DMCA notice being made against an author. This is not a definitive list.
- Submitting a marketplace item that is not the Member’s own creation (this can include items that are being distributed for free elsewhere but under terms that prohibit resale or redistribution, or under terms that require redistribution under specific license terms).
- Uploading a marketplace item that is the output of a tutorial in breach of Envato’s house rules.
- Uploading a marketplace item that contains a virus or other malware.
- Submitting marketplace items that contain component assets that are not the Seller’s own creation and that have not been properly licensed or sourced (this includes for use in item previews).
If a Seller has had his or her Envato account disabled as a result of a violation, an application can be made by the Seller to be reinstated. This is done by contacting Support. Reinstatement will not occur if multiple valid DMCA notices have been received, where counter-notifications are not submitted by the Seller.
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