Summary: Here are key areas to be aware of when it comes to your legal responsibilities as an Author at Envato. Need a refresher on the terms? View the Elements Author Agreement and the Envato Author Terms.
Start at the top. This will go through the important legal concepts relevant to creating and selling items with Envato. We will also take you through our legal process, so that you know exactly what our role is (Envato) and what your responsibilities are as an Envato author.
Your Legal Responsibilities as an Envato Author
As an author at Envato, you have the opportunity to create and license your original content to our global customer base. This means that there are legal responsibilities associated with licensing items through Envato platforms that you need to adhere to, so we can ensure that we keep our community safe and respectful.
It is your responsibility to ensure you carry out the correct legal arrangements and consents for your projects in order to protect both yourself and others, including following any applicable laws, tax & financial requirements, our user terms and author agreement, along with any guidelines or policies set.
Respect and protection for intellectual property (IP) and the work of others is at the core of these responsibilities. Intellectual property is a complex area of the law and covers a whole range of things like copyright, trademarks, design and patents, among others.
There are many types of IP but as an author, there are some specific areas that would be especially relevant to your items and the assets used within your items, so please review the articles linked below:
- Copyright: This gives the author or creator of an original work the exclusive right to do certain things with that original work. They have the right to choose if anyone else can use, adapt or resell their work and have the right to be credited for that work. This means that you need to ensure that your item, and anything included within it, is not taken from elsewhere unless you have an appropriate license to do so. This includes third party assets like images or fonts that are included within your item or it’s preview and description. You must make sure that you have properly licensed all assets you are using within your individual item(s).
- You can also read more on what copyright is, how copyright can be infringed and common pitfalls in Copyright 101.
- Model and Property Releases: This is a legal document signed by the person (model release) or the property owner (property release) of a photograph or video or other image, granting permission to use or publish the subject in one form or another.
- When uploading footage or photographs that depict recognizable human beings or identifiable buildings, you must obtain and attach a signed release form (see where you attach it in the Upload Instructions). You must also retain a copy of a photo ID for the model so that the signature on the model release form can be verified. View an example list of internationally recognized buildings requiring a property release, sample releases and the risks of liability related to uploading an item without the appropriate releases in the Model Release Policy.
- Trademarks & Real-World Products: A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that is legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product. A real world product is a reference to a real-world thing, like a car or a tablet or even a shoe.
- You may want to use one or both in your items, however this can be a complex area of intellectual property and there are different rules for assets in item previews (these assets don’t get distributed to your customers, they are for preview purposes only) and assets in item download (refers to assets that are included in the download of the file).
- You can use trademarked words in your item previews if they are describing factually what your item is, or how a customer could use your item. Similarly, a logo in your item preview could show what platforms your item works with.
- In most cases, a real world product cannot be the focus of an item. This is because Envato does not offer editorial licenses, and you may be infringing the intellectual property of someone else.
- View more on the rules and exceptions in the Trademark and Real World Product Rules or dig deeper into the Trademark Guidelines for Item types,, which illustrates the rules of using trademarks, logos and real-world products in your items.
There is much more information to do with intellectual property but these are the core concepts that you need to be familiar with regardless of what content-type you are selling or which site - these areas apply to all authors. For more information on the specific areas outlined above, you can also click on the linked articles.
What is Envato’s Role?
When you create and upload your work to our Envato sites, you (as the author) hold the responsibility of the item and any assets included.
Envato’s role is as the service provider of the platform. The items on Envato Market are uploaded at the direction of you, the author. We provide the platform services; we do not take ownership of the items.
We may check content submitted for quality purposes and while doing so, identify potential violations of our terms or the rights of others. In this case, we will contact you to let you know that there is an issue with your item, but it is your responsibility to ensure your items respect the Envato Terms and the intellectual property rights of others.
On the occasion that we do receive complaints about unauthorised use of content within an author’s item, depending on the circumstances and who has made the claim, we can apply the DMCA law in line with the DMCA process.
We do our best to ensure a safe, fair and equitable environment for customers and authors. Our Integrity team may contact you in the event there is a complaint about your item or account, or if we identify that you have breached any of the Envato Terms and policies in some way.
We will always try to work with everyone fairly and in the spirit of our community. Unfortunately, we can't help by giving you legal advice as we are a service provider, not a court of law. It’s for this reason that you need to understand your responsibilities when selling through Envato.
In accordance with the author terms, you have the responsibility to ensure that your items are clear of any copyright or other intellectual property issues, from start to finish.
Resources to Get You Started
In addition to your core responsibilities around intellectual property (as outlined above), your content-type or site may have further requirements.
Here is a list of the resources (and links) available to you:
- Copyright 101 – an introduction to the world of copyright.
- The DMCA process – what you need to do and the information you need to provide to lodge a DMCA take down notice and information of what your options are and how to file a counter notification if you have received one.
- DMCA Frequently Asked Questions – answers to the questions that you may have about the DMCA process.
- What Assets can I use in my items? – an explanation of the types of assets you can use in your item previews and downloads.
- Pastiche Policy (AudioJungle items) – what’s allowed when your audio item imitates the style of another work or artist.
- Model and Property Release Policy - issues with recognisable human beings or identifiable buildings.
- Trademark Use and Real World Products – an overview of Trademarks and when you can and can’t use real-world products and other peoples’ trademarks in your items.
Protecting Your Intellectual Property as an Envato Author
At Envato, we respect our community and intellectual property, and we expect our users to do the same. If you see anything on an Envato site that you think infringes your intellectual property rights, there are several options available to you. The DMCA Process will explain these options if you think your content is being used on an Envato site without your permission.
If you see your items being distributed without your permission outside of Envato (on another site) you can take action immediately as you maintain ownership of your items.
We have created some resources to help you with this. You can read more about how to prevent piracy of your items and how to take action when it occurs in our article on Piracy.