Critical Role Content Policy
LAST UPDATED SEPTEMBER 16, 2021
Everyone at Critical Role is extremely honored and humbled by the interest our incredible community has shown in the stories that we tell, the shows that we produce, and our company in general. We think it’s pretty amazing that our fans want to create artwork, websites, and other works (“Projects”) based on our intellectual property (“IP”). Our IP includes any unique material our team creates — things like the names of our campaigns (for example, Vox Machina and Mighty Nein), our characters (for example, Grog Strongjaw or Beauregard Lionett), story locations (like Whitestone or Nicodranas), company slogans (such as How Do You Want to Do This?), as well as written content and all related artwork, music, etc. We are generally cool with Projects that follow the rules outlined below, but we reserve the right to remove Projects that, in our view, misrepresent these rules or use our IP inappropriately. We want our fans to continue celebrating our world and sharing their talents with the community, but for Critical Role (“CR”) to exist as a company, our legal advisors have suggested we establish some ground rules for how our IP can be used!
1. What can I develop with Critical Role’s intellectual property (“IP”)?
Free stuff for the community to view, with some exceptions. Critical Role allows you to use, display and create derivative works based upon Critical Role’s IP, strictly for noncommercial (except as specifically provided below) community use. CR reserves the right to use our sole discretion to deny anyone the use of our IP at any time, for any reason or no reason. If we deny you the right to use our IP, you must stop developing, publishing, or distributing your Project immediately.
Fan art has been around since the beginning and is a mainstay of our community. We want to keep it that way. Making and selling limited, hand-made, and transformative fan merchandise inspired by our IP is generally fine, and does not require getting express written permission from us. However, you are not permitted to mass-produce or mass-distribute fan-made merchandise without our express permission to do so.
In all cases, the use of our IP with your Projects must be appropriate for our Critter Community. Projects cannot be defamatory, offensive (including but not limited to anything transphobic, sexist, homophobic, racist, ableist, ageist), or harmful to others (as determined solely by CR).
2. Can I create a project that is commercial in nature?
You may not create commercial Projects, including any Project that (without a written license agreement from us):
i) crowdsources any portion of its funding;
ii) involves a business or legal entity;
iii) gates the content with a paywall (e.g., Patreon, YouTube Premium, etc.), unless it is also legitimately available elsewhere for free; or
iv) involves the sale of merchandise utilizing CR IP
We prohibit the use of our IP in interactive games, apps, and downloads. Please do not take any part of our IP (e.g., character appearance, character abilities, maps, icons, items, etc.) and use it in a game or app for other than your own private, noncommercial use. We do not allow any Projects utilizing our IP to appear in any app stores, including the Apple Store or Google Play, unless they have a written license agreement from us.
No monetized novels, theatricals or the like. You are not permitted to write, produce or create any novels, theatrical productions or other adaptations that include CR’s intellectual property without our express written permission.
Fan fiction is generally permitted (and enjoyed!) by CR, as long as the content is not monetized and otherwise follows the guidelines of this policy.
As mentioned above, you are not permitted to mass-produce or mass-manufacture, promote, or distribute (for free or otherwise) any merchandise (such as apparel, game pieces, accessories, etc.) that bear any CR IP without a separate, express written agreement between you and Critical Role.
Critical Role, on occasion, collaborates with and licenses third parties for the creation and distribution of Official CR Merchandise. These agreements are separate from this CR Fan Content Policy.
3. What about passive ad revenue?
This is one of those exceptions we mentioned earlier. We permit fans to promote their Projects on websites, streams, or videos and passively generate revenue through appropriate advertisements, including pre-roll ads, ad breaks, and sponsor ad overlays. No inappropriate direct ads or sponsorships—we alone decide what qualifies as inappropriate, but if you won’t see it on Critical Role, it is probably not appropriate.
We permit individual fans to solicit personal donations or offer subscription-based content while livestreaming, so long as non-subscribers can still watch the live stream concurrently. In other words, you may have your Project behind a paywall, so long as the Project is legitimately also available for free in some other way.
Your use of CR Content must be transformative in nature. You cannot simply re-upload our content. Examples of potential transformative works include:
- Compilation videos
- Remix edits
- Added commentary
- Music/ music videos
- Cosplay content
- Art / draw alongs
- GIFs / memes
- React videos
For longform CR content: Originally 2 hours or more in length (e.g., Critical Role, Exandria Unlimited, and One-Shots)
- CR allows your passive monetization of under 10 minutes of content usage per episode
- CR may claim monetization or execute an automatic takedown for over 10 minutes of content usage per episode
For medium-length CR content: Originally between 1-2 hours in length (e.g., Between the Sheets, Narrative Telephone)
- CR allows your passive monetization for under 5 minutes of content usage per episode
- CR may claim monetization or execute an automatic takedown for over 5 minutes of content usage per episode
For short CR content: Under 60 minutes (e.g., Handbooker Helper, All Work No Play)
- CR may claim monetization or execute an automatic takedown, which includes any “clips” or “memes”
4. Can my Project make reference to Critical Role?
We’d love that! Just make sure that your Project follows the other guidelines in this policy and clearly let people know it is a fan Project and not an official CR Project. That is, you are not permitted to state or imply that your Projects are affiliated with, sponsored, or approved by Critical Role. You may not create a Project in a manner that could cause other Critters to believe that it is an official CR work. If you share your Project with others, please conspicuously include the following disclaimer (e.g., on your Project’s website):
Portions of the materials used may contain trademarks and/or copyrighted works of Critical Role. This material is not official, is provided for free, noncommercial entertainment purposes only, and is not endorsed by Critical Role.
5. Can I create CR-related video content before the content is available on Critical Role’s YouTube channel?
No. Please be considerate. So it’s clear, any posting or other unauthorized disclosure of CR-created content prior to its official release on YouTube (or an authorized media-sharing platform) is strictly prohibited. In regards to spoilers, even after an episode’s release, spoilers can ruin a fan’s experience and we always aim to avoid them. Please be respectful of others and do not deliberately push plot reveals on people who are actively avoiding learning about them. If you are releasing fan content after its official release on the CR YouTube channels, we ask that you please offer spoiler disclaimers (or appropriate hashtags) as a courtesy.
6. What about CR fan art that’s shared publicly during or after a livestreamed RPG broadcast and before the VOD is available on YouTube?
Boy, we love ourselves some amazing Critter fan art. We also want to ensure that artists are taking every precaution not to spoil an episode before its official release on the CR YouTube channel. Please ensure that your artwork is not audiovisual in nature and follows the guidelines set forth in this policy. Again as a general courtesy, please include spoiler disclaimers (or appropriate hashtags) whenever possible.
7. Is all content in a Critical Role video available for use?
No. Certain CR videos contain music or other content that Critical Role doesn’t own. Critical Role, at times, enters into licenses with 3rd party content providers to enhance CR videos for viewing. Since CR cannot grant you a license to use someone else’s content, you’ll need to get permission from the copyright owner(s) before using their content. If you include non-Critical Role music or other content in your video, do so at your own risk. Your video could be subject to filtering or takedown notices by the owner of the copyright in the original work.
8. Can I use Critical Role’s Logos or Trademarks?
Generally, no, and only in limited instances. Use of Critical Role’s brands, logos, character names, actor names, actor and character likenesses and other IP are only to be used in connection with the discussion of Critical Role works, Official Products and non-commercial Projects in compliance with this Policy. Critical Role expressly prohibits uses of its Trademarks to promote your business or merchandise. You may not register domain names, social media accounts, or similar stuff that uses any of our trademarks, trade names, character names, etc. without expressed written consent.
You definitely may not use any CR trademarks as keywords, titles, or search tags for products that are infringing or counterfeit.
9. Can Critical Role use my Project?
Yes. We want fans to create and share cool things with each other, and we want to remove barriers to sharing. Because you are using Critical Role IP, if we celebrate or spotlight a fan Project, or make something that somehow resembles a fan Project, by posting it publicly you give Critical Role permission to spotlight or share your Project with the world. By using Critical Role IP in the creation of your Project you give CR authorization to share your Project in any way at our sole discretion. Critical Role will always attempt to contact artists in these instances and/or provide proper artist credit whenever possible.
10. What if my Project is not covered here?
If your creative efforts are not covered by this Policy, you’ll need our prior, written approval before you put it out in the world. If you have any questions or creative content you want to make that isn’t covered by this Policy, contact us by sending us an email to [email protected]. Written approval is required for Projects that are outside of the scope of this policy.
If you don’t hear from us, it does not mean we approve of your requested use of our IP.
11. Anything else?
Yes. Critical Role reserves the right to change this Policy at any time with no notice whatsoever, but we’ll do our best to communicate any changes widely as soon as we can in the interest of remaining transparent with you.
Please note that we are constantly developing new content and creating new IP that will fall under these guidelines.
Thank you so much for your attention to this policy. Our main goal is to ensure that the Critical Role community remains creative and vibrant as it’s always been. Our content policy will protect what we own today for the long haul so that we can continue to create magic for all of you for many years to come. If you have any questions at all, please reach out to us at [email protected] or via critrole.com/contact.