Critical Role Content Policy
LAST UPDATED JUNE 6, 2022
Everyone at Critical Role is extremely honored and humbled by the interest our incredible community has shown in the stories and shows that we create and produce, and in our company in general. We think it’s pretty amazing that our fans (“Critters”) want to create derivative artwork, videos, fan pages, live-streams, websites, and other works (“Fan Projects”) based on our intellectual property (“IP”). Our IP includes all of the unique material our team creates —like the names of our campaigns (for example, Vox Machina and Mighty Nein), our characters (for example, Grog Strongjaw or Beauregard Lionett, but this also includes their attributes, appearance, names, etc.), story plots, themes and elements, character dialogue and interactions, story locations (like Whitestone or Nicodranas), company slogans (such as How Do You Want to Do This?), collectibles and anything else that we have performed or created both verbally on our productions as well as in written content, games, books, music, merchandise, etc. Our IP also includes our copyrights, trademarks and logos. We are generally cool with Fan Projects that follow the rules outlined below, but we reserve the right to remove Fan Projects that, in our view, don’t comply with these rules or that use or exploit 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 and to keep us and our community secure, as well as maintaining a space that can be enjoyed by everyone, our legal advisors have suggested we establish some ground rules for how our IP can be used, and those rules are in this Critical Role Content Policy (“Content Policy”).
- What can I develop with Critical Role’s intellectual property?
If you want to create free stuff based on CR’s IP for the community to view and enjoy, then (with some exceptions which we have outlined below), Critical Role allows you to use, display and create derivative works based upon Critical Role’s IP, but 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, and should we ask that you not use our IP for a particular Fan Project, you agree to comply with that request.
Fan art has been part of our community since the beginning, and we want to keep it that way. Making and selling limited, hand-made and transformative fan artwork inspired by our IP is generally fine (“Permitted Fan Artwork”) and does not require getting express written permission from us. For instance, examples of Permitted Fan Artwork would include limited editions and one-of-a-kind artwork, handmade items, and individually produced unique creations. Typically, Permitted Fan Artwork would be displayed and sold at conventions, personal gatherings, or individual (non-commercial) websites. However, you are not permitted to mass-produce or mass-distribute fan-made merchandise without our written express permission to do so.
In all cases, the use of our IP within your Fan Projects must be appropriate. Fan Projects cannot be defamatory, offensive (including but not limited to anything transphobic, sexist, homophobic, racist, ableist, ageist) or harmful to others in any way (as determined solely by CR).
- Can I create a Fan Project that is commercial in nature?
You may not create commercial Fan Projects including any Fan Projects that (without a written license agreement from us) do any of the following:
- i) crowdsources any portion of its funding;
ii) involves a business or legal entity;
iii) gates the Fan Project with a paywall (e.g., Patreon, YouTube Premium, etc.), unless the Fan Project is also legitimately available elsewhere free of charge;
iv) involves the sale of merchandise utilizing CR IP unless it is Permitted Fan Artwork
We prohibit the creation, use or display at all times and at any time of our IP in interactive games, apps, digital copies, downloads, and any other form of digital distribution of any of our IP. Please do not take any part of our IP (e.g., character appearance, character abilities, maps, icons, items, locations, etc.) and use it in a game, app or digital recreation in any form other than your own private, noncommercial use. We do not allow any Fan Projects utilizing our IP to appear in any app stores, including the Apple Store or Google Play, unless there is a separate, express written agreement between you and CR allowing that use.
Creating, writing, producing and/or exploiting monetized books, comic books, theatrical productions, audio-visual programs, digital reproductions, non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) or any similar digital or other technology, platforms, or means of display or distribution now existing or that might be developed or utilized in the future that includes, displays or stores in any fashion CR IP is not allowed. To avoid any misunderstanding, any adaptation of CR IP in any of the foregoing ways requires a separate, express written agreement between you and CR.
Fan fiction utilizing our IP that is posted on a free-to-view platform is generally permitted by CR, but the content cannot be monetized or appear behind a paywall and must otherwise comply in all ways with the terms of this Content Policy.
As mentioned above, you are not permitted to mass-produce or mass-manufacture, promote, distribute or exploit (for free or otherwise) any merchandise (such as apparel, game pieces, pins, jewelry, posters, stickers, figurines, accessories, etc.) that bears or includes any CR IP without a separate, express written agreement between you and CR.
CR on occasion collaborates with and licenses third parties the right to create and distribute official CR merchandise. Any merchandise that uses CR’s IP cannot be created and/or sold under the terms of this Content Policy. If you want to create and distribute such merchandise, a separate agreement or license will be required.
- What about passive ad revenue?
Subject to the limitations below, we generally permit fans to promote their Fan Projects inclusive of our IP on websites, streams or videos and to use those platforms to passively generate revenue from their Fan Projects through appropriate advertisements, including pre-roll ads, ad breaks, post-rolls and sponsor ad overlays (“Permitted Ads”). No inappropriate direct ads or sponsorships are allowed for a Fan Project with our IP other than Permitted Ads, and CR alone in exercising its sole discretion will decide whether any advertising (including any advertising that would otherwise have been Permitted Ads) are “inappropriate.” Upon notification to you by Critical Role, ads and sponsorships deemed inappropriate must be stopped and taken down immediately. Please don’t state or imply that Critical Role has approved or endorsed your content or that Critical Role is your sponsor or has approved the products or services in your Permitted Ads or that Critical Role has approved any advertisers who are included in the content you create. If you are creating an audio-visual transformative work including our IP, please include the following disclaimer legibly on screen:
“This project is unofficial fan content and is not approved or endorsed in any way by Critical Role.”
We permit individual fans to solicit personal donations or offer subscription-based content that includes the IP that we created during the episodes that CR records and distributes (“CR Programming”), but only if non-donors and non-subscribers can also watch the paid content concurrently.
Your creation of any Fan Project based on or incorporating any materials created by CR or under its direction that contain any CR IP may only be used by you in a way that is “transformative” in nature, i.e., you must create something using the CR IP that has a meaningful, important, unique and lasting change in it. In other words, you can’t just copy or re-upload CR IP or CR Programming verbatim to use or repost CR IP or CR Programming somewhere. Examples of potential transformative works include but are not limited to the following:
- Significant changes to CR artwork
- Original Animatics
- Compilation videos
- Remix edits
- Added commentary
- Music/ music videos
- Cosplay content
- Art / draw alongs
- GIFs / memes
- Reaction videos
For use in your Fan Projects of long-form CR Programming: 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 CR Programming usage per episode of any Fan Project that you create.
- CR may claim the monetized amount or CR may execute an automatic takedown for over 10 minutes of CR Programming usage per episode of any Fan Project that you create.
For use in your Fan Projects of medium-length CR Programming: Originally between 1-2 hours in length (e.g., Between the Sheets, Narrative Telephone, 4-Sided Dive):
- CR allows your passive monetization of under 5 minutes of CR Programming usage per episode of any Fan Project that you create.
- CR may claim the monetized amount, or CR may execute an automatic takedown for over 5 minutes of CR Programming usage per episode of any Fan Project that you create.
For use in your Fan Projects of short-length of CR Programming: Under 60 minutes (e.g., Handbooker Helper, All Work No Play):
- You may not passively monetize or use any of the above referenced type of CR Programming in any way in any Fan Project that you create.
- CR may claim any monetized amount that you collect if you violate this provision (which amount you will immediately relinquish to CR), or CR may execute an automatic takedown of any Fan Project that you create which includes but is not limited to any use of “clips” or “memes.”
- Can my Fan Project make reference to Critical Role?
We’d love that! Just make sure that your Fan Project follows the other guidelines in this Content Policy and clearly lets people know that it was created by a fan and that it is not an official CR Project. This means that you may NOT at any time state or imply that your Fan Projects are affiliated with, sponsored by or approved by Critical Role. You may not create a Fan Project in a manner that could cause other Critters to believe that your Fan Project is an official CR work. If you share your Fan Project with others, please conspicuously include the following disclaimer on the Fan Project including on the advertising, marketing and publicity for your Fan Project (e.g., on your Fan Project’s website):
“This project is unofficial fan content and is not approved or endorsed in any way by Critical Role.”
- 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 any other authorized media-sharing platform) is strictly prohibited. In regards to spoilers, even after any CR Programming is released, spoilers can ruin a fan’s experience, and we always aim to avoid spoilers. Please be respectful to others and do not deliberately push plot reveals on people who are actively avoiding learning about them. If you are releasing your fan-created content and using CR Programming in what you have created after the official release of that CR Programming on the CR YouTube channels, we ask that you please offer spoiler disclaimers (or appropriate hashtags) as a courtesy to other Critters.
- What about CR fan art that’s shared publicly during or after CR Programming is broadcast, and before the VOD of the CR Programming is available on YouTube?
By golly, we love ourselves some amazing Critter fan art! We also want to ensure that artists are taking every precaution not to spoil an episode of CR Programming before its official release on the CR YouTube channel. Please ensure that your artwork is not audio-visual in nature and that you follow the guidelines set forth in this Content Policy including what we have said in question 5 above about using CR Programming before it is available on YouTube or other free to view platform. As a courtesy, please include spoiler warnings if your Fan Project will appear before the referenced CR Program has aired on CR’s YouTube channel.
- Is all content in all Critical Role Programming available for use by me?
No. Certain CR Programming contains music, enhancements or other content that CR has licensed from third parties, but that license ONLY applies to CR Programming and/or CR platforms. This means CR can’t give you the right to use it. You’ll need to get permission from the copyright owner(s) before using it in any way. Please don’t remove any music that we have included in CR Programming and replace it. Doing so would be at your own risk. Videos that don’t follow these rules could be subject to takedown notices by CR and/or by the copyright owner of the original work you included in your Project.
- Can I use Critical Role’s Logos or Trademarks?
Generally, no. However, there are a few limited instances in which you may use CR’s logos or Trademarks, but only as set forth in this section of this Content Policy. Specifically, use of Critical Role’s brands, logos, character names, actor names, actor character likenesses and other IP are only to be used in Critical Role’s official merchandise or other Critical Role created or licensed items and in non-commercial Fan Projects that comply in all ways with this Content Policy. Critical Role expressly prohibits uses of its Trademarks and logos 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, logos, character names, etc. unless there is a separate, express written agreement between you and CR to use any of the foregoing.
You definitely may not use any CR Trademarks as keywords, titles, or search tags for any Fan Projects or items that you create based on CR IP. That would be infringing on CR IP since anything you make is not an official product produced by or under the control of CR, i.e., you would be creating counterfeit products.
If you are using any CR IP or CR Programming that has a copyright notice or a Trademark notice or our logo embedded in it, please don’t remove that information when you include the CR IP or CR Programming in your Fan Project.
- Can Critical Role use my Fan Project?
Yes. We want fans to create and share cool things with each other, and we want to remove barriers to sharing. By using CR IP in your Fan Project, you give CR authorization to share or use your Fan Project in any way at our sole discretion. CR will try to provide proper artist credit when possible and make every effort to contact the creator.
If we decide that we want to celebrate or spotlight a Fan Project by posting it publicly then you will be automatically assumed to have given Critical Role permission to spotlight or share your Fan Project and to use your name in connection with the Fan Project because you used CR IP. By using our IP in your Fan Project, your Fan Project becomes a derivative work of CR’s IP and you give CR authorization and an irrevocable license to share or use your Fan Project in any way at our sole discretion.
- What if my Fan Project is not covered here?
If the creative efforts that you are contemplating are not specifically covered by this Content Policy or are outside the scope of what is specifically permitted under this Content Policy, you’ll need CR’s prior approval as part of a separate, express written agreement between you and CR before you put your Fan Project out into the world. If you have any questions about this Content Policy or you have an idea that isn’t specifically covered by this Content Policy, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pending our response, you agree to not use the CR IP in your proposed Fan Project.
- Is there anything else your lawyers told you to include in this Content Policy?
Yep. Sorry, but we are being told by our lawyers that we have to include the following:
You grant CR an irrevocable license to use all work created by you based on CR IP, and agree that CR can commercially use, display, copy and distribute anything you create that includes CR IP without your permission and without any payments to you and that CR’s right to use what you create cannot be revoked. You agree that you won’t bring any claims of any type against CR for any such use by CR.
Critical Role has the right to stop or restrict for no reason or any reason in its discretion your use of any CR IP at any time even if you are in compliance with this Content Policy. If we notify you that we require you to restrict your use of any CR IP in your Fan Project, you must immediately take down your Fan Project and stop all use, advertising, promotion and distribution of that Fan Project.
We at Critical Role are very busy and prefer fighting fantasy battles not legal ones. Please be advised that if CR or any of its partners, affiliates or employees are pulled into a legal matter over any Fan Project that you create, you are responsible for any and all judgments, settlements, fees, attorney fees and other expenses, etc. You are responsible to ensure that your Fan Project isn’t violating any laws, ordinances, regulations and/or the rights of third parties.
By using the CR IP on the terms and conditions set forth herein, you agree that you accept and are bound by the terms of this Content Policy and that you will comply with the terms of this Content Policy at all times.
CR may publish updated versions of this Content Policy at any time with no notice whatsoever, but we’ll try to find a way to communicate any changes widely as soon as we can in the interest of remaining transparent with you. Fan Projects created and originally created and displayed by you under any prior version of this Content Policy may continue to be displayed by you pursuant to the terms of the version of this Content Policy in existence at the time that you created the Fan Project and initially displayed that Fan Project. However, any new Fan Project created by you and/or displayed by you after the date of any updated version of this Content Policy and any changes to Fan Projects that you created and displayed under a prior version of this Content Policy shall be subject to the terms of the updated version of this Content Policy.
Your right to use any CR IP as set forth herein shall terminate automatically and with immediate effect if you fail at any time to comply in all respects with the terms of this Content Policy, and such termination shall be effective even if you do not receive notice of the termination from CR.
Finally, do not send CR your ideas for the creation of new intellectual property (also known as “unsolicited submissions”). These submissions will be deleted without anyone at Critical Role reviewing or responding to them.
And, a note from the CR team: It’s really important for us to follow our legal team’s consultation here because it is crucial that we protect our IP and that we’re able to focus on what we love, which is creating many more stories for years to come.
- Anything else?
Please note that we are constantly developing new content and creating new IP that will fall under the guidelines in this Content Policy, so any IP or CR Programming created by CR after the date of this Content Policy is definitely governed by the terms of this Content Policy in all ways or is governed by any updated version of this Content Policy.
Thank you so much for your attention to this Content Policy. Our main goal is to ensure that the Critical Role community and our Critters remain creative, vibrant, and able to enjoy our IP and CR Programming. Our Content Policy will protect what we own today for the long haul so that we can continue to create magic for our fans. If you have any questions at all, please reach out to us at email@example.com or via critrole.com/contact.