Fan Material Policy
Revised: October 13, 2023.
We support and value the contributions of the wider Chaosium Tribe. We love to engage people with our mythic stories, and we want you to be able to share yours too! Our Fan Material Policy is designed to do just that while respecting ownership of our copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual properties.
Copyright and trademark laws protect our property, and mean that people are generally prohibited from using our logos, images, or other trademarks or copyrighted content without our consent. This Fan Material Policy grants you permission to use some of our intellectual property under certain circumstances.
Chaosium and Moon Design Publications authorizes certain non-commercial use of the following material:
- You may reference the names of things, institutions, places, people, deities, and concepts from our published products, provided you make it clear that these are our marks.
- You may reference plots, storylines, language, and events from our published products in campaign journals, play-by-post or play-by-email games, internet discussion groups, or your own blog or website.
- You may occasionally quote small sections of text, as long as you make clear where the text is from. By “small sections” we mean up to a sentence or two.
- Fan fiction is fine, just don’t retell one of our own stories in your words, make up your own!
- Likewise fan art is fine, but use our art for inspiration, not for direct copying.
- You may use artwork or maps published on the Chaosium.com, unless a page specifically states that the text or artwork is not to be used. Use is based on these conditions:
- Images can be resized, but must not be cropped, color adjusted, edited, distorted, or otherwise modified.
- Maps can be resized or cropped, but must not be color adjusted, edited, distorted, or otherwise modified.
- The following text must be placed legibly on or immediately adjacent to the image or map: © 2023 Chaosium Inc.
- We also encourage you to credit the artist/cartographer by name.
- You may not use artwork, including maps, that have not been published on the Chaosium website, although you may create your own interpretations of material presented in our artwork and maps (as long as these are original interpretations and not simple copies).
- You may use the covers of any of our products. Product covers may be resized, but not be cropped, color adjusted, edited, distorted, or modified.
- You may create your own versions of our character sheets, including web-based character sheets that autofill or calculate numerical values.
- You may create your own versions of our props and handouts.
- “Non-commercial” means you cannot sell or otherwise charge anyone for access to content used under this Fan Material Policy.
- If you make any commercial use of Chaosium/Moon Design Publications Material, your rights under this Policy will be automatically terminated, and any permission granted by this Policy will be immediately revoked.
- If we believe that you are in the publishing business, you are considered to be a commercial user, and you are not granted any right to use any Chaosium/Moon Design Publications Material under this Policy. (Commercial users must obtain a Commercial License.)
- You cannot charge for access to your materials or site; nor can you distribute your content through retail channels such as DriveThruRPG, OneBookShelf, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, App Stores etc (even if the material is free).
- You cannot use crowdfunding (e.g. Kickstarter) to seek funds to produce your material: such activity is commercial, and you would need a Commercial License.
- You can however use indirect methods to monetize your content, such as website advertising/banner ads, a tip jar (e.g. Kofi) on your website, or a Patreon account. If you use Patreon, you cannot directly monetize digital products containing Chaosium IP. However, extracts from works in progress (but not completed works) can be shared as part of a free tier or a monthly subscription, or on a pay per post basis.
- Patreon can be used to share previews/extracts from community content work-in-progress, but not completed works. Aligning with the OneBookShelf Subscription Crowdfunding Policy, all final drafts/completed works must only be shared via DTRPG, because the OneBookShelf community content programme T&Cs require exclusivity.
- Creators must attach a copyright notice to any work containing Chaosium / Moon Design IP.
- Patreon creators may share DriveThruRPG “discount voucher” codes (e.g. free or discounted links to their community content publications) with their members. Note that free or very cheap sales do not count towards best-seller medals.
- You cannot imply or claim that your material is “official”, or endorsed or approved by Chaosium.
- You cannot emulate Chaosium or Moon Design Publications “trade dress”, including page templates, art styles or fonts.
- You are not permitted to use our logos.
- No apps or downloadable software or virtual tabletops (VTTs).
- Software, apps, and virtual tabletops (VTTs) including any item a user would download, install, and/or run, are not included in the Fan Material policy. If you wish to create such a resource, you will need to apply for Commercial License. Note, web-based character generators are fine; app based character generators are not.
- No merchandise items using our copyrighted material.
- The Fan Material policy specifically excludes your use of our copyrighted material including artwork, images, logos, and maps on such merchandise items as clothing and apparel, mugs, posters or other wall art, cards, calendars, stickers, phones cases, laptop and tablet sleeves, bags, home decor, stationery items, toys, and other consumer items. If you are unsure about your item, get in contact with us.
- To use Chaosium Inc/Moon Design Publications Material under this Policy, you must include the following notice in plainly legible and accessible form in each product or on each website that uses any Chaosium/Moon Design Publications Material:
- “This [website, zine, or whatever it is] uses trademarks and/or copyrights owned by Chaosium Inc/Moon Design Publications LLC, which are used under Chaosium Inc’s Fan Material Policy. We are expressly prohibited from charging you to use or access this content. This [website, character sheet, or whatever it is] is not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Chaosium Inc. For more information about Chaosium Inc’s products, please visit www.chaosium.com.”
- You agree to use your best efforts to preserve the high standard of our intellectual property. You agree to present Chaosium Inc, our products, and the Chaosium Inc/Moon Design Publications Material in a generally positive light. You agree to not use this permission for material that depicts:
- excessive graphic violence or gore;
- sexual abuse, pornography, gratuitous nudity of human or humanoid forms, genitalia, or sexual activity;
- existing real-world minorities, nationalities, social castes, religious groups or practices, political preferences, gender identities, sexual orientation, or people with disabilities, as a group inferior to any other group or in a way that promotes disrespect for those groups or practices, or that endorses those groups or practices over another.
- You agree that any such use would irreparably harm Chaosium Inc. Without limiting the foregoing, you agree to not use this permission to include any content that is unlawful, defamatory, harassing, threatening, abusive, inflammatory, fraudulent or otherwise objectionable or that would infringe upon or violate the rights of any third party or constitute, encourage, or provide instructions for a criminal offence.
Changes to Policy
The terms of this Fan Material Policy may change from time to time at the sole discretion of Chaosium Inc. The only notification Chaosium inc will make is a post at www.chaosium.com. It is your obligation to keep up to date with the Policy.We thank you for your interest in becoming a Chaosium contributor. With hard work, creativity, and attention to detail, together we can create tales of adventures which thousands of game players will appreciate for years to come!