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What's up with that license in the Terms of Use?

At GameWisp, we want to be as transparent as possible, especially when it comes to something like your intellectual property.  Because of this, I want to break down a particularly controversial term that exists in our Terms of Use, so that you understand why it exists and where it applies.  The term is found in Section V, subsection 1.  I'm going to take each portion of it separately. 

"Except as otherwise expressly agreed in writing signed by the User and an authorized representative of GameWisp, by distributing or otherwise disseminating the Content through the Service, the User hereby grants to GameWisp a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, transferable, and fully sublicensable right to use, host, convert for streaming, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, display, and otherwise exploit the Content, in any form, format, media, or media channel now known or hereafter developed or discovered, as permitted through the functionality of the Service."

First of all, some context.  GameWisp allows you to distribute content (i.e. videos, images, and text) through the site, including exclusive video that is hosted and streamed from GameWisp.  Because of this, we are required by copyright laws to get a fairly broad license similar to what you would see from YouTube or Twitch.  

The reason the license is broad is precisely because we would infringe your copyright otherwise. You own the content, and nothing in this license changes that. But if you post that content on our site, without the license, we would be infringing your copyright by showing it to your subscribers.  Each term within this license has a very specific purpose when it comes to the functionality of the site (including the ability to create derivative works so that we can auto generate thumbnails for particular videos). 

We added the language "as permitted through the functionality of the Service," specifically because we wanted to make it clear that we will not and, in fact, cannot do anything with your content that you don't authorize through the site. In each part of GameWisp, you are fully in control of your content, what gets distributed to subscribers, and what does not.  Our goal is to give you new ways to earn a living as a content creator, and giving you tools that allow you to distribute content it different ways is one way of accomplishing that goal. 

However, there is no requirement that you distribute video content through GameWisp ever.  You never need to link a YouTube or post a video if you don't want to.  Many of our users are able to take subscriptions without offering content.  But if you do, please understand that we have no intention of selling or otherwise exploiting your content outside of what you decide to do on the site. 

"In addition, the User grants to GameWisp the right to use the User’s name, likeness, voice, and attributes of personality in connection with the Content if such name, likeness, voice, or attributes of personality are contained in the Content or provided to GameWisp in connection with the Content."

In addition to copyright laws, there are laws that specifically protect your ownership of your name, likeness, voice, and personality.  Once again, if we distributed content with any of these things in it and we didn't have a license to do so, we would be infringing your rights.   The line "if such name likeness, voice, or attributes of personality are contained in the Content or provided to GameWisp in connection with the Content." specifically exists to limit our ability to use those things only in connection with the content.  That means that except when they are in the content or connected to the content somehow (like in a title, description, etc), we cannot use them.   

The idea is to make it clear that if you have authorized GameWisp to distribute content to your subscribers, there aren't any legal issues that would prevent GameWisp from doing so. But the initial decision to distribute content is completely up to you. 

"Except as otherwise expressly agreed in writing signed by the User and an authorized representative of GameWisp, by using the Service and providing the materials below to GameWisp through the use of the Service, the User hereby grants to GameWisp a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, transferable, and fully sublicensable right to distribute, display, perform, and otherwise use the User’s designated brand and associated trademarks and trade dress in any form, format, media or media channel now known or hereafter developed or discovered in connection with the User’s Channel and Content."

This is a license of your trademark similar to the one above related to copyrights, and is intended to provide the same protections to both you and GameWisp.   

Your brand is incredibly important to everything you do, including taking subscriptions.  This license allows us to display your brand on your channel page on GameWisp (the word Channel in this agreement specifically relates to your channel on GameWisp and nowhere else) and in your content.  If we did not have this license, we wouldn't legally be allowed to show your brand or images to fans who were coming to your page to subscribe without infringing your trademarks.

"GameWisp enables the User to link the User’s YouTube account and post videos contained therein to the Service. All videos posted to the Service from the User’s linked YouTube account will be considered Content for the purposes of these Terms. By linking his/her YouTube account, the User grants GameWisp the right to access such account and such Content and to exploit such content in accordance with the license granted above. GameWisp represents and warrants that it will not intentionally delete any content or other data contained within the User’s YouTube account."

If you link your YouTube account, you have the ability to embed YouTube videos on GameWisp as part of a "series."

This term simply says that if you do embed a YouTube video, we have the same ability to show it to subscribers as we have for any other videos you post to GameWisp.  Once again, you are in complete control over what videos get embedded and distributed to subscribers. 

"GameWisp also enables the User to link the User’s Twitch account. By linking the User’s Twitch account, the User agrees that all information including trademarks and trade dress obtained through such link shall be considered Content for the purposes of these Terms and grants to GameWisp the right to access and exploit such Content in accordance with the license granted above."

While we do not currently get VODs from Twitch, when you link your Twitch account, we are able to pull in your channel image automatically.  Because this is your brand or at least a part of it, this term is simply meant to clarify that we have the ability to put your brand on your channel page so that fans know it is you when they come to subscribe.  

"The User may revoke the license above as to a particular piece of Content by removing or deleting such Content from the Service."

This is the most important line of the entire term.  You are fully in control of your content and your brand.  If you delete a video or remove an image from GameWisp, we no longer have any rights whatsoever in that video, image, text, whatever it is. So, if at any time, you don't feel comfortable with how GameWisp is displaying your content to subscribers or just generally feel uneasy about GameWisp itself, all you need to do to remove this license is simply to remove your content.  At that point, we legally cannot hold on to it or use it in any way. 

We wanted this line specifically so that it is clear that you are in control. This is one of the fundamental guiding principals of GameWisp.

You decide how you take subscriptions, what benefits you offer, and how your content is distributed if at all.  We do ask for some seemingly broad rights here, but only so that we can accomplish what you ask us to.  If at any time we are not accomplishing that goal, then we have failed, and you have the legal right under this agreement to immediately remove any rights we have to distribute your content or your brand. 

If you have any additional questions, we are happy to answer them.  Just send an email to help@gamewisp.com. 

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