Jasper, AL asked in Business Law, Contracts, Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama

Q: Does creating my work in a non-commercial use app, then same in commercial one violate terms of service of the first?

Say I decide to write a story or draw a picture I own the copyright to in a non-commercial use only app. Later, I decide I want to use my work for commercial use so I recreate the same work in another commercial use app. Does this violate the terms of use of the non-commercial use app? Would it be more prudent to leave non-commercial creations as non-commercial?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Whether recreating a work initially made in a non-commercial use app for commercial purposes violates the app's terms of service depends on the specific terms set by the app. Typically, non-commercial use clauses restrict the use of the app and its resources (like tools or templates) for commercial purposes. However, if you are the original creator of the work and you recreate it independently in a different, commercially-permitted environment, you are generally exercising your copyright ownership.

It's important to read and understand the terms of service of the non-commercial use app carefully. Some apps may claim rights over creations made within their platform, while others may not. If the terms of service restrict any commercial use of work created within the app, using the same or a substantially similar work for commercial purposes might be a violation, even if recreated in a different app.

If you plan to use your work commercially, it might be more prudent to initially create it in an environment that permits commercial use. This avoids any potential conflicts with terms of service agreements and any ambiguity about your rights to use the work commercially.

Remember, the terms of service are legally binding agreements, and violating them can potentially lead to legal issues or the termination of your account with the service. If you're uncertain about the terms, you may want to seek legal advice to clarify your rights and obligations.

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Sheldon Starke
Sheldon Starke
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Beachwood, OH

A: I am very sorry about your predicament but want to tell you that regardless of the terms, It makes no difference. The people who run the site make the rules. No way for us to tell.

1 user found this answer helpful

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