Legal FAQs and Help

Having put this contract process in place across several sites, we've found that many of the questions that crop up are very similar! Here are a few FAQ responses that should help you to understand the contract process:

Why do we need an agreement?

As one of our instructors, we love that you want to create and contribute awesome tutorials, courses, tips, articles, or other content for Envato.

Because we need to make sure that we’re both clear on what each of us have to do - and what each of us receive – when you create content for us, we’ve developed a “Master Services Agreement”. This is a one-off contract that you sign when starting to work with us.

Once you’ve signed our agreement via the eSign portal – that’s it. We don’t need to change or redo the agreement each time you do something for us because it covers all the work you do for us ongoing. The particular details for each project can be agreed in a project order.

What’s a project order?

A ‘project order’ is something that sets out the important project details like dates and fees. It’s simply the chain of emails or communications stored in other ways (such as in Basecamp).

project orders help to prevent misunderstandings because they document the key commitments that we’ve both agreed to meet.

For more significant projects we sometimes use a short document which we can also send to you through the eSign portal.

Can I write different articles, on the same topics, for others?

Yes, you can write what you like on the same topic for others. You’ll just need to make sure that it doesn’t substantially copy the content you wrote for us.

Can I re-use the content I create for Envato?

Once you have created a video or written tutorial for us, we own that content, so you can’t use it without our permission. But we do give you permission to use the content in the following ways:

  • Promoting yourself on your website: You can publish parts of the content (not the whole lot) on your own website to promote yourself. As a general rule, you should only publish ‘snippets’ and nothing longer than about 300 words in total for each article/tutorial. As an example, you could take an extract of 100 words from 3 different places in the content (to demonstrate the structure). Or you could use one extract so long as it was a reasonable length and not more than 300 words (to demonstrate your writing style or understanding of an issue).
  • Letting someone else publish it in a hard copy format only: As an example, you could let another person use your content as a handout sheet at a face to face event, but they could not scan that in and host the PDF on a website.

To be clear, you and others can’t use the content online or as a digital version including any non-print content like video content, graphics and sound files.

What rights can I retain?

There might be an asset that you want to retain the rights to. Our agreement can accommodate that.

For example, you might have included your own photo in one of your tutorials or courses, and you’d like to make sure that you keep the copyright in that item and can use it for any other purpose, including online. If you agree with your editor that the asset is ‘retained content’ then you own it.

Under our agreement you give us permission to use your asset, even when you want to keep it yourself. We can use the asset in conjunction with the content you wrote under the project order. We agree not to use it by itself or in any other context outside of the content.

What is 'third party content’?

There might be an asset that you want to use in your content, but the rights belong to someone else.

You promise that, in this case, you will ask us to obtain permission to use any asset owned by someone else as part of your agreement with us. If you don’t tell us that we need to get permission, you will be responsible for any problems that come up from the use of that asset.

Can I use fan art in my tutorial or course?

In short, yes. So long as your tutorial or course is creating a unique concept (and not, for instance, exactly re-creating a company logo), similarities in visual style to an existing brand are fine. Here are a couple of examples:

Can I embed/use a website screenshot in a tutorial?

Yes, so long as you attribute the screenshot with a link back to the source. It's fine to use screenshots from websites, or computer games.

Can I use a product image from Amazon?

It's acceptable to use a product image from Amazon, providing that it's an official image and not one that was contributed to Amazon by a customer ("customer images"). You should let your editor know so we can mark this down when submitting your tutorial.