Intellectual Property v2.3.1
Most of what we sell is access to our Intellectual Property ("IP"). This document covers what that means for you, and for us, so that we can minimize confusion about what is and isn't allowed.
Note that our full legalese Terms of Service ("Terms") are the true sources of information for this stuff; this document is our good-faith plain-English interpretation of our intent for specific things you might want to do. We won’t purposely mislead you, but might accidentally create a conflict between our Terms and what is laid out below — in that case the Terms are the source of truth!
We will periodically update this document as our opinions change, as the law changes, and when we simply want to clarify something.
- Version 2.3.1 (September 4, 2019). Removed "pending" indicator for Levelhead Trademark status.
- Version 2.3.0 (June 7, 2019). Added pending Levelhead Trademark to list of Trademarks. Clarified some language without changing the meaning.
- Version 2.2.0 (Feb 5, 2019). Clarified the section on Let's Play videos, with the addition of an explicit requirement that such videos adhere to our Terms and Code of Conduct.
- Version 2.1.0 (May 26, 2018). We apparently weren't paying attention to versioning until just now... WHOOPS. Updated Contact links.
Some of our IP is Trademarked. Unfortunately, if you infringe our Trademarks we have to ask you to stop. And if you don't stop, we have to send lawyers after you, otherwise the government will decide that we don’t actually want that Trademark. Don’t make us do that, it would be a bummer for everyone.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use our trademarked words, phrases, logos, and so on — on the contrary! You can throw them around almost as much as you like. You just can’t use our trademarks in a way that might make people think that we endorse or created a product or some commercial venture of yours. If you are worried that you are infringing one of our marks, ask!
As of the last update to this document, our U.S. Registered Trademarks included:
- Levelhead (#88321928)
- Butterscotch Shenanigans (#4972840)
- BscotchID (#5145222)
- Crashlands (#5100057)
Butterscotch Shenanigans retains all rights granted by U.S. copyright law to all copyrightable things we create. This means you cannot use our work (images, games, articles, music) in any way unless we give you permission (special exceptions are outlined below). You can always contact us to inquire about licensing our images/characters/etc for your own commercial purposes (and depending on what you’re doing, that license agreement might not cost you a thing!). Anyway, copyright law is confusing and kind of a mess, so let’s break it down further.
Reminder: This is not a legal document. This is our good-faith attempt to explain our stances on our intellectual property. If you aren't sure about something, or would like an official licensing agreement, ask us!
We reserve all rights to the distribution of our games, software, and all associated files. We grant various vendors (including, but not limited to, Google Play, the App Store, Steam, GOG, EA, WeGame, and the Humble Store) rights to do so on our behalf (typically non-exclusive, but sometimes exclusive), and otherwise may distribute content through our website and related services.
Unless you have it in writing from one of the Coster Brothers (the co-owners of Butterscotch Shenanigans), you may not distribute any of our intellectual property. For example, you may not host one of our games, videos, articles, or images from your own website. This is even true for free-to-play versions of our games. Free to play does not mean free to distribute!
We make general exceptions for things like screenshots and gameplay videos. You may redistribute promotional artwork for our games, so long as it is in the context of reviews and similar works, and so long as you do not imply that the works are yours.
Derivative works are where you take a work of ours (say, a picture of Flux or JuiceBox, or one of our game executables) and modify or re-create it into a new creative work. In addition, derivative works include things you make that are totally new but are heavily based on something of ours (say, an original webcomic featuring your own version of Flux, or alternative stories that take place in the universe we’ve created).
We totally encourage you to do this, and to distribute your creations as you please, but under the conditions below. Any conditions can be waived in specific circumstances with explicit, written consent by Butterscotch Shenanigans. (Honestly, just talking to us first is the best way.)
You may not create or distribute derivative works for commercial gain without an explicit license from us.
For anything you create and distribute that we believe might compete with our commercial products (or 3rd party commercial products that have a license from us), even if your creation is non-commercial, you must have an explicit license from us to continue distribution of your creation.
For non-commercial derivative works that are unlikely to compete with our own commercial products, you are welcome to do as you please, with the following restrictions on your derivative works:
- You must not imply that your works are endorsed, created, or owned by us.
- You must not use the works to imply that we own or endorse some other product or commercial venture.
- You must not use any of our intellectual property for promotion, unless that promotion is for our property. For example, you may not use our wallpapers, icons, characters, or written text in the store page for an app that you make.
- You may not claim any rights to your work that take precedence over our rights.
- If, at any time and at our discretion, we come to believe that your work violates the spirit or letter of our intent, you must accept our request to change the offending work or stop distribution of the work.
Again, if you are unsure about something please send us a note! We don't bite.
Streamers, YouTubers, and Let's Play
A general exception to the no-derivative-works-for-profit thing is for Streamers, for example on YouTube and Twitch. We define a Streamer as someone who takes audio and/or video recording of themselves and our games during active gameplay, with added audio-visual effects and similar distortion, where the game is the focal topic of the video. The resulting product, whether streamed live or made available on-demand, we call a "Let's Play Video" (LPV).
Streamers are free to create and monetize Butterscotch gameplay videos, so long as the featured games have been officially published (meaning they have been made available for sale or download by Butterscotch Shenanigans) or the Streamer has received written consent from us. Streamers may not in any way imply that their videos are products of or are officially endorsed by Butterscotch Shenanigans.
You can therefore create and distribute LPVs without first asking for our consent, but we do not grant you any exclusive or permanent rights to our intellectual property. We may revoke the LPV exception at any time, for any reason, for any specific entity making use of our IP for LPVs. In such a case we will require you to stop distribution of your derivative work.