Latest update 25th April 2023
At Ko-fi, we are committed to fostering a creative and supportive environment that encourages the free expression of our creators, while also respecting the intellectual property rights of others.
These copyright guidelines outline the rules and guidelines for using copyrighted material on our platform, to protect both creators and copyright holders.
Ko-fi's Role in Copyright Matters
Ko-fi helps maintain a responsible platform for creators and copyright holders but isn't the ultimate authority in resolving disputes. If you face a copyright issue, you may need to communicate directly with the other party, seek legal counsel, and pursue legal channels if needed. While we handle DMCA notices and counter-notices, our involvement is limited.
By using Ko-fi, you acknowledge that resolving copyright disputes is primarily the involved parties' responsibility. Ko-fi doesn't provide legal advice nor do we possess expertise in validating copyright claims. As a user, you're responsible for complying with copyright laws and seeking legal assistance when necessary.
Creator's Rights and Responsibilities
As a creator, you are responsible for ensuring that the content you share on Ko-fi is your original work or that you have obtained the necessary permissions to use any copyrighted material in your content.
If you use copyrighted material in your content, you must provide proper attribution to the original creator or copyright holder. This includes but is not limited to citing sources, linking to the original work, and displaying the appropriate credits.
Please make sure any content you create or share, such as comments, forum posts, or interactions with other users, doesn't infringe on anyone else's intellectual property rights. While Ko-fi can monitor, review, or remove content, it's not our responsibility to do so.
You may use copyrighted material in your content under the fair use doctrine, which allows for the limited use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Examples of fair use may include quoting a passage from a book in a review or using a short clip from a movie for educational purposes. However, fair use is a complex legal concept and is determined on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions about whether your use of copyrighted material falls under fair use, please consult legal counsel before posting anything on Ko-fi.
Public Domain Works
Ko-fi allows creators to use works that are in the public domain, as defined by applicable copyright laws. Public domain works are not protected by copyright and may be freely used, reproduced, and distributed. Bear in mind, however, that rules governing public domain works can differ between countries, so you should be aware of the specific rules that apply to your jurisdiction.
If you wish to use a work that you believe is in the public domain, it is your responsibility to ensure that this is, in fact, the case. Here are some suggestions for verifying a work’s public domain status:
- Check the date of publication: Works published before a certain year are generally considered to be in the public domain - this will vary by country.
- Check the copyright status: You can search the copyright records of your country or region to determine whether a work is still under copyright protection.
- Check for expired copyrights: Copyrights on works may expire after a certain number of years or if certain requirements are not met.
- Check for creative commons licenses: Some creators may release their works under a Creative Commons license, which allows for certain uses of the work without requiring permission.
- Consult legal counsel: If you have any doubts about the public domain status of a work, it is recommended that you consult with legal counsel.
Please note that even if a work is in the public domain, certain uses of the work may still be restricted by other laws or regulations. For example, a work may contain trademarked elements or may be subject to privacy or publicity rights.
Ko-fi does not take responsibility for the misuse of public domain works on our platform, and we encourage all users to be mindful of their legal obligations when using such works.
Reporting copyright infringement
If you believe that your copyrighted work has been used on Ko-fi without your permission, you can report this via the following steps:
- Click the ellipsis (...) at the top right of a user's Ko-fi profile that you want to report and then click 'Report Abuse'. Next, pick 'Copyright issue' as the report reason and complete the rest of the form.
- You can follow this same process for specific areas and content uploads on a Ko-fi page, including Gallery, Shop, Feed and Posts - simply navigate to the ellipsis (...) and click 'Report Abuse'.
We take all reports of copyright infringement seriously and endeavour to assess these to the best of our ability based on the information and evidence supplied. In circumstances where we are unable to validate either a notice or counter-notice, we reserve the right to have both parties address the situation directly with each other through legal action and not through Ko-fi.
Forged DMCA Notices
Ko-fi takes the submission of DMCA notices very seriously. Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that content or activity is infringing may be liable for damages, including costs and attorney's fees, incurred by the party being impersonated, or by Ko-fi if we suffer damages as a result of such misrepresentation. If we determine that a DMCA notice submitted to us is forged, we will take appropriate action, which may include reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities.
Responding to Copyright Infringement Claims
If Ko-fi can unequivocally prove the validity of the DMCA notice, Ko-fi will use our best endeavours to remove or disable access to the allegedly infringing content and notify the creator about this.
If you believe that your content was removed or disabled in error, you may submit a counter-notice to us by appealing any action that is taken by us as a result of a reported infringement.
A valid counter-notice should include:
- Your signature (physical or electronic);
- Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled;
- A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;
- Your name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district in which your address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification of copyright infringement or an agent of such person; and
- Evidence that you are the copyright owner of the content or have the right to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
If we receive a valid counter-notice, we may reinstate your content unless the copyright holder initiates legal action - if the original claimant wishes to challenge the restoration of the content, they may file a lawsuit seeking a court order to restrain the user from engaging in infringing activity.
Alternatively, the original claimant may submit a new DMCA notice if they believe that the restored content continues to infringe on their copyright.
Ko-fi will, in appropriate circumstances, permanently unpublish users who repeatedly infringe on copyright. We reserve the right to define "repeat infringer" at our sole discretion and to determine whether to permanently unpublish based on factors such as the number of infringement claims, the nature of the content, and the user's history on the platform.
Modifications to these guidelines
As we continue to improve our platform and services, we reserve the right to make updates to these guidelines without prior notice. You should check these guidelines regularly as your continued use of the platform constitutes your acceptance of the revised guidelines.
By using Ko-fi, you agree to comply with our guidelines and understand that it is your responsibility to ensure that your content complies with copyright laws.
Here's what may happen if you don't comply with our copyright guidelines:
- If we receive a valid infringement claim against your content or discover that your content violates our guidelines, we may remove or disable access to the content in question.
- In some cases, we may temporarily unpublish your page to investigate potential copyright violations or to give you an opportunity to address any issues.
- In the event of repeated infringements or severe violations of our copyright guideines, we may have to permanently unpublish your page/account. We reserve the right to determine when this action should be taken.
We understand that copyright law can be complex and confusing. If you have any questions or concerns about our copyright guidelines, please feel free to contact us.