The Unioverse and Ashbury Launch a New Framework for a Community-Owned Franchise

Chris Albrecht
November 3, 2022

Co-Authored by Christian Williams and Ryan David Williams of Ashbury

The ultimate goal of the Unioverse is to create a revolutionary new model for how franchises like Star Wars or Marvel should exist. A model that rewards participation above consumption. Where creative people around the world are empowered and encouraged to not just play our games – but to build our world. 

To do this, we’re making the Unioverse a community-owned franchise, and we’ve been working with renowned Web3 law firm Ashbury to create a new intellectual property framework to power that vision. Something like this has never been done at this scale, because it’s hard. But we’ve been working hard(er) to figure it out.

As we create and expand the Unioverse, we’ll create and release characters, artwork, locations and other digital assets that you can use to tell your own stories, create your own comic books and print your own T-shirts (and even keep all the money you make doing so!). The Unioverse is yours to build (and profit from!). 

But every well-ordered universe needs (a small number of) rules to ensure fairness and respect for all its citizens. The rules of the Unioverse are embodied in what we call the Unioverse Community Creations License. Our friends at Ashbury tried to use everyday English, but sometimes they couldn’t avoid some legal jargon. Thankfully they helped us build the fancy legalese-to-english translator below.

At the end of the day, here’s what we want you to know: We want you to both play and build in the Unioverse. We even want you to make money doing so! Yes, there are a few caveats, but these rules will actually make the Unioverse stronger and your participation in it more enjoyable. 

You can read the full terms of service here and visit the Unioverse Assets page to start downloading some of our artwork. Have questions? Hop over to our Discord to chat with our mods and other fans about how you’ll help build the Unioverse. 

UNIOVERSE ™ Community Creations License

By using Unioverse Community Assets (defined below), you agree to this license:

  1. Unioverse Community Assets. From time to time, we may make available artwork, building blocks, infrastructure, environments, characters, code, or other types of digital content (collectively, “Unioverse Community Assets” or “UCA”) that is available for anyone in the world to use, as long as they follow the rules in this license. Please note that we are not obligated to make UCA available by any specific deadline or with any specific regularity.

TRANSLATION: We are creating Unioverse Community Assets for our community to use as long as you follow these rules. Also, we will determine what assets are released and when. These assets will be posted on the UCA webpage

  1. Eligibility. To be eligible to use this license, you must be either (a) an individual of at least 18 years of age, or (b) an entity that (together with its affiliates, subsidiaries, parents and related companies) has (i) no more than 50 employees, and (ii) no more than $5 million in annual revenue. If you do not meet this criteria, but still want to use UCA, please contact us at [email protected]

Translation: UCA is for everyday gamers – not big companies. And let’s be real, if you’re a large organization, you can afford your own content. So please don’t hijack ours. On the flip side, if you truly want to collab with us on the Unioverse, feel free to reach out. 

  1. Ownership. We own all rights, title, and interest in and to all UCA, including all copyrights, trademarks, and any other intellectual property rights. However, we give you permission to use UCA according to this license.

TRANSLATION: We still own the Unioverse Community Assets, but we’re giving you permission to use them. 

  1. License. We grant to you a non-exclusive, revocable, worldwide, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, distribute, display, perform, modify, and create derivative works of UCA, for any purpose, whether commercial or personal, except for the restrictions in Section 6. For example, you can use UCA to create podcasts, films, plays, books, comics, clothing, merchandise, home goods, stickers, art, photography, and other works not prohibited by Section 6. We reserve all rights not expressly granted to you in this license. 

TRANSLATION: You can use the Unioverse Community Assets to make tons of stuff: Podcasts, movies, plays, comics, clothing… you get the point. And you can sell whatever you make. But…spoiler alert…there are exactly five things you can’t do. Keep reading. 

  1. Unioverse Community Creations. Anything you create under this license is known as “Unioverse Community Creations” or “UCC.” You agree to the following terms for all UCC created by you:
    1. You own the rights in all original work that you create using UCA.
    2. You grant a license to anyone, including Random Games, to use characters, events, locations, names, ideas, or any other concepts (“Unioverse Concepts”) from UCC created by you, even if these Unioverse Concepts are not derived from UCA, for the purpose of contributing to the Unioverse. On behalf of yourself and your heirs, successors and assigns, you agree not to bring any claim against anyone in connection with their use of Unioverse Concepts created by you. On behalf of yourself and your heirs, successors and assigns, you waive all of your rights, including all moral rights and intellectual property rights, to restrict, whether through legal, technological, or any other means, anyone’s use of Unioverse Concepts created by you. 

TRANSLATION: You own your original work, but you must share concepts from your work with the Unioverse Community. You can’t sue or take other legal action against anyone for using your concepts, ideas, and characters. TRANSLATION OF THE TRANSLATION: Chill. Be cool. Share your stuff. Just like we shared with you.

  1. Restrictions. This license has restrictions. If you violate the restrictions or any other term of this license, we have the right to revoke your license. If we revoke your license, you must immediately stop your use of all UCA and UCC. You cannot use this license to: (1) create or contribute to any type of software, video game, video game experience or non-fungible token; (2) violate the intellectual property rights of any third party or combine UCA with any intellectual property that you do not own or have a valid license to use; (3) disparage or damage Random Games or the Unioverse; (4) break the law or promote illegal activities; or (5) engage in behavior that constitutes hate speech, harassment, abuse, fraud, defamation, discrimination, or obscenity. We have the authority to determine, in our sole discretion, whether you have violated this license. We also have the authority to designate another entity, such as a decentralized autonomous organization (“DAO”), to make that determination for us.

TRANSLATION: OK, so here are the five things you CAN’T do with Unioverse assets. Let’s call them Unio-no-nos: 

  • Don’t create products that fans will expect to come from us, meaning…
    • No software (for example, no making a Unioverse social network or metaverse)
    • No videogames (you actually can make games, you just need to work with us to do so. Find out more on our Developers page)
    • No Unioverse NFTs
  • No using someone else’s intellectual property (so Luke Skywalker can’t star in your story. In fact, Disney might sue us just for mentioning his name.)
  • No hating on Random Games or the Unioverse (before you get all worked up – every company has this clause)
  • No breaking the law
  • No hate speech, harassment, abuse, fraud, defamation, discrimination, or obscenity. (Don’t be toxic, don’t be a jerk) 
  1. Attribution. Unioverse Community Creations are about building up the Unioverse community. When you use UCA, you must clearly indicate that your work is UCC by:
    1. Clearly displaying the UCC Logo on all UCC that you create. The logo is available here and must be displayed such that it is reasonably perceivable by the average person. We are granting you a license to use the UCC logo for this singular purpose. You cannot use the UCC logo for any other purpose;

TRANSLATION: If you create something for the Unioverse, you have to include the Unioverse Community Creations logo so fans know this work was created by the community. 

  1. Indicating on any website where the UCC is displayed or made available that your work was created under this license by either (1) including the full text of this license, or (2) including a link to this license; and

TRANSLATION: If you post your work somewhere online, include this license or link back to it. 

  1. Not using the official UNIOVERSE™ logo, or any other Random Games trademarks without express written permission from us.

TRANSLATION: Don’t use the official UNIOVERSE logo for anything. Ever. 

  1. No Promises. We are making UCA available to anyone in the world for free. All UCA are provided “as is.” We make no explicit or implied promises, guarantees, or assurances about the quality, safety, accuracy, or legal status of any UCA, and we have no liability for any claim related to UCA, UCC or your use of either. You are solely responsible for your use of UCA and UCC and your creation of UCC, and you assume any and all associated risks.

TRANSLATION: We think these Assets are pretty dope, but we can’t guarantee that they’re perfect. Use at your own risk.

  1. Terms of Service. Except as stated above, the Random Games Terms of Service applies to your use of this website, UCA, and UCC. 

TRANSLATION: But wait, there’s more. This isn’t the only fine print that applies to your interactions with the Unioverse; our standard website terms of service also apply. 

  1. Updates. We may update this license from time to time, and new updates will be posted on this webpage. Updated versions of this license are binding on you with respect to your creation of UCC on or after the date indicated in the updated license.

TRANSLATION: We’re completely reimaging franchise ownership, so don’t hate on us if we don’t get it right the first time. But don’t worry…any changes to this license will not affect work you created before the change. 

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

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