Epic Games’ new Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) toolset has only been out for two days, but the company is already having to threaten permanent bans for creators making content that violates copyright. That even goes for violating content that creators post about on social media and content that they aren’t going to actually publish.
“All content in Fortnite must adhere to Fortnite’s game rating, Fortnite Island Creator Rules and intellectual property and DMCA guidelines,” Epic wrote in a blog post on Friday. “Those who create violating content in UEFN — even if they never intend to publish it in Fortnite — or share violating content on social media, will face content takedowns and enforcement actions, up to and including permanent account bans.” (Emphasis Epic’s.)
UEFN adds a huge swath of tools to let creators make custom Fortnite experiences, but it seems that Epic wants to try and stamp down on anything that might be seen as the property of other people to avoid legal scuffles. (They probably want to keep doors open for future licensed in-game crossovers as well.) You don’t have to look too far on Twitter to find a few examples of content that’s likely breaking the rules — with a search, I easily found videos of Fortnite worlds directly replicating layouts from an Overwatch map and multiple Mario Kart tracks.
Epic has even had to set boundaries for creators recreating Fortnite history. Some developers have already published experiences replicating maps from Fortnite’s first chapter (a chapter that ended in 2019), but in a blog post on Thursday, Epic said that those experiences cannot be monetized.
Epic is also making a “special and specific exception” to even allow creators to recreate maps from that chapter at all. In that same blog post, Epic reminded creators that “using anyone’s intellectual property without their permission is a violation of Epic’s rules” and that “all the seasonal variations of Fortnite’s Battle Royale maps and islands are Epic’s intellectual property.”
That said, according to Epic’s IP and DMCA guidelines page for Fortnite creators, the company will put strikes on your account for “every instance of IP infringement not ultimately resolved in your favor,” and it’s unclear how many strikes may be needed to receive a permanent ban. We’ve asked Epic for comment.
We’ll have to wait and see if Epic’s threat causes people to stop sharing their, uh, “adaptations” of other games built within Fortnite. But at least we can be happy that Epic is allowing us to drop into the classic Tilted Towers once more.