Intellectual Property Policy
A Wealth of Creativity
Games Workshop has been developing games and sculpting miniatures for over 30 years. A great number of Games Workshop artists, writers and other creative professionals have contributed to producing the unique universes that are enjoyed by our fans all over the world. From Squigs and Slayers to Eldar and Space Marines, Games Workshop has created iconic characters and worlds for them to inhabit.
As the creator, Games Workshop owns a number of rights collectively referred to as intellectual property (IP) rights. These include:
- Copyrights – This is the exclusive right to produce copies of our creations. It covers our miniatures, artwork, books, logos, website images and text, contents of White Dwarf etc. It not only covers exact copies but also anything which copies a significant part, typically the most important and unique features.
- Trademarks – These are marks (names, logos, icons, symbols and so on) which identify a product as being produced by Games Workshop or by an official licensee. Our trademarks include Games Workshop, Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, 40K, Citadel, Space Marine and the Aquila (double headed eagle) but there are many more. Please see here for more information.
Celebrating the Hobby
We encourage a creative hobby and love to see our fans design their own colour schemes, kit bash their models, write background for their armies, create fan fiction, come up with new scenarios and campaigns and so on. It is also great to see fan websites, blogs and forums discussing the hobby and sharing ideas, and even people dressing up as their favourite Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 characters at events.
However, whatever exciting hobby activities you are working on, please do follow the guidelines below. So long as you keep within these guidelines, we are unlikely to object to your activities.
- Keep it non-commercial. This is the big one. Whatever you are doing should be produced simply for the enjoyment of you and other hobbyists. No money should change hands! If you are receiving payment from these activities, paying someone else for them, or using them to promote a business or product, then this will likely be an infringement of one or more of our IP rights.
- No professional distribution. Please do not professionally distribute (whether free of charge or for payment) anything you have produced which contains our IP.
- Do not damage our brands. Please avoid anything which may be prejudicial to the goodwill, reputation, image or prestige of our IP.
- Make it clear that what you are doing is entirely unofficial. Whether it’s your club or tournament name, a domain name or the title of some fan-fiction, please make it clear from the naming, content and manner of presentation that it is unofficial. To that end, please do not exclusively use Games Workshop’s logos or marks on any of the things you are devising, and please do include the word ‘unofficial’ prominently on your website, poster or other materials. For example, don’t use ‘The Warhammer Club’ or ‘spacehulk.com’. Instead, create your own names, such as ‘The Hellfire Hunters’ or ‘cleanseandburn.com’ or other far more creative names!
- Use trademarks appropriately. We spend a lot of time getting our trademarks to look how we want them. Please do not stretch or alter our trademarks.
- Copyright. Don’t use material protected by copyright. Please don’t use images from our website, chunks of text lifted from our publications or any of our artwork. We’d encourage you instead to write your own descriptions and maybe even draw your own pictures and maps. Never distribute copies of our publications or other protected material for free.
- Derivative works. Be aware that if you use our copyright protected material to make something else then the thing you make will be a derivative work and you should not claim that anyone other than Games Workshop owns copyright over Games workshop-owned IP or derivatives of it. So if you draw a picture or write a story and it includes Blood Angels fighting Tyranids, our Gotrek and Felix characters, or any other protected elements, then Games Workshop owns rights in those works and therefore you cannot go off and sell prints of your picture or copies of your story.
- Don’t share unreleased material. We love people talking about our products once they have been announced. Discussing rumours is great too, but leaking material is not. We have the right to first release of our copyrighted material. If you receive any material before we announce it, keep it secret, keep it safe and we’ll tell people about it when we are ready. We would also ask that you report any leaked material to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can identify where this material originated from.
- Non-commercial recasting and 3D printing. Do not cast or scan any materials based on Games Workshop’s IP. Reproduction for personal use is not an automatic exemption from copyright protection in many territories worldwide. Likewise, do not produce and distribute designs which substantially copy Games Workshop’s products (see ‘Imitations’ below).
- Please do not contact us asking for specific permissions. We do not give express permissions except in respect of licences (see ‘Licensing’ below) but as long as you’re celebrating the hobby in accordance with this policy, we are unlikely to object to your use of our intellectual property.
We take counterfeiting very seriously as it ruins the hobby for everyone. Counterfeiters take advantage of our hobbyists and devalue both our products and your collections. We are committed to taking action against counterfeiters and to supporting victims of counterfeiting. If you have been a victim of counterfeiting then please let us know by emailing email@example.com. Include as much information as you can and let us know as soon as possible as we may be able to help you claim a refund through services such as PayPal and eBay.
Producing copies of Games Workshop’s creations is an infringement of copyright; this includes copying a significant part of our creations. Making models which copy heavily from Games Workshop’s artwork, descriptions or products is therefore an infringement. Is it instantly recognisable as one of Games Workshop’s unique characters, creatures or vehicles? If so, it has likely copied a significant part and is therefore an infringement. Just because we haven’t gotten around to making the model yet doesn’t mean you can.
Using Games Workshop trade marks to name or identify products that were not created by Games Workshop is an infringement of our trade marks. It is very misleading as it suggests something is a Games Workshop product when it is not. Please ensure you do not use Game Workshop’s trademarks in product titles, category headings, adverts etc.
If you think you have a winning idea and want to make a video game, an app, some merchandise, a movie or anything else that you will be distributing (either for free or at a cost) using Games Workshop’s IP then you need permission in the form of a license from Games Workshop. If you've got a strong vision of something you want to produce, using our imagery, and have a sound plan to make it a reality, then the people to talk to are our licensing department. They really want to hear from you! You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting to us
If you become aware of an infringement of Games Workshop’s IP, please drop us an email at email@example.com. Please provide as much detail as possible and include links to the infringing material if possible. We appreciate the support of the hobby community in helping us to protect our intellectual property, and are extremely grateful for all infringement reports received.
Any queries which we consider to be answered by this IP Policy will not receive a response. We receive a great number of requests and reports and unfortunately cannot respond to them all. We also cannot give you legal advice.
We reserve all rights including the right to change this policy so please check back for any changes.