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License trouble-quarterly revenue reports

HI!

I am inquiring about an issue I may receive in the near future which would void my licensing agreement with Epic Games. I am seeking some guidance as to avoid this issue.

For the next 12 months I plan to subscribe and use the Unreal Engine 4 to develop and publish games. However in early 2015 to mid 2017 I have plans and commitments which would put me in a situation such that I would have no way to access information about the sales of my own products OR contact/submit any information or details to Epic Games in any fashion. This would break my agreement - and i don't want to do that.

From the EULA I get the impression (as I am the sole developer/user of UE4 for any products I publish), I cannot delegate any finance responsibilities/terms of the agreement to any persons who would be in a position to submit this kind of information on my behalf. (I would also like to state that I would not be able to submit any tax records during this time).

My questions are as follows: 1): Would it be proper that I sign the standard EULA, follow its protocols and practices for as long as possible, then, with (say for example) 30 days before my commitments put me in a position of breaking my EULA, email Epic Games, stating my termination of sales of any products that may have the ability to generate royalties (and then of course, terminate these sales on their respective platforms-so they do in fact generate no owed royalties), cancel all subscriptions to Epic Games, then after the above stating period of time (which afterwards, I will again be in a position to resume the standard EULA practices) re-subscribe and resume sales of any products?

2): Would it be better if I approached Epic Games for a custom EULA, seeking a change in the period of time between notification and payments of owed revenue between the years 2015 and 2017? (I understand this would be a-lot), then resuming the standard 3 month notification of sales after this period?

3): Is it better to get someone else to submit information on my behalf during that time? (this would also allow the continuation of sales on app stores/platforms) as well as tax information?

4): is it better to just leave it until I am in a position to continuously uphold the EULA before I make any kind of sales?

5): Any other suggestions/advice?

Thanks!

tl;dr:

between 2015 and 2017 I'm not going to be able to do anything/talk to anyone near home, except maybe a trusted friend and a few family members. This would leave me unable to do any kind of reporting/checking of sales/anything to do with app stores, platforms, revenue and taxes... what's the best course of action?

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asked Mar 21 '14 at 04:45 PM in Legal & Licensing

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blindman457
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2 answers: sort voted first

Hi there - your question is full of mystery and intrigue!

To answer your question, it's helpful to think of the subscription and the royalty obligation separately. You are welcome to keep a subscription from now until early 2015 and cancel the subscription at that time if it suits your needs.

As to the royalty obligation, if a product using the engine is generating revenue from 2015-2017, royalty and royalty reporting will be owed during that time. If your product is not generating revenue during that period, you have no obligation.

So if you're unable to take care of the royalty obligations yourself during that time, the next question is whether you can have someone take care of it for you. If you can, that is acceptable to Epic. If not, your suggestion of temporarily pulling sales of the product would also work.

You are also welcome to approach Epic for a custom license (for example, to explore an up-front license fee in lieu of a royalty obligation), but if there are royalties being earned, those will need to be paid to Epic sooner than on a two year delay.

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answered Mar 21 '14 at 06:29 PM

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atypic STAFF
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Why don't you just add some automation to your business and use a virtual assistant so that it's not an issue?

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answered Mar 21 '14 at 04:57 PM

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mikepurvis
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