Reforged Dont make mods, boycott Reforged [EULA Update]

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People are actually worried about their intellectual property outside the World Editor afterwards in what this EULA is concerned, not making money with Warcraft III maps.

Again, this is clearly to protect themselves legally because of the DotA lawsuit - what would expect them to do after that? And that is a very particular case because that was a fight over multi-million dollar IP. They aren't coming for anyone's fan fiction...

I know it's unpopular of me to say this, but there needs to be a reality check here. If you honestly think whatever you're working on will warrant legal action from Blizzard... 99.999% of people are fooling themselves into thinking they are way more important than they actually are. Fun, engaging, skillful, makes people happy? Yes, very much, many maps and projects here accomplish that and we all are grateful for it, but multi-million dollar products that warrant litigation they are not.
 
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:) way to kill people's dreams.

Exactly. If your dream is to make a living from a custom map then wake the fuck up and either start learning a real development tool or treat it as a hobby like almost every healthy individual is already doing.

I'd also like to point out that Direct Strike has a Patreon. Made by Tya, it's hugely popular and possibly the most played SC2 Arcade map. No action has been taken against it. Hell, they made a premium version of it into a paid mod and split revenue with Tya.
 
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deepstrasz

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Exactly. If your dream is to make a living from a custom map then wake the fuck up and either start learning a real development tool or treat it as a hobby like almost every healthy individual is already doing.
That was not the point.
Example: I make a map with a story of mine. I get better at writing, decide to write a book on that story.
Example 2: I create original music and put it into a Warcraft III map. I then decide to sell that music as an album.
 
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I know it's unpopular of me to say this, but there needs to be a reality check here. If you honestly think whatever you're working on will warrant legal action from Blizzard... 99.999% of people are fooling themselves into thinking they are way more important and talented than they actually are. Fun, engaging, makes people happy? Yes, very much, many maps and projects here accomplish that and we all are grateful for it, but multi-million dollar products they are not.
Of course what you said is true, but what a silly argument to make. Only a miniscule fraction of all soccer players who dream of going pro ever make any money playing the game, does this mean it would be okay for the owners of the largest soccer league to force contracts on players that include them owning all their future earnings, as thanks for providing the platform?

The comparison is a little stretched, but hopefully you see what i'm getting at. It matters a lot to the people who fuel their projects with dreams of it blowing up, it matters a lot to the few that actually have a chance of blowing up, and the aggregate effect on the modding community could end up mattering a lot.
 
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That was not the point.
Example: I make a map with a story of mine. I get better at writing, decide to write a book on that story.
Example 2: I create original music and put it into a Warcraft III map. I then decide to sell that music as an album.

You're misapplying copyright law to fit this argument. Explain to me with your understanding of copyright law how a case would go where Blizzard makes the claim that your hit song, which you composed outside of the world editor using different software than theirs, is theirs now because it was used in a map you made using their editor? If anything, when you copyright your mega-top 40 hit track, it being in the map is against the EULA, not the other way around.
 

deepstrasz

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You're misapplying copyright law to fit this argument. Explain to me with your understanding of copyright law how a case would go where Blizzard makes the claim that your hit song, which you composed outside of the world editor using different software than theirs, is theirs now because it was used in a map you made using their editor? If anything, when you copyright your mega-top 40 hit track, it being in the map is against the EULA, not the other way around.
Then, I guess ActiBlizz won't mind me making my own game that I've coded in the World Editor but this time without the World Editor.

Also, don't doublepost please.
 
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Then, I guess ActiBlizz won't mind me making my own game that I've coded in the World Editor but this time without the World Editor.

Also, don't doublepost please.

Yes, this has happened many, many times, thank you for explaining my own arguement. DotA was a loophole because it was called DotA (read the case btw) and not something else like the plethora of other MOBA's that spawned from it that did not lead to litigation.

Look, I'm here saying just calm down, this is not going to affect anyone who is acting concerned, and I've provided plenty of examples. It's supposed to help soothe the nerves, but instead I think people just want to be unhappy and frustrated.
 

deepstrasz

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Yes, this has happened many, many times, thank you for explaining my own arguement. DotA was a loophole because it was called DotA (read the case btw) and not something else like the plethora of other MOBA's that spawned from it.
I hope it's like that then.
For me, it's simpler since I'm not in the US but still I want to take precautions.
 
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Yes, this has happened many, many times, thank you for explaining my own arguement. DotA was a loophole because it was called DotA (read the case btw) and not something else like the plethora of other MOBA's that spawned from it that did not lead to litigation.

Look, I'm here saying just calm down, this is not going to affect anyone who is acting concerned, and I've provided plenty of examples. It's supposed to help soothe the nerves, but instead I think people just want to be unhappy and frustrated.
Thank you for your efforts. You did great job.
 

Kazeon

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TLDR;

My mind was a little clouded by all these turmoils and shitstorm. But after taking a deep breath and some thinking, I realized something: we have never been allowed to make money with our creation in modding scene from the first place, it's nothing new guys, let alone expecting to get paid by blizz. Let's take our ego aside for a moment and be real, the chance of our work being taken by AAA game company like blizz is effectively zero percent. Even if at the slightest chance you are able to produce extremely brilliant game concept/idea, you can just take it straight into other real game engine and sell it, why bother making it with WE/GE? Or if you are capable of making industry level resources and afraid of your work being taken by blizz, why don't you just move to the next level and take your talent to the real market and make some real money? It's simple as that. And even if blizz own our creations, it's humanely impossible that we do not hold any right to include our creations in our portfolio. And finally even if you are one of those 0.01% lucky ones who got robbed by blizz, just look at the bright side: your work is acknowledged by a triple-A company.

The EULA wording could be better and less harsh but, I'd say blizz gain effectively nothing out of those rules too.
 
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I apologize for the tone I took through this conversation, it was not the appropriate attitude to instill a "relax" type response. I believe I listed several large scale examples that should help all our understanding of how Blizzard approaches these situations along with a better understand of the Blizz v Valve case, which was the main driver of these modern EULA's. Copyright issues are what they are in 2020 and it sucks. Anyways, I should have used all of this in my initial comment rather than go down the path I did.

I think we all feel like we've been taking crazy pills over the past couple days with this release!
 
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I read with great interest the newest interventions, thanks to all of you who took part in developing the topic of this discussion today.

It has been explained that the content of the new EULA is really nothing new.
I completely agree with the opinion voiced by some others here above that modding of this videogame platform is not to be approached with the goal of personal money-making in mind: it's most likely a delusional thought. Modding of such a videogame platform is definitely more suited to be approached with a mindset of passion and a goal of having fun.

However you want to look at the issue, it is my opinion that there is something at stake with this new EULA wording here that surpasses the mere goal of making money or profit out of intellectual property (IP).

It has been written "So Blizzard owns the things you make with their game. WHO CARES?"
Certainly, if I'm not making money out of my intellectual property creations, they might as well be owned by Blizzard as long as i can mod the game and publish my map or campaign. It's perfectly normal to draw such a conclusion.


However, let me please draw a comparative scenario set into another field of ownership, so that I may be able to convey what I'm thinking:
imagine that I have a passion about building furniture: i love to plan and build objects such as tables and chairs.

I buy a workbench from company A, a tool that allows me to perform my woodworking more easily and create my table exactly how I wanted it: that's great.

Let us suppose that, in analogy to what happens to the web-based distribution of maps by Blizzard, the tabe I created has to be sold in a public environment such as a store or a fair, handled by company A. It's completely understandable that company A needs to gain property of my table in order to distribute it properly. Much in the same fashion, it is understandable that Blizzard finds it appropriate to gain ownership of my created map in order to host it and distribute it through its network (or halt its distribution if my map contains something not suitable to be distributed).

However, let us suppose that company A makes me sign an agreement that says: "hey man, not only will company A gain ownership of your created table, but we also become the owner of the plans you used to create the table, its design and the artwork you carved into its sides. For free. For ever of course".
Would you find such a proposition fair, honest, or just? I honestly find it difficult to conceive it as a real, legitimate deal.
Indeed, it's similar to what is happening with what I can understand from the wording of the newest EULA here.



What I am trying to convey with this analogy is the following point: there is something that goes beyond the mere potential moneymaking desire in wanting to be the owner of your intellectual creation. As far as I can understand, it is simply a just and honest request. In my point of view, the principle is even more important than the potential profit consequences (which, as some pointed out before, are likely scarce or nonexistant in this field).

It is my hope that I am successful in explaing that in my interventions there is no intent on instigating anyone "to take up arms", nor I feel any kind of frustration towards the company. I am completely "relaxed" in that regard, and I am all the more willing to try to uncover the practical, real meaning and consequence of this new wording in the most calm discussion possible.
I am indeed concerned after having read the most recent EULA wording. Feeling concerned when faced with similar contractual terms is hopefully understandable if you value the right of people to own their original ideas, and I do strongly believe that this concern is a legitimate reaction.


I read with relief the example-cases described by @Jayborino, which clearly explain that "Blizzard is not coming for the average modder's fanfiction any day soon", and that litigation involves rare cases. I concur that this really seems to be the case. It's not like the company's intent is to try and steal everyone's project. It's very clear that we're looking at an attempt at pre-emptive defense.
In the end, however, the definitive answer to the fundamental question remains unclear to me:
Whatever the intent behind the current EULA wording may be:
- AM I THE OWNER OF MY IP (BE IT MY GAME CONCEPT, MY LORE, MY ART)?
- OR AM I NO LONGER THE OWNER OF MY IP, AND BLIZZARD IS?


And also: if I am indeed no longer the owner of my projects nor of my intellectual assets contained within: is that just? IS THAT ACCEPTABLE?


Due to my own lacking knowledge in the field of IP protection law application it is unclear to me, for example, if the terms contained within the eula really mean that I'm denied the ownership of my IP. It is also unclear to me if such contractual terms are likley to be enforceable or not in practice. I retain doubt and concern about this wording not because i cultivate the dream of becoming millionaire with some mod of mine, but because I want to be recognized as the original owner of my intellectual assets because I feel it's right.
I really appreciate the several serious contributions from all the participants.
 
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I'm literally going to install Unity now.

Don't even care about EULA changes that much, just the fact how release as a whole was met. I am pretty sure there will be little to no playerbase for whatever I was building, because I wanted a healthy game that would get popular for at least a month or few to release into, instead I have a metacritic score of 1.4 that I was planning to mod. Honestly, with how much time that shit takes, I'd better put my effort elsewhere.

This is a disgrace.
 
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Probably an unpopular thing to say but I am totally find with the EULA update.

Firstly, the whole clause of Blizzard "owning" your map has always existed.

Secondly, because Warcraft 3 is now once again a visible Blizzard game (it is on the launcher so very much visible to all of Blizzard's customers), all the garbage maps filled with racist or offensive content should die out.

Thirdly, I don't care about trademarked content because Warcraft 3 assets/universe is more than enough for me. If i wanted to play LotR I'd go play a LotR game lol

So yeah I'll still be modding :)
 
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How is it in starcraft 2, do they actually enforce the ban on copyrighted materials?

Last time I checked you are allowed to "publish" maps via the world editor (no one can just create any map then create game and let people DL it)

The publish uploads the map to battlenet, and then the map is playable. There is a version control but its no better than what we have in bnet 1.0 wc3 in my opinion.

You are only allowed to publish 5 maps or 25MB (1 map 10MB each max)

If any of your maps are reported by users enough times (for any reason), or by corporation (for copyright), or reach top 50 and become subject to manual inspection by Blizzard curation staff, your map can be removed if it violates anything Blizzard fancies, and you might not be able to publish maps anymore (soft ban on modding).

Blizzard can then take your map in SC2 and sell it as premium content. I don't know if there is profit sharing model with the original authors.

To reiterate: This is last time I checked many years ago. I don't know if it changed.


If this happens in wc3 you might as well uninstall and get Netease. At-least with Netease Wc3 you know what you are getting.
 
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Last time I checked you are allowed to "publish" maps via the world editor (no one can just create any map then create game and let people DL it)

The publish uploads the map to battlenet, and then the map is playable. There is a version control but its no better than what we have in bnet 1.0 wc3 in my opinion.

You are only allowed to publish 5 maps or 25MB (1 map 10MB each max)

Publishing limits were raised to 315 MB a long time ago. Same goes for the number of maps/mods - this was raised to 80. Given the flexibility of the dependency system, there's little chance for you to ever breach that limit though.

If any of your maps are reported by users enough times (for any reason), or by corporation (for copyright), or reach top 50 and become subject to manual inspection by Blizzard curation staff, your map can be removed if it violates anything Blizzard fancies, and you might not be able to publish maps anymore (soft ban on modding).

Blizzard host the maps directly on their servers for the Arcade, so having strings attached like this shouldn't come as a surprise. Content removal for (supposed) IP infringement has happened before too, with BarCraft being one of the more standout examples that did involve a third party lodging a complaint to Blizzard.

Blizzard can then take your map in SC2 and sell it as premium content. I don't know if there is profit sharing model with the original authors.

No such thing has ever happened for SC2. Even the sole two paid maps to date, ARK Star and Direct Strike, were made with input from the original devs who get a share in the sales.

But...considering the mixed reception that the premium model got, it's safe to say Blizzard won't be attempting that route in the near future...especially not for WC3 given the latest backlash.
 
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Its enforceable in SC2,...

But that is what drives me nuts, people actually havin' gone through the hoops of Blizzard so bad, that that's how they view it. In reality Blizzard does what it wants, and when it does stuff like this, they are slowly eating themselves away either out of some form of madness, guilt or greed. It's not, "the EULA gives blizzard the right to do smth." but "the EULA is used by blizzard as a blanket excuse not to actually present a statement about their actions". To be fair, this is designed to make people needlessly speculating, bc somewhere in your sub- or full-concious you expect them to say "We are doing this unpleasant thing for these totally understandable reasons", but we already know it will either be complete nonsense in the first place, or there would be a million other options to go. In this topic, it definetly would be complete nonsense.

It's thanks to the modding community that WC3 is even somewhat relevant to this day and blizzard is acting not only like you owe them something for purchasing and modding their game, but that what you did was somehow their doing. They are pretending that you using the color blue from an assortment of colors provided by blizzard somehow makes the painting you create out of it their doing. There cannot be another intention behind it, than to once again setup for something totally backwards, stupid and greedy.

Listen to Razorclaw. If not "talk to a lawyer" find the entry in the lawbook about any property sold to anybody. If not that, just ask yourself "if I would make a universal law about this, wherein the high-and-mighty company blizzard and me, low-life modder, are equal before the court of justice, what would it be", and chances are, you'll find that it is already written law, regardless of any vague additions 200 pages later, if they even exist and are actually contextually relevant.

What the not-soooo-popular modders are mad about is not blizzard attempting to attain the right to their creativity, but that them even laying their hands on any of it is prooving that by modding their game they are supporting a sh.... a horr.... a questionably retarded company.

What Blizzard is trying to pass of as legitimate here would be the equivalent of the creators of C++ claiming the right to all of Blizzards Videogames, because the functions of coding used to create them are clearly a result of using their code-base.

EDIT: As a last attempt at breaking your perception of EULA: If the EULA stated that you hereby agree to jump off a bridge if you ever find yourself dissatisfied with them or their products, would you be actually jumping off a bridge, and further, do you believe that any of it was consistent with law?
 
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I was actually hoping to create an RPG series inspired by @Saken and @Krath's World of Strife Exodus and Retribution; and go make a standalone game based on its story when I grow up and get a stable job for this.

Or even make an ORPG based on Inotia 3

Guess this dream is dead now...

Sorry, It's me again, but I have to point out that "inspiritation" and "copyright" have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with each other. You choose to be inspired by anything and create something out of it, you do it, retaining full right to it, actually honoring whoever inspired you. Obviously you are honoring Saken and Krath more than you honor blizzard, which is conform with reality and it is what blizzard is trying to fight against, but it is complete nonsense to assume that you need to even consider this companies existance when creating something of your own.

Just make sure you don't do it on their map-editor, which you technically also own, but it's probably just not worth the hassle. If you're ever up to it, copy their editor. For a simplified view on this, it has been stated many times in a ton of precedences about copyright: "ideas and concepts are not copyrightable". The insanity herein is that it would be somewhat relatable, if the creator of a work would be confused about that, but here, not the creator, but somebody who happens to also provide a map-editor with their sold product, is pretending to have that misunderstanding about who owns the property of something someone else created. In my eyes this is deliberate confusion-spreading and lie-cultivating.

Ignore this friggin' Eula. Might as well go and check on every eula everywhere if someone somewhere called their character "Hans" to make sure that you don't choose to name your character "Hans" as to not trigger some random ass companies law-misrepresenting EULA.
 
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Just to clarify: Intellectual property will always be yours. There is no EULA that can deny you that thing.

So if you create a map, the whole design, story, lore, etc. will always and exclusively be yours. The only thing that blizzard "owns" by definition of this EULA is the actual map itself - as in: it holds the rights to this exact build in this exact fashion.

In other words: Blizzard owns the file. But you still own the ideas, design principle, story, etc.


And just by the way: This is nothing new. It has always been like this since the release of WC3.


This means that Blizzard can make a game similar to your map. They can also sell your map. But they can not copy your characters, lore, name, etc.

Blizzard’s Ownership

  1. With the sole exception of the Licensors’ Games, Blizzard is the owner or licensee of all right, title, and interest in and to the Platform, including the Games that are produced and developed by Blizzard (“Blizzard Games”), Custom Games derived from a Blizzard Game, Accounts, and all of the features and components thereof. The Platform may contain materials licensed by third-parties to Blizzard, and these third-parties may enforce their ownership rights against you in the event that you violate this Agreement. The following components of the Platform (which do not include content or components of the Licensors’ Games), are owned or licensed by Blizzard:
    1. All virtual content appearing within the Platform, including the Blizzard Games, such as:
      1. Visual Components: Locations, artwork, structural or landscape designs, animations, and audio-visual effects;

      2. Narrations: Themes, concepts, stories, and storylines;

      3. Characters: The names, likenesses, inventories, and catch phrases of Game characters;

      4. Items: Virtual goods, such as digital cards, currency, potions, weapons, armor, wearable items, skins, sprays, pets, mounts, etc.;
    2. All data and communications generated by, or occurring through, the Platform;

    3. All sounds, musical compositions, recordings, and sound effects originating in the Platform;

    4. All recordings, Game replays, or reenactments of in-game matches, battles, duels, etc.;

    5. Computer code, including but not limited to “Applets” and source code;

    6. Titles, methods of operation, software, related documentation, and all other original works of authorship contained in the Platform;

    7. All Accounts, including the name of the Account and any Battle Tags associated with an Account. All use of an Account shall inure to Blizzard’s benefit. Blizzard does not recognize the transfer of Accounts. You may not purchase, sell, gift or trade any Account, or offer to purchase, sell, gift, or trade any Account, and any such attempt shall be null and void and may result in the forfeiture of the Account;

    8. All Moral Rights that relate to the Platform, including Custom Games derived from a Blizzard Game, such as the right of attribution, and the right to the integrity of certain original works of authorship; and

    9. The right to create derivative works, and as part of this Agreement, you agree that you will not create any work based on the Platform, except as expressly set forth in this Agreement or otherwise by Blizzard in certain contest rules, Blizzard’s Fan Policies, or addenda to this Agreement.
According to EULA, they also own narrations, stories, characters, and whatever else you create. Also, they prevent you from creating any derivative works of things created in Warcraft III. I think this is a bit over the top. At least, you should be able to create your own games based on your own content, if Blizzard holds copyright on whatever is created on the editor. To prevent people from continuing their work on paid platforms, like Unity, is pretty crazy.

Also, all 3D models and artwork is also owned by Blizzard, if you put them into your map.

Also, since you are not allowed put any third-party IP into your map (including yours), you will always comply that all things that you put into your map, including models, music, art, code, and whatever else, is always owned by Blizzard and not by you. This also means that if you use any third party asset, you will need to ascertain that it is public domain and not owned by anyone, or you need to ask the owner of the IP to transfer the IP to Blizzard.

Well, the question is then, if we can actually use assets that are free for uncommercial use, even though the IP is not owned by Blizzard, such as some songs from The Free Music Archive that are not public domain but still free for uncommercial use.

EDIT: When I read the Custom Game Acceptable Use policy, I think we are allowed to use third-party content as long as it is free for uncommercial use and applicable to derivative works, such as game mods (such as CC BY-NC: Attribution-NonCommercial).

EDIT 2: It seems that it is enough that the creator of an IP gives you the right to use his or her content in your map. But then it arises a question, that does Blizzard actually own the IPs that are in your map, if let's say, that the creator gave just you the right use his or her work in your map and nowhere else. So then, do Blizzard own all IPs or not? Can you include copyright protected work, which is not owned by Blizzard, in your map, even though you have limited right to use it?
 
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Hello Tommi, thank you for highlighting relevant pieces of text for us. The "all your stuff are belong to us" concept is seemingly very clearly delineated in here.
A question remains still: is this likely enforceable, or is it only an abusive contractual clause that's only meant to scare people away from making new dotas (letting them "bully you with lawyers") but in truth is devoid of any practical legal power if actually brought before court?

I'd like to try and address a doubt you manifested as best I can now:
It seems that it is enough that the creator of an IP gives you the right to use his or her content in your map. But then it arises a question, that does Blizzard actually own the IPs that are in your map, if let's say, that the creator gave just you the right use his or her work in your map and nowhere else. So then, do Blizzard own all IPs or not? Can you include copyright protected work, which is not owned by Blizzard, in your map, even though you have limited right to use it?

With respect to the use of third party content that is protected, usalble only at specific conditions (for example, the exclusivity condition that you hypothesize here), I would like to refer you to some previous comments that make up this discussion, and precisely:
- Reforged - Dont make mods, boycott Reforged [EULA Update]
- (to which i responded, skeptikally, that it would be a more hypothetical scenario than a real one. I received a clarifying answer:)
- Reforged - Dont make mods, boycott Reforged [EULA Update]

As you can read, it is indeed a potential deadlock situation as far as we can tell.
However, Tommi, be cautious: I believe I can safely say that none of us can speak about this subject with a strong technical, specialistic knowledge of the application of intellectual property protection law of the United States of America - California.
Such a professional knowledge appears to be essential to correctly and definitely answer doubts such as yours (or mine). An attorney could answer better.


In the meantime I would like to stress the concept that the practical consequences for the usual modder will be limited at most, or practically nonexistant.
Just know that all your future intellectual creations are donated to the company you're buying this videogame from.
As someone has written here above, it's perfectly normal to react with a "who cares? It's fine for me anyway".
I for one would like to retain ownership of my intellectual property, so my reaction is more along the lines of "Oh well. If I feel like modding, I'll just mod the game using only someone else's (i.e. the Company's) assets".
 
Well, I think everything else is borderline acceptable, but

9. The right to create derivative works, and as part of this Agreement, you agree that you will not create any work based on the Platform, except as expressly set forth in this Agreement or otherwise by Blizzard in certain contest rules, Blizzard’s Fan Policies, or addenda to this Agreement.

is not acceptable. People might be working hundreds of hours for free for a mod and learning game design skills and storywriting by doing so. I think they should be able to translate all the hard work for real life job, if there becomes an opportunity. However, I understand that this is exactly what prevents another DotA case happening again, but at the same time it greatly discourages people, if they cannot turn a successful mod into a game. There are also other indie companies based on Warcraft III mods (don't know if they are any successful, though), such as:
And maybe others as well. This kind of a rule greatly limits people's creativity and entrepreneurship, which IMHO should be encouraged rather than discouraged. It should be enough for Blizzard that they get great mods for free rather than try to monetize other people's work on top of that.
 
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Just to clarify about my stance. I have no personal issues with the EULA, it is what it is. In some (most) countries it is not legally binding. It does not give blizzard the green light to steal your work (especially if you copyrighted it).

What it does do, however, is show intent. And this I have big concerns and problems with. The intent for Blizzard to become a publisher of maps instead of a platform for maps. This means Blizzard is showing intent to become a Gatekeeper, wheras for 18 years since the release of Wc3 they have shown no such intent and were hands-off. If they follow through, this means they can ban you from using the world editor (1.32+) and even ban your bnet 2.0 access to playing Warcraft if they see that you "breach" the EULA (they can just point the finger and say Jacuse to ban you).

Right now this NewCraft is same as OldCraft (some bugs here and there that will get fixed most likely). There is no mechanism for them to enforce any bans yet, but we see early sprouts of this (i.e the new "report game" feature that absolutely no one asked for). Only major difference is Blizzard showing intent to start policing their content and deciding what goes on it and what is not.

I gave advice in page 2 of this thread. If you follow it (all 5 points of it), you are nearly immune from any action coming from Blizzard. You can even monatize your work fully (microtransactions and p2w), and draw a big pen*s on the map saying f blizzard (you don't even need bnet 2.0 account so they cant ban you).

However, if they prevent all maps on bnet 2.0 that were not made in editor 1.32, and explicitly approved by Blizzard (which they might!), then we have the real problem on our hands.
 
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For most people i would agree the EULA doesn't affect them. But this is actually a huge slap in the face to map makers who've come up with unique map ideas and concepts. If it really didn't affect anyone then Blizzard wouldn't have come up with these greedy updates to the EULA. I'm one of the few people that are affected by this. It's highly unlikely im going to branch off and make my own game like dota, but their EULA is so disgustingly greedy, and to have to admit my map is now owned by them and they can do whatever they want with my own creation, it doesn't feel right. Anyways i've refunded so it doesn't matter anymore. I was already disappointed with so many other issues with reforged and the company itself. I'm done with mapmaking and warcraft until Blizz gets their stuff together.
 
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EDIT 2: It seems that it is enough that the creator of an IP gives you the right to use his or her content in your map. But then it arises a question, that does Blizzard actually own the IPs that are in your map, if let's say, that the creator gave just you the right use his or her work in your map and nowhere else. So then, do Blizzard own all IPs or not? Can you include copyright protected work, which is not owned by Blizzard, in your map, even though you have limited right to use it?

It's a copyright deadlock situation. Blizzard cannot claim ownership over something that is already claimed or be subject to Lawsuit.

Lets say Nintendo gave you (and only you) explicit permission to do whatever you want with Pikachu. If Blizzard takes your map with Pikachu in it and tries to do funny stuff with it, they will get sued by Nintendo. Then interesting stuff can happen (probably behind closed doors).

Blizzard has to remove the deadlock by negotiating with the Copyright owners, or outright delete the map to avoid getting sued. In the latter case, they will also have to ban you from using Pikachu in your maps under threat of perma ban.
 
But then it quickly ends up in a situation, where all third party IPs are banned. This, of course, is unacceptable, because it makes custom map making nearly impossible. When you create a high-quality custom map, you must almost certainly use assets that are not public domain. For example, in the dwarf campaign, we use a custom loading screen, which we have permission to use, and also Carmina Burana O Fortuna, which is available for uncommercial use. There is also a custom song in the credits, which was especially composed for the mod, and so on. All are legal for us to use but not for Blizzard.
 
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But then it quickly ends up in a situation, where all third party IPs are banned. This, of course, is unacceptable, because it makes custom map making nearly impossible. When you create a high-quality custom map, you must almost certainly use assets that are not public domain. For example, in the dwarf campaign, we use a custom loading screen, which we have permission to use, and also Carmina Burana O Fortuna, which is available for uncommercial use. There is also a custom song in the credits, which was especially composed for the mod, and so on. All are legal for us to use but not for Blizzard.
It's certainly possible.
However, we can safely consider this a very remote possibility. Sc2 has a similar EULA and a centralized map publishing system, controlled by Blizzard. If we look at the history Sc2 had with similar issues, it seems that very few cases happened where the company intervened. (please also see previous posts in this discussion about that)
Practically, a ban of third party material is unlikely, and will probably be reserved to those cases that appear as "problematic"
(for example for a financial reason. It's likely that the abusive use of "pikachu" could result in having to pay substantial compensations to the owner Nintendo. It's very unlikely that the unlawful use of "some song" composed by MaoLi (third party) for Tommi Gustafsson's Dwarf Campaign will end up in owner MaoLi being able to obtain substantial compensation ----> a map with pikachu gets probably banned, a map with MaoLi's "some song" is probably just ingored)

I trust you see my point here.
This draconian EULA is not an automatic ban on all third party content that for some reason wouldn't be correct to use in maps.
This draconian EULA's management of third
party content inserted into maps by modders is a leverage, that most likely will be used to dodge potential monetary compensation requests by powerful copyright holders whose stuff has been put into maps by modders.
If you imagine being Blizzard, it's very logical and common sense that you protect yourself from potential lawsuits originated by a modder you have no control over.

From what i can speculate, they will ban third party material only when it becomes inconvenient for them. They won't ban your carmina burana until some producer threatens them to pay for it.



____________________________________
On the other hand, the "all your custom games are belong to us" affecting your original art, narrative and code creations, united to that ninth comma you have brought to our attention:
9. The right to create derivative works, and as part of this Agreement, you agree that you will not create any work based on the Platform, except as expressly set forth in this Agreement or otherwise by Blizzard in certain contest rules, Blizzard’s Fan Policies, or addenda to this Agreement.

These are really concerning and utterly destroy your authorship, even on derivative work made outside of the platform.
I said this before, it's not sure that such high demands are actually enforceable in court, but if you value your authorship and want to mod this videogame, be sure to take precautions. I am no lawyer but I completely agree with the common-sense advice to protect your authorship given on page 2 by Blarto (can't thank the guy enough):
Here is my advice to people who wish to continue making maps in a relatively serious capacity:
1) Do not use lua, use jass + vex opt (that way blizzard can only steal the optimized jass script which is practically worthless)
2) Use version 1.26 + JNGP for map making, that world editor is stable enough and is under old EULA so you can ignore the new one, and shift the responsibility of hosting the map on the users. This way you can remain anonymous and immune to any C&D. 1.26 is compatible with everything, and if blizzard blocks that option, they delete 10000+ old maps, which is auto rip WC3 for most people. Not a remotely impossible scenario given what I wrote above.
3) All content you make (story, character-names, theme, models, sounds, textures) must be made in third party tools first, and copyrighted in that form (either poor-man's copyright or legit one), in according to your own country's laws. That way you become immune to people copyright trolling you, as you can actually tell blizzard you own the IP. I have no clue how to achieve this, or if this is even worth it.
4) if you are using ripped content sounds/models etc, distribute that as "addon" content that people can download separately and then install it on their wc3. Do not advertise it on the map itself, advertise it in your map's discord. For example Tohou shrine defense map does this with their model packs. Blizzard might block that option in the future by disallowing loose files. As of Jan 2020, this is still possible. This option combined with option 3 makes you completely immune from any copyright issues, but new users might be confused as to why their Goku model is a footman for example.

The only thing I would add is: if you follow point 3 and copyright custom assets before putting them into a map, it's safer that someone else other than the actual mapmaker copyrights those.
Due to the wording of the eula, if the mapmaker himself is the copyright holder, he donates that copyright to Blizzard (see the "custom game acceptable policy"/EULA: Custom Game Acceptable Use Policy - Blizzard Legal under cooma 1 "ownership").
If the copyright holder is a different person than the one who creates the map however, then that copyright is safe from the EULA's reach.
 
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Oh young ones, let me spoil you something: It has always been that way

If you read the EULA back in 2002-2003 Blizzard owned your maps (or anything you made with the World Editor). It has always been that way, they just changed the wording.

At the risk of garnering hate from all of Hive, I will point out that the first point has always existed since the beginning of the world editor, why is everyone making a stink about it now?

Here is the EULA for the world editor that shipped with the Frozen Throne CD.

Below is the only section that I found related to custom map policy (if there's anything that I missed in the EULA, please correct me):

d0wFGIO.jpg


I don't understand how this is comparable to the entirety of the current Acceptable Use Policy. It seems like the old EULA was basically just point #4 of the current policy, and it did not contain any of the material that people are currently upset about. Again, if I missed something then please correct me.
 
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I have question is all this just because blizzard was stupid and when people came to him to create dota from W3 map they said f*** off?
And now they are just overracting and making mess with EULA?
And in the end it does not change anything, except they make some of us mad and discouraged?
I mean there is around 0% chance there will be another thing like dota from W3 editor or am I wrong?
I feel like boycott would be overracting to overracting but I do not understand this stuff much, so I probably should not have post anything, well too late for that :goblin_good_job:
 
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The only thing I would add is: if you follow point 3 and copyright custom assets before putting them into a map, it's safer that someone else other than the actual mapmaker copyrights those.
Due to the wording of the eula, if the mapmaker himself is the copyright holder, he donates that copyright to Blizzard (see the "custom game acceptable policy"/EULA: Custom Game Acceptable Use Policy - Blizzard Legal under cooma 1 "ownership").
If the copyright holder is a different person than the one who creates the map however, then that copyright is safe from the EULA's reach.

There is an edge case where someone that is "not you" (wink wink) takes ("steals") your copyrighted content and uploads it to Blizzard under your name. In this case you technically agreed to EULA by using world editor but also didn't.

Legally most likely this EULA is not enforceable. As i said in other posts, its not about creator rights, its about the fact Blizzard wants to police their platform suddenly (wasn't a problem for 18 years, now it is)
 
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I have question is all this just because blizzard was stupid and when people came to him to create dota from W3 map they said f*** off?
And now they are just overracting and making mess with EULA?
And in the end it does not change anything, except they make some of us mad and discouraged?
I mean there is around 0% chance there will be another thing like dota from W3 editor or am I wrong?
I feel like boycott would be overracting to overracting but I do not understand this stuff much, so I probably should not have post anything, well too late for that :goblin_good_job:
Hi retria, first of all I think yours is a legitimate question, there is no reason not to ask.
I'll tell you what I think.
In a sense, I think you are right. The current eula is a defense against a new dota case.
Yes, there is almost no chance there will be another thing like dota from W3 editor, you're right.

I'm not too sure about the fact that in the end it does not change anything, I think you're partially wrong here.
- for the usual mapmake that makes a small project for fun, as long as he makes nothing that is original, it does not change anything.
- If you make something in your map that is truly original (a completely new character for example) but you don't care if it gets donated to blizzard forever, it does not change anything.
- If you want to be sure that your original stuff remains YOURS, and maybe in the future you're going to put it into another videogame, or maybe make your own videogame (or comic, or book, or cartoon, movie, what have you), then it's not true that it doesn't change anything: your stuff is no longer yours and you cannot put it into different videogames, or make comics books etc.. Your authorship is completely destroyed (at least so they write in the eula).


So basically, if you work hard and make something really good and it ends up inside of a map or campaign, you risk to have worked for nothing (or better: for Blizzard) and to lose your rights as author. As you can read in the posts above, it's not certain and you can prevent this problem by taking prior countermeasures (see above), but you have to know it.

About boycotting, I don't really have a definitive opinion. I don't know if it makes sense. What is important for me is to be aware, to know what is going on exactly, so that I can protect myself, and let others know too.


_______________________

There is an edge case where someone that is "not you" (wink wink) takes ("steals") your copyrighted content and uploads it to Blizzard under your name. In this case you technically agreed to EULA by using world editor but also didn't.

Legally most likely this EULA is not enforceable. As i said in other posts, its not about creator rights, its about the fact Blizzard wants to police their platform suddenly (wasn't a problem for 18 years, now it is)

Couldn't agree more. This development is at least equally concerning as the attempt at denial of authorship.
 
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deepstrasz

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There is an edge case where someone that is "not you" (wink wink) takes ("steals") your copyrighted content and uploads it to Blizzard under your name. In this case you technically agreed to EULA by using world editor but also didn't.

Legally most likely this EULA is not enforceable. As i said in other posts, its not about creator rights, its about the fact Blizzard wants to police their platform suddenly (wasn't a problem for 18 years, now it is)
They should work with the fair use policy. Take down anything that's not legal via reports and whatnot.
But I hope they don't force a StarCraft II Arcade on Warcraft III thus enabling us to upload our maps here and run them offline.
 
So if my map is made 100% using third party tools, then by this definition, it is not a custom game and Blizzard has no right to claim all rights to my map?
Either way I support this boycott. They really messed up the game for classic players with this patch.
Technically you can still use the old editor too. the maps will run (mostly) There are a few things that bugged out But I was able to play one of my custom games, that I hadnt touched in 10~ years just fine.
Just throw those files in the correct folders and BAM you never agreed to the new EULA.

Im somewhat curious about the ramifications of the OG dota being ported to this (I would imagine it hasnt yet, because more than 1 thing broke and they are trying to polish it). Since its using IP from another franchise... XD
 
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Let's all just calm down for a second.
1. The WE EULA always had the point about Blizzard owning your map - as pointed out before.
2. The part with not using copyrighted materials in your map is OK and FAIR, Blizzard doesn't want to have trouble with right holders - as pointed out before.

Now the worrying part is the things about you not owning anything (even the story of the map). I agree with Chaosy and others, that for 99.9% of the community is not affected by it in any manner. The worrying part of that is the thought of not owning something you created makes me want to make maps less. IceFrog was just a 1-off, there will probably never be another DotA-like porject in WC3 even after Reforged (or especially after Reforged :p), but DotA showed us it was possible, and the thought that maybe you could make it big/stand-alone someday is something that drives people to create, even if it is near impossible to do so.

But as I said, let's all calm down, and get into some effort to make things better AS A COMMUNITY. Back when Reforged was being developed we managed to have a good connection to the classic team, while it maybe didn't payoff as well as we would like it to do in the final product, we were able to make some changes. The boycott itself is some kind of idea, but we need to have a strategy. Should we just stop making maps, or maybe we should all find the one old version on which everybody will be creating maps (oh god, that will be more impossible than making second DotA xD but i will suggest 1.29)?

And the most important thing, can be conntact a real copyright lawyer? Maybe somebody knows someone, or some place in which we can get a free clarification of what the EULA means and how it operates within the official laws? Maybe we can gather donations to pay for professional law advice in this field before we all jump to our own different conclusion and just review bomb WC3:R to oblivion without achieving anything meaningful?
 
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Let's all just calm down for a second.
1. The WE EULA always had the point about Blizzard owning your map - as pointed out before.

The original EULA did not specifically mention Blizzard owning your map. You could argue that Blizzard always had the sole authority to authorize the creation of custom maps due to their status as derivative works, although the question of whether all mods are classified as derivative works is a legal grey area.

Most importantly, the original EULA did not require map makers to assign to Blizzard any or all original copyrights contained within their custom maps.
 
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One more question, I heard that with new EULA blizzard do not have to even credit you :eek: , I mean securing money is one thing but if you make something awesome they do not have to even mention you? :eek:
 
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Hiveworkshop is a place for creating and sharing mods for WC3.
Their new EULA affects everyone on Hive and you should not be make any mods for WC3.
The conditions in the EULA are not acceptable for our community and i recommend everyone boycott the game for the sake of this community.
I don't expect their rules to hold under court, but you should be careful anyway.
Take your time to read it, it's not that long.
The short version is in the picture.


Its not enforceable in most countries.

Simply put there is no consideration for it to be a legally enforceable variation of contract. You need to give consideration. Providing the same, is not consideration in and of itself. Therefore, there can be no transaction of intellectual property or any license granted.

It is also completely nonsensical, because if I create the characters and story and game design outside of the Wc3 map editor. Hell If I even directly create assets, and then someone else makes the map, then that other person has no ability to transfer any rights to Blizzard, as the rights lie with the author. That is to say, if anyone is making a Map and decides to use any resource from this website for examples (models etc), Blizzard has no right to make use of those models or resources, beacuse the person who entered the EULA with Blizzard has to right to provide license to Blizzard.


Well i don't remember the old EULA being this pervasive, otherwise we would have known about it.
I do remember seeing a blueprint for the current EULA 1-3 months back, but this one is even more rough.

-Blizzard "has the right" to force you to cease map development of a map
-Can prevent developers from restricting features to say Patreon donators
-Map protection not allowed

I urge you to read the EULA, there's way more to it than just the picture alone.

It is not possible to giveup Authorship rights in the UK its colonies, or the EU. Whichever legal hack wrote this crap, did not include any prohibitive clause when it comes to use of your own work. Only transfer of rights. So if this was legally enforceable and it came up in the Icefrog scenario. There would be nothing stopping him creating Dota2.


Probably an unpopular thing to say but I am totally find with the EULA update.

Firstly, the whole clause of Blizzard "owning" your map has always existed.

Secondly, because Warcraft 3 is now once again a visible Blizzard game (it is on the launcher so very much visible to all of Blizzard's customers), all the garbage maps filled with racist or offensive content should die out.

Thirdly, I don't care about trademarked content because Warcraft 3 assets/universe is more than enough for me. If i wanted to play LotR I'd go play a LotR game lol

So yeah I'll still be modding :)


What do you mean they should die out? "Don't get raped" Was a hilariously funny game. Once you start banning "offensive games" its a very slippery slope on what people consider "offensive". This slippery slope is the most prominent and easy to see today with the PC culture wars hacking around in western society. The stifling effect it has on creativity and expression should be obvious.

I apologize for the tone I took through this conversation, it was not the appropriate attitude to instill a "relax" type response. I believe I listed several large scale examples that should help all our understanding of how Blizzard approaches these situations along with a better understand of the Blizz v Valve case, which was the main driver of these modern EULA's. Copyright issues are what they are in 2020 and it sucks. Anyways, I should have used all of this in my initial comment rather than go down the path I did.

I think we all feel like we've been taking crazy pills over the past couple days with this release!

If we were to have a "Valve v Blizzard" care if the map was made under the current EULA, Blizzard would still lose as the the concepts cannot be copyrighted. Names cannot be copyrighted but they can be trademarked. Its a bit of a grey area.

Blizzard’s Ownership

  1. With the sole exception of the Licensors’ Games, Blizzard is the owner or licensee of all right, title, and interest in and to the Platform, including the Games that are produced and developed by Blizzard (“Blizzard Games”), Custom Games derived from a Blizzard Game, Accounts, and all of the features and components thereof. The Platform may contain materials licensed by third-parties to Blizzard, and these third-parties may enforce their ownership rights against you in the event that you violate this Agreement. The following components of the Platform (which do not include content or components of the Licensors’ Games), are owned or licensed by Blizzard:
    1. All virtual content appearing within the Platform, including the Blizzard Games, such as:
      1. Visual Components: Locations, artwork, structural or landscape designs, animations, and audio-visual effects;

      2. Narrations: Themes, concepts, stories, and storylines;

      3. Characters: The names, likenesses, inventories, and catch phrases of Game characters;

      4. Items: Virtual goods, such as digital cards, currency, potions, weapons, armor, wearable items, skins, sprays, pets, mounts, etc.;
    2. All data and communications generated by, or occurring through, the Platform;

    3. All sounds, musical compositions, recordings, and sound effects originating in the Platform;

    4. All recordings, Game replays, or reenactments of in-game matches, battles, duels, etc.;

    5. Computer code, including but not limited to “Applets” and source code;

    6. Titles, methods of operation, software, related documentation, and all other original works of authorship contained in the Platform;

    7. All Accounts, including the name of the Account and any Battle Tags associated with an Account. All use of an Account shall inure to Blizzard’s benefit. Blizzard does not recognize the transfer of Accounts. You may not purchase, sell, gift or trade any Account, or offer to purchase, sell, gift, or trade any Account, and any such attempt shall be null and void and may result in the forfeiture of the Account;

    8. All Moral Rights that relate to the Platform, including Custom Games derived from a Blizzard Game, such as the right of attribution, and the right to the integrity of certain original works of authorship; and

    9. The right to create derivative works, and as part of this Agreement, you agree that you will not create any work based on the Platform, except as expressly set forth in this Agreement or otherwise by Blizzard in certain contest rules, Blizzard’s Fan Policies, or addenda to this Agreement.
According to EULA, they also own narrations, stories, characters, and whatever else you create. Also, they prevent you from creating any derivative works of things created in Warcraft III. I think this is a bit over the top. At least, you should be able to create your own games based on your own content, if Blizzard holds copyright on whatever is created on the editor. To prevent people from continuing their work on paid platforms, like Unity, is pretty crazy.

Also, all 3D models and artwork is also owned by Blizzard, if you put them into your map.

Also, since you are not allowed put any third-party IP into your map (including yours), you will always comply that all things that you put into your map, including models, music, art, code, and whatever else, is always owned by Blizzard and not by you. This also means that if you use any third party asset, you will need to ascertain that it is public domain and not owned by anyone, or you need to ask the owner of the IP to transfer the IP to Blizzard.

Well, the question is then, if we can actually use assets that are free for uncommercial use, even though the IP is not owned by Blizzard, such as some songs from The Free Music Archive that are not public domain but still free for uncommercial use.

EDIT: When I read the Custom Game Acceptable Use policy, I think we are allowed to use third-party content as long as it is free for uncommercial use and applicable to derivative works, such as game mods (such as CC BY-NC: Attribution-NonCommercial).

EDIT 2: It seems that it is enough that the creator of an IP gives you the right to use his or her content in your map. But then it arises a question, that does Blizzard actually own the IPs that are in your map, if let's say, that the creator gave just you the right use his or her work in your map and nowhere else. So then, do Blizzard own all IPs or not? Can you include copyright protected work, which is not owned by Blizzard, in your map, even though you have limited right to use it?

This is the problem. The EULA can say what it want. The EULA could have clauses like we saw in South Park with the ICENTIPAD. It doesn't matter if its not enforceable.


Besides you are misreading the EULA I think, but then its badly worded anyway.

Section 1-9. is basically Blizzard saying that it owns its own property on the plaftorm and anything that originates in the platform (i.e Music/Sound) - Battle replays etc.

it even says "custom games derived from the Platform" - which would suggest derivative games from the Wc3 universe.

Maybe look at the Start of the Contract for the definitions and see what they are defining "platform" as and that would make it clearer.



Just to clarify: Intellectual property will always be yours. There is no EULA that can deny you that thing.
.

This is not accurate. You can never assign away authorship rights. However, you can enter into a contract that leaves you without any use of those rights. This is found commonly in music contracts.

They effectively state "you grants us all rights in your product exclusively, to all others, to market, sell, commericalize, reproduce, use, etc your IP in any way, shape or form that we want to use it. You will do nothing to reduce, or otherwise impinge upon this license. This license will last indefinitely" But with a bit more legalease.
 
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An actual copyright lawyers analysis of the EULA ->

Some points from my analysis (IANAL).
  • It's probably enforceable in the United States. You definitely shouldn't depend on it being unenforceable unless you have consulted a lawyer who has reviewed your specific situation and local laws.
  • You assign all ownership to a blizzard of content created within the map editor, including elements like stories, characters, images, and music that you could otherwise use outside of WC3.
  • If you cannot assign blizzard copyright, you instead give them an irrevocable, worldwide, and EXCLUSIVE license to use it. That exclusivity means no one else can use it, including you.
    • You can't just create something outside of the editor, copyright it, then use it in the editor without giving Blizard your rights. All that would happen in that case is that by using it in the editor, you would give them an exclusive license that gives over 99.99% of your rights, essentially meaning Blizzard owns it.
    • As an aside, everything you create is automatically copyrighted (but not registered). There is no "copyrighting" process you can go through for content made outside of the editor that would protect it.
  • As Hyperdrift points out, this is NOT the same as the original 2002 EULA, which did not assign all copyright to blizzard. If it were, then Valve wouldn't have a leg to stand on in the Dota lawsuit as Blizzard would have been the exclusive owner of all the Dota characters.
Bottom line. If you have any interest in maintaining creative or commercial control over anything you make, don't put it into a custom game in the blizzard ecosystem.
Always be legally defensive and assume the worst. Never assume an agreement you sign won't be enforceable. Blizzard has a lot more lawyers than you do.
 
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An actual copyright lawyers analysis of the EULA ->

Some points from my analysis (IANAL).
  • It's probably enforceable in the United States. You definitely shouldn't depend on it being unenforceable unless you have consulted a lawyer who has reviewed your specific situation and local laws.
  • You assign all ownership to a blizzard of content created within the map editor, including elements like stories, characters, images, and music that you could otherwise use outside of WC3.
  • If you cannot assign blizzard copyright, you instead give them an irrevocable, worldwide, and EXCLUSIVE license to use it. That exclusivity means no one else can use it, including you.
    • You can't just create something outside of the editor, copyright it, then use it in the editor without giving Blizard your rights. All that would happen in that case is that by using it in the editor, you would give them an exclusive license that gives over 99.99% of your rights, essentially meaning Blizzard owns it.
    • As an aside, everything you create is automatically copyrighted (but not registered). There is no "copyrighting" process you can go through for content made outside of the editor that would protect it.
  • As Hyperdrift points out, this is NOT the same as the original 2002 EULA, which did not assign all copyright to blizzard. If it were, then Valve wouldn't have a leg to stand on in the Dota lawsuit as Blizzard would have been the exclusive owner of all the Dota characters.
Bottom line. If you have any interest in maintaining creative or commercial control over anything you make, don't put it into a custom game in the blizzard ecosystem.
Always be legally defensive and assume the worst. Never assume an agreement you sign won't be enforceable. Blizzard has a lot more lawyers than you do.

This is missing a big part of fundamental analysis of the contract itself though. https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/sites/file...aining_single-sided_contract_variations_0.pdf

If this EULA is applying to old Wc3 map Editor, then it is not valid as you cannot provide nothing in return for something and have a legally enforceable contract unless by DEED. Continued use of software is not valid consideration.

On a side note, "there is no copyrighting process" - that is true, although what you can do is muddy the waters and make it very difficult for Blizzard to ascertain its own legal rights and what has and hasn't transferred. You could create the copyrighted material and then get a 3rd party to make a Wc3 map out of it for you. In your agreement with the third party you can expressly state they have no right or license to grant any rights or license to Blizzard. In effect, no rights from yourself can be transferred to Blizzard because the 3rd party has no authority to transfer such rights. Blizzard are not in violation of any rights either by hosting the map as you gave permission for it to be used in a map, however you did not agree to anything within the EULA, so the EULA does not apply. The 3rd party agreed to the EULA, but the 3rd party has no rights to assign over to the third part apart from the Map itself.


Its a very messy situation if we were to assume it is enforceable. If i make some artwork or music, for use in a Wc3 map, but I don't physically use them in a map that I have made, then no rights are assigned to Blizzard. Only the author or someone with authorisation can assign those rights. If i make some music here and post it on the website and state "may be used for non-commercial purposes only, all rights reserved, including that to revoke any license grant or usage of material" and someone takes my music and uses it in their map. Blizzard have no rights over that music, and at any point I may revoke any rights for any usage.

So if you take the average map maker who uses this website a lot for third party materials, including coded systems/images, customer models, effects music etc, what of the map can he attribute to Blizzard if we were to assume it is enforceable? Only the ideas behind the map, the game design and characters. However, you can't copyright concepts, so he can just alter the names etc and effectively create the same thing externally.


About moral rights - Moral rights - Wikipedia gives a decent summary of different jurisdictions.
 
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This is missing a big part of fundamental analysis of the contract itself though. https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/sites/file...aining_single-sided_contract_variations_0.pdf
The copyright lawyer I linked to seemed to think it was enforceable, but they are an American lawyer, so that may not apply to the UK where your analysis comes from. Still, signing contracts because you think they are unenforceable is always dangerous. The law is complicated and doesn't always mean what you think. The safe thing to do is find an ecosystem with a less draconian contract.

Its a very messy situation if we were to assume it is enforceable. If i make some artwork or music, for use in a Wc3 map, but I don't physically use them in a map that I have made, then no rights are assigned to Blizzard. Only the author or someone with authorisation can assign those rights. If i make some music here and post it on the website and state "may be used for non-commercial purposes only, all rights reserved, including that to revoke any license grant or usage of material" and someone takes my music and uses it in their map. Blizzard have no rights over that music, and at any point I may revoke any rights for any usage.
There are all kinds of ways it can become messy. We could speculate about what would happen if you assigned all your copyrights to a third party then had them give you a non-transferable license to use them on your map. Or if you publically released them all into the public domain before using them in a map. But we can assume Blizzard lawyers have spent a lot longer and know a lot more about it than us. The bottom line is probably nothing good, and even if the law is on your side, it would probably require take hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to prove it.

So if you take the average map maker who uses this website a lot for third party materials, including coded systems/images, customer models, effects music etc, what of the map can he attribute to Blizzard if we were to assume it is enforceable? Only the ideas behind the map, the game design, and characters. However, you can't copyright concepts, so he can just alter the names etc and effectively create the same thing externally.
Lots of things any code they write, any narrative the express in text, all the characters (and just changing their names may not be sufficient to defeat copyright if they have other identifiable features), the name and branding of the map. The more work you put in the more you have to lose.
 
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The copyright lawyer I linked to seemed to think it was enforceable, but they are an American lawyer, so that may not apply to the UK where your analysis comes from. Still, signing contracts because you think they are unenforceable is always dangerous. The law is complicated and doesn't always mean what you think. The safe thing to do is find an ecosystem with a less draconian contract.


There are all kinds of ways it can become messy. We could speculate about what would happen if you assigned all your copyrights to a third party then had them give you a non-transferable license to use them on your map. Or if you publically released them all into the public domain before using them in a map. But we can assume Blizzard lawyers have spent a lot longer and know a lot more about it than us. The bottom line is probably nothing good, and even if the law is on your side, it would probably require take hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to prove it.


Lots of things any code they write, any narrative the express in text, all the characters (and just changing their names may not be sufficient to defeat copyright if they have other identifiable features), the name and branding of the map. The more work you put in the more you have to lose.

Its not signing a contract. Its Blizzard unilaterally varying the contract without providing any additional consideration despite asking for more from the end user. If you signed the EULA as is, then my argument can be ignored. If you signed the EULA prior to the inclusion of this clause, then it is unlikely to be held valid. A company or party cannot unilaterally vary a contract in such a way without providing consideration.

"There are all kinds of way....." If you assign your rights to a third party, this does not stop you assigning rights to Blizzard. If there is an exclusivity term prohibiting you from assigning such rights, then Blizzard would need to sue you as the Author for any damage incurrect, but they would not necessarily be able to prevent the third party from continued use of the license that you provided them. If you release something into the public domain this does not prevent someone profiting off of it.
Public Domain | UpCounsel 2019 is a bit helpful here for the US system and its particulars.


If you look at the Dota2 example, all code was re-written from scratch on a different engine. Wc3 is in its own special code anyway, so "code" is irrelevant here. As you will only find Jass in Blizzard Games. Narrative, yes that is true, if you are making a story driven game that is a problem. Characters - you can keep the names, you can't copyright characters. If i wanted to I could make a book with "Harry potter" as the main protagonist. So long as the story is sufficiently different from JK Rowlings works, i would be fine. Name are not copyrightable but can be trademarked. Branding can be trademarked, and copyrightabel as it is often an original work of art. However, it wholly depends on the particular branding.
 
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Its not signing a contract. Its Blizzard unilaterally varying the contract without providing any additional consideration despite asking for more from the end user. If you signed the EULA as is, then my argument can be ignored. If you signed the EULA prior to the inclusion of this clause, then it is unlikely to be held valid. A company or party cannot unilaterally vary a contract in such a way without providing consideration.
Maybe, depending on local laws. But consult your attorney before you assume this.

"There are all kinds of way....." If you assign your rights to a third party, this does not stop you assigning rights to Blizzard.
It does. If I assign my rights to someone, I no longer have those rights (as opposed to giving them a license). Once I have assigned my rights to someone, I no longer have the ability to license or assign them to anyone else. Eg, as a professional software engineer, my contract assigns the rights to the software I make at work to my employer. I can't just reassign the rights to that code to some other company later. My employer owns it, not me.

If you release something into the public domain, this does not prevent someone from profiting off of it.
Indeed releasing IP into to the public domain won't prevent Blizzard from profiting from it. It would just ensure you could continue to use and maybe profit from it in the future.

Wc3 is in its own special code anyway, so "code" is irrelevant here. As you will only find Jass in Blizzard Games.
We can now make maps using LUA, which is a common standardized language. So you could build a non-wc3 specific library in LUA that could be used in both your map and outside of WC3, but by putting it in the map you would be assigning rights, or at least an exclusive irrevocable license, to Blizzard.

Characters - you can keep the names, you can't copyright characters. If i wanted to I could make a book with "Harry potter" as the main protagonist. So long as the story is sufficiently different from JK Rowlings works, i would be fine. Name are not copyrightable but can be trademarked. Branding can be trademarked, and copyrightabel as it is often an original work of art. However, it wholly depends on the particular branding..
You can make a character named Harry Potter and use it in your own work without violating Rowling's copyright. However, you can't use a 10-year-old wizard named Harry Potter with a scar on his forehead whose parents were killed by the Dark Lord. While an individual trait of a character, like their name, may not be subject to copyright, all their combined traits can be. If you have worked hard making a character you love with distinguishing traits you don't want to discard, you may not want to hand over that copyright to Blizzard.
 
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@Arcmage

Hey, thanks for your analysis. It pretty much puts an official stamp on some of the things that been said here and rephrases them more clearly.

Two questions though.

1) What happens when someone uses your copyrighted material in their map without your knowlege or consent (or with consent but no consent to Blizzard)?

Is this a copyright deadlock situation? I think once you put a notice to blizzard they will have to delete the map or bunker down and ignore you, leading to potential court battle (which most people will lose since Blizzard has more money than).

2) What happens to maps made with older EULA world editors?
 
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IANAL but here is my take on your questions.

1) What happens when someone uses your copyrighted material in their map without your knowledge or consent (or with consent but no consent to Blizzard)?

Is this a copyright deadlock situation? I think once you put a notice to blizzard they will have to delete the map or bunker down and ignore you, leading to potential court battle (which most people will lose since Blizzard has more money than).
In that case, I think it would be the same as if that mapmaker had used models from Star Wars or any other 3ed party IP they didn't own. The only difference is you would be the IP holder instead of some company.

The mapmaker would be violating this section of the EULA
Use of Third Party Content in Custom Games. You represent and warrant that neither the content you use to create or incorporate into any Custom Games, nor the compilation, arrangement or display of such content (collectively, the “User Content”), infringes or will infringe any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret or other intellectual property right of any third party. You further represent and warrant that you will not use or contribute User Content that is unlawful, tortious, defamatory, obscene, invasive of the privacy of another person, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, racist or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate. In the event that Blizzard learns of the existence of a third party claim related to a Custom Game, Blizzard reserves the right to remove or block the Custom Game from any Blizzard-owned platform.

If you complained about it, Blizzard would probably remove the map from the service and possibly contact the mapmaker and ask them to stop developing it. That might involve issuing a DMCA takedown notice. But as long as they properly comply with your request, they probably wouldn't have any legal liability. I suspect they wouldn't make a big deal out of removing a map unless it was incredibly popular or they were actively trying to exploit it.

2) What happens to maps made with older EULA world editors?
I assume that if you made a map with a previous version of the editor and haven't opened it with the new editor or agreed to any of Blizzard's new EULA conditions, it remains bound by the old agreement. But I don't know for sure. I don't intend to open my map in the new reforged editor.
 
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Maybe, depending on local laws. But consult your attorney before you assume this.


It does. If I assign my rights to someone, I no longer have those rights (as opposed to giving them a license). Once I have assigned my rights to someone, I no longer have the ability to license or assign them to anyone else. Eg, as a professional software engineer, my contract assigns the rights to the software I make at work to my employer. I can't just reassign the rights to that code to some other company later. My employer owns it, not me.


Indeed releasing IP into to the public domain won't prevent Blizzard from profiting from it. It would just ensure you could continue to use and maybe profit from it in the future.


We can now make maps using LUA, which is a common standardized language. So you could build a non-wc3 specific library in LUA that could be used in both your map and outside of WC3, but by putting it in the map you would be assigning rights, or at least an exclusive irrevocable license, to Blizzard.


You can make a character named Harry Potter and use it in your own work without violating Rowling's copyright. However, you can't use a 10-year-old wizard named Harry Potter with a scar on his forehead whose parents were killed by the Dark Lord. While an individual trait of a character, like their name, may not be subject to copyright, all their combined traits can be. If you have worked hard making a character you love with traits you have worked hard on and don't want to discard, you may not want to hand over that copyright to Blizzard.

If I assign rights to Party A exclusively and then Subsequently assign to Party B when Party b is not aware that I have already assigned to Party A, then Party A would have to sue me for damages, Party B may still be able to use the copyright material and take full advantage of the rights assigned to them. Remedy is contractual and that is only between 2 parties (privity of contract). Party A in most cases will not be able to get a remedy from Party B, only the author.

I thought using LUA in Wc3 map making was a form of modification which is disallowed by the EULA / TOS. Or is LUA something that the Wc3 map editor natively supports without any modification?



About the two questions. If you created a map under the old agreement and have subsequently signed the new EULA, that map is also bound by that new version of the EULA and therefore at that point you transfer rights. The clause applies to anything that you have made using their Platform or within their Platform. It is very wide reaching. As you have authorship rights and that old map was made on their Platform you assign rights merely by agreeing to the new variation of terms.

This is on the assumption that the new EULA is enforceable. My contention that in such a scenario it is not, because Blizzard is not providing any consideration for that transfer.
 
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