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Reforged Dont make mods, boycott Reforged [EULA Update]

Discussion in 'Patch & Reforged Discussion' started by Nudl9, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Ardenaso

    Ardenaso

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    It's not about seling your maps/mods; it's about preventing players from making their custom games into standalone games (like DotA, Warlock, Elemental TD, etc.)

    All your intellectual property, and concept and ideas; they will be leeched off by Blizzard.

    You can't make custom games of copyrighted content as well, like models and voices from Anime, Pokémon, Zelda (though I doubt the owners will give a shit here), DotA, LoL. The "Booty Bay" is censored as well despite being one of their own melee maps.
     
  2. Chaosy

    Chaosy

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    Fair I suppose
    But my point remains, how many people would this apply to?
    There are a few projects that are being made into proper games but I can count those on my hand, why should we boycott a product for that?

    And even then, if you are making an indie project Blizzard would not even care because they do not know every single custom map. It would only affect big projects like what happened with Dota 2
     
  3. chopinski

    chopinski

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    I doubt that any of that bs from the EULA will stop most of modders. I would create a custom game full of rips from other games just to make them realize how stupid this is and waste their time just like they are wasting ours.
     
  4. BlinkBoy

    BlinkBoy

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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. They don't, however, own your concepts (actually, for the most part, you can't copyright a game concept, you can patent it if you want, though). That EULA gave them the grounds to fire trademark dispute for DOTA which they solved amicably with Valve in the next manner: The DOTA(Defense of the Ancients) belongs to Valve but has an exception to be used in any Blizzard game.

    If you make a map called "My awesome Game" and then you decide to make your own game with the same name, you can register the trademark for yourself but you should add an exception for your original mod and its derivatives. Blizzard only owns the map itself, not the game concept, not the assets you created, not the trademark (can fire a trademark dispute though). Same thing with game concept and patents (they can dispute your patent claim and exceptions won't get you to drop it). You, however, shouldn't patent a game concept, nobody does that and it's a very asshole move.

    Now assets(models, textures, art work, sounds music) are a different topic. You own the copyright of them as far as it's an original work, if it's a derived work like 95% of assets in this site, it's a gray area and you may not own them at all. What you must do as a copyright holder of them if you intend for them to be used in Wc3 maps is grant unrevocable permission for them to be used in Wc3 custom games. Your artwork/music concept it's yours to posses, you do not have to grant ownership of it, just permanent permission to Blizzard to be used in custom games. (Actually Ralle should add a binding ToS on asset submission for that which pretty much is kinda implicit already).

    TL;DR Nothing has really changed, there's just more specific wording but legally speaking it's the same contract with less ambiguity.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  5. MaoLi

    MaoLi

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    Greetings @Chaosy.
    I find myself in agreement with the spirit of the OP, and I would like to try and give my own answer to your doubts quoted above.


    How many people would this apply to?
    Well, as I see and understand it, this "property transfer" affects almost everything that is put into a custom game (even things that aren't per se "copyrightable", see the EULA wording under comma 1 - Ownership).
    Let me make a simple example: you invent a character, a species, a new universe that you go ahead and showcase in a custom map. That means you are giving it to blizzard for free forever. If after 15 years you, for example, wrote a comic or a novel about your character/species/universe and you happened to have any kind of success out of those, Blizzard could disown you thanks to the EULA you're signing by downloading their videogame.
    I don't know how you see the matter, but if someone did this to me IRL with some material object I own, I'd call that person a thief.

    As for the potential number of affected persons, it's basically everyone that has an original idea about a concept (be it a game concept or a story-related concept), or that makes an original piece of work (be it art or code) and puts it into a custom map or campaign.
    The number of people making custom content, that are interested in owning their own ideas is likely very large.



    If you are making an indie project Blizzard would not even care because they do not know every single custom map. Is this correct?
    I recognize as a fact that most custom projects are financially irrelevant to Blizzard. The company doesn't care about most of the material that's made by modders.
    However, the reported reason that the company does not know about every single custom project is not relevant.
    The transfer of rights is forever. It's unimportant whether Blizzard knows of your ideas or not: once you put them into a custom map they are no longer yours.

    So, you cannot make an indie project using Blizzard's editor, because as soon as you make something it's no longer yours to decide if it's indie or not (it's not "yours" anymore, basically).
    However, the fact that most projects will be ignored by the company (just as they have been until today) will probably not change. What changes is the fact that you can no longer use them in the future (even outside of the videogame) and expect to make any kind of profit/success out of them, because if you do you are making.


    I hope that my point of view is explained clearly and can be understood as a valid one.
     
  6. HerrDave

    HerrDave

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    What a scummy move.

    Wrath of the Kaiser - 4 years of work - Dead before it even got past Beta.
    War of the Ring - 5 years of work - Dead mere weeks before it's Release
    (missed the planned Christmas date because Blizzard broke the editor for me with the Reforged Pre-patch)
    Warhammer: Age of Wrath - Old World finished, Greenskins and Dwarves were nearly ready for their release - Dead.
    Star Wars: Rise & Fall - Planets finished, Space Combat ready to go, Jedi & Sith Orders, Galactic Diplomacy - Dead.
    Wheel of Time: The Shadow Stirs - Entire map laid out, soundtrack and voice-lines in place, Dead.
     
  7. lolreported

    lolreported

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    Yes and only should they do so if you break the EULA, like having very inappropriate content added into your map. If you make normal and sane maps, why are you worried?

    Both good and bad. You can't sell player power, which is good, but unfortunately you can't have unique patreon special effects/areas, etc in-game.

    Where is this stated? It is still allowed as I understand it.
     
  8. Zwiebelchen

    Zwiebelchen

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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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  9. Augustus

    Augustus

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    I am a 3D modeler. So if I make a model and use it in a map I can't sell it anymore? Oh well, I will use free portfolio models then.
     
  10. Chaosy

    Chaosy

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    A few things.

    There are a few requirements for your proposed scenario to apply.
    1. The map needs to go public. If you have a personal map with story and whatnot that you have only played with friends Blizzard will never know of the map and thus no one can prove that it (a book for example) is based on a wc3 map.
    2. The map also needs to contain intellectual property. If I make a random arena map there is often close to no story so beyond the gameplay there is little for Blizzard to 'steal', and gameplay cannot be copyrighted anyway. This could be worked around with very slight edits anyway.
    2b. The map design/concept must be 100% original, if you use Blizzard's characters you inflict on their copyright anyway so you have to rewrite. A lot of maps are based on alternate timelines of campaigns, side stories of official characters and so on. A lot of stories take place in canon locations in Warcraft lore, they refer to religions and races in the Warcraft lore. There are very few maps that could actually be considered fully yours anyway.
    3. The map then needs to be popular enough to gain enough recognition to be spotted by Blizzard as they cannot possibly keep track of every map, even less so know the story and indepth design/details of them.
    4. They then need to find it financially beneficial to sue you, which wont happen unless you launch a big project which has only happened once as far as I know, that being Dota 2.

    All of this is assuming that @Zwiebelchen is wrong anyway, if he is right your problem is completely invalid.

    Why would I boycott a game over a detail which presumably would not affect me?
    I am not saying that their policy is good for modders, I am just saying that boycotting is way too extreme when in practice almost no one will be affected - even if you technically don't own the rights. No one cares about laws if there was no one to enforce them.


    I meant an indie game as in taking a warcraft 3 map and making it into a proper product in a real game engine. As done by Element TD for example. I do not want you to own the rights to the map itself honestly, then people will start selling mods. Fuck that. (note that I say map, and not concept/design)
     
  11. Blarto

    Blarto

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    There's a weird copyright deadlock situation here if Blizzard decides to sell your map, which uses copyrighted models or sounds (3rd party), which in their license states they cannot be sold for profit, or the license given exclusively to the person who made the map and no one other entity. In such case Blizzard must ban your map instead, as they are opening themselves up for royalty-related lawsuits from the 3rd parties.

    Furthermore, you can copyright your entire map's content as IP as your own (character names, story, 3d models that you made, etc), in which case Blizzard can ban your map for copyright infringement (yes you read that right, it's against the TOS to use 3rd party copyrighted material). But you'd have to file the claim yourself to begin the motion, or someone has to file it on your behalf (whether you are aware of it or not). It might pave a way to copyright-troll people just like youtube copyright trolls can troll video makers.

    Right now they have no mechanism to enforce this, and most likely they will try to do this like they do with SC2 map publishing... That is to say they try to do anything at all. In addition, this enforcement actually requires staff, and I'm not sure it justifies the costs in their minds. They might just take their steaming pile of dung and go back to whatever hole they came from, leaving us alone.

    Last edit: In the absolute worst case scenario, they will use a report feature (they already have a prototype of it in place) in which people can spam reports and harass you or people who host your map, and there will be some sort of brain dead AI that decides who gets banned and who is not.

    All and all, this update is a massive downgrade. If you love warcraft3 modding, now is a time to move on. Perhaps create your own RTS-game engine that can run jass and render mdx models, and spawn particles similar to how blizzard does this (without infringing on any copyright material, just call it openWC3 or something). In essence, that's all wc3 is (that and lots of good networking work).
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  12. MaoLi

    MaoLi

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    I had indeed misunderstood the EULA, thank you very much for the needed clarification.
    In light of this clarification everything is indeed as before.

    Just to investigate about a matter I have no competence into, let me ask you a question.
    Intellectual property is a kind of right.
    It may have many forms (it could be something patented, copyrighted, or none of the previous).
    I have tried to quickly read up a bit about intellectual property transfer in the USA and I found this article interesting (How To Transfer Intellectual Property | IntellectualPropertyLawFirms.com) in that it says: "All forms of intellectual property can be transferred in two ways: the property can be temporarily transferred under a license; or the property can be permanently transferred by way of an assignment agreement."
    Thus my (hopefully silly) question arises: Is this EULA not a form of intellectual property transfer agreement for Blizzard to gain EVERYTHING you own inside of a map (or, in case it happens to be an impossible right to transfer, it becomes an exclusive perpetual license for Blizzard to use your intellectual property)
    How can I conclude, by only reading this EULA text, that my previous intellectual property regarding design, story, lore etc. will always remain mine? Isn't the EULA saying the exact opposite?


    I kindly ask you or really anybody informed on the subject to please clear my doubts on the EULA, if possible. Ty.


    _______________________________

    It's perfectly fine for you to think that way about boycotting, but I disagree about the fact that almost no one will be affected. On the contrary, I believe the number of potential affected people is high.
    (of course if you make your typical random Arena map, or again something without any originality inside of it you're completely fine. just as you said.)
    I would like to stress the correct concept that all of my suppositions are assuming that what zwiebelchen responded isn't valid. In case it's the opposite, all of my points of worry simply vanish into thin air (and i'd be happier that way).


    _______________________________

    This hypotetical deadlock is an interesting scenario, which is more theoretical than of practical consequence, I believe.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  13. Blarto

    Blarto

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    It's more real than you think... As I mentioned I can copyright my entire map and never mention wc3 or the world editor (just copyright story, IP, my 3d models, my voice acting, etc). in this case i can sue Blizzard for copyright infringement when I host my own map, and they will be forced to remove my map somehow (and ban/warn me for hosting copyrighted material etc). This is why they changed eula, wc3 custom gaming is no longer peer2peer and blizzard now has publishing responsibilities. They must cover their asses.

    This is an extreme edge case (like why would anyone do this to themselves), but it demonstrates the problem clearly.

    A more practical example would be someone making some map that's ultra popular but is smart enough to copyright its content with an actual lawyer which states some profit model that explicitly excludes Blizzard in the list of beneficiaries. Or better yet, the map is using 1000+ models from hiveworkshop, which for the sake of example, lets assume they are all copyrighted. Each and every one of these model makers will be able to file a claim against the map to remove it should their ass tickle fancy.
     
  14. Augustus

    Augustus

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    That sounds expensive and time-consuming. Not sure if worth it for a few models, no matter how well-made.

    Also, does this have anything to do with new laws like Article 13?
     
  15. BlinkBoy

    BlinkBoy

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    No, by allowing it to be used in a map, you are not giving them copyright. You are giving them permanent permission to use your asset however they want royalty free. This means, you still own your model but you can never bring legal charges against blizzard for having custom maps with that model. It's more about protecting themselves than taking your rights.

    Have in mind, though, that if your model is a derived product (you used someone's else copyrighted material for making it. Example, model edits). You do not have rights on that model. Pretty much, you had to make the model from scratch for it to be yours only.
     
  16. ironymon

    ironymon

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    Yeah i've refunded it. Hope it goes through so it hurts them where they fear most. Their bank. It's the only way to make them add features back and (big if) revise eula. Warcraft 3 and tft was (still is) an endless source of high quality custom games and campaigns that i've enjoyed since 2004. One of its most famous custom games, dota 1 i've played for about 4k hours, dota 2 6-7k hours. So yeah i think i care about the longevity of reforged. In it's current state the game wont last even a few years if all custom map makers and modders abandon it (probably blowing it way too much but oh well). Of course one way is to just play the classic version with no reforge changes but then you have no bnet. They stripped features for no apparent reason other than probably lack of time to add them? Whatever the case is its unacceptable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  17. Blarto

    Blarto

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    This is false. If you copyright your own model, its the same as using a ripped model from an established franchise/game (granted you own the model). In other words, if Blizzard tires to monatize it, you are entitled to royalties in according to whatever copyright law is in the country Blizzard operates in (I'm not a lawyer, but its probably either California law, or EU law, or Chinese law, depending on area of the planet Blizzard hosting services operates at)

    Any non-copyrighted stuff, however, is subject to any bloke stealing it and claiming it as their own, even going as far as calling you, the original maker, the thief.

    To elaborate further about the nature of this agreement (from my interpretation of it): You are giving blizzard permanent permission to use the .w3x file in how they see fit. However, that doesn't protect Blizzard from copyright lawsuits if the .w3x file contains copyrighted material (from yourself or others). To defend against that, they needed additional mechanisms in the EULA to make sure their ass is covered. This is why the entire EULA is Draconian in nature (In Blizzard's lawyers minds, better safe than sorry).

    There's this mood right now that Blizzard is salty about the DOTA lawsuit they lost, so they are going apeshit on this new EULA, but I for one don't think it is. I think its just Blizzard updating TOS, and making sure they have a microtransaction framework in place for the next 1 year, both legally and the actual infrastructure. Netease is not a good company according to many Chinese users, and I'm pretty sure Netease is playing the flute in this shitconcert, and Blizzard is dancing. They want microtransactions the way Netease does it in China, and they want it badly, so badly in fact, they will burn anything that doesn't comply in this new vision to the ground, even if it means killing the wc3 online scene and replacing it with some new mockery filled with soulless cash grabs. Well, its not like Blizzard had any obligation to keep bnet 1.0 going in perpetuity to begin with. Consider this an epilogue to what could be the last great game of the 2000's.

    Complaining will do nothing. You are effectively complaining to Netease which doesn't give 2 flying ducks about you. Find an alternative hosting platform, find a way to copyright your shit, or let go.

    Edit:
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  18. Ardenaso

    Ardenaso

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    Bruh
     
  19. Razorclaw_X

    Razorclaw_X

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    I think most of you need to consult a real lawyer instead of spinning the same text in your own ways. The EULA as written is unenforceable. If you want to make it an issue then that's your business, but what is not your business is forcing people to agree with you.
     
  20. Blarto

    Blarto

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    Its enforceable in SC2, via map publishing model, and Blizzard has acted on the EULA in the past for SC2. This is why the SC2 custom scene is mostly dead. If that same bulldung is pushed on the WC3 community, you can kiss most custom maps goodbye.

    But yeah. Consult a real lawyer if you are concerned, or just give up.