So... here we are. Day 2 of... well you already know. For those who are fortunate enough to have avoided the mega rant of the discord server, I bring here a topic that has been brough back there and explained by me time and time again. I hope people can link this thread so we don't have to answer this a million times. Moving on. What is TOS? TOS or Terms of Services is best described as an adhesion contract people sign online when using certain online servives. It describes what the service is, what it isn't and were the legal problems will ne solved in case there are any. Is TOS legal? This is a tricky question. While some argue that there is no concent given in a click as one isn't really signing something with their personal sign, others argue that the forced nature of it all void the contract, while more conservative approach vide for the legality of some parts which are considered fair, for something needs to regulate the relation between company and customer in the internet. So what's with the new Warcraft 3 TOS that came out with Warcraft 3: Reforged? To be very concice and simple, this TOS establishes in one of it's clauses a rule that basically means the following: "Nobody can claim ownership of Warcraft 3 maps, they all belong to blizzard" (this is NOT a direct quote). You can read the entire paragraphs here if you so wish (courtesy of @ deepstrasz) Spoiler: Lines of the TOS in discussion here "Game Editors. Certain Games include editing software (hereafter referred as “Game Editor(s)”) that will allow you to create custom games, levels, maps, scenarios or other content (“Custom Games”). For purposes of this Agreement and any agreements referenced herein, “Custom Games” includes all content created using the Game Editor(s), including but not limited to all digital files associated with such Custom Games, as well as (1) all content contained within such files, including but not limited to player and non-player characters, audio and video elements, environments, objects, items, skins, and textures, (2) all titles, trademarks, trade names, character names, or other names and phrases associated with or included within the Custom Game, and (3) any other intellectual property rights contained within the Custom Game, including any and all content, game concepts, methods or ideas. A Custom Game may only be used with the Game’s engine that is associated with a particular Game Editor. The manner in which Custom Games can be used or exploited is set forth in the Custom Game Acceptable Use Policy, the terms of which are incorporated into this Agreement by this reference. Blizzard may modify, remove, disable, or delete Custom Games at any time in its sole and absolute discretion." and "Ownership Custom Games are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Blizzard. Without limiting the foregoing, you hereby assign to Blizzard all of your rights, title, and interest in and to all Custom Games, including but not limited to any copyrights in the content of any Custom Games. If for any reason you are prevented or restricted from assigning any rights in the Custom Games to Blizzard, you grant to Blizzard an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, unconditional, royalty free, irrevocable license enabling Blizzard to fully exploit the Custom Games (or any component thereof) for any purpose and in any manner whatsoever. You further agree that should Blizzard decide that it is necessary, you will execute any future assignments and/or related documents promptly upon receiving such a request from Blizzard in order to effectuate the intent of this paragraph. To the extent you are prohibited from transferring or assigning your moral rights to Blizzard by applicable laws, to the utmost extent legally permitted, you waive any moral rights or similar rights you may have in all such Custom Games, without any remuneration. Without limiting Blizzard’s rights or ownership in the Custom Games, Blizzard reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to remove Custom Games from its systems and/or require that a Custom Game developer cease any and/or all development and distribution of a Custom Game. Please note that your Blizzard account can be subject to disciplinary action in event that you do not comply with Blizzard’s request or this Policy." Is this legal? If we go by european and even some of the most unreasonable consumer laws in south america, by any means this is an abusive clause that therefore is void. However the TOS itself states that the signer and the company will abide by US laws and all conflicts will be resolved by the college of legal arbiters of california. However, this clauses of legal alteration and submition to private jurisdiction can also be considered void for the same reason, abusive clause. It's a different story for american modders, but some basis for the same arguments could be found (I am not very versed on american laws saddly). How will this affect my map? What can I do? It won't. Here's how the simple flow chart goes: 1. You make a map 2. Your map becomes popular 3. You decide to make a game about your map 4 blizzard might approach you for comercial reasons and MAYBE tell you to stop 5. You continue developing on your own. 6. Blizzard MAY sue If blizzard wants to claim ownership of the game idea based on the TOS that gives them ownership of the map according to them, they first need to sue you, which is an active stance that requires blizzard to actively check maps. In a personal opinion, this is aimed at popular maps which blizzard might think have a chance of becoming a game (anyone remember DotA?). However if the Blizzard Dota 2 lawsuit is anything to go by, Blizzard has a large chance of loosing this legal battles after further information I have to apologise for this missinformation. As you can see in the comment section below someone pointed out that blizzard valve's lawsuit was resolved outside of court by a private agreement, making it a very bad example for the sake of this thread. For this reason we have no legal basis to say A or B and it's an open plainfield in cases of users vs blizzard. I still stand by my opinion that it's unlikely blizzard sues a user unless that user really annoys them and ignores their calls. I have been sued. What do I do? First, don't panic. Contact me and I'll try me best to help you for free as much as I can. Beware that many countries have free lawyers institutions for those who can't afford one. Be smart and inform yourself, and most importantly, don't drop the legal battle out of panic. I can only recommend you this however, you are free to do what you feel is best. Should I even make maps... I don't want to be sued even if I win and I don't want Blizzard to own my work... This is a more personal opinion again, but I think you absolutely should make maps. As I mentioned, this will mostly fly by you. I am a coder, modeller or skinner. Does this new TOS affect me? No. While blizzard said that all content used in maps is theirs, one has to distinguish: Models can have their own license, meaning that Blizzard can't just say they own the model just because it is being used in a map. Otherwise they are engaging in intelectual property theft. In this case one has two distinct properties: the model property, which belongs to however created it. The map property, which belongs too blizzard. It is recommended you license your models, there are open source free licences in the internet. You can find open source free licenses here: Choosing a Free License for Your 3D Project I am not responsible for any issues you might encounter trying to license your work or for licensing it. Skins share the same faith, as they can be licensed as images. Code is a bit fuzzy. If you use Jass I am sad to tell you that Yes, blizzard owns all Jass codes. Lua codes and others can be licensed as open source however, and thus protected from this TOS entirely (even if we already discussed that this TOS is not enforcable). I hope this thread has helped you understand the situation more. Any suggestions from any other lawyers or laws studends here in the hive would be greatly appreaciated, as well as any grammar help (I am not that well versed in english law language). Kudos, Paillan. PS: review your sombreros.