Activision Takes Aim at World of StarCraft Mod

January 19, 2011 -

Correction:An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that Blizzard / Activision had served the maker of the World of StarCraft mod with a "Cease and Desist" letter. This was not the case, and we have corrected the record, headline, and story below to reflect that. Apologies to all parties involved. Corrected story below: 

Activision has made a copyright infringement claim on YouTube, successfully getting a mod makers video removed from the service. The developer of World of StarCraft, an online StarCraft 2 MMO mod that combines the lore and gameplay elements of both games. Naturally the mod maker known only as "Ryan" is hurt and shocked by this action. Speaking at length on the mod's official forum, Ryan appeals to Activision to give him a break:

"You created a tool that allowed us to do anything with your assets. You encouraged us to use your assets and were eager to see what we might come up with. You had to have seen this coming?" Ryan wrote on his forum. "I know it's hard to trust someone you've never met to piggyback on your own legacy. The brilliance of StarCraft combined with the multiplayer focus of World of Warcraft. You might be a little worried about your lore being butchered or, even more so, worried about a guy with no supervision tainting the name of your company with poor product."

"Let me assure you that I am in no way shape or form going to deliver anything less than complete perfection," he continued. "I've been following your work since Warcraft. I've worked with every editor you've put out since I was 13 years old."

"If you have a problem with what I am doing or would like to talk about it, I'm all ears. But please don't send me some messenger with a cease and desist letter."

Ryan admits that he has no legal basis and if Activision / Blizzard want his mod to disappear, inevitably it will. He says he will do whatever they want him to do, adding that getting it on Battle.net is key to the mod's success:

"If Blizzard/Activision doesn't want this to happen then it won't," he wrote. "This game HAS to be pumped through the veins of Battle.net to work. I hope and pray that we can come to an understanding here. If they want the name changed then I'll change it."

Later in the thread he proves that he has not violated Blizzard's policy on videos. This could just be Activision policy as it relates to YouTube, which can easily be appealed by Ryan. According to this thread he has contacted Blizzard and is awaiting a response.

Source: RPS by way of Eurogamer


Comments

Re: Activision Takes Aim at World of StarCraft Mod

Looks like the only thing Blizzard wants is the name changed, looks like they are going to let him keep the mod going, just have to change the name.

 

GP seems to love stories where gamers are 'victims' its like crack for them.

Re: Activision Takes Aim at World of StarCraft Mod

I wonder if perhaps this is a subtle clue that a real, official World of Starcraft is already in development?

Re: Activision Takes Aim at World of StarCraft Mod

Where can I find the aforementioned Diablo-resembling StarCraft 1 based RPGs?

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

 Yay I can post now. Unfortunately, this post is not accurate. :/ Ryan never received a cease and desist letter. The only thing that happened was Activision telling YouTube that he was violating copyrights, and having them take down the World of Starcraft video. To be honest, this was probably just an over-zealous Activision legal troll, as the video that was posted does not violate Blizzard's video policy in the least (see: http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/videopolicy.html).

Ryan has contacted Blizzard and is waiting for an official response, but I would doubt his mod is an issue, other than maybe him having to change the name of it for obvious reasons. RPGs were created for the original Starcraft that resembled Diablo, and there was a World of Warcraft mod for Warcraft III that was made. This isn't any different than those, and Blizzard didn't take issue.

More info can be found in his official forum: http://www.worldofstarcraft.proboards.com/

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

It may not have even been one of Activision's legal trolls. Youtube's anti-infringement scripts have been known to be trigger-happy at times, as Blizzard themselves found out when Youtube autodeleted a video from Blizzard's channel for apparently violating their own copyright.

Either way, more info is definitely needed here.
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

Some trolls do make use of it by filing false reports.

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

Thanks for the correction! :)

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

True, and as said, this is on Activision, not Blizzard. Blizzard is likely cool with it.

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

This is one of those times where I wish there were no such thing as an NDA.

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

 WTF, seriously.  After all the talking up Blizzard did over how great the SC modding community would be thanks to their tools and even allowing creators to SELL their work through Battle.net, they pull this crap?  Either someone was lying from the outset or someone at Activision legal wasn't listening.

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

This one is on Activision, not Blizzard. We can probably expect addon support for WoW to be done away with next.

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

Blizzard made the promises and Activision reneged. This is the fear that we all had when they merged coming to fruition.

- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

Re: World of StarCraft Mod Maker Gets Cease and Desist ...

Did you really expect Blizzard to be able to keep any of their promises or to have any prior policies survive the purchase by Activision?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

 
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