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back to article Publisher takes swipe at StarCraft II game mod

Activision has lashed out at a fan-made massive multiplayer online (MMO) game in development called World of StarCraft. YouTube has removed a video of the game mod's work in progress after the StarCraft II publisher claimed the clip infringed its copyright. The MMO was being produced with official Starcraft II editing tools …

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Paris Hilton

but

I thought this was an automated youtube takedown rather than a publisher issued one? Rumour mill is on the opposite with him being offered a job out of this.

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Pirate

That graphic...

Why does it remind me of the map to the original Doom?

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Phobos Lab

One of those structures looks eerily similar to Phobos Lab.

I'm off to change all Demon sprites to Hydralisks!

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Unhappy

A real shame

I was amazed at how professional this Mod looked. Its a real shame the bosses of Activision/Blizzard are such undermining bastards, that they would sooner destroy the project than to actively support or even help publish the project themselves. (But then undermining is so very much what Passive-aggressive Narcissistic people in power do).

Here's the new video of the Mod. It looks very professionally produced.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_PD4Yll6_A

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FAIL

BS

Blizz isn't stopping/destroying anything. They've simply claimed that something in the vid infringes their copyright (likely the StarCraft name). Not saying the character creation, nor HUD, etc doesn't whole-sale knock-off WoW, but still....

Anyway, a mod to SC2 likely won't be as full-featured as a real W/GoS MMO even if it runs a pure, reskinned WoW-engine. Granted, it would simply cannibalize the existing WoW base, but it may also draw a crowd from other sci-fi MMOs like Star Wars/Trek.

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FAIL

Re: BS

Infringement on the StarCraft name would be Trademark infringement, not copyright. Even if they called it Blizzard's Starcraft and made it look identical to WoW or SC... it wouldn't matter, it's just a friggin Youtube video - the actual (potential) infringement would be in the distribution, not screenshots or videos.

Still, we're talking about a mod built with tools Blizzard provided and, AFAIK, requires you to have purchased a copy of StarCraft - so there's really no such thing as cannibalizing in this situation either is there?

BS indeed

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FAIL

it's probably because it competes against a future product plan.

What with the cash cow that is WoW, a WoS or even GoS (Galaxy of Starcraft) would be immensely profitable but would draw some of the WoW people away who want a little modernized world to play in. So Blizzard holds off on their version, but recognizes there is a huge market for it and stifles any competition. Yes, even I who never touched WoW even for free with someone else's ten-foot pole, would be interested in a few months of MMO action where I could have a Vulture or Viking as a mount...

There's something really wrong with that-using copyright to *not* produce a product and to protect a product they choose not to make.

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Boffin

Generations

Not a new thing. Back in 1998 we had "Generations", a Quake 2 mod that allowed you to play the Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake guys with their respective levels and items. Can't remember if it was Activision or id Software themselves who came hard down on them; the problem seemed to be with the Quake 1 stuff more than the previous games.

But it is worthy to note that DooM 3 wasn't even in their sights, at least not until the next millenium. :P

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Anonymous Coward

That reminds me...

How is Black Mesa (formerly Black Mesa: Source) getting on?

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Anonymous Coward

slowly

very slowly iirc from when i last checked their site, its a lot of work they have to do though. i think they went with not using any stuff from HL2 etc specifically to avoid legal problems.

though stupidly there are a bunch of different teams doing the various different HL1 mods with no cooperation between them even though it would save them a ton of work.

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Thumb Up

great legal defence

"You had to have seen this coming"

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Alien

New name

Starcraft is sort of related to earlier Warcraft.

So new name can be WarStars

or Starwars

Oh

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FAIL

Scum of the earth

Yet again the News Corp / Rupert Murdoch of the gaming world spits its dummy out again.

God I hope this company goes the way of the Dodo but unfortunately with the stable mate of COD under its wing its not looking likely.

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Sorry dude....

but you are mistaken.

Create the tool they did, but they did not give license for you to "do anything" you want with it. Maybe you should have read the EULA sections regarding the mod tool.

Modding a game to add new maps/challenges/items: OK

Modding a game to provide your own unique graphics in place of theirs (think a steam punk mod of Starcraft): typically OK.

Selling, or in any way proffiting from a mod: Not OK.

Modding a game and including another property's IP without express permission: usually bad, depends on who own the IP...

Admitting to the maker you intended to distribute the Mod as a "whole new game": dumb.

Look, there are mod engines for Unreal that are officially supported, but anyone wanting to release a game using the unreal3 engine has to LICENSE it just the same. Also, lest we forget, WoW was an RTS before SC, and though its a massively popular MMO currently, who's to say Bliz does not intend to release their own WoW port on the SC II engine? You crossed a line, you know it, and you're pining for sympathy.

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Stop

Half-right

@Michael C - as far as i understood he does not intent to profit from it. He says as much in his post.

The real problem (as i understand it) is that the EULA (if enforceable) gives Blizzard ownership of anything created with the tools, so, if they throw their toys out of the pram they can simply claim ownership of the mod and then stop distribution that way.

My guess is they realize the WoW cash cow isn't going to last forever and they are planning a WoS game within the next 5 years or so, so if this mod becomes a polished product it will hurt their business.

My take: Sorry Bliz, this guy is out-innovating you, and rather than compete, like many companies you turn to the law to stop competition.

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