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6-24-2011 @ 6:47PM
1) I am not at all convinced that, in a world where mobile banking, chat, recruit off realm et al cost $3 extra that it is given the Blizzard APIs are absolutely guaranteed to be "free" for ever. If you want to do the AH, then being able to trade, especially at the neutral AH, without competitors being able to see you log in, is a real, in-game advantage, both in time and gold made, purchased for $3 per month. Similarly, RAF provides real in-game benefits. Saying Blizzard only sells two things that provide in-game benefits seems quite different to me than saying they don't offer any. I expect more will be coming, especially with Cataclysm perhaps not being a huge financial success. APIs and web seem like simple ways to get incremental revenue that will not upset people as much as things more closely tied to their purple epeen.2) I thought there was a iPhone armory ap a year or two ago and Blizzard shut it down and came out with their own ap. Again, I am quite skeptical that the Blizzard API access will be as unencumbered. I hope I am wrong ofc.3) An unusual issue for WoW discussions is the EULA. *IANAL* I.e., if I am not a customer of Blizzard, then there is no EULA, TOS or contract between Blizzard and me. A Blizzard customer may not be allowed to use a for-pay addon - they have a probably enforceable click-through EULA - but can Grinder and DMCA be pushed to cover a developer with no contract with Blizzard from using public, documented APIs? If my application is accessing via the net, DMCA seems even more problematic. So we are left with just copyright I suppose. E.g., if a non-customer buys the WoW programming book from Amazon and reads information from the wowinterface forum, then what legal basis prevents them from writing a $1 addon?4) Besides, I have always thought the quid pro quo was hard to enforce and Blizzard did not even try. Can you say that only people who have paid to be part of the Something Awesome forums can be a member of this guild? What if that membership included access to a members only addon? Or Auction House statistics & History? ( And quite frankly, what if every $20 member of your forum received 25,000 gold? ) What if curse started charging $5 a month to download addons?5) Personally, i think if they required every addon to be published under an approved Open Source license, things would be a lot clearer than the current mess.
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