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Posts with tag copyrights

The Lawbringer: The trouble with fan fiction


Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Finally, I return home after a bit of bliss. Fun is over -- it's time to get serious by talking about fan fiction. Sort of. You see, fan fiction is one of those areas that people love to hate, hate to love and everything in between. What is it about fan fiction that gets people so upset and so defensive? Is it the personal nature of the craft, the accusatory piggy-backing on other people's characters, or just that so much of it is mind-numbingly terrible? Who knows? Today, we're going to explore a few of the concepts of fan fiction in a very no-nonsense, barely legal way, to give you aspiring authors something to consider while writing your own fan fiction or even original content.

With my post-vacation bliss now completely out of my system, thanks to reading so much terrible fan fiction in preparation, I am happy to share with all of you a story that I've been writing for the last minute and a half. Don't be cruel, now. It's pretty much going to become the greatest story ever told. Enjoy.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: The history of Blizzard and MDY (Glider)

It's a Glider! Sorry, that's as good as the jokes are going to get. Greetings from The Lawbringer, WoW.com's weekly look at the intersection between law and the World of Warcraft. I'm a newly minted law school grad acting as your tour guide between bar prep sessions.

In the last two weeks, we looked at the difference between purchases and licenses. This is of vital importance as a major bit of cyberlaw plays out in the Ninth Circuit, namely the next stages of MDY v. Blizzard, Vernor v. Autodesk, and UMG v. Augusto. Today seems like an excellent time to review the case of MDY v. Blizzard, as we've covered the other two a bit. My source for this history will be the excellent collection of files at Justicia.com, which includes all documents filed in the district court of Arizona in this case.

Let's get started!

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

Breanni of WarcraftPets.com closes store, posts apology to Blizzard

The amazing Breanni of WarcraftPets.com, once loved so much by Blizzard that he got immortalized in the game, has apparently gotten another of Blizzard's C&Ds. First, we saw iPhone apps pulled off of the App Store with what seemed like legal action, and then we heard that webcomic Shakes and Fidget was contacted by Blizzard legal, and now Breanni has pulled down his merchandise store, as well as posted a "formal apology" to Blizzard. Breanni doesn't say exactly what happened, but he says that he "became aware" that what he was selling was violating Blizzard's trademark policy, and calls the store a "lapse in judgment," and says that he hopes to "continue to recieve Blizzard's blessing." It's almost like hearing one side of the conversation -- we don't know what Blizzard said to him (if anything), but he definitely sounds spooked.

This is a slightly different issue from the other C&Ds we've seen -- Breanni was making money from selling what we presume were actual images of Blizzard's copyrights and trademarks, so a store like that is pretty plainly in violation of copyright law (Mania's Pets calendar, for example, uses fan art rather than actual screenshots). But what's interesting here is, if they did contact him, why Blizzard has decided to do this now, and why they've only moved against Breanni. There are certainly lots of other places to find Blizzard art printed on products for sale. We're not suggesting that Blizzard should just let it all go, obviously, but why now?

We've had requests for comment out to Blizzard ever since the first few iPhone apps were pulled off of the App Store about all of this recent C&D action, and we've added this one to the stack. If we hear anything back from them, we'll let you know.

[Thanks, John E!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Fan art

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