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Posts with tag crackdown

Blizzard legal censures Shakes and Fidget

First the legal crackdown on fan-made iPhone apps, and now this: German-based webcomic Shakes and Fidget, a longtime sight in our Sunday Morning Funnies column, has apparently been smacked with a cease-and-desist by Blizzard. Our German isn't that great (and we've reached out to the comic's creators for further comment), but a translation of this forum page tells us that Activision-Blizzard's legal department suggested to them that there was enough similarity between the official game and the unofficial comic to cause a problem, and while they believe that they're covered under parody laws, they decided to take the "offending" comics offline anyway, and are apparently currently working on editing them so that they can be put back up without any issues.

Obviously, since the comics are offline, we have no idea what material Blizzard objected to -- you could argue that depictions of certain gear created by Blizzard artists in the game or specific names are under trademark and thus could be protected under copyright law. But even then, Shakes and Fidget is one of many, many fan-made webcomics to obviously depict World of Warcraft and Blizzard-designed items specific to the game, and we haven't yet heard of any other webcomics that have been approached in this way.

Still, as they might say in Germany, wir riechen eine ratte. Without knowing the exact nature of the comics that Blizzard had an issue with, this seems like a complete overreach on their part, especially considering that it's some of their biggest fans who are making these comics, and that many artists have portrayed many videogames in webcomics without anyone confusing the issue of whether they were official or not. We'll keep an eye out for more information (and we've also contacted Blizzard for comment) -- if you know of any other webcomics or fan artists who've been approached by Blizzard in this way, definitely let us know.

Thanks, Henry!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Comics, Fan art

Blizzard cracks down on arena win trading

We already know that Blizzard is tweaking arena rules to make it much tougher to artificially inflate your rating by win trading or buying high ranked teams in Season 4, but it looks like they're starting to take it one step further, by cracking down on people who indulge in it.

Reports are coming in from the official forums and from other spots around the web of people getting bans or suspensions (generally 72 hours in length) and having their Season 3 arena gear stripped. The bans are even permanent in some cases, such as that of Sinther of Stormscale, whose account was permanently banned when his friend used it to do some win-trading, with the win trading given as the specific reason for his banning. You can read many of these stories and reports in this forum thread.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Alts, Arena

Blizzard cracks down on Arena pet naming exploit

Jagoex over at Warlock Therapy dropped us a note that Blizzard says they'll crack down on Arena fighting Hunters who name their pets after their Arena partners. Apparently some of the higher end Arena players will create macros to target certain opponents in the Arena (though I'm not sure if this is just because they constantly face the same people or because they create the macros quick while waiting for the match to start). And if a sneaky Arena Hunter names his or her pet the same name as the priest on their team, the macro will target the closest target with that name (usually the pet).

Blizzard says no dice to that-- though Jago isn't clear how they'll enforce it (and we're not, either), they say that if they find a Hunter naming his pet the same thing as an Arena team member, the pet's name will be forcibly changed. Of course, using macros in the first place is pretty wily-- I could see an argument that if you choose to use macros, then you also choose to realize that they might not work all the time. But Blizzard has spoken, thus it shall be.

Filed under: Hunter, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Arena

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