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This page is a StarCraft Wiki Policy.

The shortcut link for this page is POL:COPYRIGHT.

See w:Wikia:Licensing for Wikia specific guidelines.

This policy sets out information and rules for respecting Blizzard's copyrights in its works. In order to reproduce any of Blizzard's content, including images, characters, storylines, or text, we must either have Blizzard's clear permission to do so,[1][2] or meet the criteria required for "fair use".

Terminology

Copyright

See Wikipedia:Copyright

Copyright is the legal ownership that automatically attaches to creative works. For example, if you were to write a novel in your spare time, you would own the copyright of that novel, and no one else could use its text without your permission. Copyright protects not only the actual text of a novel or code of a computer game, but the characters, plot points, and other creative expressions within.

Copyright law is enforced internationally, based on a series of treaties.

Fair use

See Wikipedia:Fair use, Copyright: A Writer's Guide to Fair Use in Copyright Law, Copyright Law 101

Fair use or fair dealing allows limited reproduction of copyrighted works for specific purposes, such as study or criticism. Fair use considerations of particular relevance to this site include:

  1. The source of the material must be acknowledged.
  2. The amount of the original copied. Generally speaking the less, the better. "Quote or closely paraphrase as little as possible to make your point: under 10% is best; above 20% is high risk...although in some cases 1% may not be fair use, and 100% can be fair use, it’s impossible to provide percentage guidelines that always work".[3] A small paragraph or sentence paraphrased or quoted verbatim from a source is likely fine, quoting or paraphrasing an entire article/quest/event from a source is likely not. Use sound judgement.
  3. The purpose of the copying. If we reproduce some of Blizzard's ideas as a guide to their games and books, that is more likely to be considered a valid purpose than if we included content which could serve as alternatives to the games and books.

Trademark

See Wikipedia:Trademark

Copyright is often confused with trademark, which is a registered name or logo used to sell goods or services. In the case of Blizzard, Blizzard, StarCraft, and the Blizzard and StarCraft logos, are all registered trademarks used to sell its games and books. No one else can use those logos in the marketplace. Trademark laws protect Blizzards' names and logos, while copyright laws protect its games and books.

Copyleft

See Wikipedia:Copyleft

The term copyleft is often used in the context of wikis, and is a form of licensing which allows free distribution, with the main limit that the person using the software must also distribute it freely. Naturally, in order to allow our content to be freely distributed, we must first ensure that we have permission to post it.

Policy

This policy covers all articles which describe or discuss the content of Blizzard's computer games, novels, RPG books, manga, and other works. While articles containing direct quotes and images are obviously included, all articles which describe Blizzard's storylines, characters, and other creative expressions are also covered by Blizzard's copyright, despite being written in our own words.

There are only two ways that we can use ideas, text, and images from Blizzard's works:

  1. With Blizzard's clear permission.[1]
  2. According to the fair use exception.

All articles covered by this policy must fall into one or both of these categories.

Blizzard's permission

Blizzard gives express permission to reproduce certain material on fansites.[1] This includes:

  1. Material downloaded from their website.
  2. Screenshots of their games.
  3. Material taken from the "Sons of the Storm" website.[2]

Copyright and Trademark Information

Battle.net® ©1996 - 2002 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Battle.net and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Blackthorne™ ©Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Blackthorne is a trademark and Blizzard Entertainment is a trademark or registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Blizzard Entertainment® Blizzard Entertainment is a trademark or registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All rights reserved.

Blizzard North™ Blizzard North is a trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All rights reserved.

Diablo® ©1996 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Diablo and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Diablo® II ©2000 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Diablo and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Diablo® II: Lord of Destruction™ ©2001 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Lord of Destruction is a trademark and Diablo and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Rock-N-Roll Racing™ © Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.. All rights reserved. Rock-N-Roll Racing is a trademark and Blizzard Entertainment is a trademark or registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

StarCraft® ©1998 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. StarCraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

StarCraft®: Brood War® ©1998 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. StarCraft, Brood War and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

StarCraft: Ghost™ © StarCraft: Ghost is a trademark and StarCraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

The Lost Vikings™ © Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. The Lost Vikings is a trademark and Blizzard Entertainment is a trademark or registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Warcraft®: Orcs & Humans™ ©1994 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Orcs & Humans is a trademark and Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Warcraft® II: Beyond the Dark Portal™ ©1996 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Beyond the Dark Portal is a trademark and Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Warcraft® II: Tides of Darkness™ ©1995 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Tides of Darkness is a trademark and Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Warcraft® III: Reign of Chaos™ ©2002 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.. All rights reserved. Reign of Chaos is a trademark and Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

World of Warcraft™ World of Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.[1]

Fair use

In order to be considered fair use of copyrighted material on the StarCraft wiki, all of the following must be met.

  1. The specific source of the material must be acknowledged.
  2. The tone of the article must be that of a guide to the StarCraft universe, not that of a competing creative work.
    • For example, an article describing a novel should objectively describe the main characters and major plot points. It should not be written as a narrative short story which serves to take the place of the novel. Likewise, a description of the events of a game or cinematic should not be in the form of a dramatic short story.
  3. Where direct quotes are used, special care is required. Note that closely paraphrasing Blizzard's text to avoid direct quotation would still be plagiarism. Try to reduce the information down to 10% of the original source to be safe.
    • Quotes must be clearly marked as quotes, using quotation.
    • Quotes must be used sparingly, and be as brief as possible.
    • Quotes must be offered in support of a claim. Do not reproduce Blizzard's text to fill in the substantive content of an article. The only exception to this is if the only information for a subject is limited to a sentence or small paragraph. Quoting or paraphrasing a small bit of information is ok, as long as it includes quotation marks, as well as the ref.

Enforcement

Because it involves issues which could incur legal liability for the wiki, it is imperative that all editors read, follow, and help enforce this policy. Articles not in compliance with this policy should be brought into compliance with it promptly through the removal or editing of the contravening content.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Legal FAQ
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sons of the Storm FAQ
  3. Zaharof, Howard. Copyright: A Writer's Guide to Fair Use in Copyright Law. Writer's Digest.