While this isn’t Diablo related, it’s an interesting change to Blizzard’s Acceptable Use Policy which covers the new remastered Warcraft III. This new policy signals a change to make sure Blizzard doesn’t lose out financially should someone in the community create something with a huge appeal to players.
The updated policy
[BLUE]Ownership Custom Games are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Blizzard. Without limiting the foregoing, you hereby assign to Blizzard all of your rights, title, and interest in and to all Custom Games, including but not limited to any copyrights in the content of any Custom Games. If for any reason you are prevented or restricted from assigning any rights in the Custom Games to Blizzard, you grant to Blizzard an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, unconditional, royalty free, irrevocable license enabling Blizzard to fully exploit the Custom Games (or any component thereof) for any purpose and in any manner whatsoever.
You further agree that should Blizzard decide that it is necessary, you will execute any future assignments and/or related documents promptly upon receiving such a request from Blizzard in order to effectuate the intent of this paragraph. To the extent you are prohibited from transferring or assigning your moral rights to Blizzard by applicable laws, to the utmost extent legally permitted, you waive any moral rights or similar rights you may have in all such Custom Games, without any remuneration.
Without limiting Blizzard’s rights or ownership in the Custom Games, Blizzard reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to remove Custom Games from its systems and/or require that a Custom Game developer cease any and/or all development and distribution of a Custom Game. Please note that your Blizzard account can be subject to disciplinary action in event that you do not comply with Blizzard’s request or this Policy. [/BLUE]
Blizzard has made this change following the success of DOTA and of course DOTA 2 which was snapped up by Valve. In 2012 Blizard and Valve settled a lawsuit where Valve could continue to use the DOTA name and Blizzard could use the name for Warcraft III and Starcraft custom maps. At the time, Blizzard’s Rob Pardo added:
Both Blizzard and Valve recognize that, at the end of the day, players just want to be able to play the games they’re looking forward to, so we’re happy to come to an agreement that helps both of us stay focused on that. As part of this agreement, we’re going to be changing the name of Blizzard DOTA to Blizzard All-Stars, which ultimately better reflects the design of our game. We look forward to going into more detail on that at a later date.
This new policy means that moving forward, Blizzard is making sure they are protected. It’s a wise move because there’s no doubt Blizzard will regret having let DOTA slip through their net which ultimately led to them creating Heroes of the Storm.