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Updated:07-18-08 11:50 PM
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IllegalAddon
Version: 1.1.3-20400
by: ScytheBlade1 [More]
IllegalAddon
v1.1.3-20400 (Jul 18 2008)
Sbo@Doomhammer-US
====================

IllegalAddon is a addon developed to scan your other addons to check if they are currently prohibited by Blizzard (or, "against the rules", "against the ToS", or "otherwise illegal").

Upon startup, IllegalAddon will scan your addons and print to your screen the results. If it finds any illegal addons, it will tell you which ones are against the ToS. Otherwise, it will simply say that no illegal addons were detected.



If you have any other questions, please visit the UI and Macros forum: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/board.html?forumId=11114&sid=1

There is one specific thread and post dedicated to the legality of addons. You can find that here: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=11381215&sid=1#5

Enjoy the game!








Footnote:
1. Introduction
2. Details
3. Specific Examples
SpamSentry
StinkyQueue, et all
4. Conclusion
5. The Actual Truth

-- 1. Introduction
This addon is largely a joke. As a rule of thumb, *no addons are illegal period.* There is only one exception to this rule: addons that facilitate cross faction communication.

World of Warcraft Addons are made up of four different types of files: a ".toc" (table of contents) file, any combination of ".lua" and ".xml" files, and optionally any media files related to the addon (fonts, graphics, sounds, etc).

Addons are limited by what is given to the addon by Blizzard. In short, addons run in Blizzard's environment. Another way of saying this is is simple: "Addons cannot do anything that Blizzard doesn't want them to do."

It's pretty easy to tell if an addon is illegal. If the type of addon is not listed in the Terms of Use (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/legal/termsofuse.html), it's legal. Currently, there is only one such type of addon listed. Quoting the Terms of Use:


5. Rules of Conduct
B. Rules Related to "Chat" and Interaction With Other Users.
[..] When engaging in Chat in the Program, or otherwise utilizing the Program, you may not:
10. Communicate directly with players who are playing characters aligned with the opposite faction (e.g. Horde communicating with Alliance or vice versa);

That's pretty cut and dried. But, it doesn't specifically say anything about addons, either. So, how do you know that this realates to addons?

That clause was added to the Terms of Use only after (1) Blizzard disabled "cross-faction communication" via numbers in chat, and (2) addons came into play that allowed cross faction communication. That's the rationalization behind the above.

-- 2. Details
The UI team has always welcomed addon authors. It's a core belief of the UI team that the stock UI should *not* do everything, but rather, everything in the stock UI needs to be self explanatory at first glance. There are no small number of addons out there which are not self explanatory at first glance, and if they were to change this, the reason that they are used everywhere would be greatly diminished. Take for example SW Stats (sw-stats.com), a damage meter addon. Timeline segments, pet filters, NPC/group/filters, reporting options, numbers, percents, ranks, oh my! The idea that resetting the meter doesn't actually delete data is still something I'm trying to get people to understand. It's a complex addon, and sure you could "dumb it down" - but then a lot of the incentive to the power users would be gone.

From the beginning, due to the self-imposed restrictions on the stock UI (must be instantly understandable to the majority of people who play), and also due to their desire to allow advanced possibilities to the UI for the so-called "power users," Blizzard built the game around the option of addons, and then exposed their entire API to anyone who wanted to poke with it.

-- 3. Specific Examples
3.1 SpamSentry
Over time, creative addon authors have created addons that did things that Blizzard did not like. In every case, instead of amending the Terms of Use and banning users of these addons, they simply changed the API around so that these addons simply stopped working. A good example of this is SpamSentry. SpamSentry was an addon developed to assist players in reporting gold spammers that were assaulting large numbers of the WoW population, several times an hour.

This was exactly what the players should have been doing: reporting the spammers to the GM services. However, this was a sub optimal solution. Due to the sheer volume of the gold spammers, the GM services were overwhelmed with tickets from players who pressed two buttons to report a whole group of spammers at once, every few hours. As a whole, this deteriorated the GM services for everyone. Longer wait times for all, redundant GM responses that seemingly did nothing, and then there was always the chance that you would get an automated one-line reply from the GM who instantly closed the ticket. GM-bots, anyone?

So, Blizzard added several anti-spam features to the game, and then changed the API so that addons could not create GM tickets automatically. It's pretty simple: if addons are doing something that Blizzard doesn't like, Blizzard simply breaks the addon instead of banning the addon, or placing account infractions upon it's users. They could simply make a sticky in the UI forums and ammend the ToU, but why ban users over arbitrary addons?

As previously mentioned, Blizzard will take action against your account if you use cross-faction communication addons. The reason is simple: the only way to break these addons would break literally every single addon in existence. It's not something that can arbitrarily blocked by Blizzard, no matter the degree of effort they put towards it.

3.2 StinkyQueue, et all
The (in)famous "Alterac Valley Group Queue" addons are *not* against the rules to use. Why? Well, quite simply, because it isn't against the rules. There's nothing in the Terms of Use that states "You may not group queue for Alterac Valley." The button that allows you to group queue was removed because of queue times, not because they felt it was unfair or not fun. The difference is subtle, but it's there. Previously, you were queued as one big group. The battleground would not pop up to you or anyone else in your group until it could fit your entire group into the battleground. Currently, the "AV Group Queue" addons simply queue everyone individually at the same instant. There is no guarantee that you will get the same AV instance as your friend, and the queuing system can go through as quickly as it wants and queue mass amounts of individuals into whatever AV instance it wants, instead of waiting to find an instance and opposing group that would work for a full 40 individuals, clogging up the queue for large amounts of players.

That is why "AV Group Queue" addons are not against the rules, and that is why further action hasn't been taken against these addons. The button was removed to help queues, and while such addons greatly enhance your chances of getting into the same AV instance as your friend, it's no guarantee. Most importantly, it doesn't break the queue, which is why the button was removed in the first place. Plain and simple, these addons don't change the queue times, which was the original problem. Likewise, they're not against the rules.

-- 4. Conclusion
In sum, addons are "illegal" if:
(1) They (or their methods) are expressly prohibited within the Terms of Use.

If an addon does something that Blizzard does not like, one of two things will happen:
(1) Blizzard will simply change the API, preventing such addons from working at all, or
(2) Adding mention of such addons as expressly prohibited within the Terms of Use.

The above logic has been extracted and reformed by observing the reaction addons have received from Blizzard, in addition to what Blizzard has directly said on the topic.

I really don't want to say this, but it needs saying. If you have questions on the legality of addons in general, or a certain addon, the UI and Macros forum is the place to ask (http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/board.html?forumId=11114&sid=1). As long as you ask your question in a clear, even semi informed manner, your response will be much warmer than you would otherwise get. Be sure to read this post before asking, too: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=11381215&sid=1#5 - as long as you read that and then post in a constructive manner, you will receive clear answers to any questions that you could possibly have upon addon legality.

There is always the chance that some day, an addon will appear that Blizzard dislikes that they can't simply break. In that case, the FAQs will be amended, posts will be made, and the Terms of Service will be updated. But, unless that happens, you have nothing to fear.

-- 5. The Actual Truth
You really don't need to read this section. If you understand the above, then this really can be disregarded as a side note. However, if things are still confusing, or you're curious, read on.

I'd like to state three things.
(1) "Cross-faction communication addons" are not against the rules, due to the fact that they run in Blizzard's sandbox enviroment, which Blizzard has complete control of (and due to the fact that there are no rules against running addons).
(2) Communicating directly with members of the opposing faction is against the Terms of Use, to which you agreed.
(3) Points (1) and (2) coexist happily. They are not contradictory of each other.

How is this possible? Two examples.

Example one:
(1) A user installs an addon which facilitates cross faction communication.
--> The user is NOT penalized in any way, shape or form, regardless of the GM tickets sent in. The user has not broken any rules.
(2) Said user then uses this addon to talk with a player of the opposing faction.
--> The user CAN be penalized, because they have directly broken Section 5b, paragraph 10 of the Terms of Use, which they agreed to when they installed the game, and which they also agreed to upon every subsequent patch.

Example two:
(1) A user installs a mass mailing addon, designed to send large amounts of in-game mail.
--> The user is NOT penalized in any way, shape or form, regardless of the GM tickets sent in. The user has not broken any rules.
(2) The user then uses this addon to send a letter to everyone within his or her own guild, informing them of a new raid start time.
--> The user's guildmates may or may not like this. Should they not like this, due to the nature of a guild and due to the context of the mail, they must first ask the user to stop doing this. Even then, given the nature of the guild, no action may occur. This is to be decided upon a case by case basis by the GM staff.
(3) The user then turns around and uses this addon to send gold adverts to everyone standing in Ironforge, Stormwind, Shattrath, and Tempest Keep.
--> The user CAN be penalized, because they have directly broken Section 5b, paragraph 4 of the Terms of use.

In short, no addon can be deemed illegal, against the rules, or can get you banned, period. How you use the addons is what can get your account actioned, and how you use addons is what is outlined in the Terms of Use. To quote Section 5b, paragraph 10 again:

"10. Communicate directly with players who are playing characters aligned with the opposite faction (e.g. Horde communicating with Alliance or vice versa);"

This says nothing about addons, it says everything about the actions taken by you in game, be if facilitated by addons or otherwise. Addons can not get your account actioned against. What you do in game, be it via addons, third party programs, or with the stock interface will define what actions, if any, can be applied against your account. Installing an addon won't get you banned. Using an addon won't get you banned. Using an addon in a manner that directly breaks the Terms of Use will.

No amount of malicious code, malicious intent, or anything short of directly malicious action or results can penalize an account.

Accounts are not actioned for having or using addons. Accounts are actioned for actions made by people which directly violate the Terms of Use agreement. Make sense?



--Sbo of Doomhammer (Alliance)
E-Mail: sbo@averageurl.com
IRC: ScytheBlade1 on irc.freenode.net

I'm no lawyer. This is largely a collection of thought that the vast majority of the UI community has developed in combination with some amount of Blizzard posters. However, even the Blizzard posts that we have on the matter contain the phrase "I am not a lawyer" or some close variation there of. The above should not be taken as legal advice concerning the interpretation of the Terms of Use supplied with World of Warcraft. If any Blizzard employee or UI community member has a problem with anything of the above, please contact me though the above mentioned methods to ensure a prompt response.
v1.0-20100 (Jul 11 2007): Initial release.
v1.1-20300 (Jan 28 2008): Minor code update, Ace2'd!
v1.1.1-20300 (Feb 02 2008): Updated the readme
v1.1.2-20300 (Feb 04 2008): Minor readme update
v1.1.3-20400 (Jul 18 2008): TOC bump
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Unread 11-17-13, 09:18 PM  
Normal
A Murloc Raider

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So after starting playing again, I went hunting down the most important addons.

High Roller
JooJanta
Illegal

All the good stuff. But as indicated, Illegal is borken.

First login ('Out Of Date' enabled), nothing happens. Second login, Lua error.

http://pastebin.com/dNWQvZRZ

I've pinged the author about this on IRC. With any luck...
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Unread 01-01-10, 05:46 PM  
Vlad
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Re: Re: Updated for 3.3, enjoy!

Would be awesome if ScytheBlade1 updated it himself idd.
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Unread 12-30-09, 05:51 PM  
klamb213
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Re: Updated for 3.3, enjoy!

Originally posted by Vladinator
No need to panic anymore, the addon works once again:

http://filebeam.com/32d13f81f405fbc5ef737dda480038ba

Supports even patch 3.3, so play safe and avoid using illegal addons!

wowinterface puts a gift hunt word on ur page and gives you 100% more views then you've had over the last year, the least you could do is update your addon here too.
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Unread 11-28-09, 09:16 AM  
Vlad
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Thumbs up Updated for 3.3, enjoy!

No need to panic anymore, the addon works once again:

http://filebeam.com/32d13f81f405fbc5ef737dda480038ba

Supports even patch 3.3, so play safe and avoid using illegal addons!

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Unread 09-05-09, 12:10 AM  
Normal
A Murloc Raider

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It's...

OVER 2000!
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Unread 07-16-08, 12:32 AM  
Nynaeve
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Originally posted by Slakah
1,049 downloads and still rising....
1,896 now.
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Unread 02-07-08, 02:02 PM  
ScytheBlade1
aka Sbo
 
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Originally posted by Fin
Will this addon be updated for the 2.4 patch?
It will be. I can guarantee that the 2.3 -> 2.4 transition will be absolutely flawless for IllegalAddon.
__________________
<Thunder_Child> ah, nothing makes me think of WoW more than seeing 15 different addons telling me i dont know how to play
<End> Well, I'm not an AddOn, but you don't know how to play
--
<Iriel> does your 'therapy' involve pitchforks and boiling oil?
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Unread 02-06-08, 01:16 AM  
Fin
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Will this addon be updated for the 2.4 patch?
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Unread 02-04-08, 01:41 PM  
Slakah
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1,049 downloads and still rising....
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Unread 01-28-08, 03:52 PM  
Seerah
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Originally posted by tralkar
Addon is useless, pointless
No, it's the best mod ever!
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"You'd be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are." -Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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Unread 01-28-08, 03:39 PM  
ScytheBlade1
aka Sbo
 
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Originally posted by tralkar
Addon is useless, pointless
Someone didn't read the readme.
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<Thunder_Child> ah, nothing makes me think of WoW more than seeing 15 different addons telling me i dont know how to play
<End> Well, I'm not an AddOn, but you don't know how to play
--
<Iriel> does your 'therapy' involve pitchforks and boiling oil?
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Unread 01-28-08, 03:23 PM  
tralkar
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Addon is useless, pointless
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Unread 07-12-07, 03:56 PM  
Wowgamer233
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Gosh...

Originally posted by Tekkub
I wasn't joking when I said Ace, but then I'm thinking of the old Ace, where it was about learning good coding practices and not pestering the user. What I was hinting at was:

1) The XML is useless. There's how many lines of code here to execute one line of on-login code? Can be done in one line of lua.
2) It used to be a core Ace belief that you didn't spam shit to the chatframe on login. We hated "Okey I loaded, and I'm tell you even though you don't care" addons. That is EXACTLY what this is, in it's entirety. Had I written this it would have been a simple slash command:

/legal
=> All your addons are legal!

That could still be done in one line of code, including translations if they were given. Granted, I'd probably expand it out to a whopping 6+(#translations) lines of code :P

Gosh... I really did miss the humor. My bad.

So this is the lua version of "Hello World"...

Ack. If this was April 1st I wouldn't feel as dumb....

What is that phrase people use.. Ah yes.. "Burned!"
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Erm, yes, I would like to get mana back before you start tanking again...
No healer mana = dead tank
Last edited by Wowgamer233 : 07-12-07 at 03:56 PM.
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Unread 07-12-07, 11:46 AM  
JRCC
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Unread 07-12-07, 10:56 AM  
Tekkub
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I wasn't joking when I said Ace, but then I'm thinking of the old Ace, where it was about learning good coding practices and not pestering the user. What I was hinting at was:

1) The XML is useless. There's how many lines of code here to execute one line of on-login code? Can be done in one line of lua.
2) It used to be a core Ace belief that you didn't spam shit to the chatframe on login. We hated "Okey I loaded, and I'm tell you even though you don't care" addons. That is EXACTLY what this is, in it's entirety. Had I written this it would have been a simple slash command:

/legal
=> All your addons are legal!

That could still be done in one line of code, including translations if they were given. Granted, I'd probably expand it out to a whopping 6+(#translations) lines of code :P
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