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WoW UI AddOn Development Policy discussion thread - Page 29 - WoWInterface
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03-26-09, 01:53 PM   #561
seebs
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I would say that, strictly speaking, yes. They want to make the game less dependent on addons.

That is to say, they want to make the game more viable without them.

That doesn't mean they don't want addons to be an option, it doesn't mean they want to punish addon authors. It means they want to make the base game better.

So, say. As an example.

Let's say someone did an amazing job of building an addon that let you have a window just like a talent window, only with some kind of preview/cancel option. That'd be a great feature, and I could see people using it.

So then Blizzard might say "wow, that's really nice, let's implement one of those."

They aren't doing it to punish the addon author; they're doing it because he was right and they were wrong, as to what the basic interface ought to be like. Make sense?

So I see no hostility. If anything, I sort of see it as a recognition that addon authors are a part of the essential development process of the base game at this point -- that Blizzard's openly admitting that they like to see the work we do, and they benefit from it.

Honestly, if they fixed the default quest tracker to just remember what quests you had tracked when you logged out (and maybe allow more than five, or allow tracking of "no objectives to track" quests), I would stop maintaining ToDo. I wouldn't be sad, hurt, or offended; I'd be overjoyed that I didn't have to do that anymore.

(Some day, I want to rewrite that mod with an unusual feature that occurred to me once: My idea is to have something like ToDo, which isn't a buggy piece of crap. I think this would revolutionize the UI experience.)
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03-26-09, 01:59 PM   #562
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My programs never contain boogs
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03-26-09, 02:17 PM   #563
seebs
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Originally Posted by spiel2001 View Post
My programs never contain boogs
The best way to ensure code quality is, of course, narcissistic personality disorder. This guarantees that you'll never get a valid bug report.
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03-26-09, 02:29 PM   #564
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Ok, I've been working on another slightly paranoid and cynical viewpoint... Say Blizzard has seen so many of these popular addons come on the scene lately... Say also that Blizz has decided that they now want to impliment into their own base programming. Now, in my conspiracy theory based world, Blizzard realized that there might be copyright infringement if said addons were still being maintained by the original authors, so POOF! they come out with a new policy that ensures that these authors will no longer maintain these addons, thus making it so that Blizz can do whatever they want. I'm 99% sure that I'm dead wrong about this as I know nothing about copyright law, but that 1% sure is making the backside of my brain itch right now.
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03-26-09, 02:32 PM   #565
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Post script to my last entry... I am NOT a Faerie! I might be dragon-like at times, and I am definitely a deviate... But Faerie? No... Just no...
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03-26-09, 02:34 PM   #566
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Yes, that's unfounded paranoia.

Blizzy has said, on many occasions, that there are lots of things implemented in addons that they do not want to implement in the game, and they want addons to fill those gaps. Examples would be OneBag, movable frames, Auctioneer... If they wanted addons to go away, they wouldn't go about it in a sneaky way, they'd just disable them outright.
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03-26-09, 03:08 PM   #567
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Originally Posted by voodoodad2000 View Post
Ok, I've been working on another slightly paranoid and cynical viewpoint... Say Blizzard has seen so many of these popular addons come on the scene lately... Say also that Blizz has decided that they now want to impliment into their own base programming. Now, in my conspiracy theory based world, Blizzard realized that there might be copyright infringement if said addons were still being maintained by the original authors, so POOF! they come out with a new policy that ensures that these authors will no longer maintain these addons, thus making it so that Blizz can do whatever they want. I'm 99% sure that I'm dead wrong about this as I know nothing about copyright law, but that 1% sure is making the backside of my brain itch right now.
There's no way that can be right. Not only would I hope Blizzard would never do something like that, but similarly, just because something is no longer worked on does not make it free. If it has a copyright, it has a copyright, period. It doesn't have to work for the copyright to remain.
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03-26-09, 04:14 PM   #568
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Ok, ok! I said I was 99% sure I was wrong... I'll just go lay down in a corner somewhere and put some calamine lotion on that itch lol.
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03-26-09, 06:17 PM   #569
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Response from EFF on the policy

Cross posting this here from the official forums since Cairenn suggested I do so...

So I decided to do some footwork on this issue. I contacted Dr. Lawrence Lessig (Stanfard Law School) about this issue and he directed me to Fred von Lohmann (Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation).

After exchanging a few emails with him he gave me the following statement to pass along to you guys:

I agree that this certainly will have a chilling effect on the developer community, and that may have been Blizzard's purpose. As applied to independent developers who never entered into any contractual obligations with Blizzard, and whose plug-ins do not cause WoW players to breach their EULAs with Blizzard, I don't really see a strong legal basis for these "policies." But that won't necessarily stop Blizzard from suing a developer in an attempt to push the boundaries of the law. We won't know what Blizzard's theories are (infringement, DMCA circumvention, tortious interference with contract, trespass to chattel, breach of contract?) until they sue. Nothing here is meant to be legal advice to any particular developer, of course -- consult with your own attorney if you intend to breach the "policies" and are worried about legal risks.
Obviously, until Blizzard speaks publicly about this policy or takes action we won't know their basis behind it. But it's impossible to dismiss any theories behind this at this point and the copyright issue is not a ridiculous concern.
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03-26-09, 06:57 PM   #570
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The way I see it, realistically, in case Blizzard decides to move forward and sue in an extreme situation, it would be for tortious interference with contract. Reposting what Xinhuan already mentioned, over at the WoWAce forums :

In order to establish tortious interference, 4 things need to be proven:

(1) A valid contractual relationship exists between X and Y,
(2) You know of this relationship,
(3) You intentionally and improperly interfered in the relationship and caused a breach or termination of the relationship, and
(4) X or Y has been damaged as a result.

We are all aware that (1) is already established because of the EULA, it would be extremely difficult for a developer to refute (2) (unless we are naive to believe that we all run and test our addons on independent sandboxes ), (3) I guess can also be easily proven, provided that the policy is already in effect and by knowingly breaching it, you intensionally interfere with the contract, so we are basically left with Blizzard having just to prove (4), which brings us to what a lot of people have already discussed to death. Unless there are technicalities or something that everyone is terribly missing, one thing is for sure. It would be unwise for a dev to outright ignore the policy, though realistically, the most probable outcome would be to just have his addon(s) blacklisted/disabled.

Other than that, the moral implications are, at the end of the day, simply a matter of opinion (and a subject also beaten to death) and imo both sides have their strong points, which is precisely why the (more reasonable part of the) community is so torn apart.
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03-26-09, 07:26 PM   #571
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Originally Posted by Tristanian View Post
The way I see it, realistically, in case Blizzard decides to move forward and sue in an extreme situation, it would be for tortious interference with contract.
I think the most realistic scenario is they'll argue everything they can and see what sticks. Which is pretty much what they did with the Glider case.
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03-26-09, 08:00 PM   #572
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Today I was contacted by Ralitsa Vassileva. I will be assisting her on my free time between work and real life.

That's all I've been suggested to reveal at this point. I would google her name. Wish us luck.
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03-26-09, 08:32 PM   #573
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Originally Posted by eqsanctum View Post
Today I was contacted by Ralitsa Vassileva. I will be assisting her on my free time between work and real life.

That's all I've been suggested to reveal at this point. I would google her name. Wish us luck.
I'd urge you to avoid mass media attention to this. May force Blizard to dig in to their current position. It's much easier to back peddle on something when you don't have CNN covering you.
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03-26-09, 08:57 PM   #574
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Originally Posted by Shefki View Post
I'd urge you to avoid mass media attention to this. May force Blizard to dig in to their current position. It's much easier to back peddle on something when you don't have CNN covering you.
I second that .. I see no reason to run to the media about this .. ESPECIALLY since blizz has yet to say anything else on this ..

The last thing we might need is the media taking their spin on this.

When Blizz starts to sue people over this then maybe it might be needed to bring attention to it but not right not.

And what would an International Reporter that has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world want to do a story on Blizzard and it's addon community for anyway?

Last edited by Sepioth : 03-26-09 at 08:59 PM.
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03-26-09, 10:31 PM   #575
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Here's my two copper, as they say. (I'm a bit late since I've been out of town.)

Far too many people are overreacting to this. Calling up lawyers? Alert the media? Seriously? At this early stage? For those that were making enough from donations to support themselves fully or to some significant degree, I can certainly understand a certain amount of frustration and even anger, but I have to say that while I see your side of the argument, I also see the other side.

First, I do not believe any addon author has the "right" to sell their addons. (Side note: This talk of "well, I could technically write an addon without ever playing WoW" is just silly.) Second, pushing too hard for donations in-game can get too close to selling for my tastes. Where the line should be drawn is debatable, and it appears Blizzard would rather - at least for now - simply rule out in-game solicitation entirely to avoid having that debate.

For myself, I'd like to say we could use some "common sense" (if only it truly were common) and agree that something unobtrusive that that doesn't actively "seek" out the user but can be seen when the addon is configured (in the Interface Options, perhaps) would be acceptable. In fact, one could even conclude that a donate button in such a place doesn't necessarily solicit a donation. If the text is worded properly, it would merely be giving information about how to donate, not asking for a donation.

The policies do not seem unreasonable, and from my experience I cannot characterize the Blizzard dev team or their UI team in particular as unreasonable. Frankly, I was surprised to see such a strong negative reaction. That might have something to do with my own experience with and outlook on business, philosophy, and law (it's nothing grand, but I suspect it's more involved than or at least different from that of many others in the thread). Other than that possible objection to the "no soliciting donations" policy, this does not seem bad at all.
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03-26-09, 11:53 PM   #576
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I believe the crux of all this is Carbonite Ads. Seriously, go download it and play with it for a day and Blizzard's perspective becomes a little clearer. I'm not sure of other addons which have such measures.

Up until now, Blizzard was on the fence regarding pay for addons. They said it wasn't against their policies. But people like their revenue and ads are a logical extension for making revenue. Many shareware/adware products present the user with several ads, and then inform them that if they want the ads to go away, they must pay.

Having in-game popup ads appear in WoW made them sit down and deal with this. Otherwise, someone would eventually create an ad framework for WoW that addon authors could hook to increase their revenues. Perhaps even Google would adapt their adsense for WoW. It would get widespread and through their inaction, another market would rise that they couldn't just squash without offending a lot more people, whom may or may not have legal representation.

Its not Carbonite's fault. But someone was going to eventually, and they (to the best of my knowledge) were the pioneers of it.

While Blizzard's decision is draconian, I do feel I understand their motives behind it.
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03-27-09, 03:20 AM   #577
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Up to now,the only problem is #5 isn't it ? A decrease of 70% donations can be a problem for some modders, eg Mr QuestHelper "pays his flat with those donations".

But...

this step by blizz just sth they didn't thought about ? I think that's just a prob of short thinking, not the real true evilness. They think that some users could be annoyed by those buttons ingame and there're just more users than modders. The just didn't realize that this "policy" would have such consequences and that's why you can't flame them cause of that imho. But you should tell them...in a civilized way.
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03-27-09, 03:22 AM   #578
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No, people still have issues with the "principals" of all this, mainly that Blizzy can declare you can't charge for your addons, even if they weren't doing it in the first place.
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03-27-09, 04:08 AM   #579
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blue-post about carbonite:



Source
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03-27-09, 04:43 AM   #580
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In the interest of further measuring of the impact of changing the language... the new language not asking for donations, but just giving a link to nUI's site, and removal of any reference to the Pro version has been in the field for 5 days now.

As previously stated, the total donations in the 24 hours prior to Bliz's policy was $570. Total donations in the last 24 hours: $50. In the last 12 hours: $15
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