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WoW UI AddOn Development Policy discussion thread - Page 36 - WoWInterface
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04-03-09, 04:26 PM   #701
Tuhljin
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I'm nitpicking here, but here goes anyway. (my emphasis added)
Originally Posted by Yhor View Post
And a secondary point: I was banned and had posts wiped, I really don't see a huge impact in one way or the other. However, when people such as Cogwheel, have their posts wiped, it makes no sense to me (yeah, it -might- be exactly how the ban process -works-, but imo, that's a poor excuse) to wipe the ability of someone that has helped the community so much from things they have contributed in the past.
no one should be treated any differently than the next, in this context at least.
Those two things don't mesh, unless it's a more general complaint about the ban process itself - but in the majority of instances where I've seen someone get banned, that process makes sense.

Also, generally speaking (not talking about MVPs), leaders and figureheads should be and many times are held to higher standards than others, in part precisely because of the "leaders get away with stuff" perception (true or not, and all too often true) that people develop otherwise.

Last edited by Tuhljin : 04-03-09 at 04:29 PM.
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04-03-09, 04:38 PM   #702
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Originally Posted by Tuhljin View Post
I know what you're saying, and it's understandable, but as several of us have related, it's also a fairly standard thing that happens and not likely a targeted or calculated move, and despite that being mentioned, it still seemed some people aren't giving that its fair weight... but really, it seems people just read into it what they want to to reinforce their own opinions.

Yeah, at this point, it's much more of a than a for me.
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04-03-09, 06:23 PM   #703
Yhor
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Originally Posted by Tuhljin View Post
I'm nitpicking here, but here goes anyway. (my emphasis added)


Those two things don't mesh, unless it's a more general complaint about the ban process itself - but in the majority of instances where I've seen someone get banned, that process makes sense.
My complaint has nothing to do with banning, but has everything to do with the wiping of irrelevant posts. I'm all for punishment that is just, but to wipe a user's post history -because- they were banned for something that has nothing to do with -those- posts, is juvenile, imo (even if it -is- automated).

Also, generally speaking (not talking about MVPs), leaders and figureheads should be and many times are held to higher standards than others, in part precisely because of the "leaders get away with stuff" perception (true or not, and all too often true) that people develop otherwise.
I agree, yet I don't really understand why, in a world that -should- be about equality and righteousness. One person -shouldn't- be held to higher standards once they leave office/position of power. My intention for that statement was "former" U.S. Representative, though it shouldn't really matter.

I'm gonna go pet my dog now, at least she loves me (when I feed her).
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04-03-09, 08:37 PM   #704
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On a totally unrelated note to Cog's predicament with the post wipe, I just finished reading what can be considered as Mundocani's response over at Curse (Outfitter's description) to the harsh criticism that he had to endure all these weeks, due to his decision to cease distribution of his addons, publicly. I've bolded some of the parts because I believe that truer words couldn't have been spoken.

For four years now I have been providing my addons and support for them for free, without advertising, without donations, just plain free. I've answered questions for vast numbers of people quickly and when patches or serious bugs are causing problems I provide updates quickly as well. I've created and leveled new characters to hunt down class-specific bugs, I've spent lots of time on PTRs looking for bugs so I can have an upload ready when a patch is about to be released, and I've added features that I've never personally used but which others requested and find useful. When The Burning Crusade torched the raiding guild I was in and the guild I joined used a web-based calendar instead of an in-game one, I kept on developing and debugging Group Calendar even though the only feature I still used personally was the tradeskill reminders. Development was a lot harder without a whole guild and I had to use my spouse's account and a vanity guild I created just to test and to reproduce other people's bugs.

During those years I had to endure the occasional jerk who treated me like an employee, or the fanboi who would come by and declare that my work was garbage and ItemRack, ClosetGnome, GEM, etc. are so much better than anything I made. I've had friends reassure me when all this got me down, when the fun of developing and sharing my work felt like it was completely gone. They'd remind me that for every one of those asshats there were a vast number more who appreciated and valued my contributions to their enjoyment of the game.

Blizzard has every right to control the in-game experience and to regulate addons in that manner, but when Blizzard announced a policy that effectively asserted distribution control over addon author's copyrighted material (as all addons are unless they explicitly state otherwise) I was livid. I know how much time and effort it takes to develop, maintain, and support a major addon and I know that the code in most addons has nothing to do with anything Blizzard owns beyond that they run inside Blizzard's sandbox environment. Having all that work devalued by rude users is one thing, but having it devalued by Blizzard is too much. So I pulled my addons from public distribution in protest.

I couldn't have imagined the things that the addon-using community would be saying in reaction. I know most players at least understand the right to stand up and oppose something you believe to be wrong, but there are so many players who've made it painfully clear that they consider Addons to be nothing more "typing a few words onto the screen" or something else just as trite, and Blizzard's policy has given them even more reason to believe they're right. "AND JUSTICE IS SERVED" one poster commented recently, as if there were any wrongs needing "justice." I've been told I'm greedy, that I'm especially horrible for protesting this policy because my work is already free and isn't affected, and of course the always lovely "good riddance".

These days even my friends who've reminded me over the years of all the people who appreciate what I've done, even those friends have to pause. Even they don't know what to think of the addon-using community anymore. They're as shocked and dismayed as I am at those comments and no longer encourage me to ignore those people. Even they now understand just how abusive some players can get and how low some players are willing to go if their free stuff seems threatened.

The issue of in-game solicitation for donations has been cleared up thanks to efforts by sites like Curse and WoWInterface. The issue of Blizzard asserting rights over how an author chooses to distribute his work has not been settled. Two weeks since their policy announcement Blizzard has still made no statement on this issue: not to clarify it, not to justify it, not even to say "we'll look into the concerns being raised".

I'm not upset with Blizzard in general, just with some of this new policy. I look forward to Ulduar and I think Blizzard provides a world-class product for a good value.

I'm not interested in someone else "picking up" my work as I'm not stopping development, and I've released a couple new versions of Outfitter and both Group Calendar 4 and 5 over the past two weeks. I just have no interest in distributing them publicly anymore because of this new policy and, frankly, because of the attitude I've seen so many players express recently. I know most players appreciate the time and effort and value that major addons provide them, but it's clear that so many players take my work and time for granted, that so many players spit on addon authors, that I don't see how I'll ever have fun contributing to the public addon community again.

I'm considering whether to begin posting builds to Curse and WoWI again so that people can get updates via the auto-updaters (yes, I like auo-updaters too). I'd like to hear *anything* from Blizzard before making a decision. If I do resume uploading, I probably won't provide public support or even read the public forums anymore. Avoiding the support forums wouldn't be out of spite, it'd be out of the need to eliminate this abusive and stressful aspect from my life. I wonder how many people reading this have a hobby where they endure harsh and abusive crticism from people who are actually helped, for free, by their hobby. I doubt many would continue a hobby in an environment like that, at least not publicly.

Alternatively, I'm considering putting them back up publicly and using the donation facilities added by Curse and WoWI. I'm going to be treated like an employee and be held to the standards of a business anyhow. Maybe it'd be easier to put up with the bs if I'm paid a fair wage for all the time and abuse that comes with this job. I'm not too keen on turning what's supposed to be a fun hobby into a job though, so I just don't know.

I want the fun of my hobby back.
In all honesty, I haven't really read the comments on Curse for that particular addon, after Mundocani decided to halt development (or comments on WoWI for QH or anywhere else for that matter). After I did so, I can simply state that the idiocy and insulting tone of some people, due to their free stuff taken away, is simply, mind-boggling.
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04-03-09, 08:46 PM   #705
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Man it's becoming a TLDR-fest in here. Not saying that the posts are in any way less valid, just that not many people are gonna read em!

Originally Posted by Tristanian View Post
I can simply state that the idiocy and insulting tone of some people, due to their free stuff taken away, is simply, mind-boggling.
Could you imagine if the /(?:ri|mp)aa/ could actually stop bittorrent and remove all those files from people's computers? I think the internet would * literally* burn to the ground.
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04-03-09, 08:50 PM   #706
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Originally Posted by Tekkub View Post
Could you imagine if the /(?:ri|mp)aa/ could actually stop bittorrent and remove all those files from people's computers? I think the internet would * literally* burn to the ground.
Judging from the reactions for something as simple (and maybe not as "important"), as a WoW addon, no matter how good or popular it is, I'd say that it would indeed burn to the ground. Sad. Just sad.
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04-03-09, 09:46 PM   #707
Jeania
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Okay I read the first 20 pages :P I couldn't endure the other 16 *ducks* nah I promise I'll read them later lol

I absolutely love the addons, addon authors, and the addon site hosts.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay I had a buunch written, and while not offensive, It's prolly stuff that's been said by a 1000 people (maybe in the 16 pages I've not read yet xD)

I will say this... I love you guys, I agree with you guys, and I hope that the hurt that's come with this can be mended. I also feel that while are torn on the 'wrong/right' issue on this, I consider it a grey area.

Blizz is babysitting people that can babysit themselves... If they download something, then they are taking responsibility for their own game, imo. Most of the 'ads' on donations I've ever seen in my zillions of addons, are very un-intrusive...either last page in the config, in the info, or whatever. Popups...well if there were something that was too much 'push', 'uninstall' Oo. Blizz doesn't need to babysit people so much. Seriously. Heck, if they are so concerned, they can put one person on each realm to sit in a city trade chat to 'babysit' it if they want to 'protect' their babies.... Gold sellers, etc...

One thing that concerns me however... is this is going to push away addon authors. Heck, most of them (kick me if i'm wrong, just not too hard, I am fragile xD) wrote the addons for them/themselves/their guild etc...and chose to 'share' it with us. God, some of them work so dang hard that it almost gives them no time to even play the game themselves. It affects their personal life, gaming life, jobs (some i guess) their families... And to be told they can't have on their info page (for example) a donate mention? And now they have to have their addon approved...well that's a bit 'iffy too'. Addon authors have created their art, and they have shared it with us. I am extremely appreciative, and rather than 'bashing' them in the manner of Blizzard's new rules, they need to be more supportive, imo.

I've told some addon authors that I've had communication with that I personally really feel for them, dealing with the 'public' and their demands. I sincerely feel that if people donate, then woot! I'm honestly glad that they do (trust me, I would if I could >.< I hate not being able to pay for the art I use as much as I'd like >.<)

Gotta say too...please don't listen to the trolls on the other sites that are being mean guys...they represent a smaller number than they think *eats the trolls*

I do worry *gets on her tin hat* if they are going this way...where does it stop?

Okay where's my horse icon! *searches* dangit It's not in the smilies to the left *cries* ooo here we go :P




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04-03-09, 10:27 PM   #708
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Originally Posted by Jeania View Post
And now they have to have their addon approved...well that's a bit 'iffy too'.
The addon store thing was a april fools day joke.
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04-03-09, 10:39 PM   #709
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lol nooo I know that xD trust me *throws a tomato at da friendly red woman with a grin*

no I mean that they are going to be 'monitored' so to speak, their lua has to be completely understandable, etc, lol i guess i'm not explaining that part very well xD Anyone who knows what I mean please go ahead and explain lol.
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04-03-09, 11:00 PM   #710
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And now they have to have their addon approved...well that's a bit 'iffy too'. Addon authors have created their art, and they have shared it with us. I am extremely appreciative, and rather than 'bashing' them in the manner of Blizzard's new rules, they need to be more supportive, imo.
Close, but not quiet. Addons (at least on WoWI) are always approved to stop viruses and such from being uploaded, but there's no new additional approval needed from Blizzard. Obviously I don't speak for WoWI, but I bet they aren't checking anything really new in addons besides maybe a quick glance and waiting for someone to report it if it breaks the new rules.
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04-03-09, 11:03 PM   #711
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The main this is WoWI added a lil bit to the agreement when you upload that says you comply with the policy. So if you don't and someone reports it, they'll take it down.
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04-04-09, 01:09 PM   #712
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Originally Posted by Tristanian View Post
In all honesty, I haven't really read the comments on Curse for that particular addon, after Mundocani decided to halt development (or comments on WoWI for QH or anywhere else for that matter). After I did so, I can simply state that the idiocy and insulting tone of some people, due to their free stuff taken away, is simply, mind-boggling.
I read that post the other day and after going through the comments section and seeing the kind of things said on the UI forums, I don't know if I would be able to stomach continuing to develop the work for free if I were a mod dev. Part of that may be that I'm pretty sure I'll be going into government and I see the same sort of attitudes expressed all the time, but still, I can't believe the speed with which people will vilify you the moment you stop allowing them to benefit from your pure generosity (which, IMO, would also include releasing the work to other authors).
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04-04-09, 07:22 PM   #713
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Maybe off topics but : http://www.blizzard.com/us/jobopp/designer-ui-wow.html

Any takers?


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04-04-09, 11:48 PM   #714
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Originally Posted by Martinus View Post
Maybe off topics but : http://www.blizzard.com/us/jobopp/designer-ui-wow.html

Any takers?
I'd point out that this job isn't really a coding job. Someone that could code would be a bonus but it seems to mostly be someone who's job would be to prototype UI designs and the art to go with them and then someone else in the coding team actually implements it.

This is pretty different from the way most addon authors operate. I don't think most of us prototype interfaces in photoshop (though I'm sure some do) and even then most addons don't have a lot of original art.

If you look at the guild bank, achievements, and vehicle UIs you will note that Blizzard likes to include colorful art around their interfaces. That job description is for someone to make that stuff.

So honestly, I'm tired of seeing people post that link in the face of authors when it's not really what we do.
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04-05-09, 01:31 AM   #715
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Originally Posted by Tristanian View Post
In all honesty, I haven't really read the comments on Curse for that particular addon, after Mundocani decided to halt development (or comments on WoWI for QH or anywhere else for that matter). After I did so, I can simply state that the idiocy and insulting tone of some people, due to their free stuff taken away, is simply, mind-boggling.

I wish I could agree, but I have to honestly say that I am not surprised in the least by the general reactions. But then again, I am a cynic and tend to expect the worst from people. That way I never get disappointed.

I like to believe that Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is a dramatization rather than actual fiction, and I would compare Cogwheel, Mundocani, and the other authors who have pulled their work to John Galt and his associates from that novel. (I consider that a compliment, just in case it is not obvious.)
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04-05-09, 08:09 AM   #716
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I wanted to post to show my appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of man hours that have gone into making addons fill every feasible gap in Blizzard's standard interface. However having not read the thread completely, I would like to point out one possible reason for them clamping down so hard.

Cogwheel states that his addons are copyrighted by him. To a certain extent that is true, but there are mitigating factors.

Blizzard are completely within their own rights to add aspects to their game as and when they see fit. Take for example the Equipment Manager. You could argue that the idea for the Equipment Manager was implemented first by the community. If you claim copyright on your code, that's fair enough, but what if Blizzard do it better? What if Blizzard re-use an aspect of your code in order to make theirs work? What if they copy the design, or the implementation of the addon? If Blizzard granted you legal rights to hold copyright over code inserted into their game, they are going to have to legally wrangle out every single little minutae over how they take inspiration from the community.

Now you may sit there and say "I love this game and I'd freely give my code to Blizzard" but eventually someone would turn around and say "no, pay me." At which point, you'd have legal problems. As you have found out yourself, Cogwheel, for every 990 people that love your addon and praise you and even feed you donations, there are 10 who are just out for themselves. Those 10 would have caused Blizzard untold problems, and the door needed to be shut. Blizzard need to have the freedom to add things to the UI as they see fit, and they can't have people claiming copyright left and right for bits of their own game. Ultimately you're using a licenced language that Blizzard have provided, and you are limited to what they allow you to use. They are allowed to restrict copyright in that environment if they are offering it explicitly. In this case they have adopted the open source standard, which simply means you can't hide bits of code away and it has to be accessable to both themselves and the general public.

Blizzard have taken a very hard stance on gold sellers in recent times. They don't want people making money out of their games. They have included a method through which people can make money from it - competitiveness in arena. That is what they are proud of. Now you may argue that all you're doing is paying for the time spent developing the addon, rather than the product, and that your donations are voluntary. It was getting to the point that people were starting to turn addon making into an economy much to the disgust of the community.

So imagine if Blizzard did allow financial renumeration through their game. How long until external commercial influences got hold of it? There is already an industry built around a fictional currency that a fraction of a percent of the population use. How many addon authors would be willing to hold out if IGN came up to them and offered to buy their million download addon for a few thousand quid? All of a sudden when you load up SCT you're spammed by adverts for the latest game or soft drink or whatever. Suddenly areas of the code are locked out unless you click this link once a day which sends you to an external site.

You're talking about a captive market of ten million people from every country on the planet, most of whom who play multiple hours a day. This game has the same kind of financial reach as prime time television. By doing this, Blizzard while somewhat slapping addon authors in the face have locked out a great deal of potential future problems. Carbonite was only the beginning, and it needed to stop there. If Blizzard had given authors total copyright over their own code AND financial renumeration, what if they had introduced a part of their UI that killed your income? Yes, this may be pie in the sky, but do not doubt the legal wrangling that could have resulted from this.

I've been playing WoW for years and i've watched the addons community develop with Blizzard's help into something that can turn WoW into almost a new game entirely. Whether you're talking about your hardcore arena nut who just uses Gladius because he fancies himself winning the big cash prizes, to a hardcore raider who has so many addons it doesn't even look like the same game anymore, addons are core to the gameplay of many people. Every last one of your addon authors has my thanks and no doubt the thanks of millions of other WoW players.

Do not doubt that Blizzard feels you are also a part of the success of their game, but they absolutely MUST cover their arses legally.

EDIT: To the post below me, featured author or not I just clicked on a random page and saw a response of only "ROFLLMAO" which is not exactly what I'd call constructive discussion. I've registered solely to offer support to people who have made my gaming experience much more enjoyable and console them with possible reasons why this has happened. Just because a discussion is a few days old, does not make it "dead". This should be discussed for a long time. It is an important legal move from Blizzard.

Last edited by Galactica : 04-05-09 at 08:22 AM.
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04-05-09, 08:15 AM   #717
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04-05-09, 08:27 AM   #718
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I can see authors' side of this policy issue, but I don't see how that policy affects them overall. I donate to authors when I can afford to, so I don't see the problem with the buttons. I understand some people use these wonderful helps that you all are creative enough to put together and never ever even say thank you, let alone make a donation to help defray your time and costs, not to mention acknowledge your contribution. But imo, the authors who have shut down their add-ons in protest to Blizzard's policy aren't hurting Blizzard in the least; the WoW users who use and appreciate their add-ons and helps are bearing the brunt of their decision to pack up their toys and go home.

So, to all who make these wonderful tools that we all use, THANK YOU! And I hope that you will reconsider your decision to withdraw these wonderful and valuable tools that we all use. I will continue to support authors with donations when funds allow, and hopefully, continue to receive the fruits of their labor.

EDIT: I have to say that Galactica pretty much summed it all up in his/her post. I'm not as learned about the nuances of the whys and whos and what they did, but know that legally, Blizzard had to put a stop to the leak before it became a flood.

Last edited by Peyana : 04-05-09 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Agree with Galactica
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04-05-09, 08:56 AM   #719
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Originally Posted by Tristanian View Post
On a totally unrelated note to Cog's predicament with the post wipe, I just finished reading what can be considered as Mundocani's response over at Curse (Outfitter's description) to the harsh criticism that he had to endure all these weeks, due to his decision to cease distribution of his addons, publicly. I've bolded some of the parts because I believe that truer words couldn't have been spoken.



In all honesty, I haven't really read the comments on Curse for that particular addon, after Mundocani decided to halt development (or comments on WoWI for QH or anywhere else for that matter). After I did so, I can simply state that the idiocy and insulting tone of some people, due to their free stuff taken away, is simply, mind-boggling.
I hope my comments are not taken as criticism or crying, as I do appreciate the time and dedication these authors have put into their work. I am saddened that the few are screwing it up for the many who appreciate their work and donate on a "as funds permit" basis to show authors monetarily how much we appreciate your work. Mundocani, excellent add-on in OUtfitter--there isn't anything close to being as good. Batrick, Spellcraft is undeniably the best class specific add-on--and it also helps out the other 99 toons I have. And to all the other authors that provide this "noob" with the tools that make the game SO MUCH BETTER---thank you thank you thank you. I miss ya'll already, and hope you will come back to us.

Last edited by Peyana : 04-05-09 at 08:59 AM. Reason: grammar check:)
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04-05-09, 02:17 PM   #720
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Originally Posted by Galactica View Post
Cogwheel states that his addons are copyrighted by him. To a certain extent that is true, but there are mitigating factors.

Blizzard are completely within their own rights to add aspects to their game as and when they see fit. Take for example the Equipment Manager. You could argue that the idea for the Equipment Manager was implemented first by the community. If you claim copyright on your code, that's fair enough, but what if Blizzard do it better? What if Blizzard re-use an aspect of your code in order to make theirs work? What if they copy the design, or the implementation of the addon? If Blizzard granted you legal rights to hold copyright over code inserted into their game, they are going to have to legally wrangle out every single little minutae over how they take inspiration from the community.
Your lack of knowledge of copyright law is showing. You can not copyright the idea of how the addon is designed. You can only copyright the specific implementation. Blizzard has never copied directly from an existing addon when they are implementing the functionality from one and probably never will.

This policy does nothing to change the legal issues of implementing an addons functionality into the base UI. Even if Blizzard considers addons derivative works, this does not invalidate the copyright. It simply means they have an interest in it too. The same logic that allows Blizzard to stop an addon they consider to be a derivative work from being distributed can be used by the author to stop Blizzard from using it.

So the policy has absolutely nothing to do with implementing the functionality of addons into the core of the game.

Now you may sit there and say "I love this game and I'd freely give my code Blizzard need to have the freedom to add things to the UI as they see fit, and they can't have people claiming copyright left and right for bits of their own game. Ultimately you're using a licenced language that Blizzard have provided, and you are limited to what they allow you to use. They are allowed to restrict copyright in that environment if they are offering it explicitly. In this case they have adopted the open source standard, which simply means you can't hide bits of code away and it has to be accessable to both themselves and the general public.
So it's ok for Blizzard to be concerned about addon authors claiming copyright over their code (nobody here is) but us addon authors should just suck it up and deal with Blizzard claiming copyright over our code?

Blizzard have taken a very hard stance on gold sellers in recent times. They don't want people making money out of their games. They have included a method through which people can make money from it - competitiveness in arena. That is what they are proud of. Now you may argue that all you're doing is paying for the time spent developing the addon, rather than the product, and that your donations are voluntary. It was getting to the point that people were starting to turn addon making into an economy much to the disgust of the community.
Yet the community doesn't complain about sites like wowinterface, wowhead, curse, allakzham, thottbot, etc making money off the game. In the case of database sites like wowhead all they are doing is publishing Blizzard's copyrighted graphics, quest text and models while providing a forum/chat system around it.

You don't see anyone getting up in arms about this because it's free to them. But gosh an addon author wanting to make money that a player might have to actually pay, well gosh that's just wrong.

This has everything to do with the entitlement that people feel and nothing about who is and isn't actually making money. Incidentally, those sites mentioned above, every last one of them has fan site status from Blizzard.

So imagine if Blizzard did allow financial renumeration through their game. How long until external commercial influences got hold of it? There is already an industry built around a fictional currency that a fraction of a percent of the population use. How many addon authors would be willing to hold out if IGN came up to them and offered to buy their million download addon for a few thousand quid? All of a sudden when you load up SCT you're spammed by adverts for the latest game or soft drink or whatever. Suddenly areas of the code are locked out unless you click this link once a day which sends you to an external site.
And if this absurd example happened people would stop using SCT and use one of the other addons that does the same thing. IGN would have wasted their money and the community would move on.

You're talking about a captive market of ten million people from every country on the planet, most of whom who play multiple hours a day. This game has the same kind of financial reach as prime time television. By doing this, Blizzard while somewhat slapping addon authors in the face have locked out a great deal of potential future problems. Carbonite was only the beginning, and it needed to stop there.
No addon has 100% marketshare. Implementing advertising into the game is practically impossible. First of all you have no way of feeding the data back to the author to measure the audience. You have no way of introducing new adverts except users updating the addon. It was a crap idea that was going to die on its own. The existing limitations on what addons can and can't do made it technically unfeasible to truly build a business around that model.

If Blizzard had given authors total copyright over their own code AND financial renumeration, what if they had introduced a part of their UI that killed your income? Yes, this may be pie in the sky, but do not doubt the legal wrangling that could have resulted from this.
It's complete and utter nonsense. I could sit here and come up with a bazillion examples where this sort of thing happens all the time. Things become obsolete. You think Apple was worried about lawsuits from floppy drive manufacturers when they stopped putting floppy drives on their computers? I doubt the thought even entered their head.

Blizzard doesn't give us copyright. We have copyright. It's something that automatically happens according to law.

Do not doubt that Blizzard feels you are also a part of the success of their game, but they absolutely MUST cover their arses legally.
Except that your legal theories are wrong and there's nothing to cover their butt from. This is all about what they like or don't like. I'd argue what they like or don't like is largely based on the reaction of the average player of their game to things like pay addons or advertising.
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WoWInterface » General Discussion » Chit-Chat » WoW UI AddOn Development Policy discussion thread

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