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New Minecraft EULA


SXScarecrow
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So, Minecraft's new EULA is pretty sweet. If you haven't read it yet, go here:

https://account.mojang.com/documents/minecraft_eula

What I think is exceptionally nice is the 'Content' section, particularly this bit:

If you make any content available on or through our Game, you must give us permission to use, copy, modify and adapt that content. This permission must be irrevocable, and you must also let us permit other people to use, copy, modify and adapt your content. If you don‘t want to give us this permission, do not make content available on or through our Game. Please think carefully before you make any content available, because it will be made public and might even be used by other people in a way you don‘t like.

The way I read this is as soon as you release your content online for public download, for instance a mod, you are not allowed to try to restrict it's usage. This means permissions for modpacks are now 100% obsolete, because mod authors give "irrevocable" permission for their content to be used, copied, modified and adapted by "other people", which means everyone, because you can't distinguish "people" separately. Please tell me if I am interpreting this completely wrong, but if I am correct it's down with those egotistical brats who insist on permissions! You can't do that anymore!

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Any tools you write for the Game from scratch belong to you. . Modifications to the Game ("Mods") (including pre-run Mods and in-memory Mods) and plugins for the Game also belong to you and you can do whatever you want with them, as long as you don‘t sell them for money / try to make money from them. We have the final say on what constitutes a tool/mod/plugin and what doesn‘t.

I think that's the part that applies to mods. the content bit seems to be talking about posts and whatnot like the game is some kind of message board or facebook or something. not sure what that's supposed to be about.

the good news is that at least adfly is basically forbidden now. so that's a step in the right direction.

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Ok then, even if I am wrong about the content thing (it would nice to get a clarification from Mojang about that), banning all profiteering from mods is still pretty excellent. Plus, removing financial incentive from mods means a) copying mods does not constitute a copyright infringement case because copyright infringement is a civil crime (to win a civil case you need to prove monetary damages) and B) without the lure of adfly revenue from downloading mods authors will be more likely to open source and delimit the redistribution of their mods because there is no financial benefit anymore.

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It depends on what Mojang's long term plan is. Right now the Minecraft modding community relies on third party hacks and launchers. It seems that Mojang is acknowledging the fact people want to be able to modify their game and so are implementing an official modding API. But that could only be part of a larger plan. Perhaps they're going to implement something like the Technic Launcher and the Solder API. An officially supported modification index and modpack support. If that's the case then that bit might make more sense. Such a system would be the next logical step after an official mod API, an official mod distribution model.

It will be nice to be rid of all those adfly links. Since a mod is in effect a packaged hack and with creative interpretation of laws could be seen as at least questionable from a legal stand point, making money on a mod was akin to someone robbing a store and hocking the goods in my book.

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That depends, are mods content in the same sense? It sounded to me like it was talking more about custom maps or texturepacks.

If mods are not "content made available on or through our Game", then what the heck are they? :P The wording of "you must give us permission to use, copy, modify and adapt that content" is what the devs have been saying about how Mojang handles applying content from mods to the vanilla game (as discussed by Dinnerbone in the 2012 Minecon panel). Since there is not an additional section that specifically states the permission issue with mods, and since Mojang has gone on record that this new EULA gives them the right to "use, copy, modify and adapt" modded content for their own use, then yes, I think that "content" includes everything someone can make available to the game, be it a resource pack, map, or modification to the game.

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i would like to point out also that things like hosted servers and Let's Play video channels that are setup for profit would also fall into a murky grey area as a result of this language change.

"If you upload videos of the game to video sharing and streaming sites you are however allowed to put ads on them." covers Let's Plays and such. Web page based ad revenue is, legally, considered completely different than building revenue generation into the actual download (via systems such as adfly) is where you would run into issues.

Ad banners on a page are tied to revenue for a website, and as long as the website isn't selling itself as officially part of Mojang or Minecraft (unless they have a contract with Mojang to do so), banner ad revenue wouldn't count as it would fall under the website's generated revenue. However, selling a mod, or forcing revenue in the act of downloading a mod would be considered "trying to make money" off of the mod, since in this case it is completely unavoidable to not give revenue to the mod developer. An easy way to solve this situation completely, if you still consider it a legal gray area, is to move the download links onto a separate page and not have any ads on that page.

Wording on the whole document could probably be improved, but for the most part it is completely reasonable, especially since it doesn't forbid mod developers from accepting donations.

Edit:

Decided to ask Marc what "content" meant in terms of that section of the EULA. Yes it includes mods.

LsSy9hz.png

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Thumbs up. and this also means...That they can take mods That they personally like and incorporate it into their game willing.

So...possibly more reliable "mods" which wont be "mods" anymore cuz they would be part of core minecraft. meaning more support

they've always had this power. see pistons, hoppers, and to a lesser extent horses.

can't wait for this to sink in for the internet lawyer modder's rights "mah copyrights!" types. the butthurt will be massive I think.

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So that clears it. The new EULA specifically states that mod authors must allow ALL parties to enjoy their content whether they like it or not. If there was ever any doubt about permissions, I guess Mojang have fixed it now. Yay!

At least in the line quoted in the OP, it doesn't say that. It says that mojang has the right to transfer their rights over a mod (or other content) to another. It doesn't say free for all by default. It just means that they could say take someones mod and let a 3rd party use it for whatever they wanted. It's very far from the glorious public domain utopia many of us dream of. It's not even really a step in that direction. Just Mojang giving more power to Mojang.

The adfly thing is a foot forward for sure though.

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At least in the line quoted in the OP, it doesn't say that. It says that mojang has the right to transfer their rights over a mod (or other content) to another. It doesn't say free for all by default. It just means that they could say take someones mod and let a 3rd party use it for whatever they wanted. It's very far from the glorious public domain utopia many of us dream of. It's not even really a step in that direction. Just Mojang giving more power to Mojang.

The adfly thing is a foot forward for sure though.

Eh, it is a bit debatable on that. That same section also says "Please think carefully before you make any content available, because it will be made public and might even be used by other people in a way you don‘t like." Any content that you release for MC becomes public and people are allowed to do things to it. It is the fact that Mojang is saying that your released mod is now a public work that makes me believe that " you must also let us permit other people to use, copy, modify and adapt your content" means that you allow Mojang to allow other people to copy/modify/adapt content via the EULA, as in, anyone who has bought the game.

If this wasn't the case, that section would just read as: "If you make any content available on or through our Game, you must give us permission to use, copy, modify and adapt that content. This permission must be irrevocable, and you must also let us permit other parties to use, copy, modify and adapt your content. If you don‘t want to give us this permission, do not make content available on or through our Game."

That would define it as being specific parties dictated by Mojang and makes it so that mods and what not do not have to be made "public".

Really, there are some weird wordings to everything and it will not be until someone decides to test the EULA that we will figure out completely, but until Mojang updates the EULA with more strict wording, the current wording suggests that mods are fair game for everyone.

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Eh, it is a bit debatable on that. That same section also says "Please think carefully before you make any content available, because it will be made public and might even be used by other people in a way you don‘t like." Any content that you release for MC becomes public and people are allowed to do things to it. It is the fact that Mojang is saying that your released mod is now a public work that makes me believe that " you must also let us permit other people to use, copy, modify and adapt your content" means that you allow Mojang to allow other people to copy/modify/adapt content via the EULA, as in, anyone who has bought the game.

If this wasn't the case, that section would just read as: "If you make any content available on or through our Game, you must give us permission to use, copy, modify and adapt that content. This permission must be irrevocable, and you must also let us permit other parties to use, copy, modify and adapt your content. If you don‘t want to give us this permission, do not make content available on or through our Game."

That would define it as being specific parties dictated by Mojang and makes it so that mods and what not do not have to be made "public".

Really, there are some weird wordings to everything and it will not be until someone decides to test the EULA that we will figure out completely, but until Mojang updates the EULA with more strict wording, the current wording suggests that mods are fair game for everyone.

How many online games before MC have made decisions that later proved to hurt their "social image" so to speak and their user base simply leave for another form of online entertainment? Yes, the wording could be interpreted as Mojang could so far as directly rip off a mod for new vanilla features. But such a thing would really piss a lot of people off. As an indie game publisher that hit big, the overall approval of their user base is key to the furthered existence of their business. I think Marc Watson said it best there. They're not being jerks about it. The legal wording has to say we have this right to be jerks if it came down to it, but we won't be jerks unless you're jerks first.

they've always had this power. see pistons, hoppers, and to a lesser extent horses.

can't wait for this to sink in for the internet lawyer modder's rights "mah copyrights!" types. the butthurt will be massive I think.

I'd be willing to say that yes we might lose a couple modders to exactly this kind of shenanigans but someone else will create a similar mod eventually. You want to be a jerk? OK you can stay behind then, see ya!

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How many online games before MC have made decisions that later proved to hurt their "social image" so to speak and their user base simply leave for another form of online entertainment? Yes, the wording could be interpreted as Mojang could so far as directly rip off a mod for new vanilla features. But such a thing would really piss a lot of people off. As an indie game publisher that hit big, the overall approval of their user base is key to the furthered existence of their business. I think Marc Watson said it best there. They're not being jerks about it. The legal wording has to say we have this right to be jerks if it came down to it, but we won't be jerks unless you're jerks first.

What? I understand that, I never said that Mojang would just full on rip mods off, they've always had a decent policy of talking with the mod author and working things out, it is the same reason why Optifine didn't become integrated into vanilla MC (which may be for the better in the long run, but that is another topic all together). My point is that the wording for the EULA also indicates things like other modders are now able to take someone's mod, decompile it, look at it and make modifications, and re-release as a fork: "Please think carefully before you make any content available, because it will be made public and might even be used by other people in a way you don‘t like. You must also let us permit other people to use, copy, modify and adapt your content."

That is what a lot of people are talking about, not so much redistribution of a mod (however, with the decoration that Mojang's EULA makes all mods Public Work and wording that indicates that people can do what ever the hell they want with that public work, makes me think that things like permissions really isn't an issue anymore until Mojang clarifies otherwise), but if "modmods" can be made and to what degree do you need to "modify/adapt" a mod in order to rebrand it as something else and re-release it to overcome permissions issues. Honestly, the wording of it is kind of nice because it drags the last bit of the community, the portion that is holding the rest of the community back with really bad behaviors, forward kicking and screaming. It is a nice change of pace. Maybe one day the MC modding community will be as nice as the Starbound one, where modders say that people making mods based off of/adapted from their own mods is a compliment instead of throwing a fit and building up the rage of their fanbase. :allears:

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Maybe one day the MC modding community will be as nice as the Starbound one, where modders say that people making mods based off of/adapted from their own mods is a compliment instead of throwing a fit and building up the rage of their fanbase. :allears:

One can but hope.

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  • 1 month later...

Hold on... I think some people may have seen this wrong.

Right from the first post. Read through it CAREFULLY.

If you make any content available on or through our Game, you must give us permission to use, copy, modify and adapt that content. This permission must be irrevocable, and you must also let us permit other people to use, copy, modify and adapt your content. If you don‘t want to give us this permission, do not make content available on or through our Game. Please think carefully before you make any content available, because it will be made public and might even be used by other people in a way you don‘t like.

This surely means that us being mojang can permit people to copy, modify and adapt your mod but they don't neccesarily have to. Meaning you can still stop people using/modifying your mod... Untill mojang says otherwise.

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Let's look closely a third time...

If you make any content available on or through our Game, you must give us permission to use ...

OK they can do what they want with it.

... and you must also let us permit other people to use ...

And they can say others can do what they want with it too. Same difference.

This is merely legalese saying if any litigation is attempted, they have final say in how it's used. It doesn't say that they will every time. So as an example if a mod dev where to say "You can't do this with my mod" he'd have a hard time actually stopping anything. It's the "let's all behave like adults here" clause.

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  • 1 month later...

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