Blizzard Legal FAQ
Where can I send suggestions for games?
We appreciate the time and energy people put into making suggestions for our current and future games. Our company policy, however, prevents us from accepting for review any unsolicited ideas. Often in our industry, an idea being submitted will be identical or similar to one already used by other companies, or already being independently developed by or for a company. Therefore, Blizzard Entertainment® has adopted the unalterable policy of refusing to accept or look at any unsolicited submissions or ideas. You can post your suggestions under the appropriate category in the most relevant game forum: Legacy, StarCraft II, or Diablo III, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft.
What is Blizzard Entertainment's® copyright/trademark policy for the Internet, specifically for fansites? Can I use Blizzard Entertainment's® images, text or sound on my web page? Is it ok if I use screenshots I take in-game on my web page?
Yes, within certain limits. We asked our legal department to provide some guidelines for you, and here is what they said:
Blizzard Entertainment® hereby grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable and non- assignable license to use and display, for home, noncommercial and personal use only, one copy of any material and/or software that you may download from this site, including, but not limited to, any files, codes, audio or images incorporated in or generated by the software (collectively the "Downloaded Content") provided, however, that you must include or maintain all copyright and other notices contained or associated with such Downloaded Content. You acknowledge and agree that you may not sublicense, assign or otherwise transfer this license or the Downloaded Content and that no title to the Downloaded Content has been or will be transferred to you from Blizzard Entertainment® or anyone else. You also agree that you will not alter, disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer or otherwise modify the Downloaded Content.
Also, we reserve the right to revoke this limited use license at any time, for any reason, and at the sole discretion of Blizzard Entertainment®. You may not use our materials on sites that feature defamatory pornographic, or inflammatory content, including, but not limited to, hacks and cheats for any of our games or any other content that Blizzard Entertainment® find objectionable or unlawful.
Are there any legal notices and disclaimers that I need to have on my site when talking about your products?
Yes. You must include all copyright, trademark and other notices as appropriate. Appropriate notices can be acquired from here.
Can I register a domain names containing some portion of your product names such as "star-craft.com" or "war-craft.com?"
No. We are concerned that such use could cause confusion for our customers who may assume that the domain is associated with Blizzard Entertainment®.
Can I put your patches and demos on my web site for download?
Yes. We allow non-commercial mirroring of our patches and demos, so long as you do not alter the patches or demos in any way, and all files included with the original patch or demo are present and intact. Blizzard Entertainment® reserves the right to refuse permission to host or distribute our patches and demos to anyone, for any reason, at any time.
Can I put my own "home-made" maps on my web site for download?
Yes, we encourage players to create maps and trade them on the Internet so long as they are not for sale or profit, nor any other commercial purpose as defined solely by Blizzard Entertainment®.
Can I put your "Maps of the Week" on my web site for download?
No. These maps are created as a service to our customers, and are available exclusively from classic.battle.net.
Can I translate your site into another language if no such site exists?
No. Aside from the confusion it might cause our customers, we would have no control over the quality, accuracy or content of such translated sites.
Can I make add-ons or expansions for Blizzard Entertainment® games? Can I sell them?
We do not allow add-ons or expansions for Diablo®. You may make and distribute StarCraft® and Warcraft® maps and campaigns that you have created yourself, so long as it is for personal, non- commercial purposes. Any such maps or campaigns would also be subject to the other terms outlined in our End User License Agreements included with those products.
Can I sell or charge for a CD or other media containing maps, add-ons or campaigns found on the Internet?
Can I write novels, screenplays, theatrical productions or other adaptations based on your games?
No. Blizzard Entertainment® reserves the right to extend and expand our properties to other media. We want to provide a consistent story and universe for our customers, and want to ensure that only the highest quality, officially licensed and approved material is created based on our characters and other creative properties.
Can I get authorization to do an expansion pack, novel, screenplay, theatrical production, or other adaptation based on your games?
Unfortunately, Blizzard Entertainment® cannot accept unsolicited ideas or submissions. As a result, we will not be able to review or authorize any submissions related to expansions, novels, screenplays, productions or other adaptations.
Can I write music with samples or characters from your game?
We appreciate the creative energies of customers. Use of our music, sound samples, or characters from our game in your original compositions is limited for your own personal use and creative exploration. You may not sell or distribute for commercial purpose any music containing samples of music, sound or characters taken from our game. Any use of these materials would also be subject to the terms of our End User License Agreement included with each product.
Can I do a total conversion of your games?
Yes. We've seen some very polished and fun conversions for our games, and have no problems with total conversions so long as they are for personal use and do not infringe our End User License Agreement included in our games, nor the rights of any other parties including copyrights, trademarks or other rights.
Can I create and/or distribute hack and cheats for your games?
No. Blizzard Entertainment® does not support or condone the use or distribution of cheats and/or hacks for use with Blizzard Entertainment® games under any circumstance.
Can I host a Battle.net® server?
No. Blizzard Entertainment® is not accepting requests to host Battle.net® servers at this time. Should this policy change in the future, we will make the necessary information available on our web site.
Does Blizzard Entertainment® allow or support other Battle.net® like or emulation servers? Can I host one of these rogue servers?
No. Except as set forth in the next paragraph, Blizzard Entertainment® does not support or condone network play of its games anywhere but Battle.net®. Specifically, you may not host or provide matchmaking services for any of our games or emulate or redirect the communication protocols used by Blizzard Entertainment® in the network feature of its games, through protocol emulation, tunneling, modifying or adding components to the game(s), use of a utility program or any other techniques now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose including, but not limited to network play over the Internet, network play utilizing commercial or non-commercial gaming networks or as part of content aggregation networks without the prior written consent of Blizzard Entertainment®.
How is it that Blizzard can distribute such large files to the public?
To distribute large files, such as cinematic trailers, Blizzard utilizes the Blizzard Downloader, which is a software utility that will make use of the "upload" capability of your computer to distribute the Program to other individuals who may also be downloading files from Blizzard. Note that this utility is only active when you are downloading files, and that only files associated with the file that you are downloading are uploaded. Blizzard will not upload any other files, or obtain any personal information about you as a result of this activity.
The Blizzard Downloader is based upon the BitTorrent open source, which is freely distributable pursuant to the MIT License, as follows:
Copyright © 2001-2002 Bram Cohen
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
The Software is provided "AS IS", without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement. In no event shall the authors or copyright holders be liable for any claim, damages or other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise, arising from, out of or in connection with the Software or the use or other dealings in the Software.
Can I make and sell my own products (T-shirts, card games, models/figures, etc.) based on a Blizzard universe?
No. Blizzard Entertainment® does not enter into licensing agreements with individuals. To ensure the quality of all Blizzard products, all of our merchandise is created under a licensing agreement and all prospective licensees are thoroughly reviewed by Blizzard Entertainment before a license is granted.