I read in an article on CinemaBlend that Blizzard looked at the possibility of allowing a private Vanilla Warcraft server continue to run. Blizzard states there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s Intellectual Property while allowing that to happen.
Listen, it’s Blizzard’s property. They can do what they want. I get what they’re trying to do here, play the “we’d love to but we just can’t” nice guy card.
But the truth is, it’s their property and they can do with it how they please. If they don’t want anyone else to play with their toys then they can do that. If they want to allow someone to license the use of a character, they can do that too.
So let’s just lay it out there. The notion that there is no legal way they can allow the server to continue while protecting their intellectual property is hog wash.
Yes they absolutely needed to send out the cease-and-desist letter. That had to happen to bring the volunteers for the server to the table. But seeing how the community loves the server, they could easily just say look: we want people to pay for subscriptions. So you put a gateway up that only allows official logins, sign the dotted line that acknowledges we are in full ownership of the intellectual properties and can rescind this offer at any time, and you can keep it going.
The fact that Blizzard made the mode to protect their property was enough. By only allowing it to continue in accordance to a contractual agreement keeps their property protected.
What Blizzard is essentially arguing here is if you loan your lawnmower to your neighbor at no charge, then anyone can come into your garage and take your lawnmower without asking.
Allowing others to use your Intellectual Property is what licensing and contracts are all about. So let’s cut the “we would if we could” act and just call it what it is. Blizzard does not want Vanilla servers to exist. They do not want their players scattered like sticks in the wind. Even if they were to offer licensing, it is not in their interests to have players playing Warcraft anywhere else other than on Blizzard servers.
So quit trying to do a Public Relations song and dance over this. Just say what it is. There is only one World of Warcraft and that’s the way you (Blizzard) want to keep it.