|This policy was adopted due to being grandfathered and implemented.
|See also: guidelines, administrators|
This page is an official policy on Wowpedia.
This policy has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow.
- For a statement of copyright ownership regarding material in this wiki, see Wowpedia:Copyrights.
This policy sets out information and rules for respecting Blizzard's copyrights in its works. In order to reproduce any of Blizzard's content, including images, characters, storylines, or text, we must either have Blizzard's clear permission to do so, or meet the criteria required for "fair use".
Copyright is the legal ownership that automatically attaches to creative works. For example, if you were to write a novel in your spare time, you would own the copyright of that novel, and no one else could use its text without your permission. Copyright protects not only the actual text of a novel or code of a computer game, but the characters, plot points, and other creative expressions within.
Copyright law is enforced internationally, based on a series of treaties.
Fair use or fair dealing allows limited reproduction of copyrighted works for specific purposes, such as study or criticism. Fair use considerations of particular relevance to this site include:
- The source of the material must be acknowledged.
- The amount of the original copied. Generally speaking the less, the better. "Quote or closely paraphrase as little as possible to make your point: under 10% is best; above 20% is high risk...although in some cases 1% may not be fair use, and 100% can be fair use, it’s impossible to provide percentage guidelines that always work". A small paragraph or sentence paraphrased or quoted verbatim from a source is likely fine, quoting or paraphrasing an entire article/quest/event from a source is likely not. Use sound judgement.
- The purpose of the copying. If we reproduce some of Blizzard's ideas as a guide to their games and books, that is more likely to be considered a valid purpose than if we included content which could serve as alternatives to the games and books.
Copyright is often confused with trademark, which is a registered name or logo used to sell goods or services. In the case of Blizzard, Blizzard™, Warcraft™, World of Warcraft™, and the Blizzard and Warcraft logos, are all registered trademarks used to sell its games and books. No one else can use those logos in the marketplace. Trademark laws protect Blizzards' names and logos, while copyright laws protect its games and books.
The term copyleft is often used in the context of wikis, and is a form of licensing which allows free distribution, with the main limit that the person using the software must also distribute it freely. Naturally, in order to allow our content to be freely distributed, we must first ensure that we have permission to post it.
This policy covers all articles which describe or discuss the content of Blizzard's computer games, novels, RPG books, manga, and other works. While articles containing direct quotes and images are obviously included, all articles which describe Blizzard's storylines, characters, and other creative expressions are also covered by Blizzard's copyright, despite being written in our own words.
There are only two ways that we can use ideas, text, and images from Blizzard's works:
- With Blizzard's clear permission.
- According to the fair use exception.
All articles covered by this policy must fall into one or both of these categories.
Blizzard gives express permission to reproduce certain material on fansites. This includes:
- Material downloaded from their website.
- Screenshots of their games.
You should include copyright information as near as possible to the use of the material reproduced (on Image: page or using a citation or reference).
In order to be considered fair use of copyrighted material on Wowpedia, all of the following must be met.
- The specific source of the material must be acknowledged. See Wowpedia:Citation
- The tone of the article must be that of a guide to the Warcraft universe, not that of a competing creative work.
- For example, an article describing a novel should objectively describe the main characters and major plot points. It should not be written as a narrative short story which serves to take the place of the novel. Likewise, a description of the events of a game or cinematic should not be in the form of a dramatic short story.
- Where direct quotes are used, special care is required. Note that closely paraphrasing Blizzard's text to avoid direct quotation would still be plagiarism. Try to reduce the information down to 10% of the original source to be safe.
- Quotes must be clearly marked as quotes, using quotation marks or the <blockquote> element.
- Quotes must be used sparingly, and be as brief as possible.
- Quotes must be offered in support of a claim. Do not reproduce Blizzard's text to fill in the substantive content of an article. The only exception to this is if the only information for a subject is limited to a sentence or small paragraph. Quoting or paraphrasing a small bit of information is ok, as long as it includes quotation marks or the <blockquote> element, as well as the ref.
Because it involves issues which could incur legal liability for the wiki, it is imperative that all editors read, follow, and help enforce this policy. Articles not in compliance with this policy should be brought into compliance with it promptly through the removal or editing of the contravening content.
Using Wowpedia content on other sites
Using content from Wowpedia carries with it the expectation that the content will be attributed properly and that the content or any derivations of the content will be shared alike.
To re-distribute a text page in any form, provide credit to the authors either by including a) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the page or pages you are re-using, b) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy which is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on this website, or c) a list of all authors. (Any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions) If you make modifications or additions to the page you re-use, you must license them under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 or later. For further information, please refer to the legal code of the CC-BY-SA License.
An example of appropriate attribution for Wowpedia content being re-used on another site:
- This article uses material from the "Thrall" article on Wowpedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.
Screenshots, videos, and other Blizzard-copyrighted source material may be used by permission from Blizzard. Content from external sources may have additional attribution requirements beyond what is described on this page.
Off-wiki content (for example, e-mails and other forms of communication) is not necessarily released under this license unless otherwise stated.