[BioWare] No Good Deed

EDIT: So BioWare it seems is pretty swift with making sure this is made right. They sent me a copy of the email, which I am not authorized to share, but it does break it down in a pretty “plain language” format. I still think they are a little bully-ish because it starts out with mention of the “binding legal contract,”  which can set the reader to defensive right away. But, the crux of the email is “we want to promote you guys!” The email even discusses the need to pay for server costs, etc. vs. the benefit of being promoted. Thanks to BioWare for the clarification.

Wait a minute. So BioWare contacts Star Wars: The Old Republic fan-sites, those that are exclusive to their game, and reminds them that if they are making money on their fan-site, then according to a two-year old click-through agreement, BioWare cannot promote the fan-site. And, this is controversial? Did I miss a takedown notice or Valentine’s day sacrifice of a goat force fed chocolates to death on BioWare’s steps?

To be fair (and given that I have not seen this offending email), it seems that BioWare’s intention to promote community backfired. It seems to me that BioWare wants to promote fan-sites, and are trying to remind the fan-sites that BioWare can only do so if the fan-site follows some reasonable terms. This of course blew up in their face, as most things do, when a simple request is inundated with legalese to a ridiculous degree. Of course they came off as bullies when using language that normal humans don’t speak. Even my wife [constantly] reminds me of that!

Lawyers should not be contacting fan-sites unless they intend to sue them. If all BioWare wanted to do was hope to promote more fan-sites a short, simple email from a community manager would have sufficed. Don’t fire the Death Star when a simple psychokinetic strangling will do the trick.

–Ravious
the first one’s free

Hat Tip: BioBreak

13 thoughts on “[BioWare] No Good Deed”

  1. I live with a lawyer. Sometimes the language she uses is ridiculously over-thought and comes off as having dark connotations because it isn’t just plain yes or no language. And this is speaking to me! My dad was the same way, so aggravating to deal with because he would pretend to not know what you mean unless you used uber-precise language.

    This is not to mention the horror stories I hear of how they treat each other at firms, which they think is normal (like every tv law show x100). Sometimes I’m surprised I ever even dated a lawyer. :)

  2. Unless it was a fully voice acted letter this is just the same ole same ole legal crap we’ve read again and again, they gotta have something to hook me and stand out in the crowd. Wonder if they used The Chewbacca Defense as a ‘Touchstone’ on how to write a legal letter.

  3. Kudos to you Ravious for being fair minded and accepting their side of the story. Unfortunately most people wouldn’t have an open mind for such a thing.

  4. I can’t help but wonder who thinks secret letters are a good idea on the internet. They could have just made this a news post on the site, “We can’t sponsor you if you make a profit, so sez legal, soz guys.” Instead it’s a closed letter, meaning everyone gets to hear about it second hand from the telephone game… even worse because you’re mainly getting the reactions of fan site owners who are stuck making a hard choice, and may feel this is an attack.

  5. Most of these “big” fansites, blogs, databases and wikis all have ads. Without their owners making money off of it I doubt many of those sites we visit each day would even exist.

    On the other hand, Bioware will undoubtedly charge us all to play their game, while these websites don’t charge you anything for the info given. Money makes the internetz happen.

  6. Yeah, because Lucas has such a great track record for treating other people fairly. And by fairly I mean taking every single possible penny he can from them.

    Sound to me like more “money turf” marking by Lucas.

    There is no misunderstanding. All Star Wars money will go to Lucas. Cause you know, he made Star Wars. The Prequels showed us that. Or they showed us someone else made the originals. Does it really matter?

    Lucas gots the legal rights and he is gettings all the money.

    I can’t help but wonder who thinks secret letters are a good idea on the internet.

    Really? Could the fanboys defend Lucas if his fangs-bared letters were actually published? No, of course not. Demanding secrecy is almost an admission of guilt. You can spin the secrecy demand all you want, it’s at the bare minimum an extraordinarily suspicious act.

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