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.
the first one’s free
Hat Tip: BioBreak