It looks like Blizzard has finally filed the lawsuit against Valve to prevent them from trademarking the DOTA name. Blizzard is arguing that since DOTA was created using the Warcraft 3 Map Editor, and the mod cannot be played independently of War3, that it falls under their End User Licensing Agreement that players agree to when using the editor.
Blizzard goes on to say, that not only can Valve not trademark it, but that Blizzard actually owns the DOTA name and everything associated with it.
“Warcraft III’s EULA clearly specifies that all underlying intellectual property rights in and to Warcraft III are owned by Blizzard: “All title, ownership rights, and intellectual property rights in and to the Program and any and all copies thereof (including, but not limited to, any titles, computer code, themes, objects, characters, character names, stories, dialog, catch phrases, locations, concepts, artwork, animations, sounds, musical compositions, audiovisual effects, methods of operation, moral rights, any related documentation, and `applets’ incorporated into the Program) are owned by Blizzard or its licensors.”
And you thought Blizzard was greedy before. This is more than just an issue about who owns the trademark; Blizzard is basically telling it’s players if you ever create something, we are the ones that own it.
Valve themselves were in this very same position with the Half-Life mod “Counter-Strike”, which was developed by two guys and became arguably the most popular online FPS of all time. I’m sure Valve could have sued them if they wanted to, but they didn’t. Instead they bought it and hired both guys.
The DOTA WAR3 mode itself is not even owned by one author, as the mod has had many over the years. The last being a programmer by the name of IceFrog, who was hired by Valve to work on DOTA 2 in 2009 and shortly afterwards Valve filed for the DOTA trademark.
In response to Valve’s trademarking attempt, Steve Mescon, one of the authors of “DOTA Allstars”, then filed for “Defense of the Ancients”.
However, it seems it was all for naught, as according to Blizzard, they own all the trademarks, coding, characters, story: basically everything.
Personally, I’d like to see all mod creators to boycott using any of Blizzard’s editors until they are granted full rights to anything they create. I can’t believe how scummy Blizzard has become – as this is a new low for me.