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World of StarCraft Hit With Copyright Claim

| 19 Jan 2011 18:16
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The MMO fan project World of StarCraft has hit a snag as a copyright complaint from Activision has resulted in the removal of all related videos from YouTube.

Well that sure didn't take long. Barely a day after being revealed to the world, the fan-made, work-in-progress MMO World of StarCraft has hit a very big speed bump as "Ryan," the project lead, received an unpleasant message from YouTube regarding copyright complaints over "pre-alpha" videos he'd posted online. The message is as follows:

ATTENTION
We have received copyright complaint(s) regarding material you posted, as follows:

from Activision Games Inc about World of Starcraft Pre-Alpha Trailer - CreationArtist25
Video ID: RU1dSXU_Bk0
from Activision Games Inc about World of Starcraft Character Selection Screen - CreationArtist25
Video ID: 37dp_5E5NvQ
from Activision Games Inc about Starcraft 2 ATB Battle System MOD - 'POWER OVERWHELMING' - CreationArtist25
Video ID: BTl7YWYFnP8
Please note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos you have uploaded. Please delete any videos for which you do not own the necessary rights, and refrain from uploading infringing videos.

If you are unsure what this means, it is very important that you visit our Copyright Tips guide.

If one of your postings has been misidentified as infringing, you may submit a counter-notification. Information about this process is in our Help Center.

Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material was disabled due to mistake or misidentification may be liable for damages.

For your reference, a copy of this message has been sent to you via email, and can also be located in your Account Warnings page.

It's not good news, but it's worth bearing in mind that Activision hasn't actually killed the project. The YouTube videos are gone but no cease-and-desist has been issued, suggesting that the problem isn't with World of StarCraft itself but rather with some specific aspect of it - most likely the name. Blizzard may not be working on a StarCraft MMO right now but protecting that very valuable World of StarCraft title is absolutely in Activision's interest.

If it does come down to a question of name, Ryan said on the World of StarCraft forum that he'd be happy to change it. "If Blizzard/Activision doesn't want this to happen then it won't. This game HAS to be pumped through the veins of battle.net to work," he wrote. "I hope and pray that we can come to an understanding here. If they want the name changed then I'll change it."

We've reached out to Blizzard for more information and will update when we find out more.

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