Letter to the Machinimators of the world
Blizzard Entertainment strongly supports the efforts its World of Warcraft community members who produce 'Machinima*' movies (referred to hereafter as a "Production") using video images, footage, music, sounds, speech, or other assets from its copyrighted products, including "World of Warcraft", subject to a few conditions.
The Fundamental Rule
First and foremost, Blizzard Entertainment requires that the use of World of Warcraft and other Blizzard products must be limited to non-commercial purposes.
What this means for the artist
As a community machinima artist, you are permitted to create machinima productions, and to distribute them freely on your website, or on other websites where viewers can freely view your Production.
Limitation of Usage
Neither you (the Machinima artist) nor the operator of any website where your Production(s) may be viewed can force a viewer to pay a "fee" to be able to view your Production(s).
Regarding "Premium Access" Content
We understand that many third party websites have a "free" method to see their machinima content, as well as a 'premium' membership service that allows for speedier viewing.
For clarity, please note that as long as the website that hosts your Production provides a free method to allow viewers to see the Production, Blizzard Entertainment will not object to your Production being hosted on that site, regardless of the site's "for pay" premium service plans.
Your Production cannot be sold
Note that Blizzard Entertainment's restriction that Productions be limited to "non commercial" uses also means that you may not license a Production you have created to another company for a fee, or any other form of compensation, without specific written permission from Blizzard Entertainment to do so. Blizzard Entertainment reserves the right to use World of Warcraft for all commercial purposes.
These permissions and endorsements apply only to "T" rated Productions
To maintain and protect the image of our games, Blizzard also requires that Productions maintain the "T" rating that has been given to World of Warcraft by the ESRB, and similar ratings received from other ratings boards around the world, and that these standards are taken into account during the creation of your Production.
Blizzard support of Film Festivals, Contests, and Broadcast opportunities
If you have created a Production that meets the guidelines above that you would like to enter into a film competition or festival, or if you encounter the opportunity to have your Production shown on television, Blizzard Entertainment is happy to support your efforts by, pending review and approval of your Production, providing a content use license for your Production.
If you are a website operator, film festival organizer, or broadcaster and you are interested in running a "Machinima contest," where WoW Machinima will be allowed entry into the contest, we are happy to inform you that Blizzard allows websites, Film Festivals, and Broadcasters to run machinima contests as long as the "total prize package"(cash and prizes) for the contest does not exceed $500.00 USD. If, however, you are interested in running a machinima contest that will feature WoW machinima where the total value (cash and prizes) of all of the prizes exceeds $500.00 USD, you will need to obtain a license from Blizzard in order to hold the contest.
What is a content use license?
In the event that you are required to prove to the contest organizer, festival committee, or television broadcaster that you have Blizzard Entertainment's permission to use the images or video from World of Warcraft that appear in your Production, a content use license is provided. This license serves to prove you have the rights to use your Production materials specifically for that event.
A content use license is not unlimited: it permits the use of the Blizzard materials in your Production only for the 'event' that the license has been issued for, and in the specific methods outlined in the license.
Educational Use of Production Materials
Blizzard Entertainment supports the use of its game assets for educational purposes, and you are welcome and encouraged to create a Production for a school project, master's thesis, etc. All limitations above still apply to Productions created for educational purposes.
Inclusion of Sponsor Names, Logos, or Affiliates
Knowing that there are organizations out there willing and ready to support artists in the Machinima community, the mentioning of artist or contest sponsors, through methods such as logos at the beginning of the production, or the verbal mentioning of sponsor names, is permissible.
However, to keep each Production in the fair-use scope of non-commercial material, you may not include more than 10 seconds total of sponsor promotion per Production. Additionally you must visually include the text "Sponsored By" when being displayed. Simple text 'credits', included at the end of your Production and unaccompanied by logos, slogans, or other methods of visual isolation, are not bound by this restriction.
For further information
In the event that you have any questions about your Production in regards to Blizzard Entertainment's Machinima guidelines above, feel free to send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.