I was home today for the first time in a while and decided to look up the legal terms regarding the recreation of EQOA in a private server environment by a 3rd party. Nothing was a surprise in what was written in the intro End User Agreement. I never paid attention to when I played so many years ago.
Anyway, I kept digging. After the load screen End User Agreement, I went to SOE’s site to view their copyright and legal section for the rest of their products; link found at the bottom of their home page on the right side. The first thing that comes up are notes for each of their individual games… which EQOA isn’t listed. This falls in line with the load screen End User Agreement which states that SOE has the right to terminate said Agreement by terminating the Game. So does that mean EQOA is still protected under the End User Agreement? Yes and no.
There is a more in depth policy section regarding SOE’s intellectual property. EQOA is only named at the very bottom and it is in regards to support claims. However, the document is to be legally held as a general overview of the terms regarding all of their IP, which includes EQOA (in a red-headed, step-child kind of way).
In that document, there is a section regarding intellectual property that has a section for “fan sites” and for the record, my blog classifies as a fan site. Apparently I am supposed to ask for permission to use any image, music, or other copyright content from the game. Additionally, I can actually ask SOE to make readers pay for content and there’s a small chance SOE could green light that idea.
Now don’t worry, I wouldn’t ever make this a pay-to-read site as I only post about once a month and nothing here is worth any true value, but the policy is there, written out in several defined specifics. Does SOE really care about eqoa.wordpress? Probably a most definite no. Did SOE design that policy with blogs like mine in mind? Probably not, either. My point is, I have posted EQOA content for the past 3+ years, technically illegally, and I haven’t heard a word from Sony. Either I’m a badass rebel or Sony’s legal team is concerning themselves with more pressing issues than a 2003 game with maybe 500 loyal followers.
So I’ll just drop this little thought, if a group of people were to recreate EQOA on a not for profit basis, if code was not manipulated, if no Sony-owned server was altered… then technically, it is legal. But there’s that one line at the end of the End User Agreement nulling the entire Agreement in the first place. So why bother even stating the specifics, anyway?