Updated: 28 November 2013 08:16
GUIDELINES FOR THE NAME, BRAND AND ASSETS OF ANY OF OUR GAMES
All of our games are really important to us and to our community, which means that lots of you want to use our Brands and the things around our games to do cool stuff. We‘re happy about that. Sometimes, however, people go too far and do things that make the community think that their products and services are connected with or endorsed by us or even produced by us. We are not happy about that. Especially when people do it deliberately to take unfair advantage of the community and our work in that way. When that happens, fans buy things thinking they are official which they are not. That means we can't control quality etc. which diminishes the value of the work we have done and the trust that our community have in what we do.
We don‘t want you to stop doing the cool stuff that you do and so these Guidelines are intended to help everyone understand what we consider to be fair and unfair use of our “Brands” and “Assets”. We've had some help from some lawyers and they will also help us if we need to take further steps to protect our rights but the purpose of these “Guidelines” is to give some clarity on what you can do without having to contact us (or our lawyers) - and what you mustn‘t do or else we (or our lawyers) will have to contact you. We hope you understand.
These Guidelines cover the use of our Brands and our Assets. For these purposes, therefore when we refer to:
- a Name what we mean is the name of any one of our games as well as any names which are confusingly similar to the names of any of our games;
- our Brands what we mean is any Names and the related logos and distinctive characteristics of any of our games;
- our Assets what we mean is the code, software, graphics, textures, sound and audio from any of our games and any videos or screenshots taken from or our games.
These Guidelines apply in addition to and not in place of our Account Terms or EULAs. Please remember that we say in all of our EULA that we have one major rule about our games and that is: Do not distribute anything we've made – which means don‘t
- give copies of our games to anyone else;
- make commercial use of anything we've made;
- try to make money from anything we've made; or
- let other people get access to anything we‘ve made in a way that is unfair or unreasonable;
unless we specifically agree to it or allow it under these Guidelines.
These Guidelines do not change that principle but are intended to help people understand what we expect and want.
Please also check back here from time to time because we will update these guidelines and provide further guidance.
The first thing to say is that there are the following Essential Requirements that apply to all use of the our Brands (which include any Names) and our Assets. If you are allowed to use any part of any Name, any of our Brands and / or any of our Assets then what you are doing MUST:
- NOT make people think that you or what your are doing is official; approved or endorsed by us; or associated or connected with us;
- NOT be unlawful, deceptive, obscene, harmful or disparaging;
- NOT adversely affect any of our Brands or any of our Assets;
- NOT include anything else around it that makes people think that you or what your are doing is official; approved or endorsed by us; or associated or connected with us;
- comply with the relevant Account Terms/EULA;
- sufficiently differentiate the use of any Name you are using from any other branding;
These are the "Essential Requirements".
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We are very relaxed about things you do for yourself. Pretty much anything goes there - so go for it and have fun just don‘t distribute anything we've made etc.
We are also quite relaxed about other non-commercial things so feel free to create and share videos, screen shots, independently created mods (that don't use any of our Assets), fan art, machinima etc;
However if you want to use any Name in the title of a product that you distribute or service that you provide (even if it is for free) then you have to:
- follow the Essential Requirements;
- do so in a way that honestly and fairly describes those things or the purpose of them; and
- ensure that the Name (which includes any confusingly similar name) is not the first word and don‘t use any other aspect of any of our Brands or Assets as part of any related branding, including as or as part of any logo.
This applies especially if you want to set up and run blogs, servers, community forums, fan sites, fan clubs, news groups, events and gatherings.
We are less relaxed about commercial things. You may not therefore use any Names in or as the main name or title of commercial things.
You may use a Name as a secondary name or title if you:
- do so because it is necessary to honestly and fairly describe those things or the purpose of them:
- follow the Essential Requirements;
- ensure that the Name (which includes any confusingly similar name) is not the dominant element or the distinctive part of the complete name or title of what you are doing;
- don‘t use any other aspect of any of our Brands or Assets as part of any related branding, including as or as part of any logo.
To help you we‘ve suggested the following examples:
- "The Shaft – a Minecraft podcast" (we‘re cool with that).
- "Minecraft - the ultimate help app" (we‘re NOT cool with that)
You may not make any other commercial use of any of our Brands or Assets for example you may not sell any merchandise that uses any of our Brands or Assets and you definitely may not use our Names as keywords or search tags for products that have no relationship with them.
We love the idea of people doing cool things with our games and sharing those things with the community. That's something we totally support and encourage. So please feel free to do so but please also make sure you don‘t go too far.
In addition to the Brand Guidelines above we also have the following Asset Usage Guidelines that are intended to help you and everyone else understand what we consider to be fair and unfair – what you can and cannot do.
Commerical Usage Guidelines
The One Major Rule still applies but we may make some exceptions and they will be listed here, in this policy.
In this policy we will also give some additional specifics of what you may not do. However if something is not mentioned here it involves making money using anything from Minecraft (or anything else we've made) please do not do it.
In addition to the specifics set out below, where we do allow you to do something you will always need to add a credit as follows:
- Minecraft ®/TM & © 2009-2013 Mojang / Notch
Videos and Screenshots
You are allowed to put footage of our Game on YouTube or any other website. In fact, we like you doing so.
You may create, use and distribute videos of you playing or using our Game for any lawful reason provided that you don't make any money from them.
You may make money using your videos of our Game so, for instance by putting ads on them, as long as you also add your own unique content to the video, such as audio commentary. The amount you add must also be enough to make it fair and worthwhile for someone to pay for it or for you to make money from it. For example you couldn‘t just include your logo, web address or indent but you could add an audio commentary or your own music if you are creating a music video.
You may also make money using videos and screen-shots if it is covered by so called “fair dealing” or “fair use” exceptions to copyright, such as where it is for criticism and review, reporting current affairs etc. In each case, you will still need to add appropriate additional content and credits where applicable.
…more will follow as and when we decide what to add - so feel free to make requests.
If something isn‘t covered by these Guidelines that probably means we don‘t want you to do it. In any case if it isn‘t covered please don‘t do it without getting permission from us. You can contact us at brands at mojang.com. If something is specifically covered and permitted by these Guidelines, our Account Terms or EULAs applicable to any of our games then you don‘t need to contact us.