2

I'm currently developing a bot in Java for Discord. In my program I use the JDA library which is basically a "Java wrapper" for the Discord API which is under the Apache License 2.0.

I've got a few question regarding my project:

  1. The Apache License states that I have to provide a copy of the license to everyone who uses my program because it contains an Apache-licensed library, the JDA. How can I achieve this with a Discord bot? Is for example an "about" command enough for this which would print the license and references to used libraries?

  2. Do I have to license my program with Apache License 2.0?

  3. This was the most confusing one to me: I want to integrate a random character chooser for a game called Overwatch which is the property of Blizzard Entertainment. In their legal FAQ they say that if I use any of their content I must provide their copyright notice and may not sublicense it. How does this comply with the Apache License when I license my project with it?

I might have misunderstood parts of the Apache License or the Legal FAQ of Blizzard Entertainment, but I want to have things clarified before I publish anything on the internet, to be safe.

  • I tried to link another question in a discourse forum, but it links back to this question how is that possible? – pailhead May 12 '18 at 19:15
  • @pailhead What did you try to link to and where? – ArtOfCode May 12 '18 at 21:49
  • I don’t think it makes sense to have these three questions in the same post. These should be three separate questions (how to comply with the license for a bot; do I have to license my sofware; is my use allowed according to their ToS). – unor May 19 '18 at 19:40
5

The Blizzard Entertainment license is the strictest license here. This is a non-free license that only grants you the right to use the software, but you are not allowed to make copies or changes to the software. In a very strict reading of the license, you can only use a single copy of the software as-is and you can't take parts of it into a separate project. In a less strict reading, you can use parts of the software for your own projects, but you are not allowed to distribute those projects to others.

The Apache license does not require that every user of your program receives a copy, but only that recipients of the program itself also receive a copy of the Apache license. You are not required to use the Apache license also for your own program, but you should make it clear which license applies to which code.

TL/DR: The license from Blizzard Entertainment effectively forbids you from publishing your project on the internet.

  • 1. What about for example screenshots from a game? Are they forbidden as well? I'm obviously not planning to copy an entire software into my own program, but like as I mentioned screenshots, character names etc..; 2. By "making clear which license applies to which code", do you mean that I have to include a notice about which library has which license? Or do you mean my own code? – Kenta1561 May 12 '18 at 16:35
  • @Kenta1561: As far as I can tell, it applies to everything owned by Blizzard Entertainment, including screenshots. Character names might not fall under copyright protection, but there you have to deal with trademark protection, which is a whole different can of worms. – Bart van Ingen Schenau May 12 '18 at 16:43
  • This would mean that all of the fan-sites and the Overwatch reddit page etc. are in-fact - illegal, right? – Kenta1561 May 12 '18 at 17:09
  • 1
    @Kenta1561: It seems the intention of Blizzard Entertainment to allow such uses, but it might be that their copyright license is indeed too strict for that. – Bart van Ingen Schenau May 12 '18 at 17:44
  • Thanks for the explanation - I still can't believe how strict their copyright policy actually is - I never thought that all of those "game news" sites, fan pages and everything related to a game containing text or images from it are plain "illegal". Either they don't enforce it or maybe they explain it a little bit differently on another website. – Kenta1561 May 12 '18 at 17:56

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.