Microsoft clarifies its rules based on creations from its work.
Red Vs Blue is one of the most famous machinima’s of all time, but if you plan to follow in its footsteps you might want to read this.
It’s a fact that when creating videos and content you have to be careful not to step on toes, especially in the entertainment industry. With RGT a few times I’ve had to remove sound from games (such as Tony Hawks) during covering, because of music right.
The same thing applies for machinima, videos and fanfiction. In other words, if you write a book based on Halo without Microsoft’s permissions, put it available for sale – you are going to have a bad time.
Jessica Shea created a post on the official Halo Waypoint forums, Jessica is 343 Industries Community Manager .”We know you have questions about the updated Game Content Usage Rules, the good news is that little to nothing actually changed. The rules are basically the same, with clarification added to address some frequently asked questions.
“The majority of everything the community makes currently is fine, as long as they are not basically running a big Halo-based business or using Halo as if the IP was its own property. That isn’t a change to our policy, simply a clarification and update of the dry legal language, and as we’ve mentioned, even that ‘new’ language was actually updated months ago. We don’t have squads of lawyers waiting in the wings to go after folks making machinima, or showing off their skills in Halo. Basically it’s business as usual.”
There are a ‘List of Rules‘ on this now too. While I am sure it may come as a disappointment to some, one of the rules states that you cannot create porn from Halo for example! But the main rules you will want to note are:
1. You can’t make any money from your creations. This includes any YouTube channels where you make money from advertising.
2. You must include the following disclaimer with your creation. It must be displayed on any video you make for at least five seconds:
[Name of the Microsoft Game] © Microsoft Corporation. [The title of your Item] was created under Microsoft’s “Game Content Usage Rules” using assets from [Name of the Microsoft Game]. It is not endorsed by Microsoft and does not reflect the views or opinions of Microsoft or anyone officially involved in producing or managing [Name of the Microsoft Game]. As such, it does not contribute to the official narrative of the fictional universe, if applicable.
Videos which add to the game’s story or canon must display the notice at the start. Others may display it at the end.
3. You can’t use the game’s name when titling your creation. “Red vs. Blue gameplay” is fine. “Halo 4 gameplay footage” is not. “We want to make sure consumers don’t get confused,” Microsoft explained.
4. If you create something new, like the backstory for a character, this automatically becomes Microsoft’s property to use as it sees fit. Says Microsoft:
“If you add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game with ‘lost chapters’ or back story or anything like that, distribution of your story or idea may appear in a future game without any compensation to you. (Sorry, but our lawyers tell us we need to do this in order to avoid frivolous lawsuits getting in the way of making more great games.)”
It’s most likely that if you are just a small website / youtube channel then Microsoft will most likely ignore you (note, I’ll not be held responsbile if you do get sued!), however if you are a business, and say making models of Master Chief and selling them on Ebay without the consent from Microsoft, they will likely not go see easy on you.