Mojang tackles accusations of being “worse that EA” over changes to the Minecraft EULA
Mojang has decided to tackle head-on accusations of being “worse than EA” over the way changes to the Minecraft End-User License Agreement (EULA) have been perceived.
The issues arose over the way in which the Minecraft developer has stated rules that have always been there regarding what they allow the game's PC users to charge for. The situation has been muddied further by Mojang's relaxed approach to enforcement of the EULA. Basically, PC users can charge for hosting Minecraft servers but they are not allowed to charge for gameplay features.
This has however been misunderstood and the Minecraft community has reacted badly to it with some branding them “literally worse than EA”. Minecraft creator, Markus 'Notch' Persson stated on his personal blog:
“The EULA for Minecraft says you can’t make money of Minecraft. If you make mods, they have to be free. If you host a server, you can charge for access to your hardware, but not for individual elements in the game. Once YouTube and streaming got bigger, we added specific exceptions saying you can totally monetize video content about the game.
“Some privately run Minecraft servers do charge for ingame items, for xp boosts, for access to certain game modes. Some of them even charge quite a lot. I don’t even know how many emails we’ve gotten from parents, asking for their hundred dollars back their kid spent on an item pack on a server we have no control over. This was never allowed, but we didn’t crack down on it because we’re constantly incredibly swamped in other work.
“Someone saw that the EULA says you can’t charge for these things, and asked one of the people working at Mojang about it. That person said that yes, it is indeed against the rules, and then everything exploded. A lot of people got the impression that we’re changing the EULA somehow to only now disallow these things, but they were never allowed. A lot of people voiced their concerns. A few people got nasty. Someone said we’re literally worse than EA.
“We had discussions about it internally, and eventually had a big meeting where we said that yes, people running servers are a huge part of what makes Minecraft so special, and that they need to be able to pay for the servers. So we came up with all sorts of ways this could be done without ruining the “you don’t pay for gameplay” aspect of Minecraft we all find so important. These rules we’re posted in non-legal speak here: mojang.com/2014/06/lets-talk-server-monetisation (our lawyers are probably having a lot of fun trying to turn that into legal text). There are new rules. These are new exceptions to the EULA. All of these make the rules more liberal than things were before.”
Mojang has published an FAQ on their official website to try and explain all of the key issuse regarding what Minecraft users can and can't monetize.