I’m CCP Falcon, EVE Community Manager, and I’m here today to let you know about some clarifications to our Alliance logo submission process for EVE. Right now, the Alliance logo process is relatively simple – once the criteria we set out for submission of a logo is met, the approved logo is packaged within the EVE client and delivered in the next major release. Players may then use the approved Alliance name and logo in the game and for fan support outside the game. Despite this simplicity, there has been some recent unintended confusion, raising several questions we would like to answer.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been in lengthy talks with CCP Juris, who is basically CCP’s Judge Dredd. The result is this blog designed to give a little clarity regarding the status of Alliance logos once they’re accepted into the game, and to shed some light on the legal side of things so that our community is fully aware of how they can use Alliance names and logos.
Under our EULA, when Alliances and corporations are created in game, their names become part of EVE’s intellectual property (“IP”). This is why we ask people not to use already copyrighted material. The same occurs with Alliance logos, and any other player-created content. CCP’s ownership of everything used in the game client is necessary under current intellectual property law and is also an industry standard practice in the MMO-space.
While player-created Alliance logos are part of CCP’s IP, it has never been our intention to prevent Alliances from using them outside the game for fan support (including selling “Alliance logo” merchandise to help fund the costs of running an Alliance). Recently, however, some community members have had issues with third party sites when selling physical goods with an Alliance logo (such as t-shirts, mouse mats, and other Alliance themed merchandise). During regular and routine actions by our legal team to prevent others from selling unauthorized EVE products, some online vendors also removed from their stores items bearing an Alliance logo (especially when paired with any reference to EVE Online), which ruffled some feathers among the community and caused several players to contact us.
Over the years our community has created some amazing alliance logos and as such, we are not fans of this situation. To prevent this from happening again and to clarify any confusion on the issue, we've been in contact with the Council of Stellar Management, and we’d like to update the Alliance logo submission procedure.
While CCP must retain ownership of Alliance logos that are submitted to us due to the fact that they are packaged within our client, and are part of our game IP, we do not want to overly restrict the way in which Alliances can use them. So, we have drafted a short license that allows free usage of Alliance logos by the Alliance, while still protecting against copyright and trademark infringement as a necessary part of our business of making internet spaceships. This license will be included as part of the Alliance name and logo submission process to give players the ability to use their Alliance logos in a broad manner, but still ensure CCP is able to undertake other exciting EVE endeavours that might include the logos, such as blogs, comic books, TV series, etc.
We want to be extremely transparent in the way that we handle IP ownership and usage entitlement for player created Alliance logos, so we are sharing both the license and the revised Alliance logo submission procedure, for your information.
Over time, we will be offering our existing Alliances the new license. We believe this will help with any inadvertent or accidental restrictions on the sale of Alliance products, and avoid any disruption to funding server and other “real world” costs of maintaining your Alliance.
Of course, if there are any alliances in game whom feel that they would rather not have CCP retain copyright ownership of their alliance logo, then the executor of any alliance who feels this is the case can feel free to submit a support ticket to us under the alliance logo submissions category to have their logo removed or replaced.
If there are any questions regarding this, please feel free to join in on the comments thread for this blog, which can be found in the link below this blog’s title.