No recent event made a bigger splash in machinima makers' world than Tuesday's record-smashing release of Halo 3. But last month, a different kind of Microsoft release came pretty close.
In August, the company set forth guidelines (innocuously titled "Game Content Usage Rules") governing how its intellectual property could be used for such works as machinima...
Even digital rights advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation signed off on the rules. Then, a few weeks after Microsoft issued its guidelines, Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of World of Warcraft, came out with its own machinima guidelines.
Fred von Lohmann, an EFF senior staff attorney who examined both sets of rules, said the main difference between them lies in a user's base set of rights. Blizzard includes an end-user licensing agreement with its game, essentially stripping players of all rights regarding its use for anything other than how it was intended. Now the company has given rights back to the player in the form of the machinima license.