Company Rulez is a video mocking Microsoft’s Game Content Usage Rules made with Halo 3, or as it says, that game with helmeted dudes and aliens produced for that console by that company that Bill Gates founded.

While I have praised the Game Content Usage Rules previously, I can see how some of the criticism explained in the video is warranted. Particularly, the rule on no earnings seems harsh. OK, I cannot keep calling the licence the Game Usage Content Rules indefinitely, so let’s just refer to it as The Rules. The Rules state that:

“You can’t sell or otherwise earn anything from your Items. We will let you have advertising on the page with the Item on it, but that’s it. That means you can’t sell your Item, post it on a site that requires subscription or other fees, solicit donations for your Item of any kind (even by PayPal), use it to enter a contest or sweepstakes, or post it on a page you use to sell other items (even if those other items have nothing to do with Game Content or Microsoft).”

This seems a particularly harsh version of non-commercial elements present in licences such as Creative Commons. However, the video is wrong when it talks about competitions.

Other items criticised are issues such as the fact that you cannot licence the work using Creative Commons ShareAlike licences, which is indeed a problems with the existing terms and condition of The Rules.

I have been thinking recently that solutions suc as The Rules can indeed be the way forward to companies wanting to allow fans to make their own versions of the content without fear of copyright infringement. I think that this acts to enhance the brand and/or content, as it keeps the fans on the side of legality, while it also helps fans to know what they can and cannot do. Otherwise, things like these may happen.


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