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Miss PLEX
Posted - 2011.01.13 05:11:00 - [1]
 

I have read all the rules, but still it is sometimes easier to ask, then trying to understand all this attorney-talk.

To put it short: are there any legal ways to get real money for programs and services that are used with EVE? I mean not just adds on sites, but, e.g. payed subscription for a software that was created and is used solely in connection with EVE.

I have not found and answer to this question here. I see no direct prohibition of selling any out of game services connected with the EVE (at least diferent from prohibition of any soft, that uses EVE-provided information, lol), but still some nice projects on the web are closed due to lack of monetization abilities (EVE Metrics for instance).

For example, I have an idea of a web-based service, that uses the information provided via the in-game browser (those nice headers) and shows the results of its work to the same in-game browser. Am I allowed, in some way suitable, to take money for using such a service? What are the restriction or procedures I should get through to get such rights? Are there any new rules regarding the matter in development from CCP?

I hope that is evident, that launching some projects is impossible without the chance of, at least, getting the money for hosting back from it.

Thank you in advance for an answer.

Johnathan Roark
Caldari
The Graduates
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2011.01.13 05:23:00 - [2]
 

First off, probably a question best asked in a petition if you want an actual answer.

To give my opinion on the answer to your question, "no", the intellectual property of ccp is basically being licensed to 3rd party app devs and one of the restrictions is you can't use it in a product you sell. This basically includes the API (both api.eve-online.com and ingame browser headers), the database dumps, and trademarks/copyrights.

Celebrain
1st Steps Academy
Fidelas Constans
Posted - 2011.01.13 11:27:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: Celebrain on 13/01/2011 11:29:46
First off, I am not a lawyer, and I don't speak for CCP... so take what I say with that in mind...

But my opinion on this is that one could probably charge real money for "web hosting" as long as one is not charging any real money for access to CCP data (api related, data dump, etc). If this were not the case, then services like Ventrilo (that are large enough to be very useful) could not be used with eve at all, since the company that makes it will not allow a hoster to host it unless they're selling it for real money!

Of course one can charge in-game money for in-game data access, and that can then be used to "save" you money on eve subscription(s)... And a penny saved is a penny earned.

Catari Taga
Centre Of Attention
Middle of Nowhere
Posted - 2011.01.13 11:32:00 - [4]
 

Originally by: Celebrain
one could probably charge real money for "web hosting" as long as one is not charging any real money for access to CCP data (api related, data dump, etc).

If you are only selling the hosting that's ok but if you are providing an EVE software/service "for free" only in conjunction with hosting that they must pay RL money for then it isn't.

But as Jonathan said, only CCP can give a definitive answer so either petition or even write their licensing department an email.

Celebrain
1st Steps Academy
Fidelas Constans
Posted - 2011.01.13 12:55:00 - [5]
 

Well, yeah, I should have been clearer.. requiring money for web hosting, in order to gain access to free eve stuff.... I would not expect that to be a valid loophole that ccp allows... that would be against the spirit of what they're trying to do with the whole free requirement thing.

But I do NOT think that charging for web hosting means we cannot touch ANY eve data AT ALL (as some people's explanations could be taken to mean)... Otherwise all eve api authentication integration scripts that work together with something like a for-pay Ventrilo would be illegal to use as well.

It just means any eve data we give access to, we have to provide free access to (and keep that data really free, not only give access to it locked up behind a for-pay "hosting")! It means we cannot make real money off of the eve game data, that data belongs to ccp.

Thorin Wren
EVE Guardian Angels
Split Infinity.
Posted - 2011.01.13 13:47:00 - [6]
 

You can charge for hosting but you cannot advertise that you are selling "EVE" hosting. The difference with Vent and TS is that they are not produced exclusively for EVE and they do not advertise that they are used with EVE. You will note that all ts/vent advertisements on the EVE forums are for isk payment as are all the hosting adverts.

I do remember however that Lontrek Hosting was an exception as they were advertising isk and real money payments (on the same site). Because of this CCP allowed them to advertise on the forums sell order board.

I think though that at the end of the day CCP will not allow you to sell anything that is EVE related or advertised as EVE related.

This is only my opinion and interpretation mind and as previously said your best bet would be just to ask CCP.

-TW-

Takeshi Ryuu
Black Octopus
Blind Octopus
Posted - 2011.01.13 14:09:00 - [7]
 

I would like to see a clear answer from CCP themselves too.

Sites like eve-metrics (closed) eve-central (has some problems right now attributed to the fact that metrics was closed and everybody switched to eve-central) and programs like evemon (main developer quitted some time ago, next release ETA in unknown), evehq, eft and capsuleer (discontinued) contribute a lot to the eve community, and basically their developers do help CCP to popularise EVE for free or even have to pay game subscription to do so.

It is not like every eve-related service or program will become paid-only if allowed to do so, but some will benefit from ability to become shareware of freemium. In the end the end users will decide wheither some eve-related stuff is good enough to pay for it.


Kari Trace
Caldari
Nox Imperium
Posted - 2011.01.13 18:58:00 - [8]
 

I would also like to request clarification:
Google makes money on advertising, nearly all the services they offer are free on some level because the advertising pays the bills. Can we as developers include ads in with our applications (web or OS based) to offset the expensive of development / continuing operation?

Celebrain
1st Steps Academy
Fidelas Constans
Posted - 2011.01.13 21:08:00 - [9]
 

Originally by: Thorin Wren
I think though that at the end of the day CCP will not allow you to sell anything that is EVE related or advertised as EVE related.


I kind of doubt this is true as a blanket statement, otherwise things like Eve Strategic Maps would be illegal... However, I can see you may need to get specific permission from CCP on a case by case basis, if you're getting too close to any gray area regarding this.

The advertising real-money service restriction mentioned could be just a CCP forum restriction though, not a restriction that you can't advertise at all anywhere that you integrate a real-money hosting with eve data...

As you can see, there's a lot of conjecture and guessing going on here, nobody here can tell anything for sure, only CCP itself can.

Catari Taga
Centre Of Attention
Middle of Nowhere
Posted - 2011.01.13 21:16:00 - [10]
 

What's wrong with you people and your theorycrafting? Just read the terms of service and if you want to do something outside the scope of that contact CCP for licensing info as has been stated multiple times in this thread. The example of EVE Strategic Maps would hardly be sold via the official EVE store if they hadn't done that. Razz

Karbowiak
Sniggerdly
Posted - 2011.01.13 23:30:00 - [11]
 

If you use any form of CCP intellectual property in your service, then you cannot charge real money for your service without legal concent from CCP.
This goes for websites, clothing manufacturing, sexual favours etc. etc.

You can however get around it by showing ads from say Adsense.
But only as long as you dont charge ISK.

Like, at EVSCO we do it like this.
If you dont pay isk, we show you ads.
If you do pay isk, we remove the ads.

And sofar we havn't heard any complaints from CCP, hell we are even added to their listing of fansites :)
So people, use your brains..

Takeshi Ryuu
Black Octopus
Blind Octopus
Posted - 2011.01.14 09:47:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Karbowiak
So people, use your brains..

Using my brains, i can see that placing adverts on a eve-related site can help a little. Not everyone blocks ads, so it should provide some income. Probably.

But what about standalone applications? Imagine EveMon that shows some ads. It is possbile to create "shareware" eve-related program and take isks for full version, but what would its authors do with all these isks?

The question is whether it is possible to take cold hard real cash for a service or an application which happened to be related to eve.

Telling that it is possible to place ads is not an answer.
Telling that it is possible to take isks in not an anwser.

Hel O'Ween
Men On A Mission
EVE Trade Consortium
Posted - 2011.01.14 11:55:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Takeshi Ryuu

Telling that it is possible to place ads is not an answer.
Telling that it is possible to take isks in not an anwser.


Yes it is, at these are the only legal options to "cash in" without asking CCP/violating EULA/ToS.

As already mentioned, if you're after RL cash, you need to come to a legaly binding agreement with CCP.

Dr BattleSmith
PAX Interstellar Services
Posted - 2011.01.29 01:33:00 - [14]
 

Edited by: Dr BattleSmith on 29/01/2011 01:36:57
Add Eve Mining Manager to the pile of apps dropped due to limited commercial openings.

edit: I guess you could put AvatarsUnited ontop of that as well, althought that was Linden Labs not having brains.

Azrakadar
Minmatar
The Nietzsche Followers
Shades of Gray
Posted - 2011.01.29 19:31:00 - [15]
 

Well, I know a game where the developer of a mod surely didn't get paid to work on the mod, but was hired, thanks to his awesome work on the mod, to lead the team that was gonna work on the game's sequel :D

maybe his example will inspire you Wink

Ix Forres
Caldari
Righteous Chaps
Posted - 2011.01.30 02:46:00 - [16]
 

Originally by: Azrakadar
Well, I know a game where the developer of a mod surely didn't get paid to work on the mod, but was hired, thanks to his awesome work on the mod, to lead the team that was gonna work on the game's sequel :D

maybe his example will inspire you Wink


Why on earth would CCP pay someone's wages when someone else is doing the same thing for free? With most EVE applications there are 2-3 competing apps for each sector/share of the market. That, and very, _very_ few (any?) third party developers have ever been hired by CCP. CCP don't want free-thinking people who come up with new ways to use the data, they want reliable programmers they can order around. When we went to CCP to ask about the EVE Metrics uploader being okay from an EULA perspective, we got an okay- but were warned that CCP did not appreciate our site as it went against their regional separation model for the market that they wanted to stick to. Not a "Oh, yes, that's awesome, go for it". Just "Well, okay, but we're not very happy with the way you're using our data, it's not how we want it to be". Capsuleer? "Oh, that's awesome, let's talk about making this official" followed by months and months of silence, eventually leading to the app being dropped.

tl;dr CCP does not actually care about third party devs. They provide the API for free apps from the community, but don't regard it or the people who work with it with any degree of seriousness. If they did, they'd have hired some by now. Don't bother making EVE apps if you're approaching them from a "how can I monetize this?" point of view. If you're happy making things for the sake of it or because you enjoy making things, go for it- but be under no illusions as to monetizing your work being impossible. CCP will not help you and will actively make it hard for you, and without them you can't do sod all (adverts aside, but the revenue on that except in exceptional cases is trivial).

Josefine Etrange
Gallente
Posted - 2011.04.01 23:13:00 - [17]
 

Originally by: Takeshi Ryuu
Originally by: Karbowiak
So people, use your brains..

Using my brains, i can see that placing adverts on a eve-related site can help a little. Not everyone blocks ads, so it should provide some income. Probably.

But what about standalone applications? Imagine EveMon that shows some ads. It is possbile to create "shareware" eve-related program and take isks for full version, but what would its authors do with all these isks?

The question is whether it is possible to take cold hard real cash for a service or an application which happened to be related to eve.

Telling that it is possible to place ads is not an answer.
Telling that it is possible to take isks in not an anwser.


You could ask CCP if they want buy plex from you ;)
You could use all that isk for your own 3 accounts and the next 30 years of free playing.
You could ask CCP if the license you the rights to actually charge money. I guess ccp is not against getting money, though I guess they would prefer to keep eve tools for free.
Oh, and than there is always the option to add a donate button just like wikipedia and make alot of noise of the donations do not cut your costs.

Hel O'Ween
Men On A Mission
EVE Trade Consortium
Posted - 2011.04.02 08:54:00 - [18]
 

Originally by: Josefine Etrange
.
You could ask CCP if the license you the rights to actually charge money. I guess ccp is not against getting money, though I guess they would prefer to keep eve tools for free.



In the (API) Dev tracks at this year's FanFest, CCP announced that they will implement a license for 3rd pary devs which will allow them to charge RL cash (or other RL payment) for their apps. A 3rd party dev will need to sign some sort of agremment with CCP and will be charged $99/year. He then might sell/rent his tool(s) as he sees fit.

As always, announcement will be made soon(tm).

Zeta Zhul
Caldari
Preemptive Paranoia
Posted - 2011.04.02 15:37:00 - [19]
 

$99/year?

That is probably more than most developers would get from users. Very Happy

Frankly I'm thinking my strategy of not developing a 3rd-party app to enhance Eve Online and instead work on RL applications for RL money to be a rather winning one. Seriously. For every polished shareware or paid application there will be a couple unpolished but free applications. Even if you put in some security arrangements into your apps there are people who will spend more time breaking that app than actually earning the money to buy that app.

And then what?

Constant maintenance work for no additional money? Getting jerked around whenever CCP makes changes, goofs up, does something whacky with the database, hires a complete moron incapable of actually doing his/her job? Do you really want to deal with paying customers who self-righteously scream about how you got their money, 2 years ago, and now the app doesn't work right and when are you going to fix it and they shouldn't have to pay you again for your additional work .... etc.?

And what if CCP raises the fee? Or eliminates the program because it takes up too much of their time to administer? We are after all discussing a group of people who have chosen to do a "static data dump" that involves such data normalizations that it takes hours of research and experimentation just to figure out how the ridiculous thing fits together.

And you're going to base a business on that? With RL tax implications, business license requirements, etc?

...

Do the apps. Charge isk. If it gets broken it might get fixed it might not. Want it fixed, donate isk. But depend on CCP for RL money?

Very Happy

Qordel
Caldari
School of Applied Knowledge
Posted - 2011.04.06 08:03:00 - [20]
 

Having to pay for a license seems kind of slimy, since you're just creating a service based on an API to facilitate a better game experience. I could be wrong, but I don't believe you need to pay for a license in any way to create commercial software that uses Twitter or Delicious's API. Being open is the best way to encourage better applications and, ultimately, a better player experience.

Wollari
Phoenix Industries
Wicked Nation
Posted - 2011.04.06 08:51:00 - [21]
 

Edited by: Wollari on 06/04/2011 08:54:44
Well ... it's nothing different from what is now. You're not allowed to make money from CCP's IP. You can still continue to do so in the future and create free apps like most of us do, or you can buy the license and be able to charge for a premium service or put your application on one of the mobile app stores.

I think the deal isn't that bad (if you really 'try' to make money with Eve Content. I don't know a single different game where the producing company allows people to make money of their product. Gaming industries and social services (twitter, delicous, ...) can't be compared api wise.

I just can hope that CCP makes the right decisions. If you wanna charge for your premium service or your app then of course you need the developer license. But if you decide to provide the service for free and finance that through advertisment, that's something different and smaller projects wouldn't even have the chance to finance their running costs.

But CCP knows their need the 3rd party developer community. They don't have the man power and time to recreate every little tool we've done again. My opinion is: they just wanna enable an option that those people who wanna charge for their apps (I guess mostly the mobile apps) have a legal way to do so, which wasn't allowed before. If charging ISK (ingame money) for a service or application means you need a 99$ license wasn't clear on fanfest. I hope we'll get a clear picture soon.

If the premium services and apps are getting used is something different. The market/community will make their decissions if the 1 for a random application in the app store is worth it or not.

Catari Taga
Centre Of Attention
Middle of Nowhere
Posted - 2011.04.06 09:10:00 - [22]
 

I'm not sure how you calculate but USD99/year sounds real cheap to me if someone was looking to monetize their product. If you are planning to pull in less than that per year why even bother?

Hel O'Ween
Men On A Mission
EVE Trade Consortium
Posted - 2011.04.06 09:32:00 - [23]
 

Originally by: Wollari
If charging ISK (ingame money) for a service or application means you need a 99$ license wasn't clear on fanfest. I hope we'll get a clear picture soon.



I think CCP was clear on that: everything stays at it is now, i.e. you may still charge ingame services/items for your tool. On top of that comes the new dev license. Signing that agreement enables you to charge real world cash for your tool.

Zeta Zhul
Caldari
Preemptive Paranoia
Posted - 2011.04.06 15:34:00 - [24]
 

Originally by: Catari Taga
I'm not sure how you calculate but USD99/year sounds real cheap to me if someone was looking to monetize their product. If you are planning to pull in less than that per year why even bother?


1. I figure with few exceptions that most RL$ applications will have to compete with applications that are either free or paid with isk. Applications that require the use of an app store, such as iPhone/iPad/iPod, obviously will require RL$ or else the developer will be out of pocket just in providing the app. On the other hand perhaps the develop wouldn't mind this. Price the app for $0.99 on the app store and then charge 50mil isk in-game which would be roughly equivalent.

2. Experience in the shareware market shows that the vast majority of potential users pretty much remain potential users. There are some that would pay RL$ but either you need to price the app low enough to get even the most tightfisted player or price high enough that the relatively few players who will pay for it actually generate a worthwhile income stream.

3. Just how big is the market for your app? Supposedly there are 300,000 accounts in EO but quite a few people have multiple accounts. I've got 3 myself. If you take me as an average then that would leave 100,000 potential customers, but we're all adults here and that isn't even remotely true in real life.

Frankly the biggest problem for any app is that there isn't really all that much to differentiate between apps. The available API set is fairly limited. The functionality that can be offered is similarly limited. The 24h timer on assets alone make it difficult to offer loot pricing for mission runners as just an example.

4. Is the potential income sufficient to make it all worth it?

...

*shrug* I'm frankly a bit skeptical.

I might sign up for the developer license just for the hell of it. I'm starting to get into developing mobile applications and might just develop some apps and put them out to see how the market develops. Worst case: I'll throw them onto my resume for future reference.

Wollari
Phoenix Industries
Wicked Nation
Posted - 2011.04.06 16:09:00 - [25]
 

Originally by: Hel O'Ween
I think CCP was clear on that: everything stays at it is now, i.e. you may still charge ingame services/items for your tool. On top of that comes the new dev license. Signing that agreement enables you to charge real world cash for your tool.

CCP wasn't really clear. They didn't spoke about money, they spoke about revenue. So if you get any kind of money for your service. And any kind of money *can* obviously include money coming from advertisement, abo's, one time payments, etc. My question was then if ingame money will be seen as revenue aswell. Since you can buy ingame money with real money (aka PLEX) it's some sort of revenue.

But in the end, we've to wait until CCP makes the final draft of their development license before we should start trolling or flaming about a non existing license.

Catari Taga
Centre Of Attention
Middle of Nowhere
Posted - 2011.04.06 16:15:00 - [26]
 

Originally by: Zeta Zhul
4. Is the potential income sufficient to make it all worth it?

Well, that was my point, if your income estimation does not exceed USD 99/year you should not even start with the project if you want to do it for profit. The price of CCP's license is only a secondary consideration to this.

Also USD 99/year is absolutely nothing. You'll be profitable with only 9 users that you charge a single US dollar per month, or 100 of your app store buyers.

Aghlar Yardum
Posted - 2011.04.06 18:02:00 - [27]
 

do you know what is the timeline we are talking about for this program?
weeks? months? just started looking into it?

by the way, I read the EULA (which doesn't apply to this) and the Fansite website agreement or ToS, but nothing really relate to the API use. So I dont think applications as such are coverred specifically by CCP, just by intellectual property laws, which would make astandalone pps based on the API and with ads... illegal? just not covered by law? do you know?

Catari Taga
Centre Of Attention
Middle of Nowhere
Posted - 2011.04.06 18:45:00 - [28]
 

Originally by: Aghlar Yardum
So I dont think applications as such are coverred specifically by CCP, just by intellectual property laws, which would make astandalone pps based on the API and with ads... illegal? just not covered by law? do you know?


Yes, I do know. But because you should not base your legal decisions on what random people on the Internet say I won't tell you. Wink

Aghlar Yardum
Posted - 2011.04.07 09:53:00 - [29]
 

well, I'm more interested in the 3rd party program progress that in the current scenario, where things are legally pretty clear for me.
if there's no additional ToS for the API (and as far as I know there are not), obviously 3rd party apps with ads/Premium (like EVEUniverse) or even free apps could be just taken to court at CCPs (or at least the users using them) because they make use of CCP's IP without using the Game Engine and they are not covered by the Fansite ToS.

so, creating apps (even free apps), it's simply and infringment of CCP's IP just because it's not covered. And I'm unsure about Icelandic IP laws, but probably is the same as European laws, so you could be sued just because there are no provisions made anywhere for the use of the API. a different matter is if that's in CCP's best interest or spirit (which I guess is not, thank god).


Catari Taga
Centre Of Attention
Middle of Nowhere
Posted - 2011.04.07 12:42:00 - [30]
 

Originally by: Aghlar Yardum
where things are legally pretty clear for me.


Are they? How about this then: The website ToS apply to the API since the API is a web service. Also, the website ToS explicitly prohibit using any data from the website. Thus, the website ToS prohibit any use of the API. Wink


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