In my previous article, I talked about the different options for running a Minecraft server before briefly touching on the fact that Mojang had adjusted its EULA, provided a link to Bopogamel’s article on their site and a brief prediction about what the future holds. Since then, they have published a second article with answers to a number of questions that they received from the community.
In this article I hope to address what servers can and cannot do according to the new terms. This might be a bumpy ride, so please keep hands and feet inside at all times, and please present your questions when we’ve come to a full stop.
(seatbelts save lives)
Before I start with what servers can do now, let me begin by stating what everyone has probably heard and possibly ignored a few dozen times already. Mojang did not suddenly make profiting from a server against their terms. It always was, they just never pushed the issue. A lack of enforcement is not the same as nonexistence of a rule.
This is pulled directly from the December 11th 2013 version of the EULA currently up on their website here. “Essentially the simple rule is do not make commercial use of anything we‘ve made unless specifically agreed by us, either in our brand and asset usage guidelines or under this EULA.”
Much like they previously did with YouTube videos, they have now made a series of exceptions to their EULA for server hosts with the understanding that hosting a server can incur fairly large costs. So, without further ado, let’s get on to what you can and cannot do with your server!
Disclaimer: I do not work for Mojang. I did not write these terms and do not represent them in any official capacity. This is my personal understanding of the new allowances and prohibitions.
What You Can’t Do
- Split your user base into paying and non-paying users.
- Reward users for donations.
- Note: This is specifically for donations, as a donation implies money donated without expectation of return.
- Sell game-effecting items in game.
- Examples: Weapons, Tools, Potions, Armour.
- Sell capes.
- Sell or exchange in game currency for real money. This includes crypto-currency.
- Charge for access to user-created mods or their features.
What You Can Do
- Charge all users for server access so long as there is a single fee.
- Charge on a subscription basis.
- Sell priority server access.
- Offer trial periods, with no gameplay restrictions outside of the limited time.
- Sell cosmetic items.
- Examples: Pets, Hats, Particle Effects, Coloured Names.
- Sell access to cosmetic server commands such as server channels.
- Sell effects such as xp boost or a beacon effect so long as it effects the entire server.
To reiterate, Mojang is not rescinding permission to monetize your server, these terms are their endorsement and permission to monetize, where there was no permission beforehand. They could have stuck to their guns and enforced their existing EULA at any point and shut down servers, rather than taking a look at the EULA, considering the cost to server owners and coming to a compromise that gave server owners options and satisfied their desire to preserve the atmosphere they want to promote.
They've been operating under this part of their EULA up to this point: "We‘re not going to be unfair about this though - but sometimes the law changes or someone does something that affects other users of the Game and we therefore need to put a lid on it."
The EULA itself has not yet been adjusted on the website, and these terms are viewable on the Mojang blog here and here. In a personal post, Notch alluded that their legal team would have to take the terms they defined and translate them into legalese.
(also known as the Black Speech)
So server owners have some work to do now, but they aren’t without options. It bears pointing out that existing servers have an advantage over servers to come, in that they’ve been able to operate and draw interest for as long as they have. Mojang has set the compliance date for August 1st, 2014, which is a month and a half of time to draw up a new plan.
I’m confident that we here at CraftHub will be able to adapt in some capacity after making adjustments, and I hope you guys can too. Remember, the time you spend raging, is time you could be spending coming up with your new game plan before the date of compliance.
Best of luck,
Mechanicaljack is an admin, author, and editor for CraftHub's Minecraft Blog and Server. You can follow him on twitter at @CrazyOldJack, or email him at email@example.com. Tell us what you think about the article! Questions? Comments? Leave them in the section below. Want to see your writing on the front page of CraftHub? Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. No previous experience required.