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Icon-policy.svg WoWWiki:Policies

Policy status and phases

Category policy
Copyright policy
Deletion policy
Speedy deletion
DNP policy
NDA policy
Editing policy
Disruptive editing policy
External links
Fan fiction
Guild pages policy
Images policy

Items policy
Lore policy
Naming policy
Neutrality policy
Personal articles
Player character pages
Stub policy
Three revert rule
User naming
Vandalism policy
Voting policy

See also: guidelines, administrators
policy sign

This page is an official policy on WoWWiki.

This policy has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow.

  • Feel free to propose any changes to this policy, but please make sure that changes you make follow the official process and reflect consensus on the discussion page before you put them into practice. Any big changes need to be Adopted or Decreed to be enforced as policy.
  • See WoWWiki:Policies for an overview of WoWWiki policies.
  • See Category:Policies for a list of proposed and adopted policy articles.
  • Shortcut: WW:COPY
Icon-shortcut.pngShortcut: WW:COPY
For a statement of copyright ownership regarding material in this wiki, see WoWWiki:Copyrights.

This policy sets out information and rules for respecting Blizzard's copyrights in its works. In order to reproduce any of Blizzard's content, including images, characters, storylines, or text, we must either have Blizzard's clear permission to do so, or meet the criteria required for "fair use".



See Wikipedia:Copyright

Copyright is the legal ownership that automatically attaches to creative works. For example, if you were to write a novel in your spare time, you would own the copyright of that novel, and no one else could use its text without your permission. Copyright protects not only the actual text of a novel or code of a computer game, but the characters, plot points, and other creative expressions within.

Copyright law is enforced internationally, based on a series of treaties.

Fair use

See Wikipedia:Fair use

Fair use or fair dealing allows limited reproduction of copyrighted works for specific purposes, such as study or criticism. Fair use considerations of particular relevance to this site include:

  1. The source of the material must be acknowledged.
  2. The amount of the original copied. Generally speaking the less, the better. "Quote or closely paraphrase as little as possible to make your point: under 10% is best; above 20% is high risk...although in some cases 1% may not be fair use, and 100% can be fair use, it’s impossible to provide percentage guidelines that always work". A small paragraph or sentence paraphrased or quoted verbatim from a source is likely fine, quoting or paraphrasing an entire article/quest/event from a source is likely not. Use sound judgement.
  3. The purpose of the copying. If we reproduce some of Blizzard's ideas as a guide to their games and books, that is more likely to be considered a valid purpose than if we included content which could serve as alternatives to the games and books.


See Wikipedia:Trademark

Copyright is often confused with trademark, which is a registered name or logo used to sell goods or services. In the case of Blizzard, Blizzard™, Warcraft™, World of Warcraft™, and the Blizzard and Warcraft logos, are all registered trademarks used to sell its games and books. No one else can use those logos in the marketplace. Trademark laws protect Blizzards' names and logos, while copyright laws protect its games and books.


See Wikipedia:Copyleft

The term copyleft is often used in the context of wikis, and is a form of licensing which allows free distribution, with the main limit that the person using the software must also distribute it freely. Naturally, in order to allow our content to be freely distributed, we must first ensure that we have permission to post it.


This policy covers all articles which describe or discuss the content of Blizzard's computer games, novels, RPG books, manga, and other works. While articles containing direct quotes and images are obviously included, all articles which describe Blizzard's storylines, characters, and other creative expressions are also covered by Blizzard's copyright, despite being written in our own words.

There are only two ways that we can use ideas, text, and images from Blizzard's works:

  1. With Blizzard's clear permission.
  2. According to the fair use exception.

All articles covered by this policy must fall into one or both of these categories.

Blizzard's permission

Blizzard gives express permission to reproduce certain material on fansites.[1] This includes:

  1. Material downloaded from their website.
  2. Screenshots of their games.

You should include copyright information as near as possible to the use of the material reproduced (on Image: page or using a citation or reference).[2]

Fair use

In order to be considered fair use of copyrighted material on WoWWiki, all of the following must be met.

  1. The specific source of the material must be acknowledged. See WoWWiki:Citation
  2. The tone of the article must be that of a guide to the Warcraft universe, not that of a competing creative work.
    • For example, an article describing a novel should objectively describe the main characters and major plot points. It should not be written as a narrative short story which serves to take the place of the novel. Likewise, a description of the events of a game or cinematic should not be in the form of a dramatic short story.
  3. Where direct quotes are used, special care is required. Note that closely paraphrasing Blizzard's text to avoid direct quotation would still be plagiarism. Try to reduce the information down to 10% of the original source to be safe.
    • Quotes must be clearly marked as quotes, using quotation marks or the <blockquote> element.
    • Quotes must be used sparingly, and be as brief as possible.
    • Quotes must be offered in support of a claim. Do not reproduce Blizzard's text to fill in the substantive content of an article. The only exception to this is if the only information for a subject is limited to a sentence or small paragraph. Quoting or paraphrasing a small bit of information is ok, as long as it includes quotation marks or the <blockquote> element, as well as the ref or {{cite}}.


Because it involves issues which could incur legal liability for the wiki, it is imperative that all editors read, follow, and help enforce this policy. Articles not in compliance with this policy should be brought into compliance with it promptly through the removal or editing of the contravening content.