Defense Of The Ancients: DOTA. Who owns the term? A massive law suit between Valve and Blizzard has erupted before the launch of DOTA 2 deciding who actual owns the term DOTA. Valve have already had a highly successful game DOTA its own game entirely. But all of this comes from Blizzards claim that DOTA has attachments to the IP Warcraft 3, the highly popular RTS prequel to World Of Warcraft.

DOTAs origins do actually come  from Warcraft 3, It was a made within the map editor by a external designer and spawned the MOBA genre. But does this give Blizzard the rights to copyright, It may have been made within their IP but as community content is it really theirs? Valve have done nothing technically wrong with claiming the name DOTA, but was it a cheeky move to claim something so highly linked to a certain IP or just cleaver marketing? This is going to get interesting and we are going to have to see what becomes of Valves DOTA 2 now it has Blizzard breathing down its neck with their own “Blizzard DOTA” ready to launch.

  • Thomas Goldrick

    Just to be a pretentious dick and a bit of an old schooler, Dota was not the first *cringe* Moba… (that’s an awful name for a genre by the by) In fact, the first game like Dota was called Aeon of Strife, which was a Starcraft 1 custom map, which is where the name AoS comes from (which is what the genre was called before Riot Games coined the term Moba). 
    Now, I’m not a para-legal or anything, but I would break this problem down like this: if Valve is trying to copyright “DOTA” then they have the cat in the bag, since it was created by 3 members of the Warcraft 3 community and NOT Blizzard, BUT if Valve is trying to copyright “Defense of the Ancients”, they might run into some trouble, because Ancients are a large part of Warcraft 3 lore, etc etc. But, Valve also has history on their side. They are known to take community made projects/mods and hire the development teams to create a triple-A sequel to their mods (e.i. Counter Strike, Team Fortress and Day of Defeat). They got away with turning a Quake mod into a retail game, why not a Warcraft 3 custom map? 
    Tom’s Final Verdict: Blizzard is bollocks and is butthurt about not being able to milk their community for more money, but this only stands if Valve plays it very safe around copyright infringement, because Dota included a LOT of Warcraft 3 lore/names/characters… which would need to be changed for Valve to have a case.

  • Kristoffer Andersson

    Well guys you really should do your homework a bit better before making a video like this.

    The situation is really as follows: Valve out of the blue tried to copyright DOTA and Defense of the ancients for their upcoming game. The reason for them thinking they could own the name is because they have “IceFrog” working on their DOTA2 team. IceFrog being one of the major players behind the dota-allstars warcraft 3 map. Key word being ONE of them. In actuallity the map was first created by Steve “Guinsoo” Feak who later handed over the reins to IceFrog after version 6.01.
    But that’s just DOTA:Allstars. The original DOTA map (inspired by Aeon of Strife from Starcraft 1) was created by a guy called Eul. His map named Dota spawned dozens upon dozens of copys, one of those copys was Allstars (which has nothing to do with the original creator Eul).

    Guinsoo left to start Riot games, together with, among others, Steve “Pendragon” Mescon (also a well known name in the dota community) and make League of Legends. Later IceFrog got headhunted by valve (seeing the success of LoL and wanting to cash in on that).
    When valve filed to copyright the name Riot Games came out and oppossed the claim, expressing their opinion that the name should belong to the community and that Valve would hurt the genre by claiming it.

    Blizzard at the time also expressed their displeasure openly and questioned Valve about the move. When Riot’s petition seemed to fall on deaf ears Blizzard also stepped in to the court and opposed the copyright claim in full. Voicing similar concerns that Riot had made, about the named belonging to the community not any 1 company.
    An important point here is that Blizzard themselves are not filing for owner’s right of the name as Valve is, they are filing for it to remain free to use.

    Basically this is a dick move by Valve.

    • Thomas Goldrick

      *correction* Basically this is a dick move by IceFrog.IceFrog has always been known to be a bit of a dick… but I can’t blame Valve for trying to establish a franchise.

  • Revanhavoc

    Kristoffer and Thomas did a great job in the comments of breaking down the specifics. Here’s my take: although Dota was not made BY Warcraft staff specifically, it was made as part of their toolset and engine. This would have made it illegal for anyone to take the Dota Allstars for instance and sell it for money. This would be illegal.

    Everyone knows ideas and concepts have been borrowed/stolen all throughout artistic history, so this is really nothing new. However, I feel Blizzard will have a good case in attempting to block any ownership rights fight over the name Dota since they own the initial software the game was produced on, and did not sell the legal rights for it to be sold seperately from Warcraft 3.

    Other companies like Riot and Valve are allowed to copy anything they want, but the ownership of the name itself should be decided chronologically. It will be a very interesting case and no doubt the better lawyer will win it.    

  • 1970Hendrix1970

    Icefrog has been making all the relevent changes and updates for dota for years. If you are in the Dota 2 beta you know that Icefrog is so dedicated he is still updating Dota with changes first then porting them into Dota 2 after Dota is serving as a public test relm of sorts for the changes loaded into 2. Icefrog has been doing this for years and not getting paid while the guys from Riot went and formed a company ripped off the core of the concept and many of the hero’s Icefrog created and are now making millions do you seriously expect the man to slave away on Dota forever and not get paid. The Dota and Dota 2 that exist today are balanced and created solely by Icefrog he desrves to call it Dota 2 because it is nothing like the game that existed from way back when. The fact the other devs abandoned Dota to go do other things shows about how much they “care” about the community if Icefrog did the same then the current Dota that people love would die and someone in the community with not near as much love and care as Icefrog would have to take over or the game for free or it  would die off.

    Personally I believe most players want the man that has been slaving over this game for years to get his due and make the sequel none of the other people that had miniscule involvement qualify.  

  • Paul J Hayes

    I like how the people commenting on this useless video are more informative than this now useless VOD site. I recall the day when GBTV was simple and clean. Now its flashy cluttered and confusing.  Also why make a VOD that takes longer to buffer than to read via text. The medium is the message. GBTV kind reminds me of Fox News these days…pointless.

    Besides the marketing value…Game play and art direction will be tantamount to this new MOBA’s success. Look at HoN vs LoL with art direction HoN is a little darker and mature  and LoL is light and car-toony. I’d be asking what will this new DOTA will be doing not concerning yourself about semantics over a 4 letter acronym.

    You can market a game all day but with already two modern-ish MOBA’s on the market you need to raise the stakes. I’m more interested in Blizzard’s Dota honestly because they are always on the razor’s edge of innovation. I am far less concerned about boring copy right that has nothing to do with you or the polished product you end up playing. A rose by any other name is just as sweet and the who came first the chicken or the egg….really is what being argued here….