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 [BLOG] Courts To Decide Whether Valve Owns Rights To Dota 
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Right now there's a lawsuit ongoing over two developers who have been making unauthorised mobile versions of Dota, something Valve is obviously not a fan of. Now the defendants are seeking to prove that Valve doesn't own the rights to Dota at all, hinging their argument on a forum post over 10 years old.



The forum post is from 2004 and is from one of the original creators of Dota, which could prove that far from Valve owning the rights Dota is actually open source and has been all along. This story all began back when Blizzard and Valve launched the lawsuit in question against the two defendant developers, Lilith Games and uCool, publishers of two very popular Chinese mobiles games - Dota Legends and Heroes Charge. Both use Dota characters, hence the problems Valve has with them. It's uCool who has brought up the question of who owns the rights to Dota, and if they're right then Valve doesn't actually own the trademark to the original Dota and thus would be unable to bring this claim against uCool.



Already another argument that uCool brought about Dota being a collective work has been shot down, but judge Charles Breyer is investigating whether the purchase of the Dota name to Valve by creators Icefrog and eul could infringe upon the original EULA for Warcraft 3 from which Dota draws its roots as a mod. The Warcraft 3 EULA forbids the distrubution of mods fgor "commerical purposes" and the sale of Dota to Valve has been said by Breyer to be "as commercial as uses go."



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Further, the aforementioned forum post from 2004 shows that eul seemingly abandoned his ownership of Dota stating that "whoever wishes to release a version of Dota may without my consent" although he does also "ask for a nod in the credits to your map," so whether he did give up ownership or not is up for debate because of that. It will be up to the jury to decide whether any perceived rights abandonment will apply for everyone (including companies like uCool) or if it was just for "the motley group of modders making up an informal Dota online community."



This will all be sorted out in a court case to determine whether uCool and Lilith Games are indeed in violation of a trademark that Valve is the owner of. If the judge finds in their favour, expect to see more Dota clones or Valve seeking to close the loophole as soon as they can. If the judge finds in favour of Valve, expect the two defendants to be paying a hefty sum for their trouble.

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