After writing a post going through the rough implications as server owners of how Mojang interprets the EULA (their rules) with the most important points covered, this post will be more centered towards analysing not their own interpretation of their rules, but the actual rules as they are written.
To clarify, there are 5 separate websites that govern this update
- The EULA changes announcement, this is a type of post that companies are legally required to do and notify users of changes to a legally binding contract, in this case refferring to the End User License Agreement (EULA)
- [NEW] The brand new "Usage Guidelines" page, which is not the EULA itself, but a page that explains in Mojang's own words how their EULA (essentially the rules) applies to players (and coincidentally server owners)
- [MODIFIED] The actual EULA, which is the legally binding agreement that players are forced to agree to when buying the game
- [NEW] The Microsoft Services Agreement, sort of Microsoft's own terms of service that as of the 2nd of August 2023 now applies to Minecraft, hence the "new" marking
- [NEW] Xbox Community Standards, the EULA references that Mojang affirms the Xbox community standards and that they now apply to Minecraft
Overview of the changes
- The Microsoft Service Agreement now applies to Minecraft and all its players
- The EULA has been updated
- The Usage Guidelines page was created with the objective of helping players understand how to follow Mojang's rules as stated by the blog post notifying of the changes
- The Xbox Community Standards must now be followed
How this update affects server owners
Click on the sections to expand them and see how it affects you
Microsoft Service Agreement
This section is completely new, here are the parts that apply under a server owner Minecraft context:
- As a server owner residing in the U.S, you forfeit your right to sue in court in front of a judge or jury. Your only option is a small claims court should the problem not be resolved within 60 days of a dispute arising. [Section 15]
- Systems that prey upon & exploit children such as gambling/lottery disguised as "loot crates" is not allowed [Section 3.a.ii]
- You may no longer use features that falsify player counts from what they actually are [Section 3.a.v]
- If you suffer a loss or damage due to the changes in conditions, you may request compensation from Microsoft or engage in a Lawsuit [Section 13, 15] [More on this in a section further down]
Minecraft Usage Guidelines
This section goes over the new interpretations of older&new rules with how they currently apply:
- Your server, whether it makes money or not, is considered commercial and must comply to the entire EULA including the commercial guidelines, I repeat, even if it makes no money (regardless of INTENT to make money)
- You may no longer limit, control or restrict access to your server if said limits are placed based on "out-of-game" content, products or services (such as for example a monthly subscription to bypass the queue, a plushie that gives you priority access over others etc)
- Mojang may request, or force takedowns of Minecraft related content if they deem it is appropriate, or if they do not like what you are doing (their wording)
- If you own a website related to your Minecraft server, you are now required to add a "NOT AN OFFICIAL MINECRAFT [PRODUCT/SERVICE/EVENT/etc.]. NOT APPROVED BY OR ASSOCIATED WITH MOJANG OR MICROSOFT" clause on that website where aplicable.
- Marketing materials on Tiktok and Youtube etc may not have Mojang assets like the name "Minecraft" being too prominent in the title (Example: Insane new Minecraft server! would not be allowed)
- You must make sure that ALL content on your server is suitable to all audiences of all ages [Minecraft is rated 10+, so arguably starting at what is considered acceptable from 10 years old] such as gambling, pornography, violence, terrorism, explicit lyrics, or other unsafe/mature content. [This section existed previously, but did not define that all content had to apply to all ages]
- You provide information to players on all the content and pricing applicable to your server before a person joins, signs up, or signs in
Minecraft End User License Agreement (EULA)
- You may not give acceess to your server in a way that is "unfair or unreasonable" [Unsure how this affects whitelists?]
Most of the changes in this update seem to have been defined in the usage guidelines section.
The Xbox community standards don't really do anything beyond what is already stated, essentially don't be racist and harrass people
Disputes & Lawsuits [free if under $75 000]
If you as a server owner have suffered damages or loss in revenue as outlined in the Microsoft Service Agreement [Section 13], you may take it up with Microsoft directly through the Arbitration and dispute resolution page in which you will have a 60 day window to informally (meaning out-of-court, without necessarily requiring legal assistance) resolve the dispute.
A dispute is defined as "any claim or controversy between you and us [Microsoft] concerning the Services, the software related to the services [software or product that Microsoft offers]"
If the arbitration is for a sum under $25 000, the hearing will be by phone or video call unless there is justifiable reason for in-person hearings.