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I've read starcraft 2 EULA and wonder if application that collects info about user's keyboard/mouse activity (i.e. "how many times user clicks 1?") violates this.

If I understand part 2 correctly - the answer is "no" but I want you to help me.

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if you haven't already, check out sc2gears; maybe this does what you want? Their FAQ addresses your question as well. –  tenfour Feb 23 '11 at 20:54
    
it's close to what I need but I want to do additional analysis and sc2gears does not provide any API (AFAIK) so I need to do this work again –  Meta Feb 24 '11 at 2:58
    
Hm... look like sentence "Sc2gears does not interact with StarCraft 2: it does not read or write StarCraft 2's memory" is a good point for me. Thank you 104 –  Meta Feb 24 '11 at 3:01
    
Here's a crazy idea: Ask Blizzard. You could post on the Starcraft 2 forums, for instance. They're going to have the definitive answer, whereas all of us here are only guessing. –  Kyralessa Feb 25 '11 at 3:02
    
From what I've seen, Blizzard doesn't comment much on EULA issues, esp. on their forums. Probably in part because their lawyers prefer they not comment, lest they misstate something or say something that comes back to bite them. –  Wikwocket Feb 25 '11 at 4:27
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Disclaimer

I am neither a lawyer nor a representative of Blizzard Entertainment. Consider my answer to be anecdotal in nature but based on experience with World of Warcraft add-ons. For an official answer, you should speak with a Blizzard representative or a qualified legal professional.

Short Answer

You should not run an analysis as the game is running, but you can run an analysis on the replay files the game generates.

Long Answer

This clause is one Blizzard uses in the World of Warcraft EULA as well and is often cited when people are making add-ons for the game:

C. use any unauthorized third-party software that intercepts, “mines,” or otherwise collects information from or through the Game or the Service, including without limitation any software that reads areas of RAM used by the Game to store information about a character or the game environment; provided, however, that Blizzard may, at its sole and absolute discretion, allow the use of certain third party user interfaces;

In the case of World of Warcraft, the distinction is related to how the data is collected. For example, it is permissible for the data to be collected and written to a file form within an add-on that is resident in-game written through the WoW API. Once you close the game, you can use a third-party application to upload those files elsewhere. What you cannot do is have that third-party application sniff out data while the game is running and upload it directly.

In the case of StarCraft 2, if you want to analyze actions within the game, you would be allowed to use a third-party application to analyze the generated reply files or upload them to a server that analyzes them. However, running an analysis as the game is played would fall under the category of "Things You Should Not Do".

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I think that in case of wow it violate sentence "through the Game" cause add-on uses in-game API to get some information to give it to 3-rd party directly. So this way 3-rd party get a "bridge" to the game data and user can get advantage based on this data. As I know starcraft 2 do not provide such API and only way to get "in-game" data is to analyze RAM but this is not a my case for sure. –  Meta Feb 23 '11 at 19:44
    
You are not limited to RAM. As I said in my answer, you can analyse replay files to get data on in-game actions. Each replay file is essentially a list of actions that happened in-game that the application itself will step through to show you what happened in the real game. By analyzing that file, you can track the types and number of actions performed. –  Shaun Feb 23 '11 at 19:47
    
Sounds great. Now I think that even using information real-time (by collecting keystrokes) to i.e. play sound is OK because this is not interact with game in any manner. Except for the thing that it's happens simultaneously :) make sense? –  Meta Feb 24 '11 at 2:55
    
@Meta: I think so. At a basic level, you want to count the number of times (and when) each key on your keyboard is pressed (in other words, use a key logging type application). If this is correct, then your use should be allowed. You're not mining the game for information at that point, you're just collecting data from your keyboard. The fact that StarCraft happens to be running is incidental at that point. –  Shaun Feb 24 '11 at 5:58
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My best advice is to consult a lawyer; that's the only way to know for sure.

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I understand this but may be I just miss something that obvious for other –  Meta Feb 23 '11 at 14:30
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Unhelpful, trite answer –  Nick T May 3 '11 at 3:39
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There is no way this would be in violation in its purest form; their EULA cannot dictate what you do with your mouse / keyboard, or unrelated software.

BUT, if the monitoring app is mining information from sc2 itself, even something like detecting whether you are in a game or not, then maybe.

For example if you happen to be running a keylogger while playing sc2, even if it is for the purpose of analyzing your sc2 gameplay habits, is not a violation.

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sounds logical. thank you –  Meta Feb 23 '11 at 15:40
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This is a creative answer, but otherwise lacking in value. A EULA can say anything a company wants it to say. Whether it's enforceable in court is the question. –  Kyralessa Feb 25 '11 at 3:01
    
then we agree; regardless of whatever's in the EULA, don't be fooled into thinking you can't run a keylogger for example. There is only so much the EULA can actually dictate. The OP is asking whether it's a EULA violation not whether it's enforceable, so... –  tenfour Feb 25 '11 at 8:47
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Are you referring to this clause?

Additional License Limitations. 4. Use any unauthorized third-party software that intercepts, "mines", or otherwise collects information from or through the Game or the Service, including without limitation any software that reads areas of RAM used by the Game to store information; provided, however, that Blizzard may, at its sole and absolute discretion, allow the use of certain third party user interfaces;

The response is: Maybe. It depends of the way the application is working... If your app collects info through the game, you don't have rights to do this, unless you contact Blizzard to ask for a formal agreement.

But, if the application collects data directly from the mouse and keyboard, without interaction with the game, you legally have the right to use it, according to EULA. Anyhow, i don't think Blizzard would caution that kind of work-around...

If you want to avoid problems, don't do this.

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