Thanks - we've added an update to the article.
I really fail to see where the issue is. In fact, I don't think that there is an issue at all.
Okay, so the watermark contains, as Schlumpf said on page 7, the account name, not your email adress, but the account name which is a different thing. Remember, before Battle.net 2.0 we used to have account names instead of e-mail adresses. So, now, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org you have something like 107642169#1 (see here (Looking inside your screenshots).
It also stores the IP adress of the realm you're actually playing on (and not your IP adress) and the date and hour of the screenshot.
How on earth can you be "hacked" when the only data hackers can have is an account name like "107642169#1" ?
If you try to enter this account name while logging into the game you have this message :
And you get redirected to a page that asks you your email adress and your password.
So, please. Tell me how this can be used to "hack" someone or compromise accounts.
From what i understand the watermark gets generated when World of Warcraft trigger their own screenshot function and wow saves the screen shot?
If above is correct why the hell would you install some kind of hack to disable it? Just use the OS built in screenshot function and not World of Warcraft screen shots?
Mac user: Cmd + shift + 3.
Windows: Printscreen button then go to paint and press ctrl + v.
Last edited by thedruid; 09-11-2012 at 03:09 PM.
Someone make a non blizzard screenshot capture app that doesnt create any watermark or use the prntscr Function for now I guess. But very interesting find.
There is a much simpler solution. You just set the JPG quality to 10 and WoW skips the watermark function by default.
/console SET screenshotQuality "10"
It's really interesting that you decided to use this "playing dumb" approach, by even trying to login using an account name instead of the battle.net email...
A malicious hacker could unleash Web spider bots scanning for WoW screenshots, decode their hidden watermark data and quickly create a database of which account has which alts in it, that they can then sell to anyone interested because information is power and sells for a profit.
If the malicious hackers who recently attacked Blizzard (http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/securityupdate.html Important Security Update FAQ - Battle.net Support) also managed to grab the account names (it is not clearly stated in the official report, it only says "emails"), then they could combine the two to create a really comprehensive database of battle.net ids and characters, for anyone who is interested in buying it.
Last edited by Sendatsu; 09-11-2012 at 03:45 PM.
This thread makes me very curious if it could be a similar system GW2 used during their closed beta where people allowed in had to sign an NDA. As far as i remember, they banned several accounts even though the character and/or account names were never visible.
I’m not at all competent to discuss the technical aspects of this. TBH, when I first saw the thread I dismissed it as fear mongering nonsense. However, since the OP and others have been persistent in following through with their research, I’ve been converted and now think it is likely that indeed there are hidden watermarks in our images. So assuming that they are in fact embedding watermarks, here are my thoughts:
In particular the EULA states in relevant part (emphasis added):
I think it is highly likely that a U.S. judge would read that laundry list to include screenshots. Meaning, that any screenshot we take, is still the property of Blizzard. As such, Blizzard could put any information it desires into their screenshots, provided such information does not share otherwise legally protected information of the user.Ownership.
All title, ownership rights and intellectual property rights in and to the Game and all copies thereof (including without limitation any titles, computer code, themes, objects, characters, character names, stories, dialog, catch phrases, locations, concepts, artwork, character inventories, structural or landscape designs, animations, sounds, musical compositions and recordings, audio-visual effects, storylines, character likenesses, methods of operation, moral rights, and any related documentation) are owned or licensed by Blizzard. The Game is protected by the copyright laws of the United States, international treaties and conventions, and other laws. The Game may contain materials licensed by third parties, and the licensors of those materials may enforce their rights in the event of any violation of this License Agreement.
The EULA also states (emphasis added):
I think a screenshot is very likely to be classified as a “derivative work” and as such I think Blizzard would claim it owns the copyrights thereto. IMHO, it would likely be successful in making that claim.WORLD OF WARCRAFT®
END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT
Last Updated August 22, 2012
IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.
THIS SOFTWARE IS LICENSED, NOT SOLD. BY INSTALLING, COPYING OR OTHERWISE USING THE GAME (DEFINED BELOW), YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO INSTALL, COPY OR USE THE GAME. IF YOU REJECT THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER YOUR PURCHASE, YOU MAY CALL (800)757-7707 TO REQUEST A FULL REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE.
With that in mind, I think there are potentially some interesting and unclear legal issues with regards to screenshots (suppose I take a screenshot that is Ansel Adams beautiful, and people want to buy it from me and I want to sell it, would I have the right? Could Blizzard stop it?), but those issues are separate from, and should not be confused with, the issue of whether or not Blizzard has the right to control what information ends up in the file dump that is created when you hit the screenshot button. The fact is that all the information that goes into the screenshots is dictated by Blizzard’s programing and this watermark information is just a small part of what their program creates. It would be very hard to argue that they are free to control all the other information (color info, etc) but not this information, since their program “makes it all”.
A better analogy might be a thief who steals my camera, but thinks I should not be allowed to look at the exif data on the photos to prove it was taken with my camera, since he took the photo and it’s his artwork? Not to imply you are a thief of course.
I’ve been a member of this forum for a long time (mainly a lurker), please don’t read any of the above to mean that I support what Blizzard is doing, or that I am against the creative activities we enjoy and discuss: I just don’t think it’s worth wasting much effort or hope on thinking that “we have Blizzard by the balls this time! What they are doing is illegal!!” I think the truth of the matter, is that they are likely fully within their rights to embed such information into screenshots.
Thanks for making us aware of this, and I for one will certainly take it into consideration when posting public screen shots in the future.
Disclaimer: I am an attorney, but I am not your attorney. The thoughts expressed in this post are my own personal opinion on the issues discussed therein, and should not be viewed or interpreted as legal advice. My thoughts expressed do not represent the opinion of anyone else on the forum or the forum itself (or the owners, employees, officers, or directors thereof). My opinions should not be relied upon to make decisions regarding any course of action you may or may not have against Blizzard. If you think you have been wronged, you should consult your own personal attorney.
I find this thread hilarious. Sendatsu posted it and instantly got flamed and now after research and bringing up evidence people instantly edit their flame posts.
Sendatsu you owned them hardcore.
Abra su mente a la realidad.
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