The Halo CE Chronicles production is undeterred by Microsoft's latest announcement of its "Game Content Usage Rules
" . Most of the rules are common sense and are standard copyright issues stated in plain language. Since The Halo CE Chronicles is a personal nonprofit production offered freely and without charge and does not impugn or harm the reputation of the original game, it is ours and our law firm's contention that the HCE production falls into the gray area of the "Fair Use
" statues of sections 107 through 118 of the Copyright Act (title 17, U. S. Code) and does not infringe upon the Intellectual Property rights of the original copyright owners.
This is not to say that if Microsoft's legal department forwards a cease and desist order to our law firm we will not comply. It only means that in our opinion the new "written" usage rules are not an impediment or a reason to stop production as other machinima teams have.
I am not overly concerned with the one item most people are ranting about in the new rules "You can’t add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game with “lost chapters” or back story or anything like that." This statement while on the surface seems troublesome appears to be just a way to prevent dilution of the Halo story line and franchise. However we are undeterrred because the most recent Halo CE Chronicles story "The Gift
"" has already been featured on Bungie's (aka Microsoft) home page, now removed from their news archive but available from the Web Archive
for December 26 2006. Although this fact does not imply consent it does negate any negative comments of the existing story line.
All in all Microsoft just made clear what should already have been known about machinima in general and unless you are trying to harm the company, reduce their profits or make money from the production that they could be making then in our opinion you have very little to worry about.