Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023


Andrew Cunningham

Since Amazon launched its free Lumberyard game engine yesterday, the world has been united on a single question: Can we legally use the engine to operate life-saving infrastructure during the zombie apocalypse? After reviewing Amazon’s updated terms of service for the new engine, we can now confirm that the answer is a definite “yes.”

Don’t believe us? Go to the Amazon Web Services Terms of Service and scroll down to line 57.10. There you will see the following (emphasis added):

57.10 Acceptable use; Safety-critical systems. Your use of the lumberyard materials must comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operating medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat. However, this restriction does not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the US Centers for Disease Control or successor agency) of a widespread viral infection transmitted through bites or contact with bodily fluids that cause human corpses to reanimate and attempt to consume live human flesh, blood, brain, or nerve tissue and is likely to lead to the fall of organized civilization.

As obvious jokes hidden in legal boilerplate go, Amazon’s efforts fall a little short Divinity: Original Sin EULA, which gave out rewards to the first 100 people who bothered to read the boring language. And the humorous clause diverts attention from other potentially more troubling clauses therein, such as the engine’s collection of “information about system and server resources, features used in the integrated development environment, frequency and duration of use, geographic and network locations and mistakes.” and informational messages.”

It’s somewhat likely that someone at Amazon threw in this joke as a bit of PR, confident that the eventual discovery would lead to a flurry of stories like this and more exposure for the new Lumberyard engine. In that case, we play into the hands of Amazon. We’re fine with that, though, if the end result is more companies inserting funny bits into regular boilerplate legal text, which could encourage customers to actually comb through the fine print to learn their legal rights.

By akfire1

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