In a blog post today, Mojang announced that it is making some changes to its Commercial Usage Guidelines, mainly to say that companies will no longer be able to promote their brands and products through Minecraft.
Due to the game's incredible growth, companies have begun using it to show off "unrelated products". A good example of this might be back in December when Verizon built a working iPhone in the game.
Mojang said that such product endorsements don't "feel right, or more importantly, fun." Here's a summary of the changes made to the Guidelines:
Build a Minecraft mod or server that promotes unrelated products in playable form; e.g., if you are a restaurant chain, you can’t market your restaurant by releasing a mod that includes your restaurant built out of Minecraft blocks.
Build a Minecraft map or mod that markets a movie or TV show; e.g., if you’re a movie studio, you can’t make a map that uses Minecraft blocks to build out the fictional world of the movie or its characters, and you can’t make an official movie trailer out of gameplay footage from that map or mod.
It’s worth mentioning that fans of a particular restaurant, movie, or some other thing are still free to build things in Minecraft that represent or celebrate it so long as the goal or focus is not to promote or sell that stuff. The new rules only apply to companies or organisations that are using Minecraft to sell their products or promote their causes.
As noted, while a company can't promote its brand in the Microsoft-owned game, fans can still build whatever they want. In other words, if you're just a regular player of the game, nothing changes for you.