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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Dec 18th 2009 12:35PM (Unverified) said

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That's just silly.

Now say, trying to stay with your example, you go out and make 2,000 Batman t-shirts and try to sell the, then yes you would be breaking the law. If you make 1 Batman shirt, for yourself, you're pretty much ok. With most copyright laws its about either profiting or claiming credit. The credit part also works into profit.

You make a Batman having sex with Robin T-shirt, and put "Officially Licensed DC Comics T-shirt" on the tag or something, that could hurt DC profits if people actually think they sanctioned that, then proceeded to boycott DC over it.

The reason they don't let you do that in Cryptic products is because if they are silent, it can be taken as "Hey buy our product where you can be Batman or whoever you want, we don't care!" People could buy it for the specific reason that you can be Batman, find out they hate the game, then decide they will not buy any more DC products. A stupid person it would take, yes, but 1 stupid person is all it takes.

If you're so afraid of copyrights in the US, how about you name your country? Lets see how it stands up with copyrights.
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Posted: Dec 17th 2009 7:25PM (Unverified) said

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I love the comments from people like Dag, who never say what country they are from. Because every country has their own set of crazy laws. Heck Blizz had to take out getting drunk on the Europe servers and change it to beer goggles because some countries there did not allow that in games.

But back on topic. My roommate ran into this problem. He made SpaceGhost and one day got a emal saying he had to change his name. So he changed it then like 2 days later he logs on and he is the tee shirt and jeans guy. Never saw someone cancel a account and uninstall a game so fast. Two of my other friends found out what had happened and they cancelled also.

Posted: Dec 18th 2009 12:56AM Tumorseal said

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LoL at people surprised at this.

Posted: Dec 17th 2009 8:53PM (Unverified) said

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There's a lot of CO players who complain about this. They don't seem to get it. Cryptic ends up shelling out millions in legal fees to fight the lawsuits (even if it won them!) and then goes bankrupt. Bye bye CO. And yes, STO is going to be full of not only "Kaptain Kerk" but "Puke Skywalker" and "Darth Douchebag" and, heck, probably a "Dark Knight" or two. Sometimes I think MMOs would be fun if not for all the people in them.

Posted: Dec 18th 2009 12:09AM Anatidae said

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I side with Cryptic on this - they can't survive battling lawsuits.

BUT - I also seriously think that the fact someone can sue them is (insert strong language). What, is DC going to sue Autodesk if I model a Superman in 3D there? Maybe Adobe might get sued by Marvel because I used their tools to draw a Nightcrawler?

Or is the issue because the items I create are available for anyone to see? Then sites like DeviantART should be shut down today - because tons of people create art based on copyrighted works that you can view. But then, I am confused, if I create a painting of Spiderman and hang it in a gallery - it is the gallery that should be sued?

I suppose the claim is that someone creating Batman in-game is then able to create stories with said avatar?

I dunno. The whole thing is just lame actions in a greedy world. If anyone were to make a movie, comic, whatever and sell it on copyrighted works, I would side with the IP owner in a heartbeat. But players creating a costume in a virtual game setting that they are even paying to play? Yeah, lay off.

It also strikes me that Champions is a private server cluster. You pay to access no? If I had a private club of some sort and one of my members wanted to dress as Wolverine and role-play at a party (costume or not) then I would be sued for letting him in my building? Well, I don't know why Cryptic immediately bans Marvel, DC, etc...and their employees from the servers. They should put that in their Terms. Like most businesses, they have the right to refuse service.

Posted: Dec 18th 2009 6:34AM (Unverified) said

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I kinda see two issues there, one I agree with completely - the frivolous lawsuit part - the other, not as much.

Protecting an IP is the root of a lot of these actions, and I get that part. If I spend my time (life even) creating a character, world, item, etc, I should get a measure of control over how that image is then used in public.

If someone dresses as wolverine, who cares? If they dress for a party, who cares? If they film themselves as wolverine, then release the film, especially for press or profit, that is a problem. They are infringing on something someone else created, and possibly using that IP in the wrong context.
Ex: If someone molests children as Wolverine so headlines reflect this act, it potentially ruins the character - fictional or not.

Same thing if I register all over the 'net as Brian! and post your writings, but say they are me AND even change them. You'd be pissed, right? You have no measure of protection for what you create? Write a book and have the main character stolen to be in someone's youtube series, and you'll feel some burn on it.

In the framework of an MMO, having someone make a deviant version of a known hero, interact with other people in a way outside the character, or otherwise interact with other folks publicly is just itching too close to this IP control issue. And although games are privately hosted, they are still publicly accessed. If you make Batman in a single player game in the privacy of your own home, knock yourself out. No one sees it or is effected by it. In an MMO, it does effect others, and can even be distributed through screenshots, Fraps, forums, etc, etc.

Anyway, easiest thing is:
If ya wanna freakin play an existing character, go play it in its own IP or go read a book/play with your dollies at home.
Otherwise, could someone please use an ounce of originality for once?
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Posted: Dec 18th 2009 10:46AM Anatidae said

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I suppose it is a fine line. Frankly, I try and create original characters - but I also know that in the history of comics nearly every idea I come up with probably exists in some comic somewhere. Champions offers a finite level of creativity.

But even if someone makes themselves a Batman character in Champions, it isn't as though players are going to actually associate that player's actions with the actual IP. I would be surprised if anyone was like, "boy, that Batman character was really a jerk - I'll never go see another Batman movie now!"

Yet, your point about marketing material. If Cryptic were to use screenshots of their game with characters in them that were from other IPs, THEN I would side agianst them. Once the characters are used to generate revenue, it is a problem. Just like I couldn't throw my private parties and promote it with a picture of Spiderman without permission. I get that to be sure.

It just seems like a fine line.

Oh, and if WoW can make a quest with a guy dressed exactly like Indiana Jones - in a setting he would be in - just named Harrison Jones... if they can get away with that, then I think players who make a huge green brute and call it "The Bulk" should be able to play as well without reprise.
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Posted: Dec 18th 2009 12:27AM (Unverified) said

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This is hardly a new phenomena.First time I remember this happening was with half life mods being forced to cancel because of legal threats by movie and comic companies trying to protect their IPs.Fox did it so much with it's movie IPs that a mod being canceled due to legal pressure became known as a mod being Foxed.

When movie/comic/publishing companies decided they wanted into the video game market they became much more aggressive about protecting their IPs from being used in what they would consider competing products to their officially licensed/produced ones.

What I personally find amusing is how many people given artistic and creative freedom by a game choose to do nothing creative or artistic and just plagiarize lol.

Posted: Dec 18th 2009 12:30AM Its Utakata stupid said

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The warning itself is nothing new. It's almost so obvious it doesn't really need to be stated. Whether your playing CO or CoX or even eventually DCO. So this isn't really a debate.

What I find intersting and disturbing at the same time, is by the nature they have put this on their website's front page with a glaringly long statement. It is quite likely they'e setting up for a big purge of toons with copywrite issues and perhaps players behind them. So I say this as a warning to all subs playing this game...for the next few weeks in not months, don't be surprised your Character Creator will have a big Cryptic army boot in it's face. Or in the case of Bill Roper's flaming red Doc Martins. So be carefull what you roll.

One can hope they don't become over zealous in their crackdown. I'm not sure they can afford losing further patrons if they do.

Posted: Dec 18th 2009 3:00AM Psychotic Storm said

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I will be glad when the IP system is reset and written in plain language...

it doesn't work as many companies are suggesting and doesn't need to be defended as vigorously as it is implied.

If they did it to reduce clone rates ingame I would like the announcement far better.

and hey I fought next to the entire SF cast in pre release they were quite good.

Posted: Dec 18th 2009 1:24PM Critical Mass said

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I don't understand how the character generator is of such fidelity that it can make "copy", "perfect copies", "exact copy" which are words used in the dev blog. I highly doubt one can make exact copies with Champions Online.

So the way I see it, the issue isn't really about infringement as such, to copyrights or whatever, as in reproduction of IP. It is about fear. And as such it is imo about USA. The whole lawsuit cliche is basicly just an american thing isn't it?

So long as the problem is not that of somebody creating a spitting image, precisely to become a facsimile of some known characters dress-up, the whole concern about IP seem pointless as such. And fear is what is left of it all, I would say.

If I created some character basicly dressed in black with a black coat, naming it "Darth Vader" would that throw off a scare as well?

I live in Norway.

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