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Copyright and hero names, plus appearance

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Phararri
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Copyright and hero names, plus appearance

https://cityoftitans.com/forum/superhero-names-whats-gray-area

(This thread did not work for me, so I made a new one.)

In CO, some names are restricted, but others are not. You can be named Balrog, but not M. Bison. What are the rules on this in CoT?

I do remember CO asking players to report toons whom looked and shared names of famous heroes. I did see a Bane the other day in CO, that looked exactly like Bane...

In DCUO threads, they actually say "This is Luke Cage" and display a toon that looks exactly like Luke Cage. Was this ever a problem in CoX?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqKkGYH4lPY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKvRJHUHVqE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p86DuQa7E0&t=23s

I do not know how to make tube videos show properly btw, without the need to visit Youtube.

As a child, I thought my name was handsome, cause that is what everyone called me.

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Of course it was. With a

Of course it was. With a system of reporting to people who knew nothing about comics or how to even google a name, just to see "Hmmm, maybe I'm being lied to, so this name can be grabbed by someone else."

Though, to my knowledge, it's not that one couldn't, it's that no one wants to fight and win the battle. The game itself isn't running or making money off the characters.

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I did a Halloween contest in

I did a Halloween contest in COH. People were specifically told *NOT* to create a new character with a name that matched their costume. Guess who showed up? "The Batman"

It's going to happen.

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I was 'Doctor Stranger' for a

I was 'Doctor Stranger' for a short while. *grin*

I might have gotten away with the name OR the costume, but not both.

Be Well!
Fireheart

Planet10
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Phararri wrote:
Phararri wrote:

I do not know how to make tube videos show properly btw, without the need to visit Youtube.

The "You can use BBCode tags in the text. URLs will automatically be converted to links" at the bottom of the page covers it.
In the "Google, Wikipedia and Youtube" section:

Quote:

To embed Youtube videos, use this:
[youtube]Video Code i.e. the string that appears after v= in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=[/youtube], this will embed the video [youtube=720x405]video code as above[/youtube] will display the video in 720 pixels wide and 405 pixels tall.

So for your RqKkGYH4lPY video you just put it between youtube brackets, like this:

McJigg
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My Warshade was "Dr.?", he

My Warshade was "Dr.?", he wore a casual purple suit (With a ? icon on the back) with sneakers and didn't use lobster or squid form.

MeSoSollyWan
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McJigg wrote:
McJigg wrote:

My Warshade was "Dr.?", he wore a casual purple suit (With a ? icon on the back) with sneakers and didn't use lobster or squid form.

Whaaaaaaaaaaat! How the heck did you get decals on your back? I don't ever remember back decals being an option.

Edit: Unless it was a cape option somewhere?

Cobalt Azurean
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Oh, I've made my fair share

Oh, I've made my fair share of homages.






I mainly just wanted to see how close I could get with the costume creator.

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I made a ton of those, just

I made a ton of those, just to see if I could... and never used them, publicly.
However I ran an Ice/Energy Blaster named Powerskrull jr. from lvl1-48, till someone told me how this could get Paragon sued. I deleted that toon immediately.

Pity, I really liked him. =(

When people ask me about my religion, I tell 'em I'd worship Cthulhu.

How bad could I possibly be? Let's see...

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Nightmare started as an

Nightmare started as an attempt to get close to Doom while not being a complete ripoff. Hence the blue and red.

And then I found out I made him similar to Champions villain Professor Muerte

The rule will probably follow the same as it is in CoH and CO. Check for similar name, costume, and powers. If 2 out of 3 are present then action is taken.

Revenge is motivation enough. At least it's honest...

Roleplayer; Esteemed Villain

Phararri
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Thx Planet

Thx Planet

Those costumes are pretty cool. I just found it odd how open DCUO players are with this, "This is my insert superhero name" mind you these are DCUO forums posting images of carbon copies. Common sense suspected CoT will follow the precedent set by other superhero mmo.

As a child, I thought my name was handsome, cause that is what everyone called me.

BiotopeZ
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(No subject)

This should happen in game to people who deliberately copy a character:

Project_Hero
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BiotopeZ wrote:
BiotopeZ wrote:

This should happen in game to people who deliberately copy a character:

I'm surprised Harvey didn't represent himself.

"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to."

chase
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Legally, the issue's still

Legally, the issue's still out there on this, but I'd expect CoT to be sensitive to the risks of lawsuit, like CoH was.

For those that don't recall, Marvel did try to sue Cryptic for (among other things) facilitating the violation of trademark being done by their players-- that they made a product with the implied purpose of permitting people to make copies of their properties to play. There were significant flaws in Marvel's argument and several compelling counterarguments BUT it was settled out of court. No court has declared on these decisions in a way that sets precedent, so whoever comes next gets to pay lawyers to argue the same points all over again.

DC has a history with Marvel-- with each having enough IP "dirt" on the other that suing one another over in-game material would open something best left closed, so DCUO is unlikely to get the same aggression that Marvel spent on CoH, who had very little to hold over Marvel's head.

An independent studio, though, may find things go differently.

I expect that CoT will take a similar degree of caution as CoH. Identical name+likeness will likely be generic'ed. Variant plays on names + general likeness will skirt by. Given that the single hourly rate for a lawyer in the IP sphere would likely exceed the annual subscription of one player, I doubt they'll want to risk entering that argument, even if they may win.

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This is one of many places

This is one of many places where the US legal system breaks down. Those with the deepest pockets can often win by attrition. But it's how it is and must be take into account like Chase says.

FIGHT EVIL! (or go cause trouble so the Heroes have something to do.)

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Well it might be worth a

Well it might be worth a kickstarter consideration if it comes up.

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I didn't know this ! that's

I didn't know this ! that's pretty amusing :D

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MeSoSollyWan wrote:
MeSoSollyWan wrote:
McJigg wrote:

My Warshade was "Dr.?", he wore a casual purple suit (With a ? icon on the back) with sneakers and didn't use lobster or squid form.

Whaaaaaaaaaaat! How the heck did you get decals on your back? I don't ever remember back decals being an option.

Edit: Unless it was a cape option somewhere?

Sorry, misremembered that. I would DRAW him with the '?' on his back, the casual coat put a small icon in the top right I think.... It's been too many years and I've so far abstained Paragon Chat as I think it would just make me sad.

Lothic
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I made a few characters in

I made a few characters in CoH that vaguely "looked" like some well known comic book characters but I was always careful to never name them anything even remotely close to the existing characters and I usually created them build-wise as something completely different. For example I once had a character that sort of looked like a version of Supergirl, but her name was totally different and I rolled her up as a range-oriented electric blaster. I played that character semi-regularly for 7+ years and never once had a problem from the GMs concerning her.

I think as long as you don't try to recreate obvious "identical clones" (appearance + name + powers) you can get away with relative "look-alikes" in games like these.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

chase
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A good read into the

A good read into the protection of graphical characters and how they've been protected / where the courts currently have stood:

http://corporate.findlaw.com/intellectual-property/protection-of-graphic-characters.html

Basic summary, as it relates to gaming:
- thematic likeness+name, but different personality/setting/powers was still a violation of the original owners' rights in cases like Disney vs Air Pirates. Interestingly, this was the case even though the names and original tales were public domain- the thematic likeness to Disney's presentation of these properties along with the names was sufficient.

- a slightly different appearance+name but same powers, personality, and stylistic rendering was still a violation in Detective Comics, Inc. v. Burns Publications. The court found that the infringing work "appropriated the pictorial and literary details embodied in" the copyrights protecting Superman.

At the same time, though, although the courts "..extended copyright protection to Superman without bestowing a monopoly on the mere character of a "super man. Therefore, the best way to protect a graphic character under copyright law is to ensure that the character's appearance and personality are specific and unique."

That is where the comic companies may have hurt themselves, IMHO.
There have been several dramatic reimaginings of many heroes- different costumes, changing pwersets, changing personalities, and dramatically different artistic depictions. All of them are still thematically associated with the original in some way, but vary in others. It will be more difficult to argue that any of the variant depictions are as iconic or well-defined as the "core."

of course, the big problem is that, if you can't tell- these are all cases that are subject to court interpretation- that means there's no concrete case law that's applicable to all cases. Arguing or defending each of these as they arise gets pricy.

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chase wrote:
chase wrote:

Legally, the issue's still out there on this, but I'd expect CoT to be sensitive to the risks of lawsuit, like CoH was.

For those that don't recall, Marvel did try to sue Cryptic for (among other things) facilitating the violation of trademark being done by their players-- that they made a product with the implied purpose of permitting people to make copies of their properties to play. There were significant flaws in Marvel's argument and several compelling counterarguments BUT it was settled out of court. No court has declared on these decisions in a way that sets precedent, so whoever comes next gets to pay lawyers to argue the same points all over again.

DC has a history with Marvel-- with each having enough IP "dirt" on the other that suing one another over in-game material would open something best left closed, so DCUO is unlikely to get the same aggression that Marvel spent on CoH, who had very little to hold over Marvel's head.

An independent studio, though, may find things go differently.

I expect that CoT will take a similar degree of caution as CoH. Identical name+likeness will likely be generic'ed. Variant plays on names + general likeness will skirt by. Given that the single hourly rate for a lawyer in the IP sphere would likely exceed the annual subscription of one player, I doubt they'll want to risk entering that argument, even if they may win.

It is also interesting to note that during that lawsuit, it was discovered that some of those that created the duplicates were actually with Marvel or the legal team.

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I think that cost them both

I think that cost them both in court and the court of public opinion. I hope MWM has long term logging plans for character configs especially names and costumes. It pays to be able to corrolate those prior offenses to particular accounts.

"THE TITANS ARE COMING! THE TITANS ARE COMING!"

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I remember reading in CoX

I remember reading in CoX that apparently there was something in the user agreement that said they own the characters you create. Is this going to be in CoT too? Will I not be able to use characters I make here in my own projects?

Lothic
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Beef Ninja wrote:
Beef Ninja wrote:

I remember reading in CoX that apparently there was something in the user agreement that said they own the characters you create. Is this going to be in CoT too? Will I not be able to use characters I make here in my own projects?

I would initially assume the language of the "user agreement" of CoT is going to be very similar to what CoH used so until we see otherwise I'd plan on MWM technically "owning" anything you insert/upload into their game.

As far as you "using" any of the characters you create in CoT goes it would likely come down to what it always comes down to... money. As long as you don't start making millions of dollars from your CoT creations you'll likely be able to do anything you want with them outside of CoT. But if by some stroke of luck somebody wants to make a blockbuster movie based on your CoT character(s) then the lawyers would likely get involved because (presumably) what helped make your characters "bankable" in the first place was their existence inside CoT. Naturally MWM would want to get their "fair cut" of your profits for helping you make your characters famous.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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The CoH end user license

The CoH end user license agreement [EULA] didn't assert total ownership over the characters you made in game - if you were the original creator of the character (or had negotiated successful for rights to that character), then you kept all the rights any character's creator has by law, under the "to the extent you may claim such rights" part of 6(b); the second sentence. Of course, if you made a Batman homage or Statesman clone, and the law doesn't grant ownership to you due to your work being too derivative, 6(b) also doesn't apply to you - for that character, due to 6(b)'s first sentence.

What the EULA did do, was require you to grant the game's owners the right to use those characters with very few limits. That's what you see when it says "a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, sub-licensable, perpetual and irrevocable license...". In that part, you were granting them rights (for example) to use your character design in advertising, or work with Pixar to make a CoH Movie that contains your character - and pay you nothing.

I would hope and expect the MWM/CoT EULA is similar or less demanding. Even the fairly demanding NCSoft / CoH EULA definitely would have allowed you to use your truly original creations in your other projects. They were only trying to block you from using a Statesman / Back Alley Brawler / etc derivative elsewhere or using their game assets (such as costume pieces) as if they had been your own creations. In other words, you could make a profitable movie containing your original characters, but could not legally show them wearing anything too similar to Lord Nemesis' costume, or describe how they grew up in King's Row...even if that's what you had them do in-game, since those costume pieces and locations were essentially borrowed from NCSoft. To maximize legal safety and freedom to use your creations elsewhere, your original characters should be designed as if only temporarily wearing CoH / CoT costumes when in game and "just visiting" Paragon City / Titan City.

***************************
source: Paragon Wiki, https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/EULA/September_2011 and https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/EULA
From the 2011 NA version of the EULA, section 6:
"6. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

(a) You acknowledge, and further agree, that You have no IP right related to any Service, Content, Software, or any combination of the foregoing or parts thereof except the limited license provided in Section 2 above.
(b) You acknowledge, and further agree, that You have no IP right related to any Account ID, any NCsoft Message Board ID, any communication or information on any NCsoft Message Board provided by You or anyone else, any information, feedback or communication related to the Game, any Character ID or characteristics related to a Character ID, any combination of the foregoing or parts thereof, or any combination of the foregoing with any Service, Content, Software, or parts thereof. To the extent You may claim any such IP right(s), You hereby grant NCsoft a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, sub-licensable, perpetual and irrevocable license and full authorization to exercise all rights of any kind or nature associated with such IP right(s), and all ancillary and subsidiary rights thereto, in any languages and media now known or not currently known. Your license to NCsoft includes, but is not limited to, all necessary trademark licenses, all copyright licenses needed to reproduce, display, publicly perform, distribute and prepare derivative works of any such IP right, and all patent licenses needed to make, have made or otherwise transfer, use, offer to sell, sell, export and import related to such IP right(s). In addition to the provisions of Section 13 below, You further agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless NCsoft with respect to any claim by third-parties that any such license to any such IP right(s) misappropriates, violates or infringes any third-party IP right or other proprietary right."

Lothic
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Scott Jackson wrote:
Scott Jackson wrote:

or using their game assets (such as costume pieces) as if they had been your own creations. In other words, you could make a profitable movie containing your original characters, but could not legally show them wearing anything too similar to Lord Nemesis' costume, or describe how they grew up in King's Row...even if that's what you had them do in-game, since those costume pieces and locations were essentially borrowed from NCSoft. To maximize legal safety and freedom to use your creations elsewhere, your original characters should be designed as if only temporarily wearing CoH / CoT costumes when in game and "just visiting" Paragon City / Titan City.

This was the core concept I always assumed the EULA of CoH was trying to stress. If you created a character that "relied" too heavily on the "intellectual property" provided by NCsoft then they would have wanted a cut of your profits for using their "infrastructure" to promote your money-making character.

Again it all boils down to money - if you start making money based on your use of elements provided by these games they'd want to get paid for that. This is why I never really linked my characters into the guts of the lore of CoH and always had as many costume slots as I could get so there would never really be one single iconic costume related to them. This kept my characters as "disengaged" from NCsoft as possible.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Well I certainly won't have a

Well I certainly won't have a problem with my characters being tied to CoTs lore, and they don't usually look exactly how they look in my head in these types of games.