Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Marvel Comics battle Roleplayers

From Wired News

Marvel Comics has sued a series of companies that run the massive online role-playing computer game "City of Heroes" on the basis that the game allows players to create characters that strongly resemble Marvel's copyrighted material. It's just the most pathetic excuse for a law suit. Someone at Marvel is not thinking. Instead of embracing the fact that their material is popular enough that people want to copy it, or joining ranks with the people that run the game to allow special add-ons, they just go the RIAA route and try and squash anything that doesn't fit their narrow view of their company. Pathetic.

Marvel Battles Role-Players


Colin Smith said...

Goddamnit - my best friend's blog's been up for seven months, and I haven't even made one comment. How pathetic am I? ;)

If Marvel's right, well, why doesn't every comic company sue City of Heroes? It's because Marvel has always sucked in business mode. It's their heavy-handedness that prompted the indie comic movement spearheaded by Image and the like back in the 1980s. Not giving creator's rights to their artists, an example of which was the great Miller-Elektra incident where they demanded that Miller resurrect the dead Elektra, and leading to his resignation from Marvel when he killed her off again and they demanded the same thing.

But what's to stop me from, say, creating a Human Ranger called Aragorn in World of Warcraft or D&D? Will the Tolkien estate sue me? Or maybe Paramount will get all up in arms if I create a Pilot called James Tiberius Kirk in Star Wars Galaxies. Why stop there? How about suing the manufacturer of my keyboard because I typed out the words "NYPD Blue"?

Let's face it: in the game store of life, Marvel is the fat bearded trenchcoat-wearing geek standing at the counter talking to the guy at the cash register while you're trying to make a purchase, who sounds like he might have some good ideas in his head if he wasn't insisting on how clever he was about his fanfic version of Stargate where Macgyer is actually in the list of characters, and you can't wait to get out of the store with your goods and change just in case he starts talking to you.

Leonard King said...

Goddamnit - my best friend's blog's been up for seven months, and I haven't even made one comment. How pathetic am I? ;)
Well it's nice to see you around now. And I have to admit, you seem to have been quite prolific with the comment leaving. This is by no means a bad thing. I think one of the things this site sorely lacks is comments from the few people that read it.

As for the copyright issue and fan created narrative, I kind of touch on it in one of my more recent posts.

Leonard King said...

Actually, that image you give of Marvel as the comic book beardy weirdy style guy is just too frightening to seriously think about.

Wonderful imagery.