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A History of "The Talks" - A consolidation of the HC Team legal discussion


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….no this isn’t click bait, I swear! I thought I’d start a thread for those inquiring forum goers who frequently ask about where things have been and where they are at regarding 'the talks.' Our awesome Homecoming (HC) volunteers push out updates every so often as they can (mostly from @Jimmy), but they are a bit scattered over the landscape of these forums. So that being said, below is what I could dig up (happy to make edits if someone see a mistake!). I will provide a snippet and a direct link to the post instead of adding them as quotes in order for folks to see the source material. I added a few snapshots from the official Homecoming Discord as well.

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April 25th, 2019:
A few days after the start of the public servers. First time @Jimmy describes a legal responsibility of those running these servers:

Spoiler
On 4/25/2019 at 10:04 AM, Jimmy said:

Hey folks!

 

[...]

 

Permanence

Many of you have been asking how long this server will be around, and if there will be a character wipe at some point. The short answer to both of those questions is that we do not know yet.

 

Our primary long-term goal is to ensure that the community has a stable server that we can all enjoy together in perpetuity. Right now we cannot say if his server will be that, but we are not closed off to that possibility. If for whatever reason that primary goal requires us to shut this server down or wipe the character database, then we will do that.

 

Outside of fulfilling that goal, we don’t foresee any reason why a character wipe would need to occur.

 

 

April 28th, 2019:
Short mention of legal concerns by @Jimmy related to funding for the server and the difference between soliciting and allowing donations.

Spoiler
On 4/28/2019 at 3:58 PM, Jimmy said:

The issue is publicly soliciting funding. It's going to get everyone into hot water. Other servers doing that could bring legal trouble down on everyone.

 

 

May 26th, 2019:
Key announcement post from @Jimmy providing the community with the first major update on the status of the HC:

Spoiler
On 5/26/2019 at 5:22 PM, Jimmy said:

Hello Heroes & Villains!

 

It’s been just over a month since our first shard Torchbearer went online, and we wanted to take this opportunity to discuss a couple of frequently-discussed topics and lay out our plans for the future.


 

Firstly, I’d like to open by presenting our mission statement:

 

To break that down: Our prime directive is to keep the servers online and available to everyone. Every single decision we’ve made has been in support of that goal.

 

With that said, I’d now like to rewind a little bit to some controversial events that have taken place over the last few weeks.

 

The biggest concern that’s been directed towards us is our seeming unwillingness to assist other groups in setting up their own servers. This assertion in and of itself isn’t quite fair: We have, in fact, been helping other groups with advice and support - however, we have not directly been sharing any code that’s based off of the original City of Heroes source code.

 

The reason for that is pretty simple: The only legal action NCSoft has taken in relation to City of Heroes’ return is a DMCA claim against the original upload of the i25 binaries (which, for the record, did not come from us). They haven’t touched any of the servers. The conclusion we’ve drawn from this is that at least for the moment, NCSoft do not mind the servers being up, but they do mind code (and other files) being shared.

 

And if we now refer back to our prime directive: Sharing code could have put us, and the Homecoming servers, in the (legal) firing line. Obviously, we did not want this to happen, and so we opted to not directly share any code based off the original source, and instead just provide advice.

 

(As an aside, we have actually released a tool used to monitor server stats under the MIT License. We felt safe doing so because it’s built entirely with original code and does not use any of NCSoft’s intellectual property. The source can be found here, and it is fully compatible with both i24 and i25 servers. For examples, please see our status page here and Victory’s status page here.)

 

Next I’d like to talk about [...]

 

 

May 29th, 2019:
@Jimmy describes the grey area for hosting the server and CoH content. The beginning of the thread describes the standard documents that players agree to when playing MMOs, and the reasoning for developing their own for this game server:

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

June 5th, 2019:

@Jimmy replying to a user who inquired some tin-foil hat scenarios related to funding the servers, touches somewhat on the legal side.

Spoiler

6519.thumb.jpg.25710d1e66ceca2e189a6abe57c2828d.jpg

 

August 7th, 2019:
@Jimmy posts an update on the legal discussion between HC, The Titan Network, and NCSoft

Spoiler

 

 

 

August 7th, 2019:
A short and sweet update from @Jimmy on “the talks.”

Spoiler

 

 

 

August 7th, 2019:

A little bit more detail from @Jimmy in the Discord post compared to the above short and sweet post on these forums.

Spoiler

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August 21st, 2019:
Added for context later in that thread from non-HC rep @TonyV discussing HC and TitanNetwork’s legal discussion with NCSoft at the time:

Spoiler

 

 

 

September 7th, 2019:
A great thread started by @Jimmy to inquire what the community desired most out of a legitimate licensed server:

Spoiler

 

 

 

March 4th, 2020:
@Jimmy providing a great deal of clarification on engagement, transparency, and community direction. A bit of legal flavor:

Spoiler

 

 

 

March 7th, 2020:
Update to the Code of Conduct to reflect headway/movement in “the talks” between HC and NCSoft.

Spoiler

 

 

 

August 12, 2020:
The next major update regarding the state of the project from @Jimmy. It is important to point out the impact of COVID on the ‘speed’ of these talks. The title of the game would be slowly changing “from City of Heroes: Homecoming to Homecoming: City of Heroes.”

Spoiler

 

 

 

August 15th, 2020:
A pedantic conversation from @Jimmy about the terms ‘NDA’ and ‘contractual obligation.’ Further clarification about the folks running the show - “a few crazy people doing stuff in their few spare hours, trying to make the most of very limited time and resources.”

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

September 22nd, 2020:

Just a brief snip from on of our great GMs replying to a user asking about the game's current legal situation:

Spoiler

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April 17th, 2021:

A little background from @Jimmy and a awesome GM responding to an inquiry about the history of legal talks with NC.

Spoiler

41721.thumb.jpg.79f65270748c24e4e9241d3bd3fb82f0.jpg

 

May 13th, 2021:
Update to the CoC to allow video and streaming again! 

Spoiler

 

 


August 8th, 2021:

Response from some helpful GMs to a player that was asking a question for a friend about the legal status of the game.

Spoiler

8821.thumb.jpg.4b9ae75947a052d0e834ad677403061c.jpg

 

Edited by Glacier Peak
added Discord info related to legal talks
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A good idea...but you're having people actually search for this thread? I forsee business as usual posts.."Whats going on with the talks" or "Whats happening with NC SOFT"?

 

Still good idea and for some this will be a valuable resource, I'll make sure I copy and paste it when those threads pop up.

https://www.twitch.tv/boomie373

The Revenants twitch channel, come watch us face plant, talk smack, and attempt to be world class villains.

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Came to be shouty.

 

Leaving after placing a request to have the thread stickied.

 

👍

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Belief in oneself is contagious.  We give each other permission to be superheroes.  We will never awaken, otherwise.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, The_Warpact said:

A good idea...but you're having people actually search for this thread? I forsee business as usual posts.."Whats going on with the talks" or "Whats happening with NC SOFT"?

 

Still good idea and for some this will be a valuable resource, I'll make sure I copy and paste it when those threads pop up.

If anyone finds it informative, I've satisfied my intent. I have searched many times after subsequent updates, notices, or small talk. It's nice having a thread that pulls most of it together.

 

My next step will be to pull anything from the official Discord. Added Discord info to original post!

Edited by Glacier Peak
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12 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

Sometimes it's nice to section things out in a way that you can link to them separately later on.

 

Thanks for doing this, @Glacier Peak.

I've bookmarked the thread, and will boop the URL in to appropriate threads or discussions when people ask for updates.

Thanks! I added anything related from the official HC Discord as well.

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  • 2 weeks later
On 9/6/2021 at 8:14 AM, TraumaTrain said:

 

Streaming has been greenlit.

Just be aware of the platform you stream on. Some of them don't officially allow "pirated" or otherwise "illegal game" streams. Whether or not that platform enforces that stance is another matter, but it's good to be aware of it. Twitch, for example, technically doesn't allow a game like this one to stream but they seem to not care enough to shut down the accounts doing it. Still, it's good to keep in mind that a CoH stream could "disappear" for seemingly no reason despite Homecoming giving the OK to do it.

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exChampion and exInfinity player (Champion primarily).

 

Current resident of the Everlasting shard.

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Perhaps adjust the title to something like:

 

History of "The Talks": A consolidation of what has been shared by the HC Devs

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OG Server: Pinnacle  <||>  Current Primary Server: Torchbearer  ||  Also found on the others if desired


Installing CoX:  Windows  ||  MacOS  ||  MacOS for M1  <||>  Migrating Data from an Older Installation


Clubs: Mid's Hero Designer  ||  PC Builders  ||  HC Wiki  ||  Jerk Hackers


Old Forums  <||>  Titan Network  <||>  The City Representative (Info site for all servers)  <||>  Heroica! (by @Shenanigunner)

 

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  • Glacier Peak changed the title to A History of "The Talks" - A consolidation of the HC Team legal discussion

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