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Since HC has become officially licensed, I've been seeing a huge influx of characters who are blatantly using the aesthetics of copyrighted material, and often times also using said material's name itself, or using a direct homage/reference to the material as their in-game alias. I'm pretty much guaranteed to see one or two of these cases  per TF I run, and I'm not even very up-to-date on comics/superhero stuff. If I stand in Atlas, it's usually a matter of minutes before I see a new one slipping by.

 

Let me start out by emphasizing the fact that I personally do not care if someone wants to dress up like a Marvel character. My concern is largely for HC itself.

 

I vaguely asked in /General while a GM was around, and the consensus seemed to be 'feel free to report copyright infringers, just don't do it too much'. Which is sensible, GMs have better things to do than to police new characters all day I'm sure. I moreso wanted the consensus of the community on this topic.

 

The best analogy for the vibe I can think of right now is sort of like wearing a seatbelt: Yes, you definitely should wear a seatbelt all the time but it's generally not something a police officer is going to flag you down for, and it's something a lot of people don't do.

 

Basically, I just don't want HC to get slapped. I love HC and though it seems highly unlikely a major property like Marvel/DC/whatever would care about this precious little thing we've got here, I'd  ultimately prefer the odds to be 0% rather than 0.1%.

 

Should we be telling new players to ease off the intellectual property toe-stepping and report them if they don't?

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6 minutes ago, Wiseguy said:

Should we be telling new players to ease off the intellectual property toe-stepping and report them if they don't?

 

Probably, yes.  CoH has faced legal problems from Marvel before over this, and that was when it had the resources of an actual company to defend itself (and Marvel didn't have Disney's resources to squash people with).

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15 minutes ago, Wiseguy said:

Should we be telling new players to ease off the intellectual property toe-stepping and report them if they don't?

 

No.  If you think someone is breaking the rules, report them and let the HC GMs make the determination.  No need to start arguments with and pestering other players about it.  Better if that message comes from a GM. 

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1 minute ago, ZacKing said:

 

No.  If you think someone is breaking the rules, report them and let the HC GMs make the determination.  No need to start arguments with and pestering other players about it.  Better if that message comes from a GM. 

I'd agree, but I was literally told by a GM to not do it "a dozen times a day". I see a dozen or more of these cases in an average three or four hour play session.

 

That's why I think the community should kind of step up and sort of guide people away from these habits. I think a "hey, you know dressing up like Spider-Man is against TOS right?" might be better than getting generic'd.

 

If a GM/team member wants to weigh in here and say to go hog-wild on the report button, I'll gladly blast every case I see. Until then, I'd rather not be a nuisance.

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24 minutes ago, Wiseguy said:

Should we be telling new players to ease off the intellectual property toe-stepping and report them if they don't?

 

We should, yeah. It doesn't require a mass inundation of reports every time someone spots another player wandering around as C$PT!AN 4MER!C4 or Kal-El of Kyrpton or whoever, but sending one off, urging folks to cut it out, and moving on with the rest of the day is the right call. With the new agreement with NCSoft, Homecoming has all the more reason not to let these things slide (not that they tolerated it before now), and not urging the same mindset within the community sets a poor precedent. Plus, frankly it's just lazy. If these folks would make characters inspired by yet distinct from a famous IP, the devs can't do anything about that - heck, they actively encourage it, precisely because there's no infringement being done. Players are free to be as Kryptonian-like or Iron Man-adjacent as they want, the just can't try to pass themselves off as literally Superman or Tony Stark. It's uninspired at best and dangerous for the future of the game at worst, and that deserves more investment from the community.

Edited by El D
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Ultimately it's not your decision to make.  It's up to HC GMs to decide what is or isn't breaking a copyright rule.  Better to let them make the call.  You're never going to get consensus from the community at large as to what's acceptable and what isn't.  One person's homage is another person's copyright violation. 

 

If you want to PM people, go right ahead.  All I'm suggesting is that it's better to have a GM make the call and contact the player if necessary.  As to someone "spamming" them with reports, so long as they're legit, I don't see the problem. 

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Maybe a HC pop up on logging in reminding everyone gently that this is against the TOS and so on.  

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5 minutes ago, El D said:

We should, yeah. It doesn't require a mass inundation of reports every time someone spots another player wandering around as C$PT!AN 4MER!C4 or Kal-El of Kyrpton or whoever, but sending one off, urging folks to cut it out, and moving on with the rest of the day is the right call. With the new agreement with NCSoft, Homecoming has all the more reason not to let these things slide (not that they tolerated it before now), and not urging the same mindset within the community sets a poor precedent. Plus, frankly it's just lazy. If these folks would make characters inspired by yet distinct from a famous IP, the devs can't do anything about that - heck, they actively encourage it, precisely because there's no infringement being done. Players are free to be as Kryptonian-like or Iron Man-adjacent as they want, the just can't try to pass themselves off as literally Superman or Tony Stark. It's uninspired at best and dangerous for the future of the game at worst, and that deserves more investment from the community.

 

I don't necessarily disagree, but the GMs can't be everywhere every minute of every day.  They have to rely on player reports.   We as players can PM others from now until the cows come home and gently remind them of the TOS , but it's not going to force anyone to change a name or costume.  Only GMs can do that.

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1 hour ago, Wiseguy said:

<snip>

The best analogy for the vibe I can think of right now is sort of like wearing a seatbelt: Yes, you definitely should wear a seatbelt all the time but it's generally not something a police officer is going to flag you down for, and it's something a lot of people don't do.

<snip>

 

Actually, most cops will definitely pull you over for not wearing a seatbelt at least in the U.S.

 

Because of the licensing agreement announcement, there has been an influx of new/returning players, some might not be aware of the rule (because most don't read these things), I'm surer there are some that are actively ignoring them. If you chose to warn them, their responses can range from "Oh, I didn't know." to "Pancake off!"  I would just report and move on, probably wouldn't go on a reporting spree though as the GM's do have better things to do and it could be today, could be tomorrow, or next week but eventually they will likely be gen'd.

 

Dislike certain sounds? Silence/Modify specific sounds. Looking for modified whole powerset sfx?

Check out Michiyo's modder or Solerverse's thread.  Got a punny character? You should share it.

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I'm often on Atlas Foot Duty, and conversations often turn to "I wonder how long before that guy gets Generic'ed?"

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I've seen in-game chat where people have stated.... "It's a 20 year old game... copyright infringement doesn't matter any more" and they state they'll keep creating their DC/Marvel clones because the game is "old" and it doesn't matter anymore. 

 

It's time like this that it *IS* up to the community to step up and tell them "no."  Tell them they will be reported, and don't be surprised when a GM comes-a-knocking' with the "Generic" hammer.

 

 

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We GMs rely on community reports to help police the CoC in these instances. We do NOT allow IP-infringing characters on our servers, so we need everyone's help to help us identify potential offenders. As was said earlier, we can't be everywhere at once 😃

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7 minutes ago, Frozen Burn said:

I've seen in-game chat where people have stated.... "It's a 20 year old game... copyright infringement doesn't matter any more" and they state they'll keep creating their DC/Marvel clones because the game is "old" and it doesn't matter anymore. 

 

It's time like this that it *IS* up to the community to step up and tell them "no."  Tell them they will be reported, and don't be surprised when a GM comes-a-knocking' with the "Generic" hammer.

 

 

 

It's those players that I will server friend them and keep track of the name so I can one day see 'Generic8675309' on my list and laugh to myself, then watch the forums for the rage-filled "Why did I get genericed?" post.

 

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Dislike certain sounds? Silence/Modify specific sounds. Looking for modified whole powerset sfx?

Check out Michiyo's modder or Solerverse's thread.  Got a punny character? You should share it.

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is this character in public domain?

4 minutes ago, GM Impervium said:

We GMs rely on community reports to help police the CoC in these instances. We do NOT allow IP-infringing characters on our servers, so we need everyone's help to help us identify potential offenders. As was said earlier, we can't be everywhere at once 😃

i have "retrieved" some cloning equipment while doing business in Sharkhead.  I can help you be everywhere at once.

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4 minutes ago, Snarky said:

is this character in public domain?

i have "retrieved" some cloning equipment while doing business in Sharkhead.  I can help you be everywhere at once.

 

However, one of them will be a radiation defender and that one can #@$% right off. 

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1 hour ago, Wiseguy said:

 

 

I vaguely asked in /General while a GM was around, and the consensus seemed to be 'feel free to report copyright infringers, just don't do it too much'. Which is sensible, GMs have better things to do than to police new characters all day I'm sure.

There is no such thing as too much. See something you think is a breach of the code of conduct, report away. I do most of the generics (sorry) and am never too busy to look into reports. It might be the character works under the parody/tribute rule. Something that looks like The Tick but is pink and called The Flea would be fine, as it would fit under the rule. Something that looks like the Tick and is called THE T!CK wouldn't be. Same as the Hulk. It's a massive green character with tattered shorts. Make him Blue and called The Bulk and I wouldn't look twice.

 

If you do get hit with a generic and you feel it was in error (I do mess up sometimes) please feel free to reply to the ticket you get and explain why you think it was in error. "I've played this character since live and nobody has ever complained" isn't a good reason. "I named this character because of X <insert link>" is much more likely to succeed. I can also accidentally hit the wrong button and generic a name when I only meant to hit a bio. In that case I'll happily apologise and let you rename the character back. If I mess up I will always apologise.

Final arbiters will be the lead GM's. If you wish to appeal the decision then you just need to ask explaining your reasons. The lead GM's decision is final, but they will come to a consensus and even take it to Cipher if they feel it's that close to the line.
 

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10 minutes ago, Snarky said:

is this character in public domain?

i have "retrieved" some cloning equipment while doing business in Sharkhead.  I can help you be everywhere at once.

I did not have my glasses on and read that 

Clowning equipment ...

 

image.png.2c0ba8aa3a7d14ae79c619a0a4be708f.png

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Thanks for the replies and clarification. 🙂 

 

I do agree that maybe a pop-up warning or something like that might do a lot to help, too. Like I said in the original, the cases seem to be pretty high, at least on Excelsior.

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2 hours ago, ZacKing said:

Ultimately it's not your decision to make.  It's up to HC GMs to decide what is or isn't breaking a copyright rule.  Better to let them make the call.

 

There are not enough GMs to police copyright infringement across a playerbase that has no idea those copyright violations are against TOS. Of course we should be telling new players to not do that.

Edited by nzer
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18 minutes ago, nzer said:

 

There are not enough GMs to police copyright infringement across a playerbase that has no idea those copyright violations are against TOS. Of course we should be telling new players to not do that.

True, We could have a GM stationed on every map 24/7 and still miss a lot. Which is why players reporting violations is really helpful. What is also helpful sometimes is "this character is a direct copy of someone from the 1982 manga named blah blah" as we can't know every character from every IP 🙂 

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2 hours ago, Wiseguy said:

I just don't want HC to get slapped

Stop spreading the FUD and just report if you think it is indeed a violation, and go about your day, content in the knowledge that you've done your civic duty.

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