City of Heroes’ Homecoming rogue servers are now blocking copyright-infringing characters

    
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City of Heroes’ Homecoming rogue servers are now blocking copyright-infringing characters

Players on the City of Heroes Homecoming servers enjoyed a privilege they were never afforded during the game’s pre-shutdown run time: While NCsoft was draconian about cracking down on any characters that could be considered infringement upon big comic IPs (in no doubt inspired by the actual lawsuit about precisely that), Homecoming had no such restrictions in place. However, as the use of past tense would indicate, that is no longer true, as a new update to the game’s code of conduct reinstates the rule against player characters that are too close to the property of a major publisher. Your hypothetical huge green guy with super strength named The Incredible Ruffalo is not much longer for this world, alas.

Of course, this is not precisely unusual for CoH veterans, since the same rules were obviously in place before the shutdown and revival. The eye-rolling contingent might also point out that the rogue servers are by definition infringing on NCsoft copyrights, but this change seems to be one of the many recent measures aimed at making the rogue server operation far closer to a legitimate operation. In light of the ongoing negotiations with NCsoft regarding the title, this is unsurprising and a good sign of where the teams stand. So it’s good news for everyone.

Well, everyone except the guy who made a dozen Marvel Comics characters as soon as Homecoming launched. But that guy is his own issue.

In the spring of 2019, gamers uncovered a secret City of Heroes server running using the sunsetted game’s original code, which was ultimately turned over to the community. There are now multiple public and private servers for the beloved superhero MMORPG, with over 100,000 people on Homecoming alone. NCsoft has not commented publicly or taken legal action on them and is still in talks regarding the game’s future as of September 2019.

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flatline4400
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flatline4400

I still think the legality around suing the company over what a player does with it’s tools is questionable at best. It’s like suing Crayola for selling you the green crayon allowing you to draw a picture of The Incredible Ruffalo.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

“huge green guy with super strength named The Incredible Ruffalo”

That’s a funny idea right there. I would have loved to have seen someone with that name and character in a superhero game :D

Anyway, the original City of Heroes had a lawsuit brought against it by Marvel? So I’m assuming that’s a major reason why they’re doing this. Not only for legitimacy, but that’s something that could bring them down and they don’t want to deal with.

NCSoft is basically allowing them to do this so far. Marvel (or other comic studios, but we know Marvel will go for it), on the other hand, could step in any time and cause major issues for them if they allow IP breaking characters to be made in the game. It’s better to avoid that if at all possible.

Personally I’m waiting for the new Superhero MMORPGs to come out to try out. But I’m happy these guys seem to be doing things right instead of acting like Pirates who can do whatever they want and I’m rooting for them to get to keep their game now and gain legitimacy as well.

I so wish someone would get the rights to dead browser era MMORPG Faunasphere from BigFish and bring that out on mobile. Sigh.

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Richard de Leon III

I never did copy characters, though I dont count homage characters. Since superheroes tend to be centered on themes it was difficult ,especially as more heroes were made, to not have some connections to mainstream heroes.

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Crowe

IMO, homage characters are fine… but I’ve lost count of the number of Captain America, Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers/Caroll Danvers/Carol Jane Danvers, Hulk, Iron Man, and Colossus characters I’ve seen over the last few months. There’s a huge difference between “inspired by” and some of the almost detail-for-detail characters folks have come out with since re-launch.

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Tee Parsley

I am tempted to make a few characters that I actually own the rights to, to see if they catch them. Could make for some amusing interactions. But those characters may be too small a fish for their sieve…..

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Bruno Brito

While i don’t have a issue with this, it’s their server to manage as they see fit, i feel like this is a futile effort. I don’t think NCSoft is Blizzard, nor do i imagine them having any kind of inclination to relaunch CoX.

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Does not check email

Not to read too deep into any COH news, but if this is a low hanging fruit to help grease the wheels on mystery deal behind door #3 or in general keep the lights on without litigation – as I would assume this thing is running on dollars and hopes – good for them.

I am sad to see the incredible bulk, hulk and Hu1k, bunk and Grey Hulk will need to go.

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Utakata

“The Incredible Ruffalo”

Lol! :)

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Bryan Correll

Your hypothetical huge green guy with super strength named The Incredible Ruffalo is not much longer for this world, alas.

What you mean hypothetical?

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Bruno Brito

That’s the only kind of hero we have around these parts.

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Patrick LaPete

Slowly raises his hand and then slumps his head. 😩

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jinarra

I wish I could rate this article up, because that ‘issue’ pun at the end, intentional or not, was the best.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

It’s Eliot, so DEFINITELY intentional. <3