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Care to comment - RPG copyright infringement?
December 4, 2008
12:25 pm
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December 3, 2008
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Hi All, I want to start by saying how much I enjoy Dr. Horrible, and have ordered my DVD. I can't wait!

That being said, I have a bit of a rant... I hope it's not out of place here. (Moderator, please feel free to delete this post if it is inappropriate.)

I had an issue regarding a popular online role playing game which I will leave unnamed. Apparently, because of copyright rules, I'm not allowed to have a character that either has the name of or looks like any popular character, including one from Dr. Horrible. I received a notice that I was \"infringing on Joss Whedon's intellectual property.\" (Joss, if you're out there, I hope you're not offended.) The character was intended to be an homage, more than anything else, and I was having fun running around as Captain Hammer. The thing I can't figure out is, how exactly was anyone being harmed? And how would it be different really from dressing up as him for Hallowe'en? It makes me sad...

In my daydreams I imagine Joss calling up the company and making them put my Captain Hammer guy back...sigh. You've got to love lawyers. Anyone care to comment?

January 14, 2009
7:34 am
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December 11, 2008
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That sucks to be perfectly honest I think there should be an RPG just for Dr. Horrible. XD

I am The Green Dragon I leave no trail behind. I go about my evil deeds without stressing my mind. No one has ever caught up to me as they say. Then again people fear me more and more each day.
February 6, 2009
8:05 pm
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February 4, 2009
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The companies running online RPG's, like everyone else, don't want any risk of having to spend a single second responding to, or even worrying about, someone's legal action.  In virtually every case, the person trying to appropriate a copyrighted name in an online game is doing it as an homage.  But, allowing you to press their luck is all downside for them, with no upside.  I used to do legal work... pretty much anything is possible if there's someone willing to pay a lawyer to try.  Undoubtedly, the company running the online RPG sought legal advice in the beginning concerning how to avoid legal problems; and, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the advice they received was to forbid the use of copyrighted material on their site in order to avoid potential liability.

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