December 3, 2004 | By Donna Wentworth

L'il Infringers

Our own Fred von Lohmann has a new Law.com column chronicling the misadventures of Marvel Comics as it seeks [PDF] to hold NCSoft Corp. and Cryptic Studios -- the operators of an online game called "City of Heroes" -- liable for the alleged copyright and trademark infringement of people who don virtual masks and "become" their favorite (Marvel) superheros.

Writes Fred:

Marvel's assertion of copyright and trademark rights over the noncommercial expressive activities of its fans is both unprecedented and unnecessary. The fundamental justification for copyright is that we must tolerate a limited statutory monopoly on expression in order to secure an adequate incentive for the creative industries. That's an adequate incentive, not the maximum conceivable incentive. ... Does anyone believe that Marvel will fire its authors and close up shop if it can't prevent little Johnny from pretending to be Wolverine online?

When will the "content" industry begin to recognize that there are long-term rewards for letting fans be fans? A fan's gratitude and loyalty lasts a lot longer than the judgment-money from shutting down the playground.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Check out our Stupid Patent of the Month, from a company that seems to think it invented passwords. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Jul 29 @ 4:19pm

Users should be informed when their content comes under threat of removal from the Internet. This tool could help. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Jul 29 @ 4:05pm

"Surveillance technologies are being deployed by local police across the US, often without any oversight." http://www.alternet.org/civil...

Jul 29 @ 1:47pm
JavaScript license information