Marvel, NCsoft and Cryptic Studios have settled their long-running legal action over City of Heroes.
Marvel alleged a while back that the character creation portion of the City of Heroes game infringed copyright, since players could make characters that looked a lot like well-known Marvel superheroes. The comic firm owns the rights to characters such as Spiderman, the Hulk and the X-Men.
Cryptic Studios, the development team behind CoH, has always maintained that it created an awesome set of character creation tools and that what users did with those was up to them. The publisher of the game, NCsoft, backed them all the way.
The official press release says that:
"The parties' settlement allows them all to continue to develop and sell exciting and innovative products, but does not reduce the players' ability to express their creativity in making and playing original and exciting characters. Therefore, no changes to City of Heroes or City of Villains' character creation engine are part of the settlement. The parties have agreed that protecting intellectual property rights is critically important and each will continue aggressively to protect such rights in accordance with all applicable laws. While the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, all parties agree that this case was never about monetary issues and that the fans of their respective products and characters are the winners in this settlement. "
So there you have it, we're the winners. Huzzah for winning a lawsuit we didn't pay anything for! That's a result.
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