Update: September 3, 2003
Effective Immediately, No Skins of Marvel Comics Characters Will be Available to Preview at This Site, or Download from my Yahoo Group.
After reading the posts on the various forums about Marvel's overzealousness regarding skins of their characters, and now having recieved this email (link follows) from Ken Levine, I've decided to remove all Marvel Comics skins from my Yahoo group. I only have a couple of Marvel skins anyway, and it's not worth taking a chance at having the whole group shut down just to host them. I have no plans at the present to remove any DC Comics skins, not unless DC themselves start complaining about it, not just Marvel complaining on DC's "behalf."
This sucks. I'm not even a very big Marvel fan, but alot of people are, and it's just not fair to them to take all their skins away. We're not making any money off this, or taking any money away from them. If anything, these skins are a free form of promotion for them and probably get people who would otherwise be unfamiliar with Marvel Comics introduced to their characters and into the comic book shops to read about them. Pissing off die-hard fans like us is so stupid, we're the only thing keeping the comic book industry alive these days... sure they make all their money from toys and movies and stuff, but without people actually reading the comics that all their toys and movies are based on, how long do you think that will last? Ah, man, I'm just ranting now.... sorry, I'm just very unhappy right now.
Anyways, here's the text of the email I just recieved...
Sept 3, 2003
VIA EMAIL AND WEBSITE POSTING(S):
Dear Freedom Force Users and Fans:
It has been brought to our attention by Marvel Enterprises, Inc. that some Freedom Force users are allegedly creating and distributing characters for the Freedom Force game based on Marvel and DC comic book characters. While we are flattered by the mods and missions that people have created for the Freedom Force game and applaud the creativity that has spawned thousands of unique and original heroes, we wish to take this opportunity to remind you that Irrational Games' Editor's End User License Agreement ("EULA") provides that end user modifications ("Mods"):
"…may not contain any material subject to copyright or trademark unless you have obtained the consent of the copyright or trademark holder."
Irrational Games is concerned that copyrighted material belonging to third parties not be wrongfully duplicated and distributed by our users. One of our goals in creating Freedom Force is to allow the community to share in the joy of bringing their own creations to life and we do not want to discourage you from continuing to do this. While we appreciate your desire to see your favorite comic book characters in Freedom Force (and many other video games for that matter) and we understand that many of you think that Marvel's zealousness in pursuing this issue may be misplaced, we implore you to exercise your creativity and create your own heroes for the Freedom Force world!
As many of you may be aware, a Freedom Force fan site was recently shut down because it was distributing unauthorized copies of Marvel and DC characters. There may be numerous other websites doing the same. While Irrational Games has no control over or relation to these websites (including www.skindex.net), we hope anyone owning or operating such a website realizes the seriousness of this problem and acts to resolve these issues accordingly, to protect your own interests, as well as Marvel's and ours.
We have also noticed that some websites may be using the Freedom Force logo on their websites. We ask that any websites, Mods, etc. that are using the Freedom Force logo please stop doing so without our specific written approval (please email email@example.com for more information). You may, however, still describe your Mod as a Freedom Force mod or a "mod for the Freedom Force game", that is, in a way that merely states that your mod works with the Freedom Force game. We hope that you can see that if everyone used the Freedom Force logo on their websites, no one would know which site is the official Freedom Force website (e.g., Irrational Games' website).
I thank you for your attention. I sincerely hope you recognize the importance and gravity of what I have discussed and will act accordingly.
Kenneth M. Levine
General Manager, Irrational Games
This is Atomic Robot again, hopefully I'll be able to keep the rest of my skins available for anyone who wants them...
Aloha, Atomic Robot