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Nominate MERP for mod of the year to raise awareness!
What happened to the negotiations with Warner Bros.
I think the reason WB issued the C&D is because of the new upcoming games based on the Hobbit: The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth. But the only problem is they are probably gonna be crap like all the other games made by WB and Kabam
Hopefully this WB facebook page thing can deliver the final blow!
What is the goal for the number of signatures for the petition?
Will 16000 signatures be enough?
Has the MERP team decided to take any action whatsoever?
and how it can be used to respond to a Cease & Desist,
"The filing of a declaratory judgment lawsuit can follow one party sending a cease-and-desist letter to another. A party contemplating sending such a letter risks that the recipient, or a party related to the recipient (such as a customer or supplier), may file for a declaratory judgment in their own jurisdiction. This may require the sender to appear in a distant court, at their own expense. So sending a cease-and-desist letter presents a dilemma to the sender, as it would be desirable to be able to address the issues at hand in a candid manner without the need for litigation. Upon receiving a cease-and-desist letter, the recipient may seek a tactical advantage by instituting declaratory-judgment litigation in a more favorable jurisdiction.
Sometimes the parties agree in advance of discussions that no declaratory-judgment lawsuit will be filed while the negotiations are continuing. Sometimes a lawsuit is filed, but not served, before sending such a notice, to preserve a jurisdiction advantage without engaging the judicial process fully. Some parties send cease-and-desist letters that make "an oblique suggestion of possible infringement" to lower the risk of the recipient filing a declaratory-judgment lawsuit."
I don't think WB will repeal this letter so you're only course of action to keep this project alive will probably be through the legal system.
Here are the links to the Wikipedia articles for Cease and Desist and Declaratory Judgement:
Never mind it wouldn't let me post them so go to Wikipedia Cease and Desist and Declaratory Judgement
I did a little more digging using my trusty friend Wikipedia and found some things the MERP team could do. I'm guessing if you went to a lawyer this is what he would tell you. According to Wikipedia,
"In the US, a recipient of a cease-and-desist letter who is placed in a "reasonable apprehension" of litigation may respond through a request for declaratory judgment proceeding in his own jurisdiction".
You guys should probably consult a lawyer and get his opinion on this and see if this mess can be sorted out. I'm thinking you guys should be able to continue you're work but just be more careful about it; however, I am no expert on legal matters. Personally, if I were you(and this applies to future projects as well), I would wait to give out any news until the release in order to avoid any more of these situations and to actually get the mod on the internet so that if the mod on moddb gets taken down it'll still be elsewhere on the internet and you're legacy will live on.
I love you guys and you're work and I hope that this project will get the attention it deserves!
And sorry about the double post it wouldn't let me edit.
As I understand it, a Cease & Desist letter is just a threat of legal action. Any lawyer can draft one up, and they are often sent by large corporations to scare smaller organizations. If it was drawn up by a judge, that's a C & S order, which is an actual legal order. I sincerely doubt it's the C & S order, as that costs time & money to get one drawn up by a judge, and you need a fairly strong legal case. That, and C & S letters are sent out by corporations like coupons. It's basically a formal threat.
If the project continues, it is likely WB would send out more threats, but to make an actual legal case, they would need to prove that this project would cost them money by hurting a project that is currently in development. Otherwise, it is simply a not-for-profit fan mod.
It is truly a shame that in today's world good people are bossed around by aristocratic large corporations who care only about money.