DC Comics Cracks Down On Fan Sites!
by James Pedrick
Added April 12th, 1999

DC Comics is cracking down on fansites. Many sites, dedicated to DC Comic characters, are being contacted by lawyers for Time-Warner, parent company of DC Comics. The lawyers are asking for sites to remove all banners and advertisements, all links to money making websites, all depictions of unreleased products, and any logos which they want removed. The sites already hit include the largest fansites dedicated to Superboy, Hawkman, and the Wonder Woman TV series. Four webmasters have already removed their sites, while a site dedicated to the Wonder Woman TV series has complied with all of DC’s demands. Many DC fans on the Net are now planning a revolt. Some are petitioning to DC to not try and censor fansites. Others are writing to news agencies such as CNN about the situation. Wizard is now planning an article about it. One webmaster, who operates the Hawkworld Website, originally took down his page, but now had readded it, with none of the changes DC requested.  Instead, he has added a petition, for people to send their comments to DC Comics.  (You can view his page at http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/salash/787/index.html)

While DC has the right to protect their properties, these sites have only been used to encourage sales of DC’s books. Some of DC’s complaints, such as asking webmasters, who make no money from their sites, to remove banners to hosting services such as GeoCities. Even though those banners are required in order to get free hosting services. Some of their complaints would make it harder for fansites to offer graphical websites. Thankfully, Marvel Comics has not yet, and hopefully never will, try to limit the abilities of its fans to create fansites on their characters. In fact, Marvel Comics, through their AOL message board, have been a strong encourager of fansites and fan fiction of their characters.

The Silver Surfer Website would have to change a lot of things if Marvel had the same complaints as DC had with their fansites. For one, the Silver Surfer Website makes money off our banners, but most of the money goes toward web hosting and web tool fees. The amount over that is minimal. The Silver Surfer site has also offered similar depictions of unreleased products that DC has had a problem with at other fansites. And the Silver Surfer Website uses logos and pictures from Marvel Comic products for its graphical design.

Hooray for Marvel Comics! Though you may not always be satisfied with their quality, they have always had a strong consideration for its fans. To read the letter sent to the Unofficial Superboy Website and the webmaster’s response go to http://members.tripod.com/~yobrepus/index.html and to read news about what DC and GeoCities did to the Wonder Woman TV Show web page and what the webmaster did in response, go to http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Studio/2997/geovswar.html.


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