A massive The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim mod called the Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project (MERP) received a cease and desist letter from Warner Bros. last week. Now the team behind the MERP have set up a petition to try and get WB to revoke the letter so the mod can release. MERP team member "Maegfaer" announced the cease and desist letter in a forum post, and said the team has stopped development.
Maegfaer and the team hoped to avoid a C&D letter, but unfortunately that was not the case. Changing all the copyrighted material is not an option because the mod would no longer be the same, but all hope is not lost.
The MERP team wants to show WB that shutting down a non-profit group is not the best action, so a petition is underway. There are currently over 2,600 signature on the petition, and the more signatures, the better. This ambitious mod should have a chance to see the light of the day how it was originally intended.
As of 2012 the team ported the mod to the newest Elder Scrolls game from its predecessor, Oblivion. Since the move the team has built up a huge following due to its quality and ambition. This rise in popularity has also drawn the eyes of Warner Bros. who currently hold the rights to The Lord of the Rings in gaming, who then issued the MERPteam a cease and desist letter.
We now need you, our fans and other gamers, to help make Warner regret sending that letter by showing them just how many people are behind this mod.
Before the mod was shut down, the in-game world was nine times larger than the one in Skyrim. Landscapes, buildings, and towns from The Lord of the Rings were being added in, with plans for weapons, armor, creatures, characters, and more on the way. A Ringbearer quest line that sees players taking on the role of Frodo Baggins would have been the main focus, but additional quests to join the White Council, become a soldier, or just be a traveler in Middle-Earth were planned.
All of that has been shut down now, but hopefully progress can begin again with enough support.