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Old 01 July 2016, 06:49   #1
wizard
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How not to treat your fan-base: Nintendo vs Sega

I just read that a Kickstarter I supported now is the subject of an intellectual property dispute:
https://www.kickstarter.com/dmca/nin...pendium-submit

Although I understand the need for copyright laws, this book-project caters to nostalgic fans from the 8-bit era, a group that Nintendo itself has been really bad at supporting - especially with print media.

Their YouTube-debacle is also a sign that they really don't understand how to approach a fan-based community.

A company that has taken a completely different road is Sega announcing that they allow people to share ROM-hacks for their MegaDrive-titles at Steam.

Although I prefer Mario over Sonic, I really do prefer Sega over Nintendo as a company right now.
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Old 01 July 2016, 07:56   #2
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I'm glad I didn't back this one then. Have you paid for it already?
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Old 01 July 2016, 08:20   #3
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There's a need to protect IP and trademarks which is fine, this is neither, makes Nintendo look like assholes...which tbf have always been to publishers from their NES days.
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Old 01 July 2016, 09:05   #4
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If it puts an end to those visual compendia, then it may turn out that Nintendo have done something good for once.
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Old 01 July 2016, 09:15   #5
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Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
If it puts an end to those visual compendia, then it may turn out that Nintendo have done something good for once.
I always wondered whether they split the profits with the people who drew the original art. ;-)
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Old 01 July 2016, 09:21   #6
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Sorry this is all BS, sure he shouldn't have edited the official seal of logo, i'd say consult a solicitor, remove the logo and the nintendo name, use of in-game images aren't breaching copyright if used right, which can be used under the fair use law, otherwise there would be no website or magazine in the world allowed to use images of games/films etc
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Old 01 July 2016, 10:05   #7
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Different laws. Note that Nintendo stated that the book was "mainly visual". Fair use implies a certain use, such as analysis, illustration or critique.
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Old 01 July 2016, 11:08   #8
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Different laws. Note that Nintendo stated that the book was "mainly visual". Fair use implies a certain use, such as analysis, illustration or critique.
Yes, but it can also be used for 'historical' use which a book about a 30 year old system should be under.

But regardless firms like this push their weight even if they know they might not win in court, because the opposition is going to retract the book based on the scare factor, even if it goes to court and Bitmap Books win, it will cost them highly in court fee's, maybe they should have a kickstarter just to pay for the court case to take on the corporate bullies!
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Old 01 July 2016, 11:17   #9
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how about they just start asking permission from the copyright holders before reproducing their artwork
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Old 01 July 2016, 11:21   #10
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if it puts an end to those visual compendia, then it may turn out that nintendo have done something good for once.
lol
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Old 01 July 2016, 11:30   #11
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how about they just start asking permission from the copyright holders before reproducing their artwork
Its not that simple ( i agree they shouldn't have used their logo and name) plus there has been cases in America with video game screenshots stating they fall under fair use because they are only a tiny fraction of a property i.e not the whole game just a frame image, again these people won in court but had big court fee's so i cant see him continuing with the book regardless.
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Old 01 July 2016, 14:09   #12
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I managed to snag a leaked copy before it was canned so not to worry. :|
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Old 01 July 2016, 15:30   #13
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I'm glad I didn't back this one then. Have you paid for it already?
"Fortunately" the claim came during the last day before the kickstarter ended, so no pledges have been collected yet.
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Old 01 July 2016, 15:36   #14
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If it puts an end to those visual compendia, then it may turn out that Nintendo have done something good for once.
Haha Yes, I can see your point. They've been tending to flood the market like Lemmings lately.
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Old 01 July 2016, 17:31   #15
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There's a need to protect IP and trademarks which is fine, this is neither, makes Nintendo look like assholes...which tbf have always been to publishers from their NES days.
Mario and the likes are still big business for Nintendo though - they have every right to protect their IP (even though it may seem extreme). The author of this visual compendium should have consulted with Nintendo and asked -- then to make matters worse the author has defaced Nintendo's trademarked logo - a big no no, that would surely piss Nintendo off no end!

Really if you are doing something like this with a 'live' (big) business such as Nintendo then you need to be very very careful and do things to the letter.


Look at the chap on here who got into trouble with Studio Peyo over a Smurfs game he created (and that was freeware!)


edit: as a side note, if anyone has done a Kickstarter and not obtained permission then I would live in fear of an IP holder coming after and suing me! You could (potentially) lose everything.
If you ended up in court your legal costs would be astronomical - Nintendo's lawyers would squash you like a bug

Last edited by Paul_s; 01 July 2016 at 19:02.
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Old 02 July 2016, 01:06   #16
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I'd like to add that the thread title should be changed to "How not to treat your fan business", because this is business-to-business.

While an Amiga book of this kind might sell in the thousands, a similar Nintendo book could, given luck, sell hundreds of thousands of copies.
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Old 02 July 2016, 03:43   #17
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Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
There's a need to protect IP and trademarks which is fine, this is neither, makes Nintendo look like assholes...which tbf have always been to publishers from their NES days.
Yup. I am with you there, this clearly qualifies as fair use and a European court would kick Nintendo's butt straight and fast but alas KickStarter is under US jurisdiction so this might be much harder to defend against.

Let's hope that this will be fought under EU courts and not US or UK (unlikely alas).
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Old 02 July 2016, 03:51   #18
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how about they just start asking permission from the copyright holders before reproducing their artwork
They do not have to, the fair use exemption exists for a reason and this type of book qualifies 100%. Nintendo stands no chance in court from a theoretical standpoint. Alas, under the US court system they have a chance to outspend the defendant before he has a chance to make his (fairly simple) case.

Also, it is usually difficult to shut a book before its publication in most locales since the product content is still highly hypothetical and there are protection for authors but here Nintendo benefits from the fact that they can prevent not the book but the founding from happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
I'd like to add that the thread title should be changed to "How not to treat your fan business", because this is business-to-business.

While an Amiga book of this kind might sell in the thousands, a similar Nintendo book could, given luck, sell hundreds of thousands of copies.
Astute observation. This is completely counterproductive indeed and shows that one's own lawyers can end up damaging your bottom line even if lightly and indirectly.
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Old 02 July 2016, 20:32   #19
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Isn't "fair use" a US-specific law? Note that non-English Wikipedias are much stricter in their use of images than the English version because there is no obvious parallel to fair use in Europe.

Last edited by idrougge; 03 July 2016 at 21:43.
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Old 03 July 2016, 20:47   #20
Mrs Beanbag
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i don't think an entire book of somebody else's commercial artwork is "fair use" at all.
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