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Pokemon Will Hunt You Down And Charge You $4,000

Pokemon Will Hunt You Down And Charge You $4,000

This edition of “What’s Up Nintendo?” is all about CRIME and PUNISHMENT. That said, here is the soundtrack to the article:

If you engage in copyright infringement, this is not your week. The news has been filled with sad stories of fans getting slapped down, shut down, and fined because they became a little too excited about sharing homemade thrill for Nintendo and its affiliates. So kids, let’s be sure that we all have “brand safe” experiences in the confines of our devices, and never throw a Pokemon party in our lives. Or else...

Story #1: Pay Up, Sucker

Ramar Larkin Jones owns a little cafe in Seattle, and he loves Pokemon. I know what you’re thinking, “book him, boys!” Over the past couple of years, he threw a “Unofficial Pokémon PAX Kickoff Party” at the cafe that had giveaways, tournaments, DJs, and happiness. 

The problem wasn’t the party per-se, but the posters that featured Pikachu and Snivy: huge no-no. The Pokemon Company claimed infringement for the posters, and gave Ramar a bill for $5,400, which he believes he can bring down to $4,000. The problem is that he doesn’t have the money. Who has that kind of money!

Pokemon lost one of its best super fans. Over a poster. According to Ramar, “It's a part of my childhood, and you know that if you're in the culture you can't really get away from it. But as far as them as a business, I'm done, yeah. For them, this money doesn't matter at all."

Story #2: Goodbye, Speedruns on YouTube

Everyone has seen at least a couple of speedrun videos set in classic Nintendo games, where people try to beat a level in the fastest time humanly possible. They’re all over YouTube, and we love them. Nintendo has recently been taking these videos down, claiming that since it’s their intellectual property, they can delete and remove whatever their hearts desire. 

But, why? 

According to Jeff Hong, creator of Punktendo: “These videos basically condone the use of emulators and ROMS so that is most likely where Nintendo is taking issue with these videos. I'm sure if these speedruns were being done on the original consoles using the game cartridges, these YouTube channels would be a nonissue. 

The timing of the crackdown is definitely curious as Nintendo has just released Super Mario Maker which capitalizes on the custom Mario level hacks created illegally and have been proven popular in the Internet gaming world. It would seem they are trying to clear the slate on YouTube and only have authorized Super Mario levels created through Super Mario Maker." Source article: The Creators Project

Yuck. All of those wonderful hacks! All of that hard work! It seems like could still promo Super Mario Maker without having to go through the social faux pas of deleting fan work. The two can coexist, Nintendo. 

Brands have a right to protect their work, but I’m not sure that either of these stories are the right place to get nitpicky. Some poor guy who owns a cafe? Youtube fans playing through levels really fast? But who am I to question the long arm of Justice? 

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