Nintendo Bullies Fan Sites Over Pokemon B&W Pics

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Nintendo Bullies Fan Sites Over Pokemon B&W Pics


Pokemon Black & White [http://www.nintendo.comIt's].

Pokemon fan site PokeBeach put up some images [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103547-All-New-Pokemon-from-Pokemon-Black-White-Revealed] of all the new Pokemon that will be showing up in the new Pokemon Black & White. Nothing too remarkable about that; videogame sites, and especially fan sites, make a habit of digging deep for the latest and greatest information about upcoming games and publishers generally seem happy to take advantage of the free publicity. But not Nintendo.

Over the weekend, Nintendo fired off a letter to PokeBeach and fellow fan site Serebii [http://www.serebii.net/index2.shtml] asking them to remove the images from their site and threatening dire consequences if they failed to comply. The company said it appreciates their "interest in and support of the Pokemon game series," but that their publication of the images violates Nintendo's copyrights and has the potential to cause it "substantial damage."

"We have accordingly submitted a copyright infringement notice to your domain registrar under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and anticipate that your website will be taken down shortly. We encourage you to immediately remove from your website all graphics, screenshots, and other protected content taken from the Pokémon Black and Pokémon White games," Nintendo wrote in the letter.

"Your full and immediate compliance with the foregoing should render further action on Nintendo's part unnecessary," it continued. "It is essential that we receive your written response confirming that you have taken these necessary actions by Sunday, September 19, 12:00 p.m. PDT, however, or Nintendo will have no choice but to consider its alternative legal remedies."

Both sites complied with the demand, quickly removing all offending images, although PokeBeach administrator "Water Pokemon Master" betrayed a certain understandable bitterness over the whole thing. The site has been renamed from PokeBeach to PokerBeach, "since we figured using 'Poké' also has the chance of causing substantial damage to Nintendo's property," and he encouraged everyone else on the net to do the same.

"We hope that all English-speakers will remove images of Black and White from their websites, forums, blogs, YouTubes, Facebooks, instant messages, e-mails, homes, and minds since under law Nintendo has the right to declare any media they want, on any website they want, illegal and out of the domain of fair use," he wrote [http://pokebeach.com/2010/09/no-black-white-images-for-you]. "We hope everyone will comply with their wishes or Pokemon may end up in the gutter, since covering and advertising new games for free is obviously counter-productive to Nintendo's sales."

Ouch. Somebody's not happy. Pokemon Black & White came out in Japan on September 18 and is set to launch in the rest of the world in spring 2011.


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laryri

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May 19, 2008
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I don't even know what to say to this. If they don't want this happening, why don't they just do a worldwide release instead of releasing it in Japan several months earlier?
 

WrongSprite

Resident Morrowind Fanboy
Aug 10, 2008
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That guy sounds understandably pissed off, kudos for him for telling Nintendo what's what.
 

SnipErlite

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Aug 16, 2009
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Calm down, Nintendo - It's a game about silly looking monsters fighting each other. Besides, shouldn't you be happy your fans are so enthusiastic?
 

Flying-Emu

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Oct 30, 2008
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I don't understand the problem. It's free publicity. I can understand ROMs of B&W being a problem, but where's the issue with showing images of Issho (or whatever the region is called) and the new Pokemon? Oh, I'm sorry, "Pokermon," since apparently Nintendo is going all gung-ho Copyright Activist on us.

Seriously, Nintendo. Free advertising on sites that only the most hardcore fans hit? HOW is this a bad thing? All it does is spread awareness and boost your sales.
 

Quad08

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Oct 18, 2009
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Wow, Nintendo really doesn't like it when there fans 'get out of line' do they? First they kill of the fan made 'Legend of Zelda' movie and now if you post images of upcoming games they threaten to destory you?
 

Daniel_Rosamilia

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Jan 17, 2008
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No offence, but it looks like Nintendo is really wanting to alienate their fanbase and turn themselves into some sort of megalomaniacal profiteering company.

This is stupider than Microsoft calling most of their fanbase sweaty 30-year-olds in Metallica t-shirts hiding in their parents' basements.
 

JediMB

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Oct 25, 2008
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If copyright was really the issue, they'd also be asked to take down any graphics they have posted from previous games as well.

Clearly they just don't want all the new Pokémon to be public knowledge until the games are actually available in the western markets
 

Jaebird

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Aug 19, 2008
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What can possibly harm the juggernaut that is Pokemon? I want to know. What can cause tarnish on a series that's been ongoing for nearly 15 years? I'm not one to throw around the term "boycott", but if you ask me, I'd say, "Oh. We can't talk about Pokemon? Okay. Then we won't buy Pokemon."

I can understand the kind of control Nintendo would want to keep on their property when they squashed the fan-made MMO (and yet that Mario crossover game is still up), but this is just asinine.
 

Heart of Darkness

The final days of His Trolliness
Jul 1, 2009
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I was going to post the news from Bulbapedia that this might be a hoax, but it seems that they don't think it's a hoax anymore. Oh well. I'll still try to find that post from PokeBeach, though.

EDIT: Found it [http://www.pokebeach.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=86852&pid=1703179#pid1703179]. Although it really doesn't prove anything, it's interesting to think about. Looks like we'll just have to wait and see how this unfolds, if indeed it does.
 

dbmountain

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Feb 24, 2010
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Is Nintendo afraid that people will see the copious amounts of poorly-designed new Pokemon and not want to buy the game? I think so.

Although, I will admit, there are a fair amount of decent new Pokes as well...
 

TheSkaAssassin

New member
Oct 12, 2009
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I read the original letter and called bullshit.
The Pokemon Company has their own lawyers based in Houston.
It seems logical they they would respond first, rather than the big Nintendo dogs.
And besides, the game has already been released. Posting images is allowed under the Fair Use doctrine.
 

Schlagwerk

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Nov 5, 2009
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I understand the bitterness of it, but I don't think this is considered fair use. Unreleased materials is a heavy grey area, even for demonstration or academic purposes.
 

Buizel91

Autobot
Aug 25, 2008
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I was upset when i went onto Serebii and couldn't see any pictures, not even Pokemon...What's so bloody different this time! =( seriously Nintendo. Grow. Up.
 

MWMM

New member
Nov 18, 2009
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Let me get this correct Nintendo:
I find that the pokemon have been posted. In excitement, I call my friends and have them view the new images. Now me and other DS owners are excited about your game. This type of free publicity and hype is therefore bad and should be immediately removed.

Listen, I know there are problems with piracy, but there is a difference between losing money on downloading copies of the game beforehand and saving money thanks to free advertising.
 

Yvl9921

Our Sweet Prince
Apr 4, 2009
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The game's already out. What the hell kind of copyrights are they infringing on?
 

Mr.Pandah

Pandah Extremist
Jul 20, 2008
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Wow, way to go Nintendo. You guys are being nothing but d-bags to your fans. Unbelievable that a company that has been in the business this long would pull something so stupid as this. Its not like these websites just sprung up out of nowhere, these have been around for a while. They're just showing their very loyal support to this game and Nintendo does this? Very, very foolish.