Nintendo Doesn't Want to Shut Down Fan Projects

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Nintendo Doesn't Want to Shut Down Fan Projects



Even if it would have the right to do so as IP owner, Nintendo doesn't like killing projects from fans who just love its games.

At this point, people who grew up with the NES are in their mid-to-late twenties, which means that Nintendo's iconic characters are like family to them - and it shows. You have epic, full-length serials [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/misc/7579-The-15-Best-Mario-Related-Videos-On-the-Internet] based on Nintendo properties.

As these things become increasingly common, a Nintendo shareholder asked the company last month if it planned to take any action to protect its IP: "Recently, there are many fan magazines, original short movies, music bands, cosplay activities, websites, orchestras and so on, based on Nintendo's titles. If these activities threaten Nintendo's intellectual properties or licenses, will Nintendo crack down on them aggressively, or just view them as fan activities?"

Nintendo big boss Satoru Iwata admitted that it was hard to draw any definitive line on the issue, because there were no "clear-cut" criteria with which to judge. Still, was it fair to punish people who just did things because they loved Nintendo's games? "Of course, we cannot say that we can give tacit approval to any and all the activities which threaten our intellectual properties. But on the other hand, it would not be appropriate if we treated people who did something based on affection for Nintendo, as criminals."

If there was any sort of defining line, said Iwata, it was "whether the expression in question socially diminishes the dignity or value of our intellectual properties or not." In that case, Nintendo would have to take action - as it did in April when it killed a fan-developed Pokemon MMOG [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/99678-Nintendo-Kills-Fan-Developed-Pokemon-MMOG].

So as long as whatever you're doing doesn't "diminish the dignity or value" of Nintendo's properties, it looks like you're good to go, Mario and Zelda fans.

This seems like a very sensible stance to take. On the one hand, a company is obligated to defend its IP lest it become effectively worthless and out of its control. On the other hand, do you really want to slap the proverbial cuffs on someone who is going to a great deal of effort because they love the things you make?

(Kotaku [http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/meeting/100629qa/05.html])

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Danpascooch

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Apr 16, 2009
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Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml
 

loldrg87

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May 29, 2010
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That's a very interesting stance to take now, considering how they viewed the fan made Zelda movie released late last year.

http://www.thesacredrealm.net/main.php?page=fanmovie.html

*edit GRRR. Got beat on the post!
 

Diligent

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Dec 20, 2009
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"I love you baby, and I don't wanna hit you, but sometimes you don't give me no choice.", says Nintendo.
 

hyperdrachen

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Jan 1, 2008
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Now if your sonic team you want to make sure you always shut down fan projects because they might turn out better than your professionally funded projects.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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Well...at least they are open to people paying hommage...better than some other firms who sue you at the scent of something like theres x.x
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Screw Nintendo. I remember when they cancelled the entire effort for a Pokemon MMORPG after a year or so. That's just bull, seriously.
 

Asturiel

the God of Pants
Nov 24, 2009
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Well, at least they aren't on the complete Grinch side of the spectrum, since they're letting some go.
 

Denmarkian

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Feb 1, 2008
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hyperdrachen said:
Now if your[sic] sonic team you want to make sure you always shut down fan projects because they might turn out better than your professionally funded projects.
I was going to make a similar statement as an addendum to John's conclusion:

"So as long as whatever you're doing doesn't "diminish the dignity or value" of Nintendo's properties, it looks like you're good to go except if your fan project looks like it will be better or more popular than the original property."
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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danpascooch said:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml
This.

If Nintendo doesn't want to do that, then why won't they stop?
 

Arisato-kun

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Apr 22, 2009
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Yeah this doesn't change anything. Nintendo you ruined my dreams of a Chrono Trigger sequel by shutting down that fan made project that wasn't for profit at all. You can go to hell.
 

JordanMillward_1

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May 19, 2009
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I wish Games Workshop would start taking the same stance, instead of shutting down websites just for using the name of their games in it's URL.
 

Cowabungaa

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Feb 10, 2008
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[HEADING=2]Then don't!!![/HEADING]

Assimilate them! Oh so often fans create such wonderful things! Don't let them go to waste, harness their power and create more awesomeness!
 

Snotnarok

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Nov 17, 2008
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hyperdrachen said:
Now if your sonic team you want to make sure you always shut down fan projects because they might turn out better than your professionally funded projects.
Like Sonic Megamix for Sega CD a crazy cool fan game that you can play, on your Sega CD.

SEGA can't make Sonic games anymore, they're awful. However the games that WERE made by other companies Sonic Advanced, Sonic Unleashed (day levels), Sonic 4 are all made by different companies and were actually quite good.

OT: Nintendo has shut down a lot of fan games, so I'd like to see the ones that haven't been shut down. You know besides the ones that were released on the net and they had no ability to do so.

I highly doubt anyone at nintendo actually plays or views these fan games to decide "Oh this one isn't what we would like consumers to see". I'm pretty sure it's, find a fangame,send a cease and desist, end of story.
 

2fish

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Sep 10, 2008
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It makes me sad to kill you, I really don't want to OR Nothing personal, just business.

Those lines are always fun, blatant lies, but fun.
 

Soviet Heavy

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Jan 22, 2010
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JordanMillward_1 said:
I wish Games Workshop would start taking the same stance, instead of shutting down websites just for using the name of their games in it's URL.
What about Damnatus? The German Warhammer 40K fanfilm? Games Workshop was all gung ho about it, but when the fans planned to change a few things from 40k fluff to their liking, they got hit with a lawsuit and were forced to take down the film.
 
Feb 18, 2009
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Even though I love There Will Be Brawl and understand the desire behind these fan works, why not use the imspiration and obvious talent to create something original. I bet even Nintendo knows to, pardon the cliche, appreciate the fruits borne by the tree they planted. Plus, we would avoid this legal-or-not hassle.
 

PurpleLeafRave

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Feb 22, 2009
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danpascooch said:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml
That's horrible! Just imagine how annoyed you would be if you were one of the creators.
Harsh Nintendo. So much wasted time.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Nintendo isn't about to respond to those accusations with any kind of truthfulness. Of course they are spinning it like they are in the corner of bedroom fan-projects. But everyone knows they have their guard dog attorneys on definitive search and destroy.

 

JediMB

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Oct 25, 2008
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Arisato-kun said:
Yeah this doesn't change anything. Nintendo you ruined my dreams of a Chrono Trigger sequel by shutting down that fan made project that wasn't for profit at all. You can go to hell.
...Wouldn't that have been Square Enix, and not Nintendo.