Scammers Posing As Disney Kill Fan-Made Game

The Wooster

King Snap
Jul 15, 2008
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Scammers Posing As Disney Kill Fan-Made Game


A fan-made game featuring a Mickey Mouse parody has been shut down after scammers posing as Disney lawyers threatened legal action.

Hanako, a "doujin" visual novel, recently made the headlines thanks to a scene in which players encounter Mickey Mouse - the original, mildly-terrifying version with the soulless, beady black eyes - and promptly knock his head off. Shortly after images of the game reached gaming news sites, the development group, AmoRico, received an email from some enterprising scammers posing as Disney's legal team. The scammers wanted ¥6 million, around $78,000 US dollars, in reparations for the supposed copyright infringement. AmoRico eventually contacted a Disney rep, only to find out the company had never heard of Hanako or any legal threats. Unfortunately this brush with legal disaster seems to have spooked the game's developer, and he's calling it quits.

"They're saying online it's a "Mickey Massacre Game". Those who've played it know, but it's not that sort of content. They've cut out all the good art and movie content from Chikoraji and are sharing it around saying I "killed" and "chopped" Mickey, I was so shocked to find out, I feel sick," he wrote on his blog.

"Doujin" and "Doujinshi" are terms used to refer to fan-made products often, but not always, based on existing characters. Those based on copyrighted material are technically illegal, at least according to Japanese copyright law, but Japanese companies tend to turn a blind eye provided the creators don't get too cheeky.

While Disney has a long history of aggressively defending its trademarks, the company seems to have mellowed somewhat in recent years. In 2011, Disney took a British store-owner to court to prevent him from trademarking the name "Pooh Corner." Disney won the legal battle, but then granted the shop-owner permission to use the name anyway. The fact that J. Scott Campbell hasn't been sued into oblivion over his obviously-based-on-Disney-characters Fairy Tale fantasies calendars [http://www.ufunk.net/en/illustration/le-calendrier-sexy-2012-des-princesses-disney-pin-ups-de-j-scott-campbell/], also indicates that Disney's lawyers may be losing their notorious thirst for blood.

Source: Kotaku [http://kotaku.com/5880401/how-a-mickey-mouse-parody-killed-a-fan-game]

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vxicepickxv

Slayer of Bothan Spies
Sep 28, 2008
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Well, that's a rather rude surprise.

H:"Um, I've been working on this game with Mickey in it. This guy from your legal department sent me this e-mail for copyright infringement"
D:"Who the hell are you? Doesn't matter, just stop now."
H:"Well damn."

Disney Tokyo isn't exactly packed anymore, and it doesn't quite have the money it used to for legal teams.

As for the British case, I do believe there was a licensing arrangement worked out between the groups.
 

jakelly14

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Jan 19, 2012
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That's pretty lame, i was watching documentary about copyright the other day and found out it use to take 14 years for something to become public domain but Disney (and few other companies)chucked a load of money around it was changed to 70 (or whatever it is now). Though this was at least 50 years ago.
 

Baldr

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Jan 6, 2010
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vxicepickxv said:
Well, that's a rather rude surprise.

H:"Um, I've been working on this game with Mickey in it. This guy from your legal department sent me this e-mail for copyright infringement"
D:"Who the hell are you? Doesn't matter, just stop now."
H:"Well damn."

Disney Tokyo isn't exactly packed anymore, and it doesn't quite have the money it used to for legal teams.

As for the British case, I do believe there was a licensing arrangement worked out between the groups.
I seriously doubt that The Walt Disney company would enforce their copyright based on the Tokyo Disney Resorts attendance records.



jakelly14 said:
That's pretty lame, i was watching documentary about copyright the other day and found out it use to take 14 years for something to become public domain but Disney (and few other companies)chucked a load of money around it was changed to 70 (or whatever it is now). Though this was at least 50 years ago.
A lot of these anti-copyright documentaries lie. The last time copyright law was 14 years was from 1710-1790ish. And it was 14-21 years depending if the book was in print or not, and only in England. The last extension in 1978 was lobbied by Disney, but also a lot of other corporations. It brought it from Life of the Author + 50 years to 70 years, which was common for many other nations at the time. For corporate works: 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation whichever is shorter.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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Given that Disney widely outright stealborrow from other sources, it doesn't seem very fair for them to sue over those same things; even if Zynga does.


Based around her original Pia Zadora look rather than the Anorexic Spice look they have for her now.
 

jakelly14

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Jan 19, 2012
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Baldr said:
jakelly14 said:
That's pretty lame, i was watching documentary about copyright the other day and found out it use to take 14 years for something to become public domain but Disney (and few other companies)chucked a load of money around it was changed to 70 (or whatever it is now). Though this was at least 50 years ago.
A lot of these anti-copyright documentaries lie. The last time copyright law was 14 years was from 1710-1790ish. And it was 14-21 years depending if the book was in print or not, and only in England. The last extension in 1978 was lobbied by Disney, but also a lot of other corporations. It brought it from Life of the Author + 50 years to 70 years, which was common for many other nations at the time. For corporate works: 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation whichever is shorter.
ahhhh, my bad. the documentary was more focused on music copyright and remixing/mashups so the Disney thing was kind of a sidenote. thanks for letting me know though.
 

draythefingerless

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Jul 10, 2010
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jakelly14 said:
Baldr said:
jakelly14 said:
That's pretty lame, i was watching documentary about copyright the other day and found out it use to take 14 years for something to become public domain but Disney (and few other companies)chucked a load of money around it was changed to 70 (or whatever it is now). Though this was at least 50 years ago.
A lot of these anti-copyright documentaries lie. The last time copyright law was 14 years was from 1710-1790ish. And it was 14-21 years depending if the book was in print or not, and only in England. The last extension in 1978 was lobbied by Disney, but also a lot of other corporations. It brought it from Life of the Author + 50 years to 70 years, which was common for many other nations at the time. For corporate works: 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation whichever is shorter.
ahhhh, my bad. the documentary was more focused on music copyright and remixing/mashups so the Disney thing was kind of a sidenote. thanks for letting me know though.
you also have to understand that 14 years later, you see your own creation, wich you made with your own blood n tears, being usurped, sometimes by much larger companies with money, and used to make a franchise filled with money. you have to remember copyright law protects the small guy too. i do think the + 70 years after authors death is exagerated. id give it 5 years after he dies(out of respect), then public domain.
 

The Wooster

King Snap
Jul 15, 2008
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Make a game that includes one scene where the player kills one of the most famous cartoon characters of all time.

Act surprised when that's the only part people talk about.
The_root_of_all_evil said:
Given that Disney widely outright stealborrow from other sources, it doesn't seem very fair for them to sue over those same things; even if Zynga does.


Based around her original Pia Zadora look rather than the Anorexic Spice look they have for her now.
You expect a multi-billion dollar corporation to play fair?
http://faqsmedia.ign.com/faqs/image/article/110/1109799/bender_laugh_moar.jpg
http://cache2.artprintimages.com/lrg/53/5391/JFMJG00Z.jpgBut I prefer J. Scott Campbell's version
 

Baldr

The Noble
Jan 6, 2010
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Oops, typo, I meant 1998, not 1978. The Sunny Bono Act or as the opposition would call it the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, which is why many people falsely accuse the Walt Disney Corporation for creating the extension. One Minor Note, even with the without 20-year extension, the Disney characters do not fall into Public Domain for a very long time(With the exception of Winne the Pooh series which was saved by the extension until 2021.)
 
Feb 13, 2008
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DVS BSTrD said:
The_root_of_all_evil said:
Given that Disney widely outright stealborrow from other sources, it doesn't seem very fair for them to sue over those same things; even if Zynga does.
You expect a multi-billion dollar corporation to play fair?
Never. But I acknowledge it when they do. Disney, while being the closest thing to mainstream piracy there is, is also pretty fair on what it does.

Yes, Disney used to ban hippies from coming in [http://www.snopes.com/disney/parks/longhair.asp] and forced care centres to remove their images [http://www.snopes.com/disney/wdco/daycare.asp].

But, you know of 50 or so other companies...which wouldn't do these things?

Disney has its Golden Cheese long ago, and now it's working hard to keep it. And making the customer smile is what Disney do best. Even better than Valve.

Still wish they'd bring back the old cartoons rather than these nauseating "reality" shows though.
 

Beautiful End

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Feb 15, 2011
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Well, dang. This is why I stick with Katawa Shoujo.

At any rate, I respect Disney, to some degree. They have worked hard to keep their innocent and child-friendly image. Yes, they are a multi-billionaire corporation. Yes, they can be very scrupulous about certain things but...they are a business after all! Come on, that's part of the whole deal. Or did someone expect them to go around giving away money and filling the world with sunshine, lollipops and rainbows? Yeah, I didn't think so.
 

CronoT

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May 15, 2010
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Personally, I think the reason they're being so nice is because the last copyright extension they forced into being through their lobbyists is coming to an end soon. With all the negative press surrounding copyright in the media now, they probably want to lay low. Once they manage to get the copyright extended again, it'll be right back to business as usual, with rabid lawyers on choke chains.
 

MB202

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Sep 14, 2008
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Hey, Disney is SERIOUSLY PROTECTIVE about their mascot and properties.
 

Micalas

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Mar 5, 2011
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I think the biggest question is who the hell would want to shop at "Pooh Corner?"

CAPTCHA: ancient ieconot. Those people are long extinct. The would definitely not shop at Pooh Corner.
 

zidine100

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Mar 19, 2009
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In all fairness its probably for the best that they decided to call it quits before they actually did get a call from Disney. I think he had a lucky escape. Im not saying this is right, im just saying he was lucky to get out now.

CkretAznMan said:
Oh, what kind of a doujin game was this?
from the screenshot i guess rpg due to the health counter.
 

TheSYLOH

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Feb 5, 2010
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Another Creative Work lost to Copyright....
The thing that was supposed to foster creativity....
 

Ironman126

Dark DM Overlord
Apr 7, 2010
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Those calendar pictures... My mind is... My childhood... Why? Why would you do that?
 

cardinalwiggles

is the king of kong
Jun 21, 2009
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they only really sue copyright so they don't lose the copyright im pretty sure. i may be wrong im no lawyer, isn't that the whole issue with the scrolls game/skyrim is that if they didn't sue it would open up the field and precedent that other people can use it. even within the article it references that "pooh corner" (TEHEHEHEHE) and then just let them use it. so fair enough to them. on topic of the actual post then damn those scammers will be anyone. i'd be scared that guy even contacting disney about the alleged lawsuit would even invite a lawsuit :p