Theft by Creativity

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Are you saying that the Half Life remake meant that Valve didn't have to stress out a Half Life 3 due to the brand still being in public awareness?

Sorry if this is a stupid question.

I figure it's a tad more nuanced. Copyright owners have to report violations to maintain their IP, sure, but what *constitutes* a violation is up for debate and is subjective.

Nintendo took one look at AM2R and jumped the gun. They took one look at the fan-made Pokemon game and jumped the gun. On the other hand, Valve took a look at Black Mesa and realized there really wasn't any way to misconstrue Black Mesa as being Half-Life. There's no violation to report, only what you can objectively call an homage.

Nintendo does legally need to protect its IP, but it could really stand to hire a legal team that can tell the difference between fans putting together a tribute and, say, some ROM hacker using Nintendo's assets in one of the bootleg market's ubiquitous five-berjillion-games-in-one knockoff consoles. I've heard ridiculous theories involving Nintendo actually looking for a payoff - but how is a lone bedroom programmer going to shit out however million dollars you think Nintendo might want?

Nintendo isn't a slavering wolf out of a Tex Avery cartoon, it's just being more than a tad paranoid about copyright law.

Companies really shouldn't be worried about fan projects unless they are somehow illegal outside of copyright law or are being sold, and if they're going to be sold they could always just try and arrange some royalty payments rather than shut them down.

The ba-dum-tis was a fantastic detail. Props to Suchong

The thing that is really baffling about these sorts of things is that if the company doesn't want to do anything with the IPs themselves, why not license them out to devs/creators that want to do something with them? They could them make money off of zero effort on their own part.

It could just be that Pokemon and Metroid are still franchises that Nintendo is making games for, so protecting their IP means they don't have third party stuff in competition, while Valve has long ago stopped giving a shit about Half-Life.

Hey, I happen to like Emilio's take on the franchise! City 17 was immersion-breakingly bereft of goats, or cloven-hooved quadrupeds of ANY kind!

(But seriously, while I know that US copyright law is a sad, stinky swamp of legal uncertainty, there's a line between "protecting your IP" and "letting your lawyers sharpen their teeth on honest fan works".)

Not to be off-topic, but darn Erin gained some weight ... not like she became fat or anything but she's definitely carrying more meat now than her previous phase. More like she started working out and doesn't mind having cake late at night to spoil herself instead of being really skinny all around like the typical teenager you'd see in most cartoons lol.

OT: Eh copyright used to be about the people and protecting our stuff from being stolen, but now you mostly see it getting abused on Youtube because Nintendo doesn't like people saying good things about their games so any 30 second clip on one of their products means your money and video belongs to them out, while your account gets hit hard with warnings or threats to shut down.

Copyright in a nutshell is an excuse for companies to steal revenue or profit off people whom love their products, even if said videos aren't doing anything wrong to said companies or even praising their products so people would become interested in buying said products. Just a really sad situation all around.

Here's the biggest difference between Valve and Nintendo. Nintendo makes and sells games, therefore they have a legal right and obligation to protect their work, even if it's stupid and detrimental to themselves. Valve's a store, they don't make and sell games.

Also there's a difference in business philosophy between Nintendo and Valve. Nintendo's what you'd call rigid corporate philosophy, whereas Valve is a loose and laid back philosophy that doesn't believe in structure (Explains why they have no PR/community management group).

And then we have to have an honest discussion on what Fair Use is. It's a defense statement, which means that it must go in front of a judge and the judge declares the product is Fair Use or not. So for all the products that were taken down? They're not Fair Use until a judge says they are.

IamLEAM1983:
I figure it's a tad more nuanced. Copyright owners have to report violations to maintain their IP, sure, but what *constitutes* a violation is up for debate and is subjective.

Nintendo took one look at AM2R and jumped the gun. They took one look at the fan-made Pokemon game and jumped the gun. On the other hand, Valve took a look at Black Mesa and realized there really wasn't any way to misconstrue Black Mesa as being Half-Life. There's no violation to report, only what you can objectively call an homage.

Nintendo does legally need to protect its IP, but it could really stand to hire a legal team that can tell the difference between fans putting together a tribute and, say, some ROM hacker using Nintendo's assets in one of the bootleg market's ubiquitous five-berjillion-games-in-one knockoff consoles. I've heard ridiculous theories involving Nintendo actually looking for a payoff - but how is a lone bedroom programmer going to shit out however million dollars you think Nintendo might want?

Nintendo isn't a slavering wolf out of a Tex Avery cartoon, it's just being more than a tad paranoid about copyright law.

Are copyright laws the same by the country? Because I think in countries like China are more liberal and in Japan is more strict. I am still wrapping my head about what YouTube alone considers fair, let alone everything else in the internet. This could be fixed if it was the American Nintendo branch doing the penalties, they can and should abide by the laws we know for a fact as fair use, but Nintendo [of Japan] doesn't appear to give them any power, at least compared to Nintendo of Europe. And considering whatever system that takes down YouTube videos is in possession of Nintendo in the laws of Japan, we need the Rosetta stone more than ever to translate "You've done f*cked up" to Japan. I can only hope YouTubers like MatPat, iJustine or Jirard Khalil reach Nintendo's internal staff to call them out, because considering the Mario Maker videos that were still up by last year, baby steps are being done.

IamLEAM1983:
I figure it's a tad more nuanced. Copyright owners have to report violations to maintain their IP, sure, but what *constitutes* a violation is up for debate and is subjective.

Nintendo took one look at AM2R and jumped the gun. They took one look at the fan-made Pokemon game and jumped the gun. On the other hand, Valve took a look at Black Mesa and realized there really wasn't any way to misconstrue Black Mesa as being Half-Life. There's no violation to report, only what you can objectively call an homage.

Nintendo does legally need to protect its IP, but it could really stand to hire a legal team that can tell the difference between fans putting together a tribute and, say, some ROM hacker using Nintendo's assets in one of the bootleg market's ubiquitous five-berjillion-games-in-one knockoff consoles. I've heard ridiculous theories involving Nintendo actually looking for a payoff - but how is a lone bedroom programmer going to shit out however million dollars you think Nintendo might want?

Nintendo isn't a slavering wolf out of a Tex Avery cartoon, it's just being more than a tad paranoid about copyright law.

As a company that's big on being family-friendly, there's another really good reason for Nintendo to shoot first and ask questions later. How can a company be certain that the entire fan project follows the content guidelines people expect of them? Not just in the playable game, but in every line of code. I'm thinking right now of something like http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/112870-Steam-User-Finds-Misogynistic-Joke-Buried-in-Dead-Island-Code-UPDATED. When you see a Pokemon fangame you assume it will have not just the gameplay, but also the tone of the established franchise. But that's not something Nintendo is in a position to assume. Maybe if they were given the chance to approve the game and its content beforehand (which they would never do, admittedly).

Pokemon Go is reportedly hitting 100 million downloads, which is more than 25 million more downloads than the number of 3DS and Wii U's sold to date. That's a lot of people getting into Pokemon that could easily be confused into thinking that Pokemon Uranium is a new Nintendo game (I'm not talking about gamers that come to sites like this, I mean the masses at large that didn't even understand the Wii U was a separate console). I mean, people don't even understand that Niantic is the developer of Pokemon Go. Pokemon Uranium was downloaded 1.5 million times. Just a single off-color joke or bit of foul language, even just lurking in the game's coding, could damage their reputation/brand identity and generate undesirable headlines.

Also, as a business I'd have to imagine they don't want free Metroid and Pokemon games coming out just a few months before they launch their own $40 retail titles. I bet that's why the Mother 3 translation is still up to this day - it's not a brand with new games actively coming out this year. Also, am2r represents a free upgrade to one game they are currently selling online, Metroid 2, using the art assets from another game they are currently selling, Zero Mission. Why would anybody pay money for the virtual console version of Metroid 2 after the release of am2r?

It's not like Nintendo is the good guy here, but I'd be a lot more irate if these fangames weren't using art assets from games currently being sold digitally, weren't based directly on games still being sold, weren't using the official names of the existing franchises, and weren't from franchises being currently developed for. Even discounting the 'protect your trademark' arguments, that's a lot to expect a corporation to ignore.

In regards to the half life remake. I'm not so sure. I mean years later and we still have the last third of the game missing. It's like there's some force preventing them from doing a complete remake.

I've often wondered why these companies don't hire the developers of these fan-projects to turn said projects into official releases that they can then profit off of. That would make much more business and PR sense to me.

These people always turn up to defend their corp of choice when they pull this shit, and they almost always pull this half-baked factoid out of their malformed rectums. It's not so much about the actual mechanics of IP and Copyright la as it is about defending the character of their beloved company.

That's a pretty crude way of telling people off.

I don't think people blindly use this to "protect their beloved company", rather it's an explanation as to why they might do it, but hey, if you guys know better, feel free to link to the information and enlighten us on the topic. If it's true, I'm all for it, fuck IP and copyright law.

The question is why do people still keep wasting energy on these projects. Pokemon Uranium and Metroid are just the latest in a LONG list of these incidents. You'd think people will learn by now. I'm not saying it's either right or wrong. But come on, why waste energy and effort into something that will SURELY and DEFINITELY be taken down.

About pokemon uranium though, I could think of several reasons why they don't want it to exist though. But my guess is they're afraid it will eat into the sales of the ones coming out.

canadamus_prime:
I've often wondered why these companies don't hire the developers of these fan-projects to turn said projects into official releases that they can then profit off of. That would make much more business and PR sense to me.

Ah, but that would be the sensible, logical choice, and that's not the world we live in.

I don't understand why these fan teams have to use official names and likenesses in the first place. Just do something original looking with a different name but the same mechanics/design etc.

That's what the Darksiders guys did and those games are fantastic. Hell Batman Arkham Asylum pulls very heavily from metroid. Why does it HAVE to be mario, why does it HAVE to be samus? etc. It really really doesn't.

List:
The question is why do people still keep wasting energy on these projects. Pokemon Uranium and Metroid are just the latest in a LONG list of these incidents. You'd think people will learn by now. I'm not saying it's either right or wrong. But come on, why waste energy and effort into something that will SURELY and DEFINITELY be taken down.

About pokemon uranium though, I could think of several reasons why they don't want it to exist though. But my guess is they're afraid it will eat into the sales of the ones coming out.

They couldn't have predicted the hype that would surround them and call the attention of the broken copyright system, Metroid one was during a Metroid drought in its anniversary year and Pok?mon one was about the 8-9 years of work to get where it is now. News sites were actually reporting on them, fan projects are not supposed to go under any kind of spotlight or else this happens.

I am afraid of the next one coming up: Mother 4, a fan-made sequel to Mother 3 built from the ground up, to which it seems the creators in Japan are aware of, but not the businessmen. If the Earthbound Halloween Hack had been taken down, maybe there would be no Undertale.

Today I learned that speeding must be legal, because I speed every day but haven't received a ticket in years.

Yeah, that's not how law works, and IP especially. If you don't defend the IP, then you *could* weaken it.

IamLEAM1983:
I figure it's a tad more nuanced. Copyright owners have to report violations to maintain their IP, sure, but what *constitutes* a violation is up for debate and is subjective.

Nintendo took one look at AM2R and jumped the gun. They took one look at the fan-made Pokemon game and jumped the gun. On the other hand, Valve took a look at Black Mesa and realized there really wasn't any way to misconstrue Black Mesa as being Half-Life. There's no violation to report, only what you can objectively call an homage.

Nintendo does legally need to protect its IP, but it could really stand to hire a legal team that can tell the difference between fans putting together a tribute and, say, some ROM hacker using Nintendo's assets in one of the bootleg market's ubiquitous five-berjillion-games-in-one knockoff consoles. I've heard ridiculous theories involving Nintendo actually looking for a payoff - but how is a lone bedroom programmer going to shit out however million dollars you think Nintendo might want?

Nintendo isn't a slavering wolf out of a Tex Avery cartoon, it's just being more than a tad paranoid about copyright law.

They're also as uptight about their brand portrayal as Disney, but they're way worse at it because they don't understand modern media.

LazyAza:
I don't understand why these fan teams have to use official names and likenesses in the first place. Just do something original looking with a different name but the same mechanics/design etc.

That's what the Darksiders guys did and those games are fantastic. Hell Batman Arkham Asylum pulls very heavily from metroid. Why does it HAVE to be mario, why does it HAVE to be samus? etc. It really really doesn't.

The simple answer is sitting right there in there in your first paragraph. They're fan groups. Simple as that. They simply want to use a game's characters, settings and playstyle they love so much and update it or infuse it with a new idea. The people that do this are probably just as interested in the characters as they are about the game's mechanics themselves. It happens all the time in pretty much any creative work that people are interested in. Fan Art, fan comics, fan fiction, short films, machinima, parodies. It kinda strikes me as a self-defeating question cuz the answer's pretty obvious. Monty Oum didn't HAVE to make a video starring ripped models of Dead or Alive and Final Fantasy characters duking it out... but he did anyway, cuz Monty was a giant weeb and that shit's awesome.

Legally, well, the results of pretty much every anticipated fanwork speaks for itself, but generally there's nothing really wrong with it. And heck, most companies are probably even pretty damn aware of the latter and either can't do much about the actions they need to take or don't give a shit.

I like when there is text at the bottom.

List:
The question is why do people still keep wasting energy on these projects. Pokemon Uranium and Metroid are just the latest in a LONG list of these incidents. You'd think people will learn by now. I'm not saying it's either right or wrong. But come on, why waste energy and effort into something that will SURELY and DEFINITELY be taken down.

I imagine the fact that there hasn't been a decent Metriod game in a decade probably has something to do with it. Since Nintendo doesn't seem to care about this particular IP, I'm not surprised some fans took it into the their hands.

Kind of like the Mother series, with the English translation of 3 and the various fangames.

*SIGH*

As per usual, it's more nuanced and, generally, the Great Wall of China of text if you don't want to attempt to simplify things and miss something important. I'm also quite sure that very, very Japanese corps like Nintendo (or Sega) still operate like a centralistic, totalitarian dictatorship, which could further help explain their hard stances on anything that might involve crazy Westerners, out of (justifiable) fear of missing something or something getting lost in translation.

Excerpt:

1. How can trademark rights be lost?

Rights in a trademark can be lost through the action or inaction of the trademark's owner. The most common way to lose rights in a mark is to stop using the mark with no intention to use it again. This is called "abandonment."

However, trademark rights can also be lost unintentionally. For example, in some countries, it is possible to lose rights in a mark by allowing third parties to use the mark without controlling how it is used. This can include failing to control the nature and quality of the goods and/or services offered under the mark by the third party. Such failure to control often is referred to as "naked licensing." Rights may also be lost if the trademark owner or third parties use the mark improperly, so that it ceases to indicate the source of goods or services and becomes a generic term. For example, escalator and cellophane originally were trademarks in the United States but, as a result of improper use, eventually they became generic names of the products for which they had been used as brands. The determination of whether a mark has become generic can vary from country to country; such is the case with aspirin, which is a generic term in the United States but a protectable trademark in Canada and Germany.

It doesn't really matter if Nintendo goes about it the 'right' way or the 'wrong' way. Changing the system is a very slow process and generally best regarded as impossible for anyone running a business right now, no matter if your very own pride of hungry, hungry lawyers is on standby 24/7 or not. My take is Nintendo (and others) like to err on the side of caution, while the corporate capitalist hippie hacks over at Valve know their shit inside out and feel perfectly safe letting one slip and letting one rip without cracking a sweat.

Bilious Green:
The thing that is really baffling about these sorts of things is that if the company doesn't want to do anything with the IPs themselves, why not license them out to devs/creators that want to do something with them? They could them make money off of zero effort on their own part.

That's actually just one of the most dangerous situations. The licensing out bit could (probably) be made to work out perfectly fine, but that would require Nintendo to trust you to absolutely not include any, say, titty or balls easter eggs and generally live up to their standards, which, in their eyes, you probably will never do anyway when they just caught you red-handed, grabbing their IP. In general, I don't feel like they're up to take any risks, though.

AFAIK Nintendo keeps renewing the trademark for METROID PRIME specifically, while also maintaining at least two other instances of the METROID brand.

Shit reads like a telephone book, so here's a dirty little spoiler as an example:

The METROID trademark is filed in the category of Computer & Software Products & Electrical & Scientific Products . The description provided to the USPTO for METROID is Compact discs, computer game cartridges, optical discs, memory cards and electronic storage media featuring entertainment, educational and informational content, educational instruction, entertainment instruction and informational instruction, all pertaining to games; computer game cartridges; computer game discs; computer game memory cards; computer game programs; computer game software; electronic video game cartridges; electronic video game discs; electronic game memory cards; electronic game programs; electronic game software; interactive video game cartridges; interactive game memory cards; interactive game programs; interactive game software; interactive electronic game discs; interactive electronic game programs; interactive electronic game software; interactive video game discs; interactive video game memory cards; interactive video game programs; interactive video game software; video game cartridges; video game discs; video game memory cards; video game programs; video game software; downloadable multimedia files, namely, games, downloadable computer game programs, downloadable computer game software; downloadable electronic game programs; downloadable electronic game software; downloadable interactive electronic game programs; downloadable interactive game software; downloadable video game programs, downloadable video game software.

That's how one has to cover one's asses (and assets) these days. Fun, innit?

InsanityRequiem:
Valve?s a store, they don?t make and sell games.

What? No, Steam is the store, Valve is the company that manages Steam and makes games. How the hell did you come to the conclusion that Valve doesn't make games?

OT:
It's usually more complicated than what we normies have knowledge of.

There's a lot more nuance and complexity behind this, but go on ahead being an ignorant prick about it.

Darth_Payn:

canadamus_prime:
I've often wondered why these companies don't hire the developers of these fan-projects to turn said projects into official releases that they can then profit off of. That would make much more business and PR sense to me.

Ah, but that would be the sensible, logical choice, and that's not the world we live in.

Naturally, however since these companies are into profit so much you'd think they were being run by the Ferengi from Star Trek, they'd take any opportunity to make a profit. Of course I imagine the concept of spending money to make money is also a concept that's lost on them.

Well, of COURSE Valve has no problem with fan remakes. It beats actually making games themselves.

Well of course Valve wouldn't do anything about it. So long as the fans are doing everything for them, it means they don't actually have to get off their asses and do something other than rake in profits from holiday sales and crates.

InsanityRequiem:
Here?s the biggest difference between Valve and Nintendo. Nintendo makes and sells games, therefore they have a legal right and obligation to protect their work, even if it?s stupid and detrimental to themselves. Valve?s a store, they don?t make and sell games.

Valve have made ~20 games, and two SDKs.
They very much do make and sell games.

copyrite and trademark laws need a good gutting. The harder the companies crack down on fan passion projects, the more I want them to go bankrupt.

canadamus_prime:

Darth_Payn:

canadamus_prime:
I've often wondered why these companies don't hire the developers of these fan-projects to turn said projects into official releases that they can then profit off of. That would make much more business and PR sense to me.

Ah, but that would be the sensible, logical choice, and that's not the world we live in.

Naturally, however since these companies are into profit so much you'd think they were being run by the Ferengi from Star Trek, they'd take any opportunity to make a profit. Of course I imagine the concept of spending money to make money is also a concept that's lost on them.

It's because the companies are run by a bunch of detached crotchety old men (not necessarily literally) that likely haven't actually developed a game themselves in years, if ever. All these people have been so high up for so long that all they ever see is a bunch of numbers and have long since stopped giving a damn about what the fans want if any of them ever did. Their only concern is with holding their IPs in their claws and never letting go no matter how much more sense it would make to loosen their iron grip, just because they don't want anyone else doing anything with it. It's the adult version of this:

It's these people who pushed for these draconian laws to come into being in the first place and the ones who could successfully push to have them removed now, but then they would have absolutely NOTHING to justify their behavior, that need to justification is the sole reason these laws exist and will continue to.

immortalfrieza:

canadamus_prime:

Darth_Payn:

Ah, but that would be the sensible, logical choice, and that's not the world we live in.

Naturally, however since these companies are into profit so much you'd think they were being run by the Ferengi from Star Trek, they'd take any opportunity to make a profit. Of course I imagine the concept of spending money to make money is also a concept that's lost on them.

It's because the companies are run by a bunch of detached crotchety old men (not necessarily literally) that likely haven't actually developed a game themselves in years, if ever. All these people have been so high up for so long that all they ever see is a bunch of numbers and have long since stopped giving a damn about what the fans want if any of them ever did. Their only concern is with holding their IPs in their claws and never letting go no matter how much more sense it would make to loosen their iron grip, just because they don't want anyone else doing anything with it. It's the adult version of this:

It's these people who pushed for these draconian laws to come into being in the first place and the ones who could successfully push to have them removed now, but then they would have absolutely NOTHING to justify their behavior, that need to justification is the sole reason these laws exist and will continue to.

That's the thing though. If all they care about is profit and numbers then they're missing out on the opportunity to profit off of these fan projects.

canadamus_prime:
I've often wondered why these companies don't hire the developers of these fan-projects to turn said projects into official releases that they can then profit off of. That would make much more business and PR sense to me.

Because if they allow that to happen, and the game is better, less buggy, and fitted with more content than its official counterpart at release, then shareholders will look unfavorably on the company because some hack in a basement is better than a professional team of programmers and marketers.

And when word of mouth gets out that a fan group made this awesome game, the group can start making their own games with their own IP and fans will follow them; and one purchase of your competition is one less purchase for you.

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