Squeenix Sues Replica Sword Makers for $600k

Squeenix Sues Replica Sword Makers for $600k

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If you've ever secretly wanted a replica of Cloud Strife's Buster Sword or Squall Leonhart's Gunblade, you might be out of luck - Square-Enix has hammered four online retailers of unlicensed Final Fantasy goods with a $600,000 lawsuit.

The four retailers - Edgework Imports, Top Swords, Wholesale Gallery and Pacific Solutions Marketing - are hereby prohibited for selling any of their Final Fantasy knockoffs anywhere, whether via third parties like eBay and Amazon, or their own stores.

The quartet of defendants issued a joint statement that reads as follows:

"We regret having sold unauthorized replica merchandise based on the FINAL FANTASY franchise to our customers. We would not have begun importing and selling these swords if we knew that Square Enix would respond so aggressively to stop us. We will never make this mistake again."

Yasuhiko Hasegawa, one of the JRPG giant's lawyers, said that the company would aggressively pursue legal action against others "[W]ho seek to sell [our fans] cheap replicas that undermine our efforts to bring only top quality goods and content to our customers."

Okay. Y'know what, I get that the company doesn't want people profiting off unlicensed knockoffs, especially of some of the series' iconic weaponry. Certainly, Square-Enix has the right to control its flagship brand, and physical knockoffs are definitely a kind of piracy.

But come on, guys. I don't see you selling official Final Fantasy weaponry anywhere. Can you really make the claim that these four companies are selling "cheap replicas" and hampering your efforts to bring "top quality goods" to your fanbase when they're selling items that you don't even offer?

Furthermore, how will this affect my ability to purchase a Halo energy sword?

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Square-enix better start making some buster swords, Atma weapons, Masamunes, and the many other final fantasy, dragon quest, star ocean weapons for the fans.

I thought cosplay was fair game. Strange. Its fan-made products for fans to cosplay. This was done out of love for SE products(and going after a good market as well admittedly).

internutt:
I thought cosplay was fair game. Strange. Its fan-made products for fans to cosplay. This was done out of love for SE products(and going after a good market as well admittedly).

I dont get why SE are threatening them with legal action.
1) The companies are taking no revenue from SE, as they offer products that SE do not.
2) Admittedly it is copyright infringement, but why not just say that instead of talking about "stopping us from giving our customers quality products".
3) Obviously the fans were happy enough to buy the swords because the companies are still in business.
4) If Final Fantasy fans want a piece of replica merchandise out of love for the franchise, why is SE stopping them?

nova18:

I dont get why SE are threatening them with legal action.
1) The companies are taking no revenue from SE, as they offer products that SE do not.
2) Admittedly it is copyright infringement, but why not just say that instead of talking about "stopping us from giving our customers quality products".
3) Obviously the fans were happy enough to buy the swords because the companies are still in business.
4) If Final Fantasy fans want a piece of replica merchandise out of love for the franchise, why is SE stopping them?

They want a cut of the action. One of the typical ways copyright lawsuits end is by both parties signing a contract agreeing that Company X will now get 25% of all proceeds, etc.

nova18:

internutt:
I thought cosplay was fair game. Strange. Its fan-made products for fans to cosplay. This was done out of love for SE products(and going after a good market as well admittedly).

I dont get why SE are threatening them with legal action.
1) The companies are taking no revenue from SE, as they offer products that SE do not.
2) Admittedly it is copyright infringement, but why not just say that instead of talking about "stopping us from giving our customers quality products".
3) Obviously the fans were happy enough to buy the swords because the companies are still in business.
4) If Final Fantasy fans want a piece of replica merchandise out of love for the franchise, why is SE stopping them?

1) Big companies are assholes.

2) Big companies are assholes.

3) Big companies are assholes.

4) Big companies are assholes.

nova18:

internutt:
I thought cosplay was fair game. Strange. Its fan-made products for fans to cosplay. This was done out of love for SE products(and going after a good market as well admittedly).

I dont get why SE are threatening them with legal action.
1) The companies are taking no revenue from SE, as they offer products that SE do not.
2) Admittedly it is copyright infringement, but why not just say that instead of talking about "stopping us from giving our customers quality products".
3) Obviously the fans were happy enough to buy the swords because the companies are still in business.
4) If Final Fantasy fans want a piece of replica merchandise out of love for the franchise, why is SE stopping them?

Simple, they wanted a cut of the profits.
"I thought of it first so you can's use my idea to produce revenue!" ought to sum it all up.
Now i'd say SE is going to sell... no... rent them the right to produce those weapons again and 65% of the profit goes to SE to maintain the fragile understanding of a bully and a bullee.
Where am I going to get my gunblade now? ...bloody wankers.

Although I haven't seen the actual documentation from the Courts regarding this case, it doesn't seem to me that this is a matter of the infringing companies cutting into SquareEnix's profits - as noted previously, SquareEnix does not produce any such collectibles. Rather, it seems to be the possibility that a sub-par product will become associated with SquareEnix, thereby damaging its public image. Such a situation is known as "Trademark dilution" in IP Law.

Although it may appear that SquareEnix is overzealous in its defense of its IP, I think that it is prudent for it to err on the side of caution in this case, since it cannot guarantee the quality of any of these third party items.

Reading squareEnix's argument I commend them for it, kinda, I am a weapons collector and have been seeking a could busta sword for quite some time and have yet to set my eyes on anything other than cheap 50 dollar copies.

I would really like a full sized expensive copy of one even though it would mean i could hardly life it.

Wow, they know how to spoil the fun for people.

I have to agree with what SE did. They have the full right to protect their trademark and copyrights as they see fit. I would be angry too if I had an idea and even though I wasn't fully taking advantage of it, other people came along and started selling their own version of my own intellectual properties.

CantFaketheFunk:
Yasuhiko Hasegawa, one of the JRPG giant's lawyers, said that the company would aggressively pursue legal action against others "[W]ho seek to sell [our fans] cheap replicas that undermine our efforts to bring only top quality goods and content to our customers."

Okay. Y'know what, I get that the company doesn't want people profiting off unlicensed knockoffs, especially of some of the series' iconic weaponry. Certainly, Square-Enix has the right to control its flagship brand, and physical knockoffs are definitely a kind of piracy.

But come on, guys. I don't see you selling official Final Fantasy weaponry anywhere. Can you really make the claim that these four companies are selling "cheap replicas" and hampering your efforts to bring "top quality goods" to your fanbase when they're selling items that you don't even offer?

Furthermore, how will this affect my ability to purchase a Halo energy sword?

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And this is a huge part of the problem that the staff here at Escapist doesn't seem to understand. These corporations are copyright hungry, and they're digging their own graves. Copyright is supposed to protect creativity, and trademarks are supposed to stop people from getting confused. No one is going to think that Square Enix, a video game company, is selling replicas of giant swords - and the laughable thing about this is that suing these guys can ONLY hurt them. They're just catering to fans and possibly to people who love swords but have never played Final Fantasy - at the very least, this will attract more people to learn abuot Cloud and Square Enix. The most harm this does is get fans thinking about the game, about the characters.

There should be a law against stupidity, that takes priority over copyright laws.

I've always found the hobby of collecting knives & swords to be slightly creepy, so I approve this legal action.

NoSeraph:
Although I haven't seen the actual documentation from the Courts regarding this case, it doesn't seem to me that this is a matter of the infringing companies cutting into SquareEnix's profits - as noted previously, SquareEnix does not produce any such collectibles. Rather, it seems to be the possibility that a sub-par product will become associated with SquareEnix, thereby damaging its public image. Such a situation is known as "Trademark dilution" in IP Law.

Although it may appear that SquareEnix is overzealous in its defense of its IP, I think that it is prudent for it to err on the side of caution in this case, since it cannot guarantee the quality of any of these third party items.

Ding ding ding! Especially if anyone gets killed by some unlicensed sword knockoff, and suddenly its Fred Thompson and 'Final Fantasy XVIII is a murder simulator' all over again.

hrm... reminds me of an old saying that none are more offended by being stolen from than a thief.

Companies didn't have the right to make the swords and such so yeah, squeenix is in the rights, but that seems a bit harsh.

My question though, is when will we see squeenix start selling authorized versions for big bank?

Trademark dillution is a fair point, if some nob hurts himself with these swords suddenly Squenix has a publicity nightmare.

They'll probably liscence these people for a piece of the action too, after 'making sure the product is up to standard'.

Who knows, maybe these products WERE crappy and cheap and Squenix honestly only wants to see highquality merchandiaahahahHAHAHAHh oh god I couldn't even finish that though. *snrk*

CantFaketheFunk:

"We regret having sold unauthorized replica merchandise based on the FINAL FANTASY franchise to our customers. We would not have begun importing and selling these swords if we knew that Square Enix would respond so aggressively to stop us. We will never make this mistake again."

"We would not have done this if we thought we'd get caught."

Or, "We thought, if we got caught, they'd only sue us for a few thousand, not for six figures."

"Top quality products?" After Saga Frontier, I don't think they get to say that. Seriously though, it's hard to see SE as not being jerks to their fandom. They could have demanded a cut, but instead they are outright killing a niche they'd never touch.

Anyone who has ever bought stuff from them in the past will wonder if Yasuhiko Hasegaw gets to shop in a special website that doesn't sell overpriced cheaply made jewelry. Also wtf at a 23$ minimum, it's lol-tastic when you want to buy one keychain, but they cost 21$.

Squenix are whiny b*tches. They're not a weapon's maker, nor would they ever do it, they're just jealous, because they didn't think of the idea first.
For the record, i hate Squenix.
I miss just plain freaking "Squaresoft"

 

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