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Nintendo Sues "Daily Radar" Owners For Pokemon Shots 111

Posted by timothy
from the quick-they're-coming-load-the-lawsuit-gun dept.
Bulldawg2000 writes: "Well, it seems Nintendo is suing Imagine Media (Dailyradar's parent company) for using screenshots and names of their most popular video games, specifically Pokemon. Apparently, Imagine Media published a 100% unofficial strategy guide for Pokemon Gold and Silver and Nintendo did like the competition so they are suing. It saddens me to see this as I've been a loyal Nintendo fan and I don't want to see this happen. The article doesn't say why Nintendo is suing, but it most likely falls under UCITA, EULAs, etc.... Imagine Media thinks it has 'fair use' to publish screenshots, but what is IP and what is 'fair use,' I guess we'll see when they go to court."
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Nintendo Sues "Daily Radar" Owners For Pokemon Shots

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  • I thought the concept of "fair use" didn't extend to for-profit ventures. If so, Nintendo will whip their ass in court, and more power to them.

    - A.P.

    --
    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • ..which in of itself is questionable about fair use. Is it wrong to say that to beat the giant baby at the end of Half-Life, I have to shoot at the yellow crystal, then at the brain? I don't think so.

    Mind you, this is a commercial venture (the unofficial guides), so fair uses are limited because of this - there is obvious competition between Nintendo's official guide and Imagine's Unofficial. But this has been going on for years, and if this is only the first time Nintendo has thought about it, they might have a tougher time (Remember: you have to fight copyrights at all times, lest you lose them; you can let patents and trademarks go undefended and fight them at the very end without problems from the legal side).

    But if Nintendo wins here, it's a stone's throw away from taking action against numerous fan-based game guides (include one that I wrote for Marathon). Most of these are NOT commercial ventures, so fair use is a bit stronger, but still, this situation is not a good one to think about.

    Finally, if Imagine is successful at this, I would love to see this used as a precident to attack how most major sporting leagues can effectively block unofficial reporting of games (eg "any unofficial use of this telecast is strictly prohibited"). By their conditions, you're not even allowed to talk about the big play that won the game at the water cooler, though we know that fair use steps it. But say I've got a mailing list for fans of a team, and after each game I write a summary of the game (using the publicly broadcasted information as opposed to the next day's sports page), and then distribute and archive it to that list freely, I should not have to worry about retailation, because all I'm doing is writing in my own words how I percieved the game -- just like writing a game guide is your perception of the game. A few more legal jumps would mean that silly restrictions on Internet reporting at the Olypics would be removed, and the dominos topple from there.


  • Off the net?

    Imagine is being sued over a printed strategy guide - direct competition for Nintendo's product, and using thier trademarks and copyrights (without permission) to do it.

    Imagine needs to bitchslap whichever of thier laywer drones that gave that project the green light.


    --

  • Innovative?

    It's a direct ripoff of the Final Fantasy Legend series.

    --
  • It isn't the news magazines they care about. It is the competeing product to their official strategy guide. Imagine has published a competing product in it's Unofficial guide, but they didn't do any work, they just lifted artwork and the cover whole. They then also had a copyright disclaimer saying the whole contents of the Unofficial guide was copyright Imagine media. Screenshots for news/reviews would be fair use. This obviously isn't either of those.

    Vermifax
  • They have their own licensed guide that this one is competing with. Imagine stole the cover from the official one as well as other artwork inside.

    Vermifax
  • ...but rather the creation of a strategy guide that not only almost directly copied (cover and all) the official licensed guide. Fair use doesn't (IMO) cover this.

    Vermifax
  • There are TWO SIDES to every issue.

    There are actually three -- Imagine Media's, Nintendo's, and the truth. Which one will prevail?

    Doubt it's the truth.

    But you make a good point. I wish Nintendo the best of luck in dealing with the hordes of hate mail that will no doubtedly flow toward them. Maybe we should take up a hipwader fund?

  • Remember: you have to fight copyrights at all times, lest you lose them; you can let patents and trademarks go undefended and fight them at the very end without problems from the legal side

    No, patents and copyrights don't need to be defended. Trademarks do.
  • By their conditions, you're not even allowed to talk about the big play that won the game at the water cooler, though we know that fair use steps it.
    It's a sad thing that we have to rely on fair use to legally discuss an event with friends (or cow-orkers at least).

    How many slightly bent politicans does it take to screw up copyright?

    In March of this year it becomes illegal, in Australia, to install a mod-chip in your Playstation(2). Thankfully the ACCC [accc.gov.au] is looking into region coding as anti-competitive behaviour. They've become a very high-profile (and effective) consumer watchdog since the introduction of GST...

  • The law simply states "the factors to
    be considered shall include". It is NOT a four-part test in which you must meet all criteria to be considered "Fair Use".

    I believe that it is generally accepted (by case law, not by the RIAA) that you can tape a complete CD and give it to a friend, as long as no payment is involved. This violates all but the first rule, yet courts have held it as fair use. See the Sony case, for example, that allows anyone to video tape anything on TV and replay it, as long as they are not doing so commercially.

    As far as the scope, that is debatable. The law doesn't say "100 screenshots is too much", or even "50%" or any other objective criteria. It's reasonable that their lawyer would like to let a jury decide.

    Finally, if they only have to pass a single criteria, I think the fact that they can't possibly have a negative impact on Nintendo sales should be their Fair Use Ace in the Hole.
  • Your main link is broken, but the correct link is obvious enough. A few links on that page are also broken, but I found this under Basic Books, Inc. v. Kinko's Graphics Corp., 758 F.Supp. 1522 (S.D.N.Y. 1991) [stanford.edu]:

    The search for a coherent, predictable interpretation applicable to all cases remains elusive. This is so particularly because any common law interpretation proceeds on a case-by-case basis.

    Although the Kinkos case is NOTHING like the current case, the court did provide valuable insight relevant here:

    While financial gain "will not preclude [the] use from being a fair use," New York Times Co. v. Roxbury Data Interface, Inc., 434 F. Supp. 217, 221 (D.N.J. 1977), consideration of the commercial use is an important one.

    So I stand by my claim that it remains arguable about whether or not this is fair use. Simply saying "they did it for a profit", while not helpful to the defendant, is not enough to shut down a fair use defense.

  • by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:44PM (#497845)
    Imagine Media needs to fire their lawers. Fair use is well defined in the law. This ain't it.

    How do you figure this aint it?

    ... In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -

    • ...

    • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    A screenshot is a pretty minimal amount of the whole work. Perhaps they published screenshots of every possible scenario throughout the game.

    • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
    Here's where I think Nintendo is going to have a really tough time. People would generally only be interested in a "Strategy Guide" if they actually wanted to play the game, so their use of Copyrighted screenshots would only be considered to have a positive effect on the market for the nintendo games. No one is deciding to look at screen shots in lieu of buying the game.

    It may be that Nintendo also publishes a "Strategy Guide" and they want people to buy that. A third party Guide could have a negative impact on their guide. Even then, they would have to show that the third party Guide was violating the Copyright of the Official Guide, and not the screenshots of the game. I can't write a review of a movie and then claim that other reviews violate my copyright.

  • Actually, it's trademarks that you lose if you don't police them. Copyrights and patents, on the other hand, do not have to be continuously litigated to remain valid.

    Just another item for the real /. FAQ.

  • When you read through the claim on Imagine's Daily Radar site, you learn that there's more to this case than just what Imagine's clamouring about. Nintendo does have a lot of reasonable basis for this lawsuit. Unfortunately, they overstate some of their claims, and I fear that our legal system will find a way to make an oversweeping judgement (although I noted that Nintendo wants a jury trial, let's hope there's enough sane people in Washington to make the right decision.)

    IANAL, these are just my opinions on what is ethically correct based on what I know of the law and of the situation.

    Where Nintendo's right:

    • Imagine is using the Pokemon logo on their unoffical guide. This is like RC Cola coming out with a "100% Unofficial Coke" and using the famous red can and scripted letter. The price of Imagine publishing a "100% Unoffical" guide is that they don't get to use the snappy official logo. Duh.
    • Imagine simply copied art out of Nintendo's own guide, manual, and press kits. That doesn't seem very fair, Nintendo has to pay all of these artists to create this crap, and Imagine can just scan it in and use it? Imagine is not reaping the fruit of their own labor.
    • Imagine reproduces, in full, the Pokemon trading cards. This clearly diminishes the need to "catch 'em all" and thus hurts sales. Again Imagine is using the labor of others to reap their fruit. (Note: I don't know if Imagine reproduces them in a legible fashion or not, I assume from the complaint that the cards are legible.)

    But Imagine has some strong points to:

    • Screenshots, even with the game's copyright, should be fair use. Even with the shortest game and the most screenshots in a guide, the screenshots while never be more than a small snipet of the game. This even includes composite screenshots where they map out an entire level or village with a series of screenshots.
    • A game guide competes with other game guides, not the game itself. The guide is simply offering expanded commentary on the game. Any infringement claim should be based on whether the guide infringes on another guide, not the game.
    • A company that produces materials about games, whether it be magazines, guides, websites, whatever, has to be able to talk about the games freely. Trademarking every name in the game makes it impossible to discuss the game without infringing. By going after Imagine for screenshots and game commentary, Nintendo's suit has a chilling effect on Imagine's publishing.

    Nintendo should have limited the claim to the infringing trademark usage as to the logo and the copyright infrigement to the copied art. Imagine should understand that by publishing the "100% Unofficial" guide to a game, they can't use the official logo and copy the art.

    Of course, there won't be any settlement that would be drawn on those lines, and no jury will find so fine a distinction, so we're bound to get a decision that totally wipes any sensiblity to the copyright laws and fair use provisions. Then Sonny Bono will rise from the dead to place everything from the Torah on under copyright and strengthen copyright so that you can't even read something that under copyright.

    -sk

  • The article doesn't say why Nintendo is suing, but it most likely falls under UCITA, EULAs, etc.... Imagine Media thinks it has 'fair use' to publish screenshots, but what is IP and what is 'fair use,' I guess we'll see when they go to court.
    Actually Bulldawg2000, the article does say, or rather the linked sidebar [dailyradar.com] does. In fact the entire 19 page complaint from Nintendo is posted. I'll admit that I started skimming after page 11, but I didn't see one mention of either UCITA or a EULA, not even one DCMA (or is it DMCA) mention.

    Rather, Nintendo is suing on some pretty reasonable grounds. Imagine copied art from Nintendo's own magazine, guides, and press kits to illustrate their own guide. And Imagine is using the Pokemon logo without licensing it. Just think if Imagine published the "100% Unofficial Guide to Slashdot" and plastered the Slashdot logo all over the place.

    Now granted, I think Nintendo overreaches with their claims regarding screenshots, but on the whole, I think they've got a decent case to make against Imagine.

    -sk

  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    Nintendo is saying that they copied artwork, not just screen shots. Each individual peice of art probably has it's own copyright.

    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

    Nintendo makes its own stratagy guides, and trys to sell them. If people can already get all the info they need off the 'net. then they don't need to buy nintendo's.

    I'm not saying that what nintendo is doing is morraly right, but it may be legaly right.
  • To clear up a confusion, that's intellectual property. Not IP as in Internet Protocol (address) ala IP Address.

    ---
  • Legalities aside, punishing Nintendo is as simple as backing up your favorite N64 emulation project and doing all you can to spread ROM love.

    There are already several CD-ROMs available on ebay with Windows N64 emulators and games on them. Not sure about anything mature for Linux. None of the CDs for sale are legal, of course.

    Thing is - Nintendo is hurt the least by copying - game developers are hurt the most. Developers actually pay in advance for cartridge production. N64 has made its money no matter what, unless they miss out on the developer purchasing an additional run of games, which would take a pretty substantial copying campaign.

    The only way the above method of hurting Nintendo is valid is if these are actual Nintendo-branded games that are being shared.

  • But it should be synonymous with accepting criticism, as it should be with any position at a big public company like Nintendo.
  • I thought the concept of "fair use" didn't extend to for-profit ventures.

    Not so. People who write reviews for pay have no less (and no more) fair use right to quote snippets for commentary purposes as people who write reviews free of charge.
    /.

  • Yes! A new game idea!

    You're the president of a company, and you run arround collecting different lawyers to do battle against other companies'/individuals' lawyers!

    This game could be a HUGE hit!

    (anyone wishing to further develop this idea, just add onto the thread)
  • It might just be me but suing over IP seems to have become a cliche in the IT world/court system. In the last year Suing over IP become like dumping a whole cow in a pen a rabbid starving animals. Everyone suddenly thought it was easy money and that anything could be considered IP. No it's just another cancer on the court system.

    Now with the rant out of the way, do screen shots fall under the same laws as movie screenshots? If so then I can see Nitendo having a small issue over it but in the long run wouldn't it be more free advertisment?
  • or, Brand Bullies

    Corporations use copyrights, trademarks, and patents to control those outside of their own corporate umbrella. If Nintendo is able to claim copyright protection over screenshots, imagine the kind of censorship (the most powerful kind, more insidious than direct censorship: self-censorship) control Nintendo will have over review sites and magazines. In theory, consumers rely on these sites for independent information whether it is strategy guides or product reviews. Any strategy guide not produced by Nintendo is a competitor for their own line of licensed and approved strategy guides. These independent companies need to be able to criticise and contradict the companies they cover, without fear of being sued for copyright and other infringements. Unfortunately, Nintendo has the resources of a multinationals corporation behind it, and can therefore dictate the terms of industry coverage to the press.

    We must resist corporate control.
  • I'm sorry to have to correct you on this, but's a point that has been sticking in my craw lately.


    Copyrights and patents may be slectively enforced at any time by their holders. Trademarks must always be enforced, or they lose their value.

  • If you read some of Dailyradars articles, there is a link on the bottom of all of them that says "Want to use this article? Click here for options!"

    When you click on it, it goes to some site called icopyright.com, and it lists a table of fees you can pay to use their material.

    Email Send Out

    Receipients $

    1-20 $5.00

    21-100 $25.00

    101-500 $50.00

    501-1000 $75.00

    1001-5000 $150.00

    Website reprint

    # of month(s) Fees

    1-3 $600.00

    4-6 $1000.00

    7-12 $1800.00

    etc etc. Its just weird that Dailyradar can use Nintendo's material for free, but they expect you to pay to use theirs.

    ---

    http://www.coins2cash.com [coins2cash.com] - get paid to surf, receive email, and set your homepage, linux users welcome.

  • by DzugZug (52149) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:46PM (#497859) Journal
    First, Nintendo is trying to prevent strategy guides from being written about it's video games. This is a long shot but Nintendo has nothing to lose but legal fees so they figure just go for it. Since nintendo has, in the past, licensed outside firms to produce strategy guides, it is trying to claim the precedence that such guides must be licensed(See: complaint point 14). I see no such right. There is no valid copyright claim. A review or synopsis of a work is a well defined example of fair use even if the review is comercialized -- movie reviews in newspapers being a prime example.

    The place where dailyradar runs into problems is in the fact that they used trade marked images to promote the guide. The credible claim that nintendo has is found on pages six and seven of the complaint. DR used a cover that was deceptivly similar to the one of the nintendo book. They used a similar logo to the nintendo book adding the words "100% Unoficial" in small type. They also claim trademark protection on character images. This is the same protection that doesnt allow me to start printing Bart Simpson shirts. Nintendo may very well win on this point. Daily Radar was using images of character's owned by Nintendo to market it's own product.
  • yup.. think I saw it a few times in EULA's. yes, I actually read them cos I like a good laugh. a EULA can't stop a review, bad or good. a EULA cant say: you cant sue us. you can. EULA's are filled with all kinds of standard lawyer crap, and in most cases the biggest part of the EULA is not valid. Ofcourse, maybe in the states you can do these silly things.
    Europe has left most of the feudal ways, the US is reinstating them with corporations as the new nobles. companies give money to the two political parties that have a chance of getting a president. That's not necessarily because they like the views of that party, but it's because they want to buy influence or at least a willing ear.

    //rdj
  • According to the complaint Nintendo filed (which has been linked to in other comments), it's not just the use of screenshots and the word "Pokemon" that they're objecting to. Given that the right to quote a published work (e.g. for a review) is solidly protected as fair use, I think it's not a great leap to protect the use of screenshots (visual "quotes") to review and/or comment on a videogame, as in a strategy guide. However, Nintendo is also objecting to the reproduction of Pokemon artwork and trading cards in the strategy guide.

    While I feel that the right to use screenshots would have likely been upheld over Nintendo's objections, it seems that the use of copyrighted artwork goes beyond fair use. It is clearly possible to publish an unofficial strategy guide, discussing the game in depth, without including trading card images. I could quote Harry Potter in a review of the books, but I don't think I should be allowed to cut and paste pictures of the characters. The copyrighted material used in the unofficial strategy guide goes beyond what is necessary to discuss the game, and so has no right to be protected.
  • Okay, Nintendo paid the artists that made the computer graphics and the Pokemon logo and all that stuff. They sued over a book that is being sold for a profit that makes extensive use of those logos and images. Nintendo does bless this kind of thing [amazon.com], if it is handled by the publishers properly. I figure that probably means some sort of compensation for the use of the copyrighted images.

    Daily Radar's rant (it's generous to refer to it as an article) is whiny and juvinile. Daily Radar has never been sued for any news story or feature on its website, but they are taking their ball and going home. If they had published the guide on the website, and not charged for it, I doubt there would be any trouble.
  • ...yup, as specified on the second page of the filing (at least the .gifs are all named in sequence, so you can load the image in a window and then keep editing the link to avoid the banners down the sides...).

    The submitter could've checked.
  • Product reviews easily fall under fair use. Strategy guides are more of a grey area, something this suit will address.

    • These independent companies need to be able to criticise and contradict the companies they cover, without fear of being sued for copyright and other infringements.
    I don't know what strategy guides you've been reading. Reviews are where you do the things you mentioned, not strategy guides.
  • It's also artwork from the games, and the trading cards.

    Now, think of it this way: Nintendo lisences other publishing companies to make strategy guides. These companies in turn pay a sum to be able to use Nintendo's intellectual property. This other company does not.

    Where does that leave Nintendo? This company is using their IP to cut into their profits.

    They have a legitamite case. I don't think I want them to win, but it is a legitamite case. Fair use is most often applicable to reviews and parodies, not making a product about the copyrighted material in question.

    If you want to read the actual suit, it's here [dailyradar.com] in gif format.

    Oh, and this is a straight-forward copyright/trademark case, no EULAs involved at all. Console games don't have EULAs.

  • by sheckard (91376)
    Sounds like typical bullying to me. If these screenshots/whatever were acquired via legal means (ie. not espionage or anything...) I don't see how Nintendo could object. After all, it basically amounts to free advertising for them.
  • How can you expect to post an address like that to Slashdot without causing flame to be sent? If you really believe that your post did not result in flame, you are more of an idiot than I thought. You knew perfectly well when you posted that address that you were encouraging flame.

    And my other point which you failed to address: If anyone here is qualified to be sending their comments to Nintendo, they don't need you to help them get the address. You don't know enough about this case to be telling Nintendo that they are wrong. I don't know enough about this case to be telling them that they are right (though that is my opinion, based on what I have heard).

    I have no tollerance for those who willfully encourage flame.

    ------

  • My right to wave my hand around wildly ends at your face.

    Your right to post contact info for Nintendo executives ends at Slashdot.

    ------

  • by Temporal (96070) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @03:36PM (#497869) Journal
    OK, hello? Do you know Slashdot readers? Many (not all) of them absolutely LOVE to act before they think. They jump to conclusions about any conflict, and then flame the other side.

    I strongly doubt that anyone here (myself included) has anywhere near enough knowledge about what is going on to be mailing Nintendo about it. At least, if anyone does know enough, they know that there are two sides to the issue. Let me re-state that...

    ATTENTION ALL FLAMERS, ZEALOTS, AND ANYONE WHO IS PLANNING TO MAIL NINTENDO: You DO NOT know enough about this issue to be stating your opinion on it. There are TWO SIDES to every issue. NOT ALL LAWSUITS ARE BAD. DO NOT JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS. If you flame Nintendo for this, not only are you a moron, but you have not helped the issue. You will only be hurting things.

    As for you, Alien54, you have no idea how much hardship you have caused to Mr. Kaplan, who probably has nothing to do with this lawsuit? Worse yet is all the people who answer e-mail at Nintendo, who will now have to read mindless hate mail (yes, HATE mail) directed at them when they haven't done anything wrong. Are you proud of this achievement? Do you like it when people suffer? Do you know jack shit about this case, who is involved, what laws were broken, etc.? If the answer were really so obvious, the judge would throw out the case!

    And moderators -- next time someone posts contact info for the sole purpose of getting someone flamed, mod them down as "stupid". Oh, wait, there is no "stupid"... Well, take your pick then, but do NOT mod this shit up.

    If there is anything I truely hate in this world, it's zealots and flamers. People who believe that there is one right answer in an issue like this, and violently support that side. The ironic thing is that the ones on Slashdot think that they are smart just because they are computer geeks.

    ------

  • I like this one (from the link):

    1991

    New York State Vs. Nintendo
    Case:Then-New York State Attorney General (I can't remember his name) sues Nintendo, claiming they have an illegal monopoly on the video game market.
    Outcome: Nintendo agrees to give each Nintendo consumer a $5.00 certificate good on any licensed NES game; if you sunscribed to Nintendo Power, or sent in a product registration card for your NES or game to Nintendo, you probably got one.

    "We aren't a monopoly! See, we're offering people discounts on our monopolized games!" Think Bill Gates will try this tactic? :)

    -Legion

  • As much as I hate Nintendo's packs of flesh-eating lawyers (and in fact, I just yesterday put "fuck Nintendo and fuck Pokemon" in my meta tags as a taunt to them for threatening other sites), they are absolutely in the right on this one. "Fair use" does not cover wholesale copying, which it appears IM did. Now, if the courts decide that it was fair use, then fine; big N can eat my ass. But until then, everything points to infringement on IM's part.

    Some people argue that Nintendo is just trying to supress smaller companies in order to make more money off of Pokemon products; that might be the case, but it's really a separate issue.

    This will probably get modded way down as redundant, but it has to be said again.

    -Legion

  • This just in: Unisys corp has just filed suit against Imagine Media for not paying the patent licensing fee for the usage of gifs to display the nintendo lawsuit documents. In related news the wankers, we mean workers, at ZiffDavis have heaved a sigh of relief now that their only real competition is being sued and their mediocre products such as PC World might actually sell if Imagine Media's magazines including MaximumPC are taken off the shelf.
  • Its kind of sad how little credit asian developers get, ever. How many people know about the companies that make Konami's games, or Capcoms?

    you mean... konami... and capcom? 3rd parties don't usually publish games that were developed by someone else. companies like infogrames, activision, microsoft, etc are publishers. they publish games that other folks make.

  • by RoninM (105723) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:36PM (#497874) Journal
    You suspect they're suing under UCITA?! EULAs?! What have you been smoking, man? It's a fairly standard copyright case. Nintendo owns the copyright to X and Daily Radar is copying X without permission from Nintendo. And, really, if corporations can get away with making profit from the innovation and work of others, where's the incentive to actually innovate? It seems like this is a fairly standard copyright case that falls directly inline with the meaning and intent of copyright. Which isn't to deny the existence of illegitimate copyright/patent cases that don't uphold the original intent of the law -- those exist. But I don't think this is one of them.
  • The main infringement here is the artwork. I'm guessing that the guide is dripping with art images that Imagine has taken directly from the games instruction book or trading cards. It's not the screenshots.

    The brief says that there are other strategy guides that Nintendo has licensed, therefore giving their publishers rights to use the copyrighted images. Imagine doesn't have this.

    If I understand this right, if Imagine's strategy guide contained a bunch of screenshots and words, but not one cartoon-drawing of Ash or Pikachu or any other Pokemon, then Imagine would be within their rights. Or at least closer to being within their rights. Of course, all the page background images and filler images would have to abstract and pretty much un-Pokemon-related. Like /that/ would sell, compared to the pretty-artwork-having licensed one sitting next to it on the shelf.

    If someone sold a unofficial guide to a Disney game, you would expect them to pay Disney for the use of images of Mickey Mouse that appear on the cover, right?

    I'm pretty much on Nintendo's side with this one. Daily Radar puts a pretty good spin on it, though.

    -Grant aka JimTheta
    ---
  • Nintendo probably does have a legal basis for not allowing magazines to show screenshots, but that's not really the point. The question is, why would they want to do that? What the various websites and magazines should do is boycott all Nintendo coverage until the Big N realizes that it's a symbiotic relationship. You shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you, afterall.
  • Everyone who plays video games whether on the Nintendo or some other platform should write to nintendo@noa.nintendo.com [mailto] and tell them how unethical this lawsuit is and how we refuse to buy Nintendo products unless they drop the suit and apologize. And if you don't think we can change their minds, just look at how the boycott RMS organized is hurting amazon.com.
    I already sent my email off.
  • As usual, silly companies are biting the hand that (helps) feed them (for free). Who makes these decisions? sheesh

    And in other news, the may be the straw the makes me decide to stop purchasing Nintendo systems after 15+ years.
  • by ejbst25 (130707) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:14PM (#497880) Homepage
    I thought movie screenshots were illegal without permission...same with like a hockey or football game capture. If so, I'd say this may not be new for Nintendo either.
  • Doesn't Ebert pay a royalty to the studio when he uses a clip? The question is not rhetorical... I really don't know.
    -Brian
  • This whole case really has nothing to do with killing Pokemon, or setting a bad precedent. What Imagine Media did was quite illegal. They stole artwork from the Pokemon Manual for use in their own guide.

    You don't need the rights to make a guide, or to take screenshots. That falls within fair use. But that has nothing to do with the complaints filed by Nintendo. And Nintendo is well within the law with its complaints.

    Lastly, this will not kill Pokemon. It will just kill a Pokemon guide that costs $2.00 less than the Officially Licensed Pokemon guide.

    Hope that clears things up a bit.

    - W

  • Bah ha ha ha ha ha!

    mmft.

    Ho ho ho ho... ha ha ha ha ha ha

    ...read...no pictures...

    Booha ha ha ha

    That's fucking hillarious....

    Man, if I had my Mod Points....
  • ---Whoever posted this should have spent 20 minutes researching it. As several other have pointed out already Nintendo is legally in the right.

    ---Don't take pictures (screen-shots) of/from my stuff and sell it as your stuff.

    ---Don't make your stuff look like my stuff and try to legitimize it with a lame 100% Unauthorized disclaimer.

    ---Nintendo is a hard ass on this stuff; always has been. However, the quality of their products has always been good (which is not to say they make the best games (although Super Mario 3 & 4 did rock)) probably due to this diligence.

    ---anylou, that's how I feel.
  • --Thank you, John Lennon. :-)
    Anyway...

    After reading the legal papers, I would have to say the real problem Imagine is facing is not copyright infringment, but rather trademark infringement.

    Nintendo does not have much of a case for copyright infringment (though I haven't seen the guide). In the past it has been very hard for game companies to sue guide publishers for using screenshots. This generally falls under fair use, much like Ebert showing clips of the movie he's reviewing. The pictures are generally considered supplemental to the content. Of course, if there isn't enough Imagine-generated content per copyrighted image, Imagine may be in more trouble than I thought.

    Trademark infringement, however, looks like a win for Nintendo at first glance. You can't just use someone else's logo without permission to sell your merchandise... which is certainly the case if the logo is plastered on the cover of your book! Imagine already got into trouble with trademark infringment before when their Nintendo64 site first came online. There was no court case, but you can be damned sure they pulled the offending logos after Nintendo sent them a letter.

    Bottom line is, I'd be pissed off if I made a strategy guide for my game, and someone made their own strategy guide, and gave it the same look and feel as mine! Trademark diluting is nasty stuff for companies, (ala bandaids, xeroxing, and kleenex) and I don't think courts look highly on businesses that appropriate someone else's trademark.

    ---------------
    It is easy to control all that you see,

  • Remember, there's nothing in the Constition about 'freedom of advertisement;' just because they're helping Nintendo, it doesn't mean Nintendo has to put up with it. Legalities usually ignore the right and wrong of a situation.

    From what I understand of fair use, they may be on shaky ground ... it's definately not a review, or something very similar. But I am not a kumquat ... no, that's lawyer ... of course, so I'll just shut up about that.

  • Historically, refusing to publish review/comment on things can be a pretty punishing retaliation tactic. Just look all the way back to the mega-media-mogul days of William Randolph Hearst and his complete refusal to allow any of the media under his control (An amount so obscene at the time that even AOL/TW pales in comparison)to publish any comment at all in regards to Citizen Kane. Watch 'RKO 281' sometime for further info.
  • Redmond? 'nuff said.
  • Please, don't you think your being a little over-dramatic? This isn't the first time Nintendo's pissed anyone off; I'm sure they've recieved flame mails before. Yes, undoubtedly many Slashdot proles, armed with the information posted, took it upon themselves to send scathing, profanity laced, uninformed emails. So what? No one at Nintendo's going to get fired over it; no one reading the mails is going to need counseling because their so traumatic.

    If the answer were really so obvious, the judge would throw out the case!

    Uh, been paying attention to the American legal system over the past 20 years? Our courts/judges/lawyers are fscked up. This is the country where you can sue McDonalds for not knowing their coffee is served hot, and can use Twinkie addiction as a legal defense for murder.
  • Who wants to impress his boss, apparently.

    According to the Daily Radar article, Nintendo is objecting to Imagine's use of screenshots in their strategy guide, and it's trademarks (i.e., the word Pokemon). I would suspect that Nintendo's problem is that Imagine is using their copyrighted work (screenshots and Pokemon) to sell an unofficial strategy guide. While this lawsuit apparently only applies to the strategy guide in question, one might think that it could, if successful, be applied to web sites as well. After all, if I post, say, a review of a game on my web site using screenshots, etc, and I have banner ads above said review, I'm earning money using their stuff.

    I'm no big fan of Daily Radar's site, but I think they did the right think in refusing to run any more Nintendo related reviews, previews, etc. Frankly, I would have gone a step farther, and called for an industry wide boycott of Nintendo related articles (though not likely to happen). This crap's got to stop somewhere.
  • by ctaylor (160829) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:27PM (#497891) Homepage
    Just to be clear, the suit isn't over screenshots posted to the website, or screenshots used for reviews and previews. Those fall under Fair Use. This is strictly about the 100% Unofficial Strategy Guides. They do not fall under Fair Use. pax, -Chris
  • Before you rush out and beseige Nintendo with half-cocked assertions about fair use and copyrights and such, I suggest you read that complain text. From the way they describe the exhibits, it sounds like (as has been pointed out) Imagine Media was kind of heinous in their actions here. They were selling Unofficial Guides with ripped-off artwork. This isn't the case of a news site or even an amateur "cheats, codes and hacks" site giving advice to someone stuck on level 3 or whatever. This sounds like they were selling Pokemon-like products.

    I agree there is too much litigation as companies try to sew up the 'net for their own money-grubbing purposes. But there are reasonable lawsuits even though the vast majority of them (if you read /.) seem to be frivoulous and of little more than corporate harrassment value.

  • From what I understand Nintendo's reasoning for suing Imagine is somewhat founded. The strategy guide in question contains scans seemingly lifted DIRECTLY from Nintendo's own Pokemon strategy guide. Art used in Imagine's strategy guide also consists of images lifted directly from Pokemon trading cards. The DailyRadar site states "we are just doing what every other publication does, why is Nintendo suing us?" Nintendo is suing because other publications don't lift directly from Nintendo--they perform their own screen grabs... I guess the courts will decide if lifting photos directly from someone else's publication is fair use or not.
  • 100 screenshots really isn't that much. There are probably millions of possible screenshots for each game. 100 is a tiny fraction of the total number of possible screenshots.

    J
  • Your comment made absolutely no sense.

    -
    -Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

  • From working for GameSpot briefly (along with the defunct Critics' Choice on AOL in 1995 -- a year before I jumped AOL's ship), I can tell you that Nintendo will ultimately win. First, they have brand recognition and kids buying up their Pokemon products no matter what.

    More importantly, though, they can turn this against Daily Radar when they are allowed to publish things about Nintendo again (which they inevitably will) and deny them advertising. Then they will tell their licenses to deny them advertising. Some will follow suit, others will ignore Nintendo, but ultimately Daily Radar will lose some money in this fiasco.

    It happened with us at GameSpot in 1997 with a company we gave a bad review to. More publicized was the Capcom/EGM debacle when EGM shot down one of their Street Fighter 2 clones.

    -
    -Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

  • as noted in other posts [slashdot.org], the post says:

    "If you wish to let Nintendo know what your thoughts are about all this"

    Not "Flame them"

    Note that certain posts require the ability to read and understand concepts without the use of visual aids. An easy knee jerk reaction would imagine a flame, as commonly see in many forums.

    A "Request For Comments" to be sent to these guys is not a Request for FLAME.

    On the other hand, yours was an excellent troll. Don't worry, I don't bother taking such things personally.

  • And my other point which you failed to address: If anyone here is qualified to be sending their comments to Nintendo, they don't need you to help them get the address. You don't know enough about this case to be telling Nintendo that they are wrong. I don't know enough about this case to be telling them that they are right (though that is my opinion, based on what I have heard).

    This walks in the interesting direction of saying that the consumers of a companies' product are inherently unqualified to communicate to the company about a product or a situation involving that product.

    Now I'll grant you that *that* is likely *not* what you intended to say. But you can see how it can be taken that way, no?

    And this does raise an interesting point of when do the consumers of a product have any right to communicate with the company that puts them out.

    I'll grant you that it is less useful when it bears a marked resemblance to the jabbering of rabid monkeys.

    But I *do* think that the consumer has an inherent right to communicate with the company that produces the product that they buy. Now it is up to each of us to cultivate the intelligence of the consumer.

    The data, by itself, is not evil. The correct target is the cultivation of intelligence.

  • by Alien54 (180860) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:28PM (#497899) Journal
    Is me, or does it seem like there are an awful lot more of these law suits going on these days?

    It sounds like the legal eagles are trying to make sure that they stay employed by constantly drumming up new angles and new things to worry about. This means that the comapanies have to pay the lawyers (naturally) to protect them from this new threat, real or imagineD.

    It actually seems like another form of blackmail, or extorion, playing off the fear. I have heard of several situations where once a suit was filed, it HAD to continue because if it was settled, then the lawyers would not get their fees, and so they would sue the corporations!

    In any case I applauded the action of Daily Radar, as seen in this snippet

    It seems to us that Nintendo has filed this lawsuit in an effort to bully us into ceasing coverage of its properties in ways that it does not like (unofficial strategy guides, for instance). We refuse to be bullied -- both for our sake, and for the sake of our readers. A company that desires press coverage of its products, but only when it is pleased by that coverage, should not be allowed to litigate its way to happiness. To let Nintendo bully us by continuing to write about Nintendo games on Nintendo's terms would mean that you, the reader, would receive compromised coverage (i.e. "Here's the news about Nintendo that won't get us sued"), and that we, the game critics, end up pulling our punches, watching our backs and fearing lawsuits from a company that, essentially, we were spending our days praising and advocating.
    I recall other articles recently where certain non-disclosures were offered by various companies which essentially forbade writing about the product in a negative fashion. The upshot being, honest reviews where not the ones you saw in advance on the product release, but some months after. I even understand that EULAs are getting into the act as well.

    maybe someone can provide some links.

  • I don't know about suing, but dumping on any and all forms of IP has become a cliche on the Slashdot system.
  • by AaronStJ (182845) <AaronStJ@nosPam.gmail.com> on Thursday January 18, 2001 @03:09PM (#497901) Homepage
    Despite many the fact that many Slashdot readers are jumping up (as always) to exclaim "Copyrights are bad! Big Coprorations are bad! Nintendo is bad!" Nintendo is well within the right, not only legally, but ethically. If you would care to read the orgininal suit (http://www.dailyradar.com/features/game_feature_p age_2135_1.html) you would see that, too.

    One fact that can not be ignored is that Nintendo is alleging that Imagine printed complete reprodcutions of several of Nintendo's (legally copyrighted) playing cards. Under "fair use" (which many Slashdot readers are quick to cite, as if it nullified all copyright law), Imagine is withing their right to, say, quote the text of the card. However, by reproducing the copyrighted artwork on the card in whole, they are clearly in violation of copyright law, both in letter and spirit. It's failry obvious that Imagine is making money off of artwork created by Nintendo. The same goes for other artwork that Nintendo alleges Imagine ripped out of their own manuals ans strategy guides.

    Despite the fact that Nintendo is a big company, and they are making money, they had to work for it. Pokemon did not create itself, the people at Nintendo worked hard and made it a success through hard work, excellent marketing, prodcuts people like, and hard work. and no matter how "bad" people pokemon may be it is, supply and demand still rules, and there is definately a demand for pokemon products. As the copyright holders, it is Nintendos right to be the one making money off of Pokemon. For imagine to steal artwork is unethical and illegal. Nintendo is simply protecting their copyrights the way a good company should.

    Those quick to judge Nintendo becasue in the Slashdot copyright protection is a capital crime should step back and look at what is really going on.

    (Keep in mind I have not seen the Imagine publications allegedly in violation. My argument are made assuming that Nintendo's allegations are true, and that Imagine did in fact publish Trading Card scans and other artwork from Nintendo's manuals. If Nintendo is making this up, please, carry on with the Nintendo bashing.)
  • by quintessent (197518) <my usr name on toofgiB [tod] moc> on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:23PM (#497902) Journal
    If Nintendo wins, then there will be one less Pokemon site on the web. Then we all win!
  • I sent this letter to Daily Radar when I heard this happened: I am glad Nintendo sued you guys. Maybe now you will understand that anything "Unofficial" does not mean you wont get sued. I think Nintendo is right to crack down on "Unofficial" guides like yours... Why, they ruin games and force people to spend more money. "Unofficial" strategy guides are destroying games and making game companies lazy. Your company, a group of gaming experts, goes in and dissects the game leaving nothing left for the gamer. Of course you guys can say: "They are going to get this info off the net anyway", but that is completely BS and you know it. If people want to find out more about a game then they should be on the net doing research about it instead of having their parents buy them a Guide Book they told mom and dad they had to have which spoonfeeds them all the idiosyncracies of a particular game... making them instant experts. Pretty soon every kid has to have the guide so they can more quickly exploit other kids on the block... and its RUINING video games. When I was a child we had to master games by playing them, not reading "Unofficial" guides. As a matter of fact there were no "Unofficial" guides because everybody wasnt trying to squeeze money out of everyone else's pockets and ruining the mystery of video games. Perhaps if you guys didnt publish your strategy guides the quality of games would get better because the game companies would try harder to make games perfect and thoughtful from the start, instead of relying on the Strategy guide they hope to publish becaue they know all of you parasites in the Gaming media will disect the game anyway.
  • They never blessed it, in my memory. I remember older books that got pulled from publication because Nintendo raised a stink.

    Basically, if they're controlling it, it's OK - otherwise it's a little dodgy. Remember Nintendo .v. Galoob?
  • I watched a TV show where they interviewed Nintendo's head of IP/anti-counterfitting division... she was pretty cute.
  • by X-Dopple (213116) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:32PM (#497906)
    Consider the fact that the guide in question featured several pieces of artwork ripped DIRECTLY from Nintendo's guide.

    I don't think 'fair use' covers charging for someone else's artwork without their permission either. Imagine Media was charging $12 for stolen artwork. Doesn't that make you feel all warm inside?
  • Specifically addressed by copyright law and not a fair use issue.

    See this [dailyradar.com]? There's Pokemon Trading Card artwork, as well as other artwork, that Nintendo believes is infringed upon without due compensation or licensing from Nintendo.

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • by 2nd Post! (213333)
    It would be like... someone printing and selling NFL logoed shirts, without licensing said logos from the NFL.

    Specifically addressed by copyright law and not a fair use issue.

    See this [dailyradar.com]? There's Pokemon Trading Card artwork, as well as other artwork, that Nintendo believes is infringed upon without due compensation or licensing from Nintendo.

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • Yes, Nintendo is bullying, that's the norm here.

    But Nintendo has a legal onus to protect it's IP and copyrights.

    See this [dailyradar.com]? There's Pokemon Trading Card artwork, as well as other artwork, that Nintendo believes is infringed upon without due compensation or licensing from Nintendo.

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • Specifically addressed by copyright law and not a fair use issue.

    See <a href="http://media.dailyradar.com/images/misc/nvi/ nvi_page_02.gif">this</a>? There's Pokemon Trading Card artwork, as well as other artwork, that Nintendo believes is infringed upon without due compensation or licensing from Nintendo.

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@pacbe[ ]net ['ll.' in gap]> on Thursday January 18, 2001 @02:22PM (#497911) Homepage
    Its more than just about the Strategy Guides. There is info at this link [dailyradar.com]

    Besides the screenshots(which I think are bogus allegations and fair use) there's also the artwork from the Pokemon trading cards as well as other promotional/product artwork.

    That's clearly a violation, if they haven't licensed such artwork from Nintendo.

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • They do not fall under Fair Use. Exactly. They don't fall under fair use because they're an original work. The fact that it's about a work that someone else did is irrelevant.
  • This BS is about a dispute between two companies. It has nothing to do with using screenshots for games without permission; besides most of the games are from press material anyway. And if they were is sue over that issue, they would have sued over a decade ago when the first NES came out. This is about Imagine Meidia not paying for using Nintendo's cashcow (Pokemon) without paying them like every other Pokemon hint book publisher out there. It's about Imagine media making those Pokemon hint books and Nintendo sueing because they used copyrighted material. If you bother to read the scans of the complaint on Dailyradar's page it clearly states that Dailyradar used photocopies of the Pokemon instruction manual, Pokemon trading card game, and Space world pamplets and used them in their hint book instead of using the press material that Nintendo gives out. When asked to cease using the copyrighted material, Imagine Meida refused. From a legal standpoint Imagine Media is clearly in the wrong. But who cares, except Nintendo and Imagine media. What is most disturbing about this however, is that Imagine Media is using the media(their own Dailyradar) in settling a legal dispute that should be taken care of in court. They are manipulating public sympathy so that they can make money from those Pokemon books. They want every mindless Dailyradar reader out there is lash out against Nintendo. Whe else would they keep their Nintendo letters section up but close the rest of the site down. It is a very sad thing to see Journalistic integrity to be pissed on like this. The onlu winner from this low act is Imagine Media, the losers are Nintendo and Dialy Radar readers
  • If you want to check out a good review of the issue, read today's http://www.somethingawful.com [somethingawful.com]
  • Excellent point. It always was a little edgy.... but the Nintendo vs. Galoob was well after the NES was successful.

    You're completely right. It's censorship through litigation.

    Again, just plain sad.

  • Remember back in the day (Late 80's-early 90's) when Nintendo would bless such things? The had their screenshots all over all forms of media at the time, and they were loving it.

    So now the fan who doesn't want to pay $20 to buy a (probably watered down) "Official" strategy guide from Nintendo can't go and read shit off the net when they're in a jam? Thank god for GameFAQs [gamefaqs.com].

    It's shit like this that makes me ashamed that I owned Zelda bedsheets when I was 10 ;)

  • Most of you probably know that Daily Radar is made up of a lot of people from PC Gamer magazine. In an ad run by babbages (and its associated companies) in the January issue of PC Gamer, a graphic was used from Age of Empires. I run an Age of Empires fan site, and it is pretty common for the game's promotional images put out by Ensemble Studios [ensemblestudios.com] and Microsoft to be available for use in promoting the game.

    Anyway, the picture used in the ad was of a rider on a horse, waving a sword in the air. The problem was that the picture was obviously lifted directly from my web site, because I noticed a few obvious changes I had made to the graphic in order to fit the site. Age of Empires Heaven has a "heaven" theme to it, so I stuck wings on the rider's back, and some artist idiot at babbages/gamestop.com/software etc. lifted this graphic and stuck it into the ad, despite the fact that there are no winged riders in the game.

    Here's what I'm talking about [heavengames.com]. It will show both pictures. I'm not exactly sure what the legal issues are with that, because I didn't create the rider, I just made the wings. Obviously, they shouldn't have used it, though.

    I got a good laugh out of it, and an apology from babbages, btw.
  • Nintendo sent a friend of mine a *friendly* letter in the email kindly asking her to relinquish rights to her domain, coughing.com. Turns out it was some damn pokemon character. She blew them off (moreso, told them to blow her), and next thing she knows they're sending her papers telling her she's being sued. What kind of shit is that? I dunno what's been going on with it lately, but get real... I doubt their strong arm tactics would hold up in court, but it's the idea they would go so far over something as vague as the domain name. My personal thoughts would be to post some pokemon pr0n up on the site just to piss em off... heh.
  • Okay... why not? I think IM could make a valid claim that they are "commenting" on the game <Obi Wan>from a certain point of view</Obi Wan>. Let's look at the numbered points, shall we?

    1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; Would the commercial nature of the IM website invalidate fair use? Hell, Siskel and Ebert's show used clips from movies, no? They sold commercial airtime, no?
    2. the nature of the copyrighted work; How is this applied?
    3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; I haven't looked at the entire site, but unless they have thousands of screenshots, I'm willing to bet it's a miniscule percentage of all the screens in the game.
    4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. It seems to me that the IM site is increasing the potential market for the game. Even if they're saying "Don't buy this game! Looky here at these screenshots... they suck!" so what? Criticism is protected under fair use, no?

    So clue me in... why isn't this fair use?


    ---------
  • Keep in mind all he posted were contact details for the appropriate person. He didn't say "FLAME THEM!!", but "If you wish to let Nintendo know what your thoughts are about all this".
    But either way, this person might have to read some hate mail... what do you want me to do? Weep for the "Vice President of Corporate Affairs" at a big company called Nintendo who gets paid way too much for doing not enough?
    I think they can handle abit of hate mail, don't you?
  • by HongPong (226840) <hongpongNO@SPAMhongpong.com> on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:13PM (#497921) Homepage
    Haven't game magazines, even those not owned by Nintendo, Sega, etc., always published screen shots and such? What business interest, exactly, is Nintendo trying to protect here?
  • Actually, its not Nintendo's guide thats being ripped off of. Its the Instruction manual. Maybe its close enough, maybe its not, since nintendo liscences out the official GUIDE, in addition to making a manual...
  • What business interest, exactly, is Nintendo trying to protect here?

    Easy, the magazine and strategy guide market. Nintendo publishes their own propaga--err, magazine, and they also liscence out the right to make Official Strategy Guides. Any competition means less money, but I think the more important issue is that Nintendo doesn't make Pokemon, GameFreak does, a japanese Nintendo Liscencee.

    Its kind of sad how little credit asian developers get, ever. How many people know about the companies that make Konami's games, or Capcoms?

    Exactly.

  • They also have in house developers. Look at Electronic Arts. IIRC, Konami doesn't have any inhouse developers, but rather they own KCEO, stands for something that starts with "Konami." But how many people know that GameFreak really made Pokemon, and not Nintendo? And how many people know that Intelligent Systems made the famous japanese RPG Firebrand, rather than Nintendo's inhouse EAD?
  • by xenocide2 (231786) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:31PM (#497925) Homepage
    The summary is a little misleading in that its not Daily Radar being sued. Daily Radar's parent company is being sued for a different enterprise completely unrelated to Daily Radar. Radar just broke the news first, and explains how they are affected, to the extent they can explain things.

    On a side note, I found the complaint [dailyradar.com] Nintendo filed publicly with the court, scanned and archived by daily radar themselves. Apparently the bulk of the charges rest on Imagine using artwork from manuals, and deliberate copying of the Pokemon Gold's manual cover style.

    Personally, its a toss up for me. Its a bad prescedent, but maybe its worth it to kill a trendy, no-gameplay scourage like Pokemon...

  • It's funny you mention donkey kong, since Nintendo of America was sued a while back for using the word "Kong" in the name of one of their games/characters by Universal Studios, the makers of "King Kong." Here's the case: 578 F. Supp. 911; 1983 U.S. Dist. ...Universal ended up losing...
  • The place where dailyradar runs into problems is in the fact that they used trade marked images to promote the guide. The credible claim that nintendo has is found on pages six and seven of the complaint. DR used a cover that was deceptivly similar to the one of the nintendo book. They used a similar logo to the nintendo book adding the words "100% Unoficial" in small type. They also claim trademark protection on character images. This is the same protection that doesnt allow me to start printing Bart Simpson shirts. Nintendo may very well win on this point. Daily Radar was using images of character's owned by Nintendo to market it's own product.

    The usage of a cover with trademarked images and characters is likely illegal - this was a big no no - especially making it look like the official guides. But, and this is what we need to watch, people do have a right to show a screen shot, especially for a strategy manual, provided it looks like a screenshot.

    Note, I'm kind of biased, since my son owns 10 shares of Nintendo ADRs and I own 90 shares (eventually he'll own them all, if he keeps practicing his Japanese). But we also bought the unofficial guide, so we agree that this is reasonable.

    As an aside, I had a fun time this Christmas in Mexico, where almost every store pops the seal of Nintendo toys (not even a good job resealing them), takes out the Pokemon cards, and replaces them with fake holograph Pokemon cards which they resell for more money. Pretty amateur job, actually.

  • Nintendo's lawyers don't copyright their lawsuit filings?

    ...or thier used Kleenex(R)...

    ...or their used...well, you get the drift.


    "A microprocessor... is a terrible thing to waste." --

  • so not only do they get extra publicity from the shots, they also want to get money from the company from advertising it too? It seems they win both ways to me....
  • I'm pretending to work so I didn't have time to read all 19 pages. But assuming the above are facts, sounds like Nintendo's right on. More power to them. Pokemon can't last much longer anyway; what's next? Chartreuse version?
  • by FatHogByTheAss (257292) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:16PM (#497933)
    Imagine Media thinks it has 'fair use' to publish screenshots, but what is IP and what is 'fair use,' I guess we'll see when they go to court."

    Imagine Media needs to fire their lawers. Fair use is well defined [cornell.edu] in the law. This ain't it.

    --

  • by The NT Christ (305898) on Thursday January 18, 2001 @01:41PM (#497942) Homepage
    I'm waiting for a build so I had time to read all 19 pages.

    Imagine Media published an unofficial strategy guide, including over 100 screenshots which, when pieced together, represent a large proportion of the Pokemon world. They included 250 images of Pokemon characters. They copied the cover style of the official strategy guides completely, adding merely the words "100% UNOFFICIAL". And then they added a copyright notice claiming all of that was their own creation.

    I think Nintendo have a pretty good case against them. Fair use this ain't.

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