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The Courts Entertainment Games

A Broke Fan Owes $5,400 For Pokemon-Themed Party Posters 212

Jason Koebler writes: A fan has been ordered by a Washington judge to pay the Pokémon Company International $5,400 for copyright infringement after attempting to throw a Pokemon-themed party earlier this summer. Even though he canceled the free event, the Pokemon Company successfully sued Ramar Larkin Jones, for using an image of Pikachu to promote the Unofficial PAX Pokemon Kickoff Party.
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A Broke Fan Owes $5,400 For Pokemon-Themed Party Posters

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  • If that's how Pokemon Int'l treats its fans, I shudder to think of how they treat their enemies and competitors. What a fucking shitty thing to do. These people love Pokemon enough to have a big fun party kicking of PAX, and all Nintendo cares about is extracting it's fucking pound of flesh and in the process looking like a big, wobbly, flaccid dildo. In other words: Go fuck yourselves Nintendo, if you can't treat your fans well, then you deserve no fans. You bunch of litigious morons.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Ketchum's response should not be to wimp out by trying to GoFundMe the ransom. Blare the whole thing on social media, concentrating on Pokémon fan sites, with the aim of turning fans off as much as possible. So long as he doesn't make anything up, there is no possibility of additional suits for such activity (this isn't Britain!). Make them wish they had never tried to pull such a tactic.

        • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @02:10AM (#50649841) Journal

          Hate to be a dick, but you DID charge admission using another company's IP.

          Whoever posted that is a dick. According to the Gofundme page, he only charged $2, which was intended to cover the cost of prizes for the cosplay contest. No huge profit involved.

          To the parent poster: you also are a dick, for posting this drivel, which misrepresents the situation.

          • Doesn't matter money is exchanged for a promotional event using other people's IP

            Doesn't matter how you feel, that's pretty cut n dry in the eyes of the law and if you don't actively protect your IP when something real happens you loose basis of compliant

            • They could have phoned him, explained he needed to ask permission and told him he'd get it if he just applied nicely (and maybe drop the ticket fee). That would have served the same purpose of defending their IP.

              But nooo... they had to litigate. They're dicks. And so is anyone who defends this as something that's right and proper.

            • by lgw ( 121541 )

              Doesn't matter how you feel, that's pretty cut n dry in the eyes of the law

              Fucking stupid laws that hurt society should be changed. Punishing stupid fan-hating companies that take advantage of such nonsense is a good start. Just because somethings technically legal, doesn't mean you're not a total dick for doing it.

              • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

                do you know how much of a butthurt fanboi you sound like right now

                this company has one simple goal, extract cash from as many peoples hands as possible while giving them absolutely worthless paper cards and trinket toys in exchance

        • by Gryle ( 933382 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @03:28AM (#50650005)
          The fan launched the GoFundMe page because the litigants are insisting on a lump-sum payment. From ArsTechnica [arstechnica.com] "Jones even offered to pay the full $4,000 over the course of a year, but Pokémon's lawyers from the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine wouldn't budge on the deadline."
        • by Anonymous Coward

          There's no such thing as intellectual property. There's nothing to defend.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          Hate to be a dick, but you DID charge admission using another company's IP.

          But did he charge admission for the right to experience another company's IP? People didn't pay $2 apiece to see the posters. They paid $2 apiece to go to the party. So he didn't charge money for their IP in any meaningful sense. There's very little difference between this and suing some kid for printing out a picture of their IP and hanging it on his/her bedroom door.... It is, pedantically, a copyright violation, but it isn't

      • So long as he doesn't make anything up, there is no possibility of additional suits for such activity (this isn't Britain!).

        I don't have the benefit of your immense legal education, so please explain why that makes a difference.

        Some citations would be nice.

        • So long as he doesn't make anything up, there is no possibility of additional suits for such activity (this isn't Britain!).

          I don't have the benefit of your immense legal education, so please explain why that makes a difference.

          Some citations would be nice.

          Come on! This is /.! Where any half-wit suddenly becomes an expert in law, philosophy, finance, science, history, and any other subject under the sun. It's kind of like an on-line Rush Limbaugh program.

        • by lpevey ( 115393 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:33AM (#50650453)

          Truth of a statement is a valid legal defense against libel accusations in the U.S. And many other Western countries, but not in the UK. That is what the poster was referencing.

        • In Brittain, "telling the truth" is not an absolute defense in a defamation lawsuit. In the USA, it is.

        • Under US law, you can't be sued for libel if you stick to the truth. This is why deep-pocket libel plaintiffs in cases of international exposure will take the trouble to file in London, where it is effectively illegal to rake muck about a famous person if he/she decides to make a case of it.

    • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @01:34AM (#50649751)

      Nintendo has a long history of treating its fans with contempt. Take for example how it issues DMCA notices to anybody who posts a video showing themselves playing their games. Honestly I stopped giving a shit about Nintendo after the SNES because as of the N64 and onward they basically gave the middle finger to both the developers and fans of third party titles of their systems. If they ever go belly up, I'd just say good riddance.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by DerekLyons ( 302214 )

      If that's how Pokemon Int'l treats its fans

      Ramar Larkin Jones isn't a "fan" - he's a event organizer [facebook.com] who was running a Pokemon themed event for which he was selling tickets [scribd.com]. The selling tickets parts got left out of the linked article somehow - I wonder why. (Actually, I don't need to wonder - the article is slanted all to hell and back.)

    • Please $5400 of that $400 is the filing fee. This guy is incredibly lucky. $5400 in a copyright case is basically $0 for the actual IP holder, since the majority of that left over $5000 will be going to the lawyers. If anything, this is what a slap on the wrist looks like. Copyright cases can quickly escalate into six digits given enough lawyer. Anyone who believes that a paltry $5k is worthy of some massive corp rage is totally missing the whole point that tons of other folks who have cried for fair copyri
  • by Jailbrekr ( 73837 ) <jailbrekr@digitaladdiction.net> on Saturday October 03, 2015 @01:09AM (#50649677) Homepage

    Gotta catch them all!

  • Business (Score:5, Informative)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @01:10AM (#50649679) Homepage

    The big piece of information that always gets neglected in these articles is that they didn't sue because he was throwing a party, but because he runs a business which hosts party events and then used Pokémon to promote such an event. Here is the company's trashy Facebook page. "Fans" and "Businesses" are NOT the same thing. https://www.facebook.com/Rucku... [facebook.com]

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      /. left the broken scribd link In from firehose for some reason.
      Pokemon is owned by Nintendo which explains a lot.
      The guy has setup a go fund me page to try to pay off Nin- I mean Pokemon. The comments so far aren't very nice;

      Here's one for example:
      "David Rustles 2 hours ago Not only were you illegally hosting an event, but you were charging for tickets and serving alcohol. TPC is completely in the right and you deserve everything that happened."

      And here's a link to the gofundme in question https://www.g [gofundme.com]

    • On the other hand Pokemon Company didn't and couldn't lose any money or suffer any other kind of harm due to that event so this lawsuit is abuse of law. For sure this party couldn't erode brand image or lead to consumer confusion, which the company admitted by not filing a trademark suit and abusing copyright instead.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @01:46AM (#50649777) Journal

    Brokemon

  • The organizer seems to be focussing on ticket sales as his source of revenue, but there is also mention of serving themed shots and drinks. Alcohol is expensive and surely he was not giving that away for free. It can also be a good revenue generator. I wonder how that fits into how much revenue he would have, and whether it would end up being profitable?

    (Note: I'm not saying that this would be a hugely profitable event because of those drinks. I am suggesting that there are important details being left

  • That would be a more appropriate headline. The $2 admission their company charges is basically the cover charge to get into a party with sale of alcoholic beverages. Does this sound like your typical fan gathering?:

    Defendants boast that the "5th Annual Unofficial Pokemon PAX Kickoff Party" will feature among other things, "Pokemon themed shots and drinks - Smash Bros. Tournament with cash prize - Dancing - Giveaways - Cosplay Contest and more," and an "AMAZIN POKEMON MASHUP."

    This sounds like a typical commercial "theme night" that bars and clubs might have, only instead of using a generic unprotected theme like Halloween they made a Pokemon party. Not surprised their lawyers got angry, They managed to put a very good media spin on it though, clearly they as event or

  • Because old lawyers become judges... and it perpetuates the "good ol boy" club.

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be done for a few hundred bucks and has the added benefit of burning your credit cards in the process.

  • Time to spread some Rule 34 Pokemon art around! Dare them to sue, and invoke the Streisand Effect.

  • What is Julian Assange doing at that Pokemon party?

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