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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:20 am 
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Nintendo cease-and-desists developer of a Pokémon mod

I don't know which angle to concentrate on:

A. At this point I'm glad I decided in 2000 to make original things from scratch rather than hacks. Now I have somewhere to point people who PM me begging for hacking help.

B. So what sort of fan creativity is acceptable? If none, I'd advise against patronizing that company in the first place.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:41 am 
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Luckily, most game hacks are very low quality, and not very interesting, and they can fly under the radar. It seems only high quality, and highly publicized game hacks get picked on by Nintendo.

With the release of NES classic...many of these old games are still being sold by Nintendo, so it makes sense that they want to protect a current revenue stream. I would tread very carefully on this thin ice, my friends.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:35 am 
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dougeff wrote:
Luckily, most game hacks are very low quality, and not very interesting, and they can fly under the radar. It seems only high quality, and highly publicized game hacks get picked on by Nintendo.

I beg to differ. But I'd also rather not get into a long discussion about the "whys" behind their actions.

dougeff wrote:
With the release of NES classic...many of these old games are still being sold by Nintendo, so it makes sense that they want to protect a current revenue stream. I would tread very carefully on this thin ice, my friends.

I've said this for years, but nobody listened. Oh well.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:51 am 
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Contrast this with Sega's attitude, where romhacks of Genesis games are officially supported by the company.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:38 pm 
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C&D's on ROM hacks and fan games are nothing new and have never been frequent. Every time it happens, everyone acts like it's some kind of game changer. Worst case, they crack down, lose good will, and those still interested in hacking their games adapt their approach: fly under the radar until a project is released.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:07 pm 
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Some companies have a mindset such that they are willing to spend their goodwill on quashing what they see as illegitimate competition. They call it "knowing when to fire a customer." Look at the major record labels, who successfully sued users of file sharing for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars (Capitol v. Thomas; Sony v. Tenenbaum). Those suits didn't stop people from buying CDs and paid downloads from bands on labels distributed by those companies, nor FM radio broadcast license holders from continuing to spin[1] their recordings.

Like it or not, the majority of almost any entertainment publisher's revenue comes from people who don't care about the publisher's attitude toward fan creativity.


[1] A "spin" is an airplay that is not paid for as an advertisement.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:45 pm 
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So how about we all create our own fandom with our own music and characters and everything and share it together like some kind of a public domain fanbase or at least a Creative Commons / BSD licensed fanbase?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:57 pm 
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I'd be willing to invest some effort in creating a shared universe for NESdev.

A fairy tale crossover world like that of Shrek or Fables or Once Upon a Time or RWBY or Cheshire Crossing would be a starting point because the original Grimm/Perrault/Lang/Andersen versions of the characters are public domain. (Hence why Sachen didn't have to pay anyone for Little Red Hood.) Even a talking donkey is PD if his characterization doesn't resemble Eddie Murphy, as talking donkeys form part of the plot of Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio. I've suggested doing fairy tale world before, particularly in discussions about "Let's make a fighting game", but I seem to remember others saying it'd still be too much work.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:34 pm 
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tepples wrote:
I've suggested doing fairy tale world before, particularly in discussions about "Let's make a fighting game", but I seem to remember others saying it'd still be too much work.

Interesting; I've been contemplating how a fairy tale fighting game would look like, but I wouldn't imagine it being for the NES. It'd be funny to see Alice and Dorothy Gale in a brawl. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:07 am 
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If the mod/rom hack was called "Briefcase Creatures" or admittedly something more catchy, then Nintendo would not have cared.

As soon as you try to introduce to the public a creative work using an active trademark belonging to another company without authorization, you're going to get legal action taken.

Nintendo has to take legal action to say that Pokemon(tm) Prism is not an authorized work and cannot use the word "Pokemon".
Nintendo has to take legal action to say that the author does not have permission to use the stylized Logo related to Pokemon.

The sky is not falling.

In the law you HAVE to take action no matter how big or small.
Because let's say there's an egregious blatant misuse of the Pokemon logo on some toy. The lawyers representing that toy company can point out, hey... uh... why didn't you take legal action against this or that or these other things? Hmmm??? And so it goes.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:27 am 
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whicker wrote:
The sky is not falling.

No one seems to think it is. Honestly, I think this is the least bullshit thing Nintendo has done related to copyright, (not saying much) but I'm probably just saying that because I really don't care.

whicker wrote:
Nintendo has to take legal action to say that Pokemon(tm) Prism is not an authorized work and cannot use the word "Pokemon".Nintendo has to take legal action to say that the author does not have permission to use the stylized Logo related to Pokemon.

Oh yeah, thinking about it, I guess that's all they can go after the person for, because the rest of the game uses the old assets. Now, this is just a stupid question, but say if the patch included redone graphics for the Pokemon, would that be any "less legal"? The advent of the internet really seems to have messed with a lot of copyright related issues. I've always wondered, if you downloaded the trial version of a program that expired after a certain amount of time, would it be illegal to open it up with a hex editor or something and modify the program to where the timer never expired? I don't know what you'd be charged for (not that it would be found out though).


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:48 am 
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whicker wrote:
In the law you HAVE to take action no matter how big or small.
Because let's say there's an egregious blatant misuse of the Pokemon logo on some toy. The lawyers representing that toy company can point out, hey... uh... why didn't you take legal action against this or that or these other things? Hmmm??? And so it goes.

So the argument goes. But, for example, SMWCentral is still up, despite having probably thousands of hacks with a name called Super Mario (something).

Another theory: Nintendo's next generation Pokémon game is planned to have a Pokémon Prism version, and they wanted to get rid of this ROM hack in particular well ahead of the release of that game.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:47 am 
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Uh... Just don't turn your eyes into emulators, ok Big N? 8-) :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:20 am 
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nitro2k01 wrote:
But, for example, SMWCentral is still up, despite having probably thousands of hacks with a name called Super Mario (something).

Except when Super Mario Maker came out, there was a huge set of takedowns on YouTube of videos showing hacks.

I'm still waiting for Rachel Simone Weil‏ to get back to me as to whether a Pokémon-free reskin is feasible.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:22 pm 
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I don't know much about Pokemon or this hack in particular, but if the comments I've seen about it are accurate, it sounds like the patch included characters ripped from another official Pokemon game. So it's pretty important if you're going to be distributing a patch, to be sure you own the contents of the patch.

I'm pretty sure the whole game patching thing was settled when Nintendo utterly lost their court case against the Game Genie. But if your patch includes stuff created by others, all bets are off. Just because they couldn't win in court though, wouldn't stop them from making threats.

The creator of the hack pretty much summed it up, "shouldn't have made the trailer". Nintendo couldn't have complained if they didn't know about it. And like whicker pointed out, when trademarks are involved they pretty much are required to take action or risk losing their trademark. Unlike copyrights.


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