Nintendo of America have sent out Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices to the creators of the fan-made project Another Metroid 2: Remake to pull his game off the internet and to no longer release any updates for the game.
There was a post over on Project AM2R website where the developers updated the community following plans to release an update for the game, where he writes…
“Nintendo of America, Inc. has filed a takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). I received the request on my personal email, so I’m complying with their requests.
“There will be no more AM2R updates, and no more releases under any platform. “
This means that there will be no more official updates for the unofficial Metroid game.
Fans are not taking this well at all, given that Nintendo have refused to make a notable Metroid game in recent years. They opted to make the Metroid Prime: Federation Force, but it didn’t star the lead character Samus, and has been firmly rejected by the gaming community.
Nintendo has been hitting a number of fan-projects over the years with DMCA notices to pull them off the internet. And while it’s still possible to get your hands on Another Metroid 2: Remake from peer-to-peer file sharing services and torrents, you won’t be able to simply grab the game or any official updates from the team from their website or any other easily accessible distribution portal you can click on right off a search engine without it being at risk of being hit with a DMCA.
Gamejolt also recently reported that 562 games have also been taken off of Gamejolt after being hit with a DMCA notice by Nintendo because they were fan-made projects related to or containing copyrighted material from Nintendo’s properties.
Interestingly, there’s an article over on Sir TapTap that explains that Nintendo isn’t really in the right here with shutting down so many fan-made projects on the grounds of them having to protect their copyrights lest they lose them forever. In fact, they quote lawyer Sara F. Hawkins, who explains on her website…
“Improper use of a trademark may dilute your rights or create confusion. Inconsistent enforcement of your trademark rights can cause you to lose protections afforded under state or federal law. With copyright, that isn’t the case. As a copyrightholder, you can pick and choose which cases of infringement you pursue without diminishing the host of exclusive rights under copyright law.”
So in this case, Nintendo claiming that the copyright infringement will “weaken” their projects is wrong, which is what they claimed in a statement to Polygon…
“Nintendo’s broad library of characters, products, and brands are enjoyed by people around the world, and we appreciate the passion of our fans. But just as Nintendo respects the intellectual property rights of others, we must also protect our own characters, trademarks and other content. The unapproved use of Nintendo’s intellectual property can weaken our ability to protect and preserve it, or to possibly use it for new projects.”
That actually applies to trademarks, and if the trademarks aren’t being infringed upon, then it’s just Nintendo deciding to be litigious about fan-made projects and not necessarily because they have to shut these projects down. The too long, didn’t read summary is that the suits at Nintendo are choosing to be dicks about fan-made projects and not because they’re forced to be dicks by the U.S. Copyright Office.
(Thanks for the news tip CG Saturation)