My Little Pony Fan Game Shut Down By Hasbro Over Trademark
from the my-little-trademark dept
If you have spent thirty minutes in the past year surfing the internet for anything revolving around memes, you know what bronies are. They're a rather passionate adult fanbase for My Little Pony and they love to create stuff to express their fandom. We previously covered (surprisingly) that Hasbro appeared to be a company that embraced this fanbase, realizing that all the additional attention and exposure would only serve them.
Well, reader PonyRock alerts us to news that Hasbro hasn't completely come over to the light side of the force, having recently shut down a fan-made MLP game. For their part, the makers of the game appear to bend over backwards in professing understanding of Hasbro's position, even after spending a year and a half developing their game.
Hasbro is not to be blamed here. As per U.S. Trademark law, as soon as an infringement comes to light, they are obligated to defend the trademark, or they will lose it. They had no choice in the matter, regardless of what they thought of the project or how it benefited them.
As I said, very gracious, if perhaps a bit incorrect. Hasbro likely did indeed have other options beyond a strict takedown of the game, which is now lost to everyone. If they had wished instead to continue to embrace their rabid fanbase, I would imagine they could have issued a zero dollar or low-cost license to the developers, allowing the game to go forward and potentially benefiting from even more exposure. Instead, the nuclear option was chosen, resulting in the game disappearing and exposure of the takedown instead of the game.
Despite the developers being more than fair to Hasbro regarding the takedown, the comments on the article are rather negative towards the company. I almost wonder if all the bending over backwards towards Hasbro might not be part of a strategy to get the company to reconsider and go the route described above. It'd surely be the better route. Going nuclear gains nobody anything.