Unofficial Amiibo Guidebook That Was Essentially Advertising Nintendo Products Gets Nintendo'd

from the nintendon't dept

Nintendo really can't help itself. With the company's storied reputation for valuing strict control of all things intellectual property over literally everything else, we have detailed plenty of occasions where this restrictive attitude seems to work directly against the company actually selling things. From DMCAing fan-made ports of Nintendo's games to antiquated game systems, to getting fan-made expressions of Nintendo fandom taken down from 3rd party creation games like Dreams, to just DMCA carpet-bombing a wide range of fan-made games that serve as homages to Nintendo properties, the company has made it very clear that it will choose strict control over being good to its fans at every opportunity. Even, as is so often the case, when that means getting content taken down that essentially serves as an advertisement for Nintendo products.

Perhaps this has never been more evident than when Nintendo recently got a Kickstarter project shut down, as that project was for a guidebook to Nintendo Amiibo products.

Made by Ninty Media, the unofficial amiibo handbook was designed as a guidebook that catalogued every single amiibo available at the time of the book’s release. Not only does this compendium show off every amiibo, it also gives fun facts about each character listed, and even has estimated prices to help those trying to purchase these desired figures today. The Kickstarter for the book launched last month and has long surpassed its initial goal of £3,000 with £36,172 at the time of its being taken down.

However, that Kickstarter has now come to a halt thanks to this new dispute from Nintendo. Viewing the copyright notification on the Kickstarter page reveals that it is under dispute due to the use of the amiibo logo on the cover of the book, along with some of Nintendo’s other design marks. Paul Murphy, the man behind the amiibo handbook, along with other projects from Ninty Media, has posted on Twitter that he would respond shortly to this claim, demonstrating that the book isn’t cancelled yet. But he did offer refunds to anyone who contributed to the Kickstarter in the event that he loses the dispute.

Now, a couple of things I should stipulate right up front. First, Nintendo is well within its rights to take this action. Use of Nintendo's branding and imagery certainly runs afoul of copyright and trademark laws. Second, it was fairly silly of the makers of this book to use that branding and imagery, including font-types, without ever having reached out to Nintendo for any kind of approval. That would be the case if this were a book about the products of "Company X", but when it's Nintendo? C'mon, guys.

So, with those stipulations out of the way, we can now get into just how stupid this all is on Nintendo's part as well. First, again, Nintendo doesn't have to spit directly in the faces of its fans.

Given Nintendo’s history, it’s unsurprising that what have been dubbed by many as the “Nintendo Ninjas” are at it again. Similar to Nintendo’s past cases, it’s a dispute where Nintendo is legally in the right, but dubious in its morality. The more of these projects Nintendo cancels, the clearer the message that Nintendo is against these types of fan projects. It’s not a good message to send to the community, and it harms the relationship Nintendo has with its consumers.

And then let's add to all of that that this book would essentially serve as a giant advertisement for Nintendo's Amiibo products. There are a zillion ways the company could have worked amicably with this Kickstarter project so as to both protect its IP, say with a cheap or free license to use the assets in question, while also ensuring that a book for Amiibo enthusiasts still got released. By all accounts, such possibilities were never even explored by Nintendo.

That's not surprising any longer, but it remains quite disappointing. If we acknowledge that this book generally didn't serve any real threat to the monetary income of Nintendo, and likely would have been a boon instead, there was literally nothing to lose and everything to gain if Nintendo had chosen to be human and cool in this instance.

Instead, it takes a hit on the relationship front with its fans and loses out on the free advertising for Amiibo products. Great job.

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Filed Under: amiibo, copyright, trademark, unofficial amiibo handbook
Companies: kickstarter, nintendo, ninty media

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  1. identicon
    PatrickH, 21 May 2021 @ 12:38am

    Re: Your writing is atrociating.

    Malapropped, sorry but in world do stored and famed sound remotely the same? Also they're synonymous.

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