from the gotta-shut-down-them-all! dept
I guess at this point that most people already know that Pokemon Company guards its intellectual property with the same dedication that a dog guards its food bowl after it's been filled with a rare-cooked bone-in ribeye (am I the only one that enjoys giving dogs good food?). Between going after a woman who made some planters inspired by Pokemon and suing someone for making a phone app for collecting Pokemon cards, the message is clear: don't use our stuff! Even though, as is almost inevitably the case, this kind of strict control prevents uses that actually do more to promote the Pokemon brand than anything else, and even when these cases are against true fans of Pokemon, it doesn't matter. Control is what they are interested in. Control for the sake of control.
But even knowing that, I'm still surprised that Pokemon Company has decided to shut down a Pokemon-themed PAX party in Seattle over some posters and themed-drinks.
The Pokémon Company International (TPCi) filed a lawsuit against two Seattle residents on Wednesday, claiming that the Pokémon-themed party they were organizing allegedly infringed upon TPCi's copyright.As always, the copyright complaints are real but predictably trivial. The filing's chief concerns seem to be over the promotion of the party on Facebook, the inclusion of Pokemon characters on posters for the party, and Pokemon (and other games) themed drinks to be served. To be served, mind you, almost certainly to hardcore Pokemon fans. Indeed, there were prizes to be given away for cosplay, dancing, giveaways. You know, a good damned time. And for the crime of organizing a party around a franchise so beloved by its fans, the company shut it down.
Seattle residents Ramar Larking Jones and Zach Shore attempted to organize the "5th Annual Unofficial Pokémon PAX Kickoff Party." The party would have taken place in the 500 East restaurant and bar on Thursday, on the eve of the local Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime convention on Friday.
TPCi's complaint notes that it aims to "put an end to and obtain redress for [Jones and Shore's] blatant and willful infringement of TPCi's copyrights." Ruckus Productions, a business entity that Jones and Shore run, is also listed as a defendant beside both individuals. TPCi is seeking damages, attorney's fees, and an order to stop future instances of the event. TPCi's complaint notes that the event had been organized annually since 2011.Anyone want to actually suggest that the first four Poke-Parties did any kind of real harm to the Pokemon Company? Of course not, which is why the sudden hammer-drop makes absolutely no sense. As always, if there are concerns about setting precedent or protecting trademarks, handshake agreements and cheap licenses could easily be handed out to keep the party on. That way, Pokemon gets to save face on protecting its intellectual property, and the party goes on for its fans. Instead, the company specifically is looking to end the party as a primary goal of the lawsuit.
Because Pokemon isn't about fun, apparently.