Game Jolt, a website for fan-made art and games, was recently issued a DMCA takedown by Nintendo of America. The DMCA takedown has now removed hundreds of fan-made projects from the website. The news was originally reported by Torrentfreak.
The content of the takedown was published on Game Jolt’s forums on December 29 by the site’s CEO. The post includes a quite long list of content that was forcibly removed from Game Jolt by Nintendo of America’s legal team. The list includes 379 fan-made games, largely based on Pokemon and Super Mario.
The takedown claims “The web site at gamejolt.com generates revenue from advertising banners displayed on the site and advertisements played while users wait for the games to load,” implying that Game Jolt aims to make money from Nintendo’s intellectual properties.
Some of the games have reportedly been re-uploaded with ads disabled. The language of the takedown is clear in that the removals are based on the content taking in ad revenue. Therefore, some users feel that their games should still be playable with no ads. At the time of writing, it is unclear as to whether Game Jolt will be re-hosting any of the removed content without ads. The content creators themselves post in a non-profit capacity.
The Game Jolt community seems to be reeling from this massive takedown. Users are understandably angry, as many of them view their content as a labor of love for Nintendo titles they’ve grown up with. The takedown has taken their community by surprise. 404 messages now meet users trying to access 379 of their games.
Nintendo has a dedicated legal team for removing copyright infringement of its IPs from the internet. While they have been involved in removing illegal piracy, smaller content creators like this also face takedowns. Even when their goal is not for profit or piracy. Needless to say, Nintendo is extremely protective of its intellectual property.
This is not Nintendo’s first rodeo with copyright infringement. Nintendo has been notorious for issuing DMCA takedowns very liberally. For the past several years, Nintendo has been at odds with portions of its community in regards to copyright. They have issued strikes and takedowns to the modding, streaming, and competitive communities.
Specifically, the competitive communities of Smash Bros. have faced a lot of Nintendo’s ire. The competitive Smash community has historically been stifled by their takedowns, and the scene has had little ability to act in an official way. Recently, the Splatoon competitive community protested Nintendo in solidarity with the Smash community, which led to them losing Nintendo’s mark of approval in their official Splatoon tournament.
It seems that Nintendo’s aggressive legal protection of its copyrighted materials will not be stopping any time soon. There’s no resolution in sight. For creators who love Nintendo games, it seems that Nintendo is being antagonistic to what fans view as love and support. What Nintendo might view as damaging may be viewed to the people who love their games as an expression of passion and loyalty.
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