Unofficial Amiibo Guidebook Will Be Released With Changes To Appease Nintendo

from the officially-unofficial dept

Just a couple of weeks ago, we discussed a Kickstarter project for an unofficial guidebook to Nintendo’s Amiibo product line. While no regular Techdirt reader could have possibly have been surprised that Nintendo issued threats and a DMCA on the project, it was a bit odd for two main reasons. First, Nintendo’s main gripe appeared to be the use of some of the corporate iconography and other “design marks” proposed for use in the publication, rather than any wholesale copyright or trademark claim to literally everything in the book. Nuance of that kind is not the norm for the notably litigious and protective Nintendo. Second, this whole fight looked to be something of Nintendo shooting itself in the foot, as the project is essentially one giant advertisement for Amiibo products. Why in the world, we wondered at the time, would Nintendo not want such a book to be released to the public?

Well, it seems that perhaps the company does in fact understand all of this. Reports now indicate that the author of the project and Nintendo have resolved all issues the company had and the book will in fact get its release as an “unofficial” guidebook.

The webpage for the Kickstarter project led by Paul Murphy and Ninty Media that was previously entangled in a legal dispute with Nintendo has finally been reinstated. Murphy sent an e-mail to backers of the project, explaining that Nintendo had taken issue with the use of copyrighted materials. While there was some uncertainty about whether the project which had raised over £36,000 GBP would see the light of day, Murphy had reassured backers that they would be refunded if he was forced to halt the project completely.

It seems as though fans no longer need to worry, as changes have been made to the project, with the name of the book being transformed into “The Unofficial amiibook”, so as to prevent potential readers from confusing the fan project with official Nintendo merchandise. Though Murphy stated that he could not go into the specifics of the legal dispute, he confirmed that it was a copyright strike focused on “the use of a design too close to a trademark owned and registered by Nintendo.”

Here we need to employ a bit of nuance ourselves as we analyze what this all means to the Techdirt community. On the one hand, it’s nice to see Nintendo appear to have worked relatively amicably with the project author so that this project could still get a release at all. Again, Nintendo has a reputation for employing every possible avenue to exert as strict a level of control over all references to its properties as possible. I’ll be frank: a week ago I would have told you there is a near-zero chance this project ever sees the light of day. Nintendo appears to have proved me wrong on that. Good on them.

On the other hand, does anyone really believe that any changes the author agreed to make at Nintendo’s request will have an actual material impact on whether buyers of the book confuse it with some kind of official Nintendo release? Of the roughly 15,000 backers of the Kickstarter project, how many previously thought that Nintendo was now crowdsourcing guidebooks like this?

The answer is, for all statistically relevant purposes, “no” and “none.” So, sure, it’s good that this project is allowed to exist at all, but it sort of sucks that this question ever had to be asked.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: nintendo, ninty media

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Unofficial Amiibo Guidebook Will Be Released With Changes To Appease Nintendo”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Samuel Abramsays:

Or did they?!?!?

I’ll be frank: a week ago I would have told you there is a near-zero chance this project ever sees the light of day. Nintendo appears to have proved me wrong on that. Good on them.

Maybe Nintendo proved you wrong in that .0000001% chance, eh? After all, I make music on ancient Nintendo Hardware, so as strict as Nintendo adheres to their monopolies, they do have a, um, light side.


Japanese Copyright Law

(This is assuming that most of these copyright decisions are coming from the "home" office as opposed to, say Nintendo of America)

Is anyone familiar with Japanese IP law; how much legal leeway does Nintendo have to "ignore" these offenses. I know that in US trademark law, at least, one can lose some of the protections if one knowingly allows some unauthorized use but try to restrain someone else’s usage. (Which is what happened to Xerox, which was ruled a generic term for copying).

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Report this ad??|??Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Older Stuff
12:25 Australian Privacy Commissioner Says 7-Eleven Broke Privacy Laws By Scanning Customers' Faces At Survey Kiosks (6)
10:50 Missouri Governor Doubles Down On 'View Source' Hacking Claim; PAC Now Fundraising Over This Bizarrely Stupid Claim (45)
10:45 Daily Deal: The All-in-One Microsoft, Cybersecurity, And Python Exam Prep Training Bundle (0)
09:43 Want To Understand Why U.S. Broadband Sucks? Look At Frontier Communications In Wisconsin, West Virginia (8)
05:36 Massachusetts College Decides Criticizing The Chinese Government Is Hate Speech, Suspends Conservative Student Group (71)
19:57 Le Tigre Sues Barry Mann To Stop Copyright Threats Over Song, Lights Barry Mann On Fire As Well (21)
16:07 Court Says City Of Baltimore's 'Heckler's Veto' Of An Anti-Catholic Rally Violates The First Amendment (15)
13:37 Two Years Later, Judge Finally Realizes That A CDN Provider Is Not Liable For Copyright Infringement On Websites (21)
12:19 Chicago Court Gets Its Prior Restraint On, Tells Police Union Head To STFU About City's Vaccine Mandate (158)
10:55 Verizon 'Visible' Wireless Accounts Hacked, Exploited To Buy New iPhones (8)
10:50 Daily Deal: The MacOS 11 Course (0)
07:55 Suing Social Media Sites Over Acts Of Terrorism Continues To Be A Losing Bet, As 11th Circuit Dumps Another Flawed Lawsuit (11)
02:51 Trump Announces His Own Social Network, 'Truth Social,' Which Says It Can Kick Off Users For Any Reason (And Already Is) (100)
19:51 Facebook AI Moderation Continues To Suck Because Moderation At Scale Is Impossible (26)
16:12 Content Moderation Case Studies: Snapchat Disables GIPHY Integration After Racist 'Sticker' Is Discovered (2018) (11)
13:54 Arlo Makes Live Customer Service A Luxury Option (8)
12:05 Delta Proudly Announces Its Participation In The DHS's Expanded Biometric Collection Program (5)
11:03 LinkedIn (Mostly) Exits China, Citing Escalating Demands For Censorship (14)
10:57 Daily Deal: The Python, Git, And YAML Bundle (0)
09:37 British Telecom Wants Netflix To Pay A Tax Simply Because Squid Game Is Popular (32)
06:41 Report: Client-Side Scanning Is An Insecure Nightmare Just Waiting To Be Exploited By Governments (35)
20:38 MLB In Talks To Offer Streaming For All Teams' Home Games In-Market Even Without A Cable Subscription (10)
15:55 Appeals Court Says Couple's Lawsuit Over Bogus Vehicle Forfeiture Can Continue (15)
13:30 Techdirt Podcast Episode 301: Scarcity, Abundance & NFTs (0)
12:03 Hollywood Is Betting On Filtering Mandates, But Working Copyright Algorithms Simply Don't Exist (66)
10:45 Introducing The Techdirt Insider Discord (4)
10:40 Daily Deal: The Dynamic 2021 DevOps Training Bundle (0)
09:29 Criminalizing Teens' Google Searches Is Just How The UK's Anti-Cybercrime Programs Roll (19)
06:29 Canon Sued For Disabling Printer Scanners When Devices Run Out Of Ink (41)
20:51 Copyright Law Discriminating Against The Blind Finally Struck Down By Court In South Africa (7)
More arrow