[Updated on 7/1/16 with letter from Sam Dyer – the person in charge of the Kickstarter]:
Sam Dyer, the man who created the Kickstarter for the NES/Famicom Visual Compendium has sent out an e-mail to all backers. He’s hopeful the book will still get made. Here’s what he had to say:
Nintendo have filed a copyright claim against the campaign. I have taken lots of legal advice prior to launching the campaign plus I also spoke to Nintendo UK. The use of game imagery is completely legal under FAIR USE’ law.
I have now made some little tweaks to the campaign to make it even more watertight but I wholeheartedly believe that the book is 100% above board.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW
Don’t panic! The campaign is under review whilst I talk to Nintendo. Your pledge is safe and in the unlikely case I’m unsuccessful, it will go right back to you as it would with any stopped campaign. There’s no need to panic and cancel your funding as your money is not at risk.
The campaign is essentially ‘frozen’ as is the timer. So fingers crossed when we’re live again, the clock will start from with 24 hours left and we can complete the campaign.
The whole thing is frustrating but please stick with me. I’ve invested a lot of time and energy ensuring that this is legal and above board.
Will update you when I have some news.
In what can only be viewed as a massive disappointment for backers of the Kickstarter, Nintendo managed to shut down the project, even after it had far surpassed its goals. If you recall, the visual compendium was to include beautiful layouts of games from the 8-bit NES era. The sample pages looked amazing and as a gamer that grew up with the system I immediately backed the project.
Unfortunately, Nintendo has filed a copyright claim against the project. According to Game Informer, the law firm Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP alleges:
“The description of the book states that it is ‘mainly visual’, and the campaign shows pages of the book which consist simply of large screenshots copied directly from Nintendo’s video games. This campaign also makes use of a mark that is confusingly similar to registered trademarks owned by Nintendo. Specifically, the project’s creator is using a modified version of Nintendo’s ‘Official Nintendo Seal’ mark to promote this project. This use of Nintendo’s intellectual property may confuse Kickstarter backers into thinking this project is sponsored or licensed by Nintendo, when in fact it is not.”
I was very much looking forward to seeing this book get released, as it looked like an amazing collection of games in a visual format. It’s unfortunate that Nintendo has shut it down. Really the only hope left would be for the two parties to work together on the project going forward, and I somehow doubt that will be in the cards.