Will Nintendo sue? #34

srikrishnadas opened this Issue Oct 15, 2013 · 13 comments


I want to contribute to this, but just wondering if Nintendo doesnt have any objections with this.
Although this is not for income game and open sourced, the resemblance is almost identical to Nintendo's mario (unlike some mario inspired games on linux)

So wondering if we are clear/clean on it?


That's actually a very good question. There are plenty of sites online that let you play actual ports of Nintendo games on Java or Javascript, or download the ROMs for VisualBoyAdvance, so I would assume they're a bit lenient in this regard. However, if this goes down, I doubt you'll have to worry - it'll all be on me ;)


It's not really about who it is on :)
More like, it'll be really sad if Nintendo tries to take this down... I've seen those other games on Java or JS.. and honestly the whole feel of crappy ads and buttons everywhere kept me away from playing it.

But look at this, plain neat html5 no flashing buttons and crap. Might actually get more players than anything.
And if anything, Nintendo should probably reward such an effort. I'll just be sad if it goes down.. that's what I mean.


If they indeed sue over the use of the characters, audio and levels I'd be happy to contribute to make something different and unique under the same code.


I think they will not unless @Diogenesthecynic start asking for money to play or even donations.


I can say that Nintendo will issue cease and desist letter for Copyright infringement.

Here is one example about a open source pokemon mmorgp clone I was working on with a team of other volunteers. http://www.joystiq.com/2010/04/02/nintendo-shuts-down-fan-made-pokemon-mmo/


Its not a very good idea to use Nintendo's proprietary sprites and music in an open source Super Mario Bros remake because Nintendo will most definitely pursue cease and desist options if this project grows in popularity. They will want to ensure their ip isn't abused and the remake won't be misinterpreted as an official Nintendo endorsed product.

For example, they don't want a situation where people think they are playing an official "NSFW edition" of Super Mario Bros where all the goombas are replaced by walking dildos, Mario barbecues all the damn Toads that don't have a #$%&ing clue where Peach is and when you get to the last castle Peach is actually a junkie stripper, who promptly rewards Mario with a nude strip dance.

Now it would be awesome if we could get Nintendo to rally behind this open source project and provide rights to use their IP. But we shouldn't assume its okay to use it without their explicit permission first.


A good way to solve this is to read sprites and music from a ROM image. That's what a Pokemon clone did once. That way, you store no copyrighted assets and move the necessity of legality from you onto the user.


Just separate the assets from the application logic, then people who own the ROM can use it w/ the code and you can still distribute the code freely (just not the assets). This is the case w/ DOOM (the code is GPL but you still have to pay for the assets)


Nintendo has a strong reputation for chasing after copyright infringement. That there are other SMB clones and ROM emulators out there is a testament to how much can be produced and how hard it is to track down, not to Nintendo's lenience. I've seen quite a few projects destroyed over the years for no other reason than they failed to draw their own sprites: for a game like SMB, a job that would take a day at the most.

Go check out http://www.gamedev.net and ask them this question. I'm sure they'll be able to provide plenty of examples.


Right, however there should be new 8 bit sprites and music provided so we don't force gamers to fetch the ROM before they can game. We can't provide the SMB ROM and requiring people to buy proprietary software to (legally) play the open source remake of that software probably causes somebody, somewhere consequent brain damage.


They'll most likely send a routine DMCA C&D to GitHub, the repo will get black holed, and that will be the end of it. No need to file a lawsuit.


You might have to use the Tux sprite instead as Tux is open source. Put a cowboy hat on Tux and you have his brother Tex. Put a dress on Tux and a blonde wig and you got his sister Tess. Make some pig guy as the enemy and call him Bally and make a turtle guy and name him Billy for Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates of Microsoft. Tux and his siblings grab CDs of Linux and try to rescue Princess Apricot of the FOSS kingdom.


"I think they will not unless @Diogenesthecynic start asking for money to play or even donations."


Anyway, the project itself is fine, it's just my website that was taken down.

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment