Skip to content
New issue

Have a question about this project? Sign up for a free GitHub account to open an issue and contact its maintainers and the community.

By clicking “Sign up for GitHub”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy statement. We’ll occasionally send you account related emails.

Already on GitHub? Sign in to your account

Nyan Cat trademark? #1647

Closed
ghost opened this issue Mar 17, 2017 · 100 comments

Comments

Projects
None yet
@ghost
Copy link

commented Mar 17, 2017

Nyan Cat is used in Minetest but original Nyan Cat is non-free.
Free, fair or illegal use?

@sfan5

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 17, 2017

@sfan5 sfan5 closed this Mar 17, 2017

@red-001

This comment has been minimized.

@ghost

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Author

commented Mar 17, 2017

I know.
Original Nyan Cat video is non-free.

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 17, 2017

From theverge link:
"Torres stresses the distinction between commercial and noncommercial use: "I have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a meme, and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit.""

@ghost

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Author

commented Mar 17, 2017

I wasn't able to find an official statement, that Nyan Cat is CC BY-SA 3.0.

@red-001

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 17, 2017

Copyright isn't really the issue here, the main issue seems to be trademark related.

@sfan5

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 17, 2017

@dsohler nyan cat is not cc by-sa, our texture is.

@ghost

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Author

commented Mar 18, 2017

That wasn’t the question @stas730 had, as far as I understand the issue.

Which is actually a real issue and shouldn’t be closed with linking to CC BY-SA 3.0 for the textures just because it is the most convenient thing not discussing this actually rather complicated issue.

Using non-free (trademarked) Nyan Cat (fair use? trademark-owner-does-not-care-because-not-commercial use?) IS something that should be clarified and clearly stated.

Server owners who run commercial servers will get in real trouble for using Nyan Cat. The trademark owners sued people over this in the past. That’s the reason why MooGNU was created. not as iconic as Nyan Cat but actually really CC BY-SA 3.0.

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 18, 2017

I'm for removing the nyan mod entirely.

@ghost

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Author

commented Mar 18, 2017

Maybe not removing it, but making it 100 percent clear what the license of this trademark is and that it is not allowed to use it in a commercial context without permission by the trademark owners. So commercial server hosters can disable the mod or obtaining a commercial use pemission.

Simply closing the issue and pointing out that the textures that are used in Minetest are CC BY-SA 3.0 is not a valid solution for this issue.

@Fixer-007

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 18, 2017

Rename Nyan Cat to Mine Cat? Texture is made from scratch, right?

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 18, 2017

Well, it's obviously a Nyan Cat, using a different name would look like an insulting attempt to avoid copyright conflicts and would irritate the creator even more.

I agree with dsohler, at the least a clear statement is needed in the mod that it is not for commercial use and will be removed on request. It is a part of Minetest's character so i would prefer to keep it.
The licence stating it is a texture by VanessaE is not enough, it is very obviously a Nyan Cat.
From what the creator has written it seems he would probably be ok with MT's usage, but we need to credit the original properly.

@paramat paramat reopened this Mar 18, 2017

@paramat paramat added Textures and removed Textures labels Mar 18, 2017

@rubenwardy

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 18, 2017

You just need to change enough it so it no longer infringes trademarks

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 18, 2017

Or just delete it. Much easier.

@VanessaE

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 18, 2017

The nyan cat images I created were drawn by hand, with only basic inspiration from the original, all fresh colors (that is, I did not use any kind of color picker on the original), and a clearly different style for the face. Because it does not purport to be the original work, and does not attempt to masquerade as or be mistaken for the original in the contexts and markets where the original is used (e.g. swag of some kind), it does not infringe on the original trademark.

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 18, 2017

@VanessaE that's an excellent testimony, but, even things that look extremely similar are a potential trademark violation.

@VanessaE

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 18, 2017

That would only be true if Minetest's imagery were used in the same market as the original.

See the various Apple Corps (the record co. owned by The Beatles) vs. Apple Computer fights (usually Apple Corps won). In particular, the 1978 case laid the foundation for what I wrote above.

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 18, 2017

I don't think it needs changing, it's obviously a Nyan Cat and we want it to look like one, the texture is much loved too.
Seeing the creator's opinion about non-commercial usage i think we would be ok, but a statement that it will be removed on request might be a good idea.
I feel it's best our texture states that it is inspired by, or, derived from, the original Nyan Cat, instead of trying to pretend there's no trademark issue (which would likely irritate the creator much more).

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 18, 2017

IANAL, but I like to err on the side of caution. And the side of caution would remove any and all reference to "nyan cat" which is a registered trademark. Even if the image is different, we're still liberally using the words in that order.

nuke it from orbit. Just like mese.

@VanessaE

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 18, 2017

The wording doesn't matter either, because officially the name of the creature is "Pop Tart Cat". The phrase "Nyan Cat" only came about due to a meme, and was not Torres' idea.

Christopher Torres said: "Originally, its name was Pop Tart Cat, and I will continue to call it so, but the Internet has reached a decision to name it Nyan Cat, and I’m happy with that choice, too.."

@VanessaE

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 18, 2017

Correction, he does call it "Nyan Cat" in his trademark application. Meh.

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 19, 2017

what matter is the USPTO registration that is active for the words "nyan cat"

@VanessaE

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 19, 2017

In any case, I am strictly opposed to removing nyans or mese from the game, they're just too unique to MT and too widely-used (or just sought after).

If either should come to pass, they'll find their way into gloopblocks.

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 19, 2017

No, minetest's "uniqueness" is absolutely not determined by an easter egg.

@sorcerykid

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

commented Mar 19, 2017

Why is this issue immediately closed before a thorough vetting process by the community? Am I to understand that sfan5 is the exclusive legal arbiter now for Minetest?

First of all, whether the image is hand-drawn has absolutely no bearing on legal culpability, since the peculiar likeness constitutes a derivative work. And adaptation is still an exclusive right that can only be exercised by the copyright owner.

Second of all, courts will typically weigh the potential for consumer confusion in making a determination of trademark infringement. Thus, the fact this so-called "hand drawn" rainbow cat is specifically called a Nyan Cat and considered so "unique to Minetest" is cut-and-dry admission of wrongdoing. Moreover, the hand drawn nature is evidence of plagiarism since the actual source of the original image is never prominently disclosed to the end-user of the software, which is just another strike against its unauthorized use.

Third of all, trademark classes come into play only when the mark itself has not gained sufficiently widespread recognition and notoriety that a consumer within the broader marketplace could readily distinguish the source of goods. So the argument about Apple Computer Inc. is not pertinent to this discussion.

Fourth of all, non-profit use should not be conflated with fair use. The later refers to an exemption in U.S. copyright law for purposes of reporting, criticism, analysis, etc. The display, reproduction, public performance, etc. rights of a copyrighted work outside of fair use still requires authorization by the copyright owner even in non-commercial settings unless a license is granted by the copyright owner or by a blanket licensing agency (which is common for musical works, sound recordings, motion pictures, etc.).

Lastly, being "strictly opposed to removing" something just because its "widely used" is not a sufficient justification for violating copyright and trademark law nor is it setting a good example for the open-source community.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. The information hereinbefore does not constitute legal advice nor consultation. I am merely sharing my personal knowledge of intellectual property rights. I would recommend referring this issue to qualified legal counsel.

@tenplus1

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 21, 2017

moognu_back
moognu_front
moognu_side

Yes the textures are rough, but at the rate we replace them in minetest am sure someone will make a great alternative soon enough :) if we go with the Gnu.

Amaz1 added a commit to minetest-LOTR/Lord-of-the-Test that referenced this issue Mar 21, 2017

Remove nyan cats.
See minetest/minetest_game#1647 for the reasons behind this.
@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 21, 2017

Sorry i should have realised these are texture examples that are not finished.

@sofar sofar referenced this issue Mar 22, 2017

Closed

PB&J Pup. #1658

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 22, 2017

The moognu leaves a trail of moopoo.

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 22, 2017

seriously though, Minetest is more MIT/copyleft and the GNU gnu does not belong.

@Thomas--S

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 22, 2017

As far as I know, minetest is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License. So, actually, I think the MooGNU would fit quite well. It would also allow us to keep the rainbows unchanged, which is good in terms of backwards compatibility. I think it may often be a problem for existing buildings, if the former rainbows will be changed to the candy-like blocks of the PB&J Pup.

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 22, 2017

If you want to keep your rainbows, use the settings to keep your nyan cats, and use the separate nyan cat mod.

@stujones11

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

commented Mar 22, 2017

Regardless of what is used for the 'head' of this thing, the rainbows should stay. Changing those almost forces server owners to install the 'non-commercial-use' nyan cat mod, or at least make their own.

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 22, 2017

Those who use the rainbows in builds usually also use the cat itself.

@Thomas--S

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 22, 2017

I think the change cat -> pup is affecting buildings less than the change rainbow -> candy. Cats and pups both belong to the group "animals", but I actually see no connection between a rainbow and candies.

@stujones11

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

commented Mar 22, 2017

Rainbows are way more prevalent in builds than the cats themselves, in fact in my own experience and from screenshots I've seen the cats are seldom used.

@ghost

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Author

commented Mar 22, 2017

It’s called “a change”. Things change every now and then. It’s a part of the human nature to be able to adapt to changes. We’re all humans … so … 😄

Plus: As far as I understand: To keep the rainbow just don’t enable the alias option and install the Nyan Cat mod.

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 23, 2017

I'm purposely making the new mod not something that you'd build with (hence some of the code) but more of a "special" item. I want to avoid people from building with these blocks entirely. They're out of style anyway. Let them be a fun thing for kids to find that are playing singleplayer. I honestly don't know a MP server admin that can't solve the change.

@VanessaE

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 23, 2017

If players want a "rainbow" block, but want to avoid the nyan mod, they can use the one in gloopblocks.

@tenplus1

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 24, 2017

The rainbow block has no issues towards it and should remain in the game since players use these for builds and other mod usage, changing it altogether or requiring a mod to replace it is a no-no.

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 24, 2017

We could add it as a new node, but it can't keep its current name.

@sofar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 24, 2017

again, you're asking us to break something irreparably for some user.

@VanessaE

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 24, 2017

Since it's a good idea for most servers to have gloopblocks installed, how about I add the old nyan rainbow to that mod (in addition to the rainbow it already has), under some new, generic name, and alias the old nyan rainbow name to it?

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 24, 2017

What if people want to use gloopblocks mod along with keeping the nyancat mod? Then you have a conflict of aliases. We could add a rainbow to game possibly but no aliases, too messy combined with what we're doing here.

@VanessaE

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 24, 2017

in such a case, I'd simply have gloopblocks opt-depend on the nyan mod, detect its presence, and switch-off its own alias.

@VanessaE

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 24, 2017

Since the crux of the problem is the existence of the nyan head and not so much the rainbow, why not do both? A generic rainbow in one mod, with alias, and the head in another?

@GreenXenith

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

commented Mar 25, 2017

it's ugly and is apparently evil ("Destroyer of worlds")

Hey, just flip that frown upside-down and change the eyes to blue and bam! Waffle Cat. Nothing a little image-editing can't do :)

IMO, that candy texture is ugly. The dog is OK I guess, but that candy texture is just bleh. The white background is just so out of place. When you said 'candy' I thought something like this (but square).

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 25, 2017

The white seems ok to me because it is emitting maximum light level.

@DS-Minetest

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

commented Mar 25, 2017

I think, I would more like something like the gnu than the pup. The pup doesn't seem to be that epic and timeless and to be only for small kids => it doesn't have style. 😎

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 26, 2017

The choice of design will be very subjective and down to taste, i don't love this like i love the nyan cat but i'm trying to not be too fussy about what replaces it.

@paramat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member

commented Mar 26, 2017

#1658 merged.

@paramat paramat closed this Mar 26, 2017

theunifiedmind7 referenced this issue Mar 26, 2017

PB&J Pup.
Replace possibly trademarked artwork with royalty free and
OK for commercial use artwork.

The Pup appears by default but does not alias the Nyan Cat nodes
away. For that you will have to enable the setting. A settingtypes.txt
is provided to make that really easy. This allows people to get
an out-of-tree mod and not have their Nyan nodes disappear.

The mod can also be disabled entirely this way for those who don't
want it.

There's some eatser eggs in here as well. Instead of making the
nodes burnable, they are edible, and make you bark and howl. And
perhaps something else too.
Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment
You can’t perform that action at this time.