Is a Fake Nintendo Employee Taking Down Fan Works?
Recently, there has been a bit of an increase in Nintendo fan works being removed from file hosting sites via DMCA notices. These notices are attributed to someone calling themselves ‘Jason Allen’, and have been responsible for the take downs of one Super Mario Fusion Revival demo, Ocarina of Time 2D, many Mario Kart custom tracks and the Dolphin emulator.
But if renowned Super Mario 64 hacker Kaze Emanuar is to be believed, the person taking down all these recent fan works might not be a Nintendo employee at all! Instead, they could just be a bored troll using fake claims to make sites like Mediafire and Dropbox remove works that Nintendo themselves may not have any real problems with.
Here’s the video where he discusses the situation:
Didn’t want to watch it? Want a bit more detail about what’s going on? If so, it seems to be as follows.
Basically, an unknown internet user is using the email address and name of a person called Jason Allen, and pretending that they’re a Nintendo lawyer with the rights to remove works based on Nintendo’s IPs.
However, there are some interesting things wrong here.
Firstly, the imposter doesn’t seem to be very good at proof reading his fake legal demands. How do we know that? Because previous attempts have actually had him misspelling the word ‘Nintendo’ as ‘Nintento’. That’s either a very sloppy, careless mistake for a lawyer or a clear sign of someone rushing to fill in the fields and not giving a toss about all the ridiculous errors he’s making in the process.
It also quite clearly goes against what Nintendo said about fan projects. Remember, back in 2010, Iwata said he didn’t want to ‘criminalise’ fans:
Of course, we cannot say that we can give tacit approval to any and all the activities which threaten our intellectual properties. But on the other hand, it would not be appropriate if we treated people who did something based on affection for Nintendo, as criminals. It is true that some expressions are detrimental enough to diminish the dignity of our intellectual properties, and others destroy our intellectual properties’ world-views by connecting them with something not based on fact. We think one of the criteria for deciding how to respond is whether the expression in question socially diminishes the dignity or value of our intellectual properties or not. Of course, it is very hard to have a blanket standard as this problem involves many complex elements that are very difficult to judge.
In response to a question on Nintendo’s attitude towards fan projects. Yet this Jason Allen guy is ruthlessly trying to take down everything even remotely Nintendo related.
People have reported custom Mario Kart tracks and characters being removed. Fan games being removed. Heck, we’ve even seen cases where music based on Undertale (which Nintendo doesn’t own) is being taken down by this guy!.
This all points to someone trying to mess around with video game fans, not a legitimate lawyer who knows what they’re doing.
He also doesn’t identify the copyrighted work which is being infringed upon. Another important aspect of a legitimate DMCA notice which is being left out here.
But most importantly, Jason Allen does not work at Nintendo any more.
Edit: It’s likely the Jason Allen referred to is the one below:
He also doesn’t have anything to do with Nintendo any more. His profile says he’s worked as an Internet Specialist in Global Product and Cyber Security, but he hasn’t been there since October 2015. It’s also unknown whether this role includes sending take down notices for copyright infringement related events.
So whoever is taking down these projects is using the name of an ex Nintendo employee who never actually worked in their legal department, misspelling the company name and sending floods of notices about works that either Nintendo doesn’t care about or that are associated with IPs not actually owned by Nintendo.
He’s also using fake information on his DMCA notices, which is very legally questionable in of itself.
Either way, this is likely a copyright troll that’s going around and taking down Nintendo fan works under false pretences. And its quite possible that this includes most of the items on my list of Nintendo Fan Works Shut Down by Nintendo. Nintendo isn’t killing as many fan projects as people believe, a copyright troll impersonating an ex Nintendo employee is.