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Found 10 results

  1. Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor who played Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Russell "Backpack Kid" Horning have filed lawsuits against Epic Games for their use of the Carlton dance and "The Russell" dances in the popular battle royale game Fortnite. With Fortnite recently surpassing 200 million players, the game has hit the kind of general cultural penetration of which even the largest gaming franchises can only dream. Given that many of the signature dance emotes in-game are being sold as microtransactions, some of the originators of those moves want a small slice of that colossal profit-pie. It was reported in July that Fornite's in-game microtransactions alone had earned Epic Games over $1 billion in revenue. One of the biggest sellers on the platform happens to be different emotes and dances, too, which makes the irritation many of the sources of inspiration for the dances seem pretty understandable. It becomes even more understandable when you learn that many of the originators weren't even asked or compensated for their moves being used beat-for-beat in-game to earn a lot of real-world dollars. Yesterday, it came to light that the mother of the 16-year-old Horning had filed a lawsuit in her son's name as they are in the process of copyrighting the iconic dance move. Details about the lawsuit remain unknown and the damages specified haven't been revealed as of yet. Concerning Alfonso Ribiero, his lawyer, David Hecht of the law firm Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht explained the reasoning behind the lawsuit saying, “Epic has earned record profits off of downloadable content in the game, including emotes like ‘Fresh.’ Yet Epic has failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr. Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property,” The same law firm is also representing Russel Horning and the rapper 2 Milly who announced earlier this month that he would be suing Epic Games over the in-game use of the Milly Rock dance. For those wondering if the dances used in Fortnite are really that similar to those performed by the people filing lawsuits, check out the video below for a side-by-side comparison courtesy of YouTube channel Cinema of Gaming. So, does this lawsuit have a case? Well, the answer isn't really straightforward. A large part of it could revolve around the technical ownership of the dances themselves. For example, the Carlton dance might technically belong to the producers of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air depending on the contracts Alfonso Ribiero signed. It could also be that no one technically owns the rights, making the dance a work in the public domain. Depending on how long it has been since the dance was created, it might be impossible to prove who really created the dance and thereby impossible to prove ownership of any copyright. It could also be that a freelance choreographer was hired, making the work technically someone else's entirely. All this means that a legal battle over the ownership of these dances could be a long and complicated legal battle. That might make Epic more interested in settling out of court for undisclosed sums of money or a share in the profits, especially given that in at least some of the cases the company never asked for permission. It will be interesting to see if more of these dance creators appear to claim some share of Epic Games' $1 billion in revenue. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor who played Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Russell "Backpack Kid" Horning have filed lawsuits against Epic Games for their use of the Carlton dance and "The Russell" dances in the popular battle royale game Fortnite. With Fortnite recently surpassing 200 million players, the game has hit the kind of general cultural penetration of which even the largest gaming franchises can only dream. Given that many of the signature dance emotes in-game are being sold as microtransactions, some of the originators of those moves want a small slice of that colossal profit-pie. It was reported in July that Fornite's in-game microtransactions alone had earned Epic Games over $1 billion in revenue. One of the biggest sellers on the platform happens to be different emotes and dances, too, which makes the irritation many of the sources of inspiration for the dances seem pretty understandable. It becomes even more understandable when you learn that many of the originators weren't even asked or compensated for their moves being used beat-for-beat in-game to earn a lot of real-world dollars. Yesterday, it came to light that the mother of the 16-year-old Horning had filed a lawsuit in her son's name as they are in the process of copyrighting the iconic dance move. Details about the lawsuit remain unknown and the damages specified haven't been revealed as of yet. Concerning Alfonso Ribiero, his lawyer, David Hecht of the law firm Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht explained the reasoning behind the lawsuit saying, “Epic has earned record profits off of downloadable content in the game, including emotes like ‘Fresh.’ Yet Epic has failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr. Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property,” The same law firm is also representing Russel Horning and the rapper 2 Milly who announced earlier this month that he would be suing Epic Games over the in-game use of the Milly Rock dance. For those wondering if the dances used in Fortnite are really that similar to those performed by the people filing lawsuits, check out the video below for a side-by-side comparison courtesy of YouTube channel Cinema of Gaming. So, does this lawsuit have a case? Well, the answer isn't really straightforward. A large part of it could revolve around the technical ownership of the dances themselves. For example, the Carlton dance might technically belong to the producers of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air depending on the contracts Alfonso Ribiero signed. It could also be that no one technically owns the rights, making the dance a work in the public domain. Depending on how long it has been since the dance was created, it might be impossible to prove who really created the dance and thereby impossible to prove ownership of any copyright. It could also be that a freelance choreographer was hired, making the work technically someone else's entirely. All this means that a legal battle over the ownership of these dances could be a long and complicated legal battle. That might make Epic more interested in settling out of court for undisclosed sums of money or a share in the profits, especially given that in at least some of the cases the company never asked for permission. It will be interesting to see if more of these dance creators appear to claim some share of Epic Games' $1 billion in revenue. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. Have you ever wished you could run with the Pokémon, bond with them in full 3D? A mod created for Ark: Survival Evolved allows players to do just that! Created by a modder going by the name Mystic Academy, Pokémon Evolved replaces the dinosaurs that roam the Ark world with over 30 fully realized Pokémon and unique, craftable items. Mystic Academy's Pokémon Evolved mod has been around for a little while and became one of the most popular mods for the survival crafting game. However, the mod was slapped with a DMCA notice and closed down. Many expected that notice to be the death knell for Pokémon Evolved, but then something strange happened: The DMCA was lifted. Mystic Academy speculated in an interview with PC Gamer that the DMCA came from a rival modder working on a different mod that also inserts Pokémon into Ark. The DMCA claim probably wouldn't have been lifted if Nintendo had been behind it, as we can see from similar cases where Nintendo has protected their copyright. Now that the DMCA claim has been lifted, Ark players can once more download Pokémon Evolved. However, people interested in the mod should probably download it as quickly as possible. Mystic Academy admits that most of the animations and character models used in their mod come directly from Pokémon X and Y. While they don't directly profit from the mod, Nintendo could very well look at the situation differently and slap Pokémon Evolved with another DMCA. Ark: Survival Evolved comes out of its prolonged Early Access phase later this year when it releases for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
  4. Have you ever wished you could run with the Pokémon, bond with them in full 3D? A mod created for Ark: Survival Evolved allows players to do just that! Created by a modder going by the name Mystic Academy, Pokémon Evolved replaces the dinosaurs that roam the Ark world with over 30 fully realized Pokémon and unique, craftable items. Mystic Academy's Pokémon Evolved mod has been around for a little while and became one of the most popular mods for the survival crafting game. However, the mod was slapped with a DMCA notice and closed down. Many expected that notice to be the death knell for Pokémon Evolved, but then something strange happened: The DMCA was lifted. Mystic Academy speculated in an interview with PC Gamer that the DMCA came from a rival modder working on a different mod that also inserts Pokémon into Ark. The DMCA claim probably wouldn't have been lifted if Nintendo had been behind it, as we can see from similar cases where Nintendo has protected their copyright. Now that the DMCA claim has been lifted, Ark players can once more download Pokémon Evolved. However, people interested in the mod should probably download it as quickly as possible. Mystic Academy admits that most of the animations and character models used in their mod come directly from Pokémon X and Y. While they don't directly profit from the mod, Nintendo could very well look at the situation differently and slap Pokémon Evolved with another DMCA. Ark: Survival Evolved comes out of its prolonged Early Access phase later this year when it releases for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. View full article
  5. Pokémon Uranium, released last week by fans who had worked on it for almost a decade, is no longer available on its official website. More than 1.5 million downloads occurred in the handful of days it was officially linked on the website. The non-profit game was free for all, the developers wishing to merely share their game with the world. On Saturday, Nintendo's lawyers came calling at the Pokémon Uranium website with several take down notices to end the site's distribution of their game. The game developers quickly took down their links, but will continue to update the title, maintain its online features for those who downloaded a copy, and maintain their website. Despite the game being subject to take down, the developers seem to be very happy with how Uranium has been received so far. That being said, the developers take pains to distance themselves from those who might have reuploaded Pokémon Uranium to file hosting sites to continue distribution. After all, they have no control over those individuals and they can't guarantee the safety of any download links from those sites. You can read their full statement below: After receiving more than 1,500,000 downloads of our game, we have been notified of multiple takedown notices from lawyers representing Nintendo of America. While we have not personally been contacted, it’s clear what their wishes are, and we respect those wishes deeply. Therefore, we will no longer provide official download links for the game through our website. We have no connection to fans who reupload the game files to their own hosts, and we cannot verify that those download links are all legitimate. We advise you to be extremely cautious about downloading the game from unofficial sources. We are blown away by the response this game has received, and we thank you all so much for your outstanding support. We will continue to provide Pokémon Uranium-related news and updates through our official channels. You are welcome to continue discussing and sharing content related to the game on our forums and Discord, where there is a very active community. Thank you for reading, and let’s share the love of Pokémon! This is merely the most recent take down of content Nintendo of America has deemed harmful to their efforts to protect their copyright. A Metroid II fan remake and an archive of out of print Nintendo Power magazines were taken down last week. Copyright law requires those who hold copyrights to stringently police any content that might infringe, even free, fan-made tribute games, in order to properly defend against larger for profit infringement. View full article
  6. Pokémon Uranium, released last week by fans who had worked on it for almost a decade, is no longer available on its official website. More than 1.5 million downloads occurred in the handful of days it was officially linked on the website. The non-profit game was free for all, the developers wishing to merely share their game with the world. On Saturday, Nintendo's lawyers came calling at the Pokémon Uranium website with several take down notices to end the site's distribution of their game. The game developers quickly took down their links, but will continue to update the title, maintain its online features for those who downloaded a copy, and maintain their website. Despite the game being subject to take down, the developers seem to be very happy with how Uranium has been received so far. That being said, the developers take pains to distance themselves from those who might have reuploaded Pokémon Uranium to file hosting sites to continue distribution. After all, they have no control over those individuals and they can't guarantee the safety of any download links from those sites. You can read their full statement below: After receiving more than 1,500,000 downloads of our game, we have been notified of multiple takedown notices from lawyers representing Nintendo of America. While we have not personally been contacted, it’s clear what their wishes are, and we respect those wishes deeply. Therefore, we will no longer provide official download links for the game through our website. We have no connection to fans who reupload the game files to their own hosts, and we cannot verify that those download links are all legitimate. We advise you to be extremely cautious about downloading the game from unofficial sources. We are blown away by the response this game has received, and we thank you all so much for your outstanding support. We will continue to provide Pokémon Uranium-related news and updates through our official channels. You are welcome to continue discussing and sharing content related to the game on our forums and Discord, where there is a very active community. Thank you for reading, and let’s share the love of Pokémon! This is merely the most recent take down of content Nintendo of America has deemed harmful to their efforts to protect their copyright. A Metroid II fan remake and an archive of out of print Nintendo Power magazines were taken down last week. Copyright law requires those who hold copyrights to stringently police any content that might infringe, even free, fan-made tribute games, in order to properly defend against larger for profit infringement.
  7. Pokémon Go might be the big thing right now, but there is another Pokémon title that just released and it isn't related to the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon entries. Pokémon Uranium has been created by dedicated fans who have poured over nine years into creating version 1.0 of their game, which released today. The team of fans working on it used RPGmaker XP and are almost certainly in breech of copyright laws, so read the feature list and perhaps give it a try before it disappears. Pokémon Uranium features: 150 new pocket monsters unique to Uranium Nuclear type Pokémon A new user interface An original story Online battling and trading A tropical setting in the Tandor region The ability to talk to Pokémon Given Nintendo's trend of taking down fan-games (a Metroid II overhaul was taken down earlier this week), archived game history, and more, you might want to check out Pokémon Uranium before Nintendo's lawyers issue a cease and desist, making the game much harder to obtain. You can find the game, which runs via PC emulation, on the Pokémon Uranium website. View full article
  8. Pokémon Go might be the big thing right now, but there is another Pokémon title that just released and it isn't related to the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon entries. Pokémon Uranium has been created by dedicated fans who have poured over nine years into creating version 1.0 of their game, which released today. The team of fans working on it used RPGmaker XP and are almost certainly in breech of copyright laws, so read the feature list and perhaps give it a try before it disappears. Pokémon Uranium features: 150 new pocket monsters unique to Uranium Nuclear type Pokémon A new user interface An original story Online battling and trading A tropical setting in the Tandor region The ability to talk to Pokémon Given Nintendo's trend of taking down fan-games (a Metroid II overhaul was taken down earlier this week), archived game history, and more, you might want to check out Pokémon Uranium before Nintendo's lawyers issue a cease and desist, making the game much harder to obtain. You can find the game, which runs via PC emulation, on the Pokémon Uranium website.
  9. *Note: This is not an April Fool's Day article* One of the problems plaguing many users on YouTube, Twitch, and other content creation websites around the internet in the past few years has been the automation of takedowns under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA was created in 1998, a time when the internet was a vastly different place - a place where sites like YouTube and Twitch were the stuff of dreams. Since its creation, the DMCA hasn't changed or been updated despite the vast restructuring of the Internet and the rapid improvements in technology. In recent years, new interpretations of the DMCA's old language have led to companies being allowed to create automated bots to patrol various websites and submit DMCA takedown notices to content creators, be they monoliths like Machinima or someone sharing a video of their baby dancing to a pop song. On sites like YouTube, these takedowns can result in channels losing videos, having revenue siphoned, or even the elimination of the channel itself. This poses an especially worrisome problem to people who have built careers in these digital spaces. The new systems put in place to patrol copyright on sites like YouTube and Twitch are also ripe for abuse from humans. Large corporations will sometimes bring in another company to patrol copyright on their behalf, leading to takedown notices from unknown entities that offer little recourse. Some copyright holders try to use DMCA to silence reviews or negative reactions to their work, as many channels like Channel Awesome can attest. It is estimated that around 30% of all DMCA takedown notices are wrongfully sent underneath the current systems, which has trampled all over the concepts of Fair Use. Why am I bringing this up? It turns out that the US Copyright Office is currently taking public feedback on the DMCA. The catch? They are only accepting feedback for the next 22 hours as of the writing of this article. The Copyright Office is trying to determine if DMCA has been beneficial or detrimental to the internet before possibly drafting changes. This is an opportunity to let people in a position to update how copyright is handled on the internet know what you want to see happen. We can let them know how the DMCA has been abused by copyright holders and set the stage for a positive change. The digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future has set up a site with a called TakeDownAbuse.org that houses a form people can use to send a personal message or a pre-written statement to the Copyright Office explaining some of the issues with DMCA as it stands. Alternatively, you can call in your thoughts toll free: 1 (877) 476–0778 and press 0 Or you can send a comment using the Copyright Office's form: http://copyright.gov/help/index.html In case you have any doubt as to whether this is an incredibly elaborate prank (given the date, it is understandable), read the Copyright Office's public notice on the subject: https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=COLC-2015-0013-0002 There are many examples of DMCA abuse to be found. Here are just a handful from around YoutTube: Channel Awesome Jim Sterling I Hate Everything Chibi Reviews Charisma on Command
  10. *Note: This is not an April Fool's Day article* One of the problems plaguing many users on YouTube, Twitch, and other content creation websites around the internet in the past few years has been the automation of takedowns under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA was created in 1998, a time when the internet was a vastly different place - a place where sites like YouTube and Twitch were the stuff of dreams. Since its creation, the DMCA hasn't changed or been updated despite the vast restructuring of the Internet and the rapid improvements in technology. In recent years, new interpretations of the DMCA's old language have led to companies being allowed to create automated bots to patrol various websites and submit DMCA takedown notices to content creators, be they monoliths like Machinima or someone sharing a video of their baby dancing to a pop song. On sites like YouTube, these takedowns can result in channels losing videos, having revenue siphoned, or even the elimination of the channel itself. This poses an especially worrisome problem to people who have built careers in these digital spaces. The new systems put in place to patrol copyright on sites like YouTube and Twitch are also ripe for abuse from humans. Large corporations will sometimes bring in another company to patrol copyright on their behalf, leading to takedown notices from unknown entities that offer little recourse. Some copyright holders try to use DMCA to silence reviews or negative reactions to their work, as many channels like Channel Awesome can attest. It is estimated that around 30% of all DMCA takedown notices are wrongfully sent underneath the current systems, which has trampled all over the concepts of Fair Use. Why am I bringing this up? It turns out that the US Copyright Office is currently taking public feedback on the DMCA. The catch? They are only accepting feedback for the next 22 hours as of the writing of this article. The Copyright Office is trying to determine if DMCA has been beneficial or detrimental to the internet before possibly drafting changes. This is an opportunity to let people in a position to update how copyright is handled on the internet know what you want to see happen. We can let them know how the DMCA has been abused by copyright holders and set the stage for a positive change. The digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future has set up a site with a called TakeDownAbuse.org that houses a form people can use to send a personal message or a pre-written statement to the Copyright Office explaining some of the issues with DMCA as it stands. Alternatively, you can call in your thoughts toll free: 1 (877) 476–0778 and press 0 Or you can send a comment using the Copyright Office's form: http://copyright.gov/help/index.html In case you have any doubt as to whether this is an incredibly elaborate prank (given the date, it is understandable), read the Copyright Office's public notice on the subject: https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=COLC-2015-0013-0002 There are many examples of DMCA abuse to be found. Here are just a handful from around YoutTube: Channel Awesome Jim Sterling I Hate Everything Chibi Reviews Charisma on Command View full article
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