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Legal System

38 Studios lawsuit photo
38 Studios lawsuit

Judge okays first settlement in 38 Studios lawsuit

$4.4 million agreement between Rhode Island EDC and bond attorney approved
Jul 27
// Kyle MacGregor
A judge has approved the first settlement in Rhode Island's lawsuit over the ill-fated $75 million deal that brought Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios to the state in 2010. The ruling from Superior Court Judge Mich...
Not 'free' photo
Not 'free'

Google will stop calling games with in-app purchases 'free' in Europe

Healthcare communist socialist PC police
Jul 18
// Steven Hansen
As part of its investigation into unwanted in-app purchases, often by children, the European Commission has laid out guidelines for developers and the app stores themselves to follow. By the end of September, Google will...
Active-fission photo

Vivendi considered firing Activision's Bobby Kotick over last year's buyout

Kotick and Activision chairman Brian Kelly being sued, too
Jul 16
// Steven Hansen
Last year, Activision Blizzard orchestrated a buyout of then-parent company Vivendi to separate from Vivendi and become an independent company. I wrote this great headline about the split --Active-fission -- and stared w...
38 Studios photo
38 Studios

Rhode Island agrees to $4.4 million settlement in 38 Studios lawsuit

Bond attorney denies liability, but doesn't want to risk trial
Jun 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Rhode Island has reached a $4.4 million settlement agreement with one of the defendants named in the state's lawsuit over the failed deal, according to court filings released Friday. The suit alleges defendant Moses Afonso Ry...
Thanks, laws photo
Thanks, laws

Oakland formally lifts 80-year pinball ban

Oakland more like Jokeland (Raiders suck)
Jun 24
// Steven Hansen
There's a thing anyone who took a US government class in high school from an angry bald man should know: technology outpaces law. Not just technology. Advancement in general. Are Let's Plays illegal? We can only hope.  S...
Nintendo photo

Philips comes out victorious in Nintendo legal patent battle

A UK court rules that Nintendo did indeed infringe on Philips' patent
Jun 20
// Brittany Vincent
For some time now, Nintendo has been locked in a legal battle with Philips over patents registered back in 2011 regarding gesture recognition and motion control. Philips claimed to have patented these ideas long before Ninten...
Nintendo win photo
Nintendo win

Federal appeals court on Nintendo's side in Wii remote patent case

This whole damn courtroom is out of order, the vending machine is out of order!
Jun 16
// Steven Hansen
Remember when Nintendo kept getting sued over the Wii remote? Fun times. One such suit was filed by Triton Tech of Texas, LLC in 2010. At that time, the Seattle district court dismissed the suit, deciding that ...
Austin Wintory photo
Austin Wintory

Journey composer facing $50,000 fine from Musicians Union

Austin Wintory is facing legal action after composing the score to The Banner Saga
Jun 09
// Alasdair Duncan
If you've played the likes of Journey, Monaco, or The Banner Saga, then you'll have heard the wonderful music composed by Austin Wintory. Unfortunately, the Grammy-nominated composer is under fire from his union, the America...
Wii U photo
Wii U

Philips is out to ban the Wii U from sale in the US

Patent infringement is a powerful thing
May 15
// Brittany Vincent
Philips is making an attempt to get the Wii U banned from sale in the US on the grounds of patent infringement. The electronics giant has accused Nintendo of replicating specific technology concerning navigation via "pointing...
NOLF photo

Trademark spotted: No One Lives Forever may live again

Nothing's gone forever
May 02
// Steven Hansen
No One Lives Forever's rights disappeared last year. Activision said it didn't have them and, in short, no one seemed to have them. Siliconera spotted trademarks for No One Lives Forever, The Operative, Contract J.A.C.K. and ...
Dumb photo

Massachusetts town overturns 32 year old ban on arcade games

...Better late than never?
May 02
// Steven Hansen
In 1982, the town of Marshfield, Massachusetts banned coin operated arcade games in public businesses (wow, more like Harshfield), fearing they were robbing children of their money and bringing in riff raff. Somehow, that ban...

Interceptor Entertainment investors have acquired Apogee/3D Realms

The Triad returns to nest and buys the tree
Mar 03
// Conrad Zimmerman
The investment group behind Interceptor Entertainment, SDN Invest, has announced that they have acquired Apogee/3D Realms, the developer/publisher responsible for franchises like Duke Nukem, Commander Keen and&...
Neo Geo X Gold dispute photo
Neo Geo X Gold dispute

Neo Geo X maker calls SNK Playmore a bully

The plot thickens
Jan 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Tommo is continuing its fight with SNK Playmore over the right to sell the Neo Geo X Gold. The company alleges SNK has asked a number of Tommo's retail and distribution partners to stop selling the retro console and supportin...
Nintendo photo

Nintendo obtains IA Labs' patents in sheriff's sale

Lawsuits ain't cheap
Jan 09
// Brett Makedonski
Nintendo acquired the entire patent portfolio of IA Labs in a sheriff's sale this week in Montgomery County, Maryland. The transaction came about as the result of unsuccessful litigation on the part of IA Labs. In 2010, IA La...
Blizzard wins lawsuit photo
Blizzard wins lawsuit

Blizzard wins $7M in bot suit settlement

Seems the lawyers didn't bot-ch it...
Oct 22
// Steven Hansen
Blizzard Entertainment has been awarded $7 million in the settlement of a December 2011 lawsuit against Ceiling Fan Software, GamesIndustry International reports. Ceiling Fan is responsible for a number of World of Warcraft b...
EA settlement photo
EA settlement

EA to pay tens of millions to NCAA student athletes

Plaintiffs' attorneys call it a 'historic settlement'
Sep 28
// Brett Makedonski
Electronic Arts has bought its way out of a potentially nasty class action lawsuit, for use of the names, images, and likenesses of former and current NCAA student athletes. All it cost was an undisclosed amount, vaguely refe...
Gearbox lawsuit photo
Gearbox lawsuit

3D Realms drops its Duke Nukem lawsuit against Gearbox

One down, Colonial Marines to go
Sep 13
// Brett Makedonski
Earlier this year, 3D Realms filed a lawsuit against Gearbox Software, alleging more than $2 million in unpaid royalties from Duke Nukem Forever. A mere few months later, the parties have now stipulated to the dismissal with ...
Nintendo vs. flashcarts photo
Nintendo vs. flashcarts

Nintendo files suit against Florida flashcart distributor

Not in my house!
Aug 07
// Tony Ponce
Piracy on the DS was kind of a big deal, which is why Nintendo has been taking measures to ensure that the same filth doesn't infect the 3DS ecosystem. The 3D handheld has remained more or less untainted thus far, but the onl...
EA loses lawsuit photo
EA loses lawsuit

Boom! EA loses $11 million Madden lawsuit

Boom! Tough actin' litigation
Jul 24
// Steven Hansen
In 2011, we reported that Electronic Arts was being sued by Robin Antonick, designer of the original John Madden Football, who was claiming unpaid royalties for derivatives of his work after realizing subsequent early Madden ...
Harmonix photo

Viacom loses $300-million lawsuit against Harmonix

Dollar dollar bills, ya'll
Jul 17
// Abel Girmay
Ending years of litigation, the Delaware Supreme Court has ordered Viacom to pay Harmonix Music's former owners $300 million in owed bonuses, money from when Viacom still owned the studio. You may remember that Harmonix was b...
THQ photo

THQ's liquidation plans get court approval

And it just keeps going
Jul 17
// Abel Girmay
At a hearing held in Wilmington, Delaware, THQ was granted final approval for its liquidation approval plan, effectively marking the end of the publisher's bankruptcy case. Most of you will remember that the defunct publisher...
Wii U photo
Wii U

Nintendo loses legal claim to domain name

Not exactly the cyber-squatting case some thought it would be
Jul 02
// Abel Girmay
After filing a formal complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center to gain ownership of the domain name, an official ruling has been handed down in favor of Andy Tran, the current owner of the domain name...

Man chooses month of prison over month of Xbox games

Console wars definitively over
Jun 06
// Jim Sterling
A New Zealand young offender has chosen to spend the final month of his house arrest term in a real prison, rather than spend another four weeks trapped in his home with his emotionally crippling Xbox system. He was so sick o...

Nintendo is claiming ownership of Let's Play videos

May 15 // Tony Ponce
Over on GameFront, a Nintendo rep explains that as part of its push into social media, the company registered copyrighted content in the YouTube database. "For most fan videos this will not result in any changes," the rep explains, "however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. "We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property." See? You can still produce anything you like! Nintendo will just keep the money you ought to be earning for itself. That is unbelievably ballsy. The only videos being claimed thus far are recent releases -- Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Mario Kart 7. Nintendo is specifically targeting newer titles still in wide availability. If the company was genuinely concerned about such content sharing, it should be going after everyone. By being so selective, it's almost as though Nintendo feels threatened that people would watch these then decide they don't need to buy the game anymore. Non-interactive footage is hardly a valid substitute for hands-on play, so any suggestion to the contrary is absurd. There is a silver lining, though. It seems that Nintendo genuinely wants fans to continue making LPs and related content without fear of serious repercussions. These content claims suddenly appeared out of nowhere and caught people off guard; I merely hope these LPers and Nintendo can sort this mess soon. Nintendo is mass "claiming" gameplay videos on YouTube [reddit]Nintendo Flexing Copyright Clout on YouTube Let’s Play Channels [GameFront]
Nintendo vs. Let's Plays photo
Time to collect the Mario tax!
The last time we heard about a major game publisher slapping the wrists of innocent YouTube channel operators, it was SEGA forcing the removal of videos that so much as breathed word of the Shining Force series. Whatever reas...


Biden: No legal reason why 'violent' games can't be taxed

Vice President tells Reverend Asshole that'd be just fine
May 14
// Jim Sterling
Vice President Joe Biden recently had a meeting with religious leaders to discuss gun control, and violent media was discussed. God forbid we don't obfuscate the gun discussion with more demented strawmen.  Reverend Fran...

Jimquisition: Lawsuits, Memes, and Tasty Medicine

Jimquisition happens every Monday!
May 06
// Jim Sterling
Warner Bros. and 5th Cell are facing a lawsuit over the inclusion of Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat in Scribblenauts. Preposterous, you say? Greedy, are the meme makers? I say well done them! It's absolutely about time Warne...

Aliens: Gearbox defends its right to mislead customers

Studio lashes back at 'frivolous litigation'
May 03
// Jim Sterling
Both Gearbox and SEGA have responded to a class action suit that alleges customers were lied to during the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines. Both companies are happy to defend themselves and seem unswayed by the threat...

Warner Bros. sued over memes in Scribblenauts? Okay!

Thief-hating company accused of theft
May 02
// Jim Sterling
Warner Bros. and 5th Cell are being slapped with a lawsuit (story via NeoGAF) over the inclusion of a pair of Internet memes in Scribblenauts Unlimited. Both the infamous Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat can be summoned into th...

Aliens: Colonial Marines gets class action suit for lies

Gearbox and SEGA targeted for misleading advertising
May 01
// Jim Sterling
SEGA and Gearbox have been slapped with a class action suit for Aliens: Colonial Marines, accused of lying about the game to get it sold. It was only a matter of time.  Edelson LLC has taken the case, which alleges that ...
EDGE photo

Tim Langdell's EDGE trademark claim finally quashed

Langdell was in dispute with EA, Future Publishing, and more
Apr 22
// Alasdair Duncan
It's taken a few years but Tim Langdell's spurious copyright claims on the word "Edge" have finally ended. Eurogamer reports that a judge in California has passed a Consolidated Cancellation put forward by EA that will c...

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