For those who backed Bitmap Books’ Kickstarter for their Nintendo Entertainment System Visual Compendium, you may’ve already been sent some disappointing news via e-mail. Funded several times over its initial financial goal, Nintendo pulled the plug on the project just on the last day of funding. Apparently, Bitmap Books was using unauthorized screenshots and assets from their 8-bit titles, such as Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda.
The copyright claim, which can be viewed on Kickstarter, also cites the use of a modified Official Nintendo Seal mark, which could lead to confusion of the Compendium being an officially licensed product. Game Informer has received a response from Nintendo on the matter, where the company affirmed its practice of aggressively pursuing unauthorized works.
Sam Dyer of Bitmap Books released this statement:
“Nintendo have filed a copyright claim against the campaign. I have taken lots of legal advice prior to launching the campaign plus I also spoke to Nintendo UK. The use of game imagery is completely legal under FAIR USE’ law.
I have now made some little tweaks to the campaign to make it even more watertight but I wholeheartedly believe that the book is 100% above board.
What happens now
Don’t panic! The campaign is under review whilst I talk to Nintendo. Your pledge is safe and in the unlikely case I’m unsuccessful, it will go right back to you as it would with any stopped campaign. There’s no need to panic and cancel your funding as your money is not at risk.
The campaign is essentially ‘frozen’ as is the timer. So fingers crossed when we’re live again, the clock will start from with 24 hours left and we can complete the campaign.
The whole thing is frustrating but please stick with me. I’ve invested a lot of time and energy ensuring that this is legal and above board.
Will update you when I have some news.”
We’ll keep you updated on any further news regarding the Compendium, but in the meantime, it’s worth reminding the Super Famicom: Box Art Collection, another product by Bitmap Books, was pulled from Kickstarter for unlicensed content. While it eventually found a publisher, it was rife with typos and grammatical errors, and fans have noticed an egregious error in one of the previewed pages for the Nintendo Compendium. Perhaps Mr. Myer should also be interested in looking for a proofreader?
Do you think the Compendium should be given another chance? Let us know in the comments below!