Usually, when Nintendo calls on its lawyers to do something, they get it done. In fact, Nintendo has a very impressive track record when it comes to winning courtroom battles. Now, it seems that Nintendo is going after a college student, Josh Goldberg, who created a full screen recreation of Super Mario Brothers. However, Nintendo says that this clearly infringes on their intellectual property rights.
The Mario game in question is built using HTML5. In short, this means that this Mario game can be run from any Internet browser that supports HTML5, including the Wii U. This gives anyone access to play Mario as long as they have a browser that can run this game … or at least they could until Nintendo told him to remove the site.
Goldberg was the first to admit that he did not get any kind of permission from Nintendo to recreate its games. He said that he started the project in October 2012 during a computer programming class. At the time, Goldberg said that he did not even think about copyright issues because he really didn’t think that the game would be such a big deal.
However, thanks to social media sites and other sites like Reddit, Goldberg’s game blew up. At the time of this writing, he was receiving nearly 300,000 unique visitors every single day. Due to the attention of the site, it also caught the attention of the actual owners of the rights … Nintendo.
The chief editor of IGN.com, Keza MacDonald, said that Nintendo is a lot like Disney. It will simply not tolerate its characters and properties being used without its blessing. Of course, it is hard to blame the company when you think about it because it is these properties that have kept Nintendo going for so many years. It has to be protective of them.
Nintendo has recently been laying down the hammer when it comes to people using its properties without permission. In fact, earlier this year it stopped people from being able to post pictures or footage of its games on YouTube. This was something that Nintendo later stopped enforcing because the buzz it gets from YouTube is better than any damage that is done from people posting video footage of its games.
Nintendo is not due to lose the copyright of Super Mario Brothers any time soon. In the United States, corporate copyrights last for 95 years. Nintendo first copyrighted Mario in America in 1985, so the copyright on Mario is only about 28 years old.