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Warner Bros. Sued By Meme Creators Over Copyright Infringement

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the second-generation-internet-entertainment dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 210

Krazy Kanuck sends this quote from the BBC: "Warner Bros is being sued for the alleged unauthorized use of two cats that have achieved internet fame. ... The complaint alleged that the cats were used without permission in Scribblenauts, a series of games on the Nintendo DS and other platforms. Court documents alleged that Warner Bros and 5th Cell 'knowingly and intentionally infringed' both claimant's ownership rights. 'Compounding their infringements,' court papers (PDF) said, 'defendants have used "Nyan Cat" (designed by Christopher Torres) and "Keyboard Cat" (created in 1984 by Charles Schmidt), even identifying them by name, to promote and market their games, all without plaintiffs' permission and without any compensation to plaintiffs.' "

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210 comments

I can haz memes? (4, Funny)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43622323)

nyan cat is watching you litigate!

Re:I can haz memes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622421)

In Soviet Russia, cat nyans YOU.

Re:I can haz memes? (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43622431)

hmm lots of pictures from popular movies shows and other corporate owned works are made into memes i wonder if this caes could be used by them as precedent to shutdown web sites like 4chan which live of of people posting memes.

Re:I can haz memes? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622521)

Fair Use.

Re:I can haz memes? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622667)

Yeah, I think it's not that it's being used, per se. That happens all the time and people do these and share them for fun. What happened here is that it slapped onto a product that was sold for profit without the original creators permission. In other words, they were actually making money off of someone else work without compensation.

Re:I can haz memes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622871)

What happened here is that it slapped onto a product that was sold for profit without the original creators permission. In other words, they were actually making money off of someone else work without compensation.

Which is irrelevant in determining fair use.

Purpose and character (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43622891)

they were actually making money off of someone else work without compensation.

Which is irrelevant in determining fair use.

How so? The first factor in a fair use determination under U.S. law (17 USC 107) involves whether or not the "purpose and character" was commercial.

Re:Purpose and character (1, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year ago | (#43623053)

they were actually making money off of someone else work without compensation.

Which is irrelevant in determining fair use.

How so? The first factor in a fair use determination under U.S. law (17 USC 107) involves whether or not the "purpose and character" was commercial.

True, but fair use does not require any use not make money for the person claiming fair use; for example you can use a clip in a critique of the that is published in a for profit magazine.

Re:I can haz memes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622971)

Correction: parody.

Re:I can haz memes? (5, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#43622597)

So, you're saying that WB infringed the memes, knowing they'd be sued, just so they could lose the case and set a precedent which they could then turn around and use against 4chan?

I think your tin foil hat is borken.

Re:I can haz memes? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43622775)

That's ceiling cat, nyan cat just flies through space shitting rainbows.

Re:I can haz memes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43623065)

can you hear the sparkly rainbow WHOOSH in space?

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622357)

Not sure if that will work well when there are literally hundreds of more blatant rip offs on the very medium they used to become a meme. Is that not part and parcel of being a meme? Having others riff off what you did?

A Taste of Your Own Medicine (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622363)

... How do you like them poptarts?

Re:A Taste of Your Own Medicine (5, Funny)

langelgjm (860756) | about a year ago | (#43622739)

That's Pop-Tarts®. You'll be hearing from our lawyers shortly.

Sincerely,

Kellogg Company Special Counsel for Intellectual Property Issues

Re:A Taste of Your Own Medicine (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about a year ago | (#43622783)

Actually, they won't. The complaint gives a very humorous and TM-free description of Nyan Cat:

NyanCat, a character with a cat's face and a body resembling a horizontal breakfast bar with pink frosting sprinkled with light red dots

Re:A Taste of Your Own Medicine (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#43622805)

Name of the cat is not pop tart cat. So trademark is not a problem. You can't copyright food. So copyright isn't a problem.

Re:A Taste of Your Own Medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43623045)

You also can't copyright a mascot like Nyan Cat, and trademark is not simply a name. Trademark is, actually, a problem for the Nyan Cat creators. Since the Nyan Cat creator is trying to claim ownership of a cat that is 75% Pop Tart, Kellogg will have a case to make that they're violating the trademark.

Re:A Taste of Your Own Medicine (2)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43623063)

I don't know if you're just not familiar with the legal on-goings in Hollywood, but big movie studios get sued for copyright infringement all the time. All the time.

This is because every Tom, Dick, and Harry has an idea, and every movie that's even remotely similar to this brilliant idea of their's will cause them to sue. Now, that doesn't mean these aren't always legitimate lawsuits. Many times, the studios will take something someone pitched, and turn it into a movie, without compensating the originator of the idea. But they have had a lot of experience dealing with these kinds of lawsuits.

Oh, and the movie studios usually win. Southern California, and in fact, most of California, soon to be the United States federal government, is their home turf, and you can't expect to win against them on their own home turf.

The LOLCATS endgame. (5, Funny)

GodInHell (258915) | about a year ago | (#43622369)

Well -- we all knew they were up to something -- now we now it really was world domination, just not the way we all expected.

Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (4, Interesting)

SmokeSerpent (106200) | about a year ago | (#43622373)

Can we all just agree that idea of "copyrighting" characters is ridiculous? Trademark is one thing, but characters created without trademark should be considered travelers within the realm of culture, IMO. Actual direct digital copying of DRAWINGS of said characters, of course, falls under copyright.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43622437)

This.

If the creators really wanted to protect their creations from such use, they should have trademarked them.

Of course, trademarked stuff can't really become a meme in the first place, since the trademark must be actively defended at all times. And not becoming a meme would have meant it probably wouldn't have been found in allegedly "unauthorized" works anyways.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (5, Informative)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year ago | (#43622621)

From the article:
"Both Mr Torres and Mr Schmidt own copyrights and trademarks of the characters."

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43622685)

Then why were those trademarks not defended when they started being publicly used without authorization in the first place? There is an abundance of historical precedent that if you fail to defend your trademarks, you lose them.

Of course, if they had defended them in the first place, then by very definition of what a meme is, they never would have become one.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (2)

immaterial (1520413) | about a year ago | (#43622779)

I don't know how you got up modded for implying it is possible to put a stop to an internet meme. Especially considering the Streisand effect.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622785)

Because "public use" is not what trademarks need to be defended against.

Of course, if they had defended them in the first place, then by very definition of what a meme is, they never would have become one.

Oh, I see. You're trying to start your own meme.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43622853)

Tell that to Bayer.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43623029)

Here's a cluebat for you: trademarks must be defended against commercial use that promotes confusion as to the source of the goods or service.

A picture of a Coke bottle used in a meme does not create any threat of dilution, so Coca-Cola doesn't care until you start using that meme to sell something.

The meme started with the "I'm not x, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night" involves a trademark, but Holiday Inn Express isn't going after bloggers who use the phrase. Trademarks, as a function of advertising, WANT to become popularized through things like memes. They're not incompatible at all.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (2)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about a year ago | (#43622813)

Because only Scribblenauts Unlimited, which just came out a few months ago, uses Nyan Cat - presumably Torres was the instigator of this action, and is just bringing Keyboard Cat along for the ride.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622933)

"Of course, if they had defended them in the first place, then by very definition of what a meme is, they never would have become one."

Exactly! Just ask Barbara Striesand!

"There is an abundance of historical precedent that if you fail to defend your trademarks, you lose them."

Is that historical precedence clear about the internet? Does it require that a person defend his or her copyright when doing so would be unreasonably onerous? If the Nyan cat trademark holder were required to litigate every misuse of Nyan cat then he would quickly go bankrupt trying to sue the internet.

Defending your trademark from a global corporation is one thing. They can easily be served with a CND or a lawsuit. It's unreasonable to expect someone to sue hundreds of thousands of anonymous and potentially untraceable people.

They are defending them dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43623009)

Just because they didn't know the instantly WB used their stuff doesn't mean they aren't defending them. I know you probably never had any intellectual property in your life, but defending a trademark is very time consuming, and costly for normal non billion dollar companies. Add that up also you will be defending your trademark against a mammoth titan with a million dollar legal team and you know come back to reality that the notion of "Hey! they should have defending their mark!" is not a valid argument. It would take one at least 6 months to even get the case ready to present to send off the constable to serve the summons in civil court. The court system is fucking slow. Getting a case ready to defend against God is even slower.

Are you saying if star wars were characters never defended it wouldn't have become the meme in society that it is today? Again your logic is bullshit.

Nyan Cat Violates Copyright! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43623097)

Perhaps it is Nyan cat that is violating copyright:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPPpTLKmaiE

But seriously, is there anything that is not derivative anymore?

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622673)

1) They ARE trademarked and that is part of the complaint.

2) Trademarks can absolutely be part of a meme. Defending a trademark doesn't require blocking noncommercial use.

Fail.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43622757)

A meme, by definition. is a public idea. Nobody "owns" it, even if a specific person originated it, because it's just an idea. You can trademark specific characters, but you can't trademark the ideas behind them. A cat playing a keyboard is an idea, and not a copyrightable or trademarkable notion.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622945)

A meme, by definition. is a public idea. Nobody "owns" it, even if a specific person originated it, because it's just an idea.

Nobody is talking about ownership of the "meme". When you start to talk about the specific underlying elements, however, there are most certainly creators and owners. The Captain Picard facepalm is covered by trademark, publicity, and copyright law. A meme is not just an idea.

You can trademark specific characters, but you can't trademark the ideas behind them. A cat playing a keyboard is an idea, and not a copyrightable or trademarkable notion.

"A cat playing a keyboard" is an idea. That cat in a shirt playing a keyboard, and the images captured from that video are absolutely copyrighted and trademarked.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (2)

Aerokii (1001189) | about a year ago | (#43622983)

Upon inspection, when "froogle"ing "Nyan cat t-shirt", there are thirteen pages of results. This does not include all sorts of other media- people who make 'Nyan Cat' buttons at cons and sell them, the playstation themes mentioned in the comment section here, and any number of other products.

This trademark has absolutely not been protected until now against public OR commercial use.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (4, Informative)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year ago | (#43622439)

I've seen those two particular "memes" on the Playstation Store as dynamic themes in a recent April 2013 update, "officially licensed", for $3 each.

So yep.
. Who knows what would happen to the Steam Workshop for Scribblenauts Unlimited now, as it's 99% encumbered by facsimilies of real registered trademarks, created by players.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (3, Insightful)

briancox2 (2417470) | about a year ago | (#43622579)

Can we all just agree that carrying forward the ancient concept of copyright is ridiculous in a world where it cannot be enforeced without draconian measures?

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43622703)

Only if you consider an alternative of self-censorship to qualify as a non-draconian measure.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (3, Informative)

Chris Dodd (1868704) | about a year ago | (#43622591)

Which is why they're sueing for TRADEMARK infringement. The fact that slashdot gets things totally wrong in the headline is besides the point

Sloppy headline writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622773)

It's slashdot staff who create the headlines, not the submitters, so the blame for this lies squarely with soulskill. Of course, dealing with the sloppy work of colleagues [slashdot.org] is something the staff have shown no interest in for more than a decade.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622595)

Can we all just agree that idea of "copyrighting" characters is ridiculous? Trademark is one thing, but characters created without trademark should be considered travelers within the realm of culture, IMO. Actual direct digital copying of DRAWINGS of said characters, of course, falls under copyright.

Warner brothers isn't going to agree to that! Warner brothers is stuck in a bind. If they agree copyrights are limited in that fashion, they limit all their own copyrights.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622637)

Sure, right after you agree that not even looking at the complaint before you spout off is ridiculous.

The characters are trademarked, and the complaint is about trademark infringement as well.

And an animated, digital character is a drawing, so yes, the copyright complaint about Nyan Cat is valid as well. Keyboard Cat is more complicated. Whatever "direct digital copying" is supposed to mean, who knows.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#43622705)

Yep, absolutely ludicrous, but if someone started using the idea of Bug Bunny and was making a buck, then Warner Bros. would unleash the lawyers and leap down your throat. It's important that the big boys have to play by the same rules as the little guys, even if the rules are bullshit.

You know, cause we kinda expect this system to try and be fair.

Trademark is one thing, but characters created without trademark should be considered travelers within the realm of culture, IMO

Warner Bros is a trademark. They've marked their trade with a logo. Bugs Bunny is a character. Content. The idea of a funny cartoon rabbit does not identify something made by Warner Bros. It is, as you say, a traveler within the realm of culture. Or does the blessed corporation's creations get imbued with some magical quality that places them above whatever youtube user #92859321 released?

Keyboard cat is content, it is not the logo, mark, brand, or signature of a company or maker. The name "keyboard cat".... maybe. But I'd still kinda call bullshit. The entire concept of intellectual property is kinda fucked up and hasn't kept up with the times.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#43622987)

It's important that the big boys have to play by the same rules as the little guys, even if the rules are bullshit.

Isn't he so cute? They're so precious when they're naive like that!!!!

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43622851)

> Can we all just agree that idea of "copyrighting" characters is ridiculous?

Nope. However, copyrighting characters indefinitely is ridiculpus. Life of author + 20 years is fine to protect their financial interests and contracts (he may stupidly step in front of a bus).

Life + 90 years or whatever the latest bump is, is just to protect ongoing money generation long, long after the original author's interests have evaporated.

And no, I'm not looking for the inevitable dark and gritty reimaginings of Micky Mouse.

Re:Copyright of IDEAS is ridiculous (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#43622881)

By allowing only trademark you will give a strong incentive to creative guys not to share. Worst idea ever.

Anyway you're derailing.
A media company caught violating copyright under current law should be fined a lot more than all the others. Not because they're more or less evil. Because

1. they know these laws better than anybody, they might have even paid for them.
2. they bother LEGITIMATE PAYING CUSTOMERS with their hubbub about piracy at the beginning of DVD, games, ads... and then, they proceed to take advantage of others' creativity? Awful.

Copyrighted Memes... (3, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#43622391)

are the submarine patents of culture.

Re:Copyrighted Memes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622489)

are the submarine patents of culture.

But but but it came from people on the INTERNET. The internet and everything on it is blameless and good. Everybody knows THAT! But... this is abuse of a copyright by internet people to keep culture locked behind a paywall, and that's bad, and everybody knows THAT... but these are internet people... but copyright abuse... but internet... but copyright abuse... but internet... but copyright HELP abuse... but internet HELP... but copyright abuse HELP HELP... but HELP HELP internet HELP copyright HELP abuse HELP HELP HELP internet abuse copyright HELP HELP HELP copyHELP HELP HELP HELP ERROR copyright internet copyright abuse internet HELP ERROR HELP SERVICE HELP HELP HELP ERROR HELP Sorry, but this Slashdot hivemind node is down for maintenance. Please try agHELP SERVICE HELP ERROR HELP SERVICE HELP

Another.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622409)

Apb reloaded that busted ol game by the crap company without a clue created a whole bunch of nyan themed stuff too.

Sue them too. it would give me a lol.

Madness must stop. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622433)

I don't want to defend Warner Brothers, but this suit is stupid. These characters are totally pervasive on the Internet - de-facto public domain, so to say. They're also quite old. Extremely few of the people who use them have a clue that they're copyrighted.

If you create a meme and plaster it all over the Internet, you can't expect to keep people from using it, for profit or otherwise. That's just beyond ridiculous. If the creators of Hello Kitty were to sue every small clothing maker who used images, we'd have millions of stupid lawsuits like this under way.

If it was a character with a strong brand association, say like Mickey Mouse or Mario or anything from a cereal box, there might be a case. These characters exist solely for the purpose of sending people LULz everywhere on the webs, so it's really not the same thing, as they aren't commonly associated with any known brand or company.

Re:Madness must stop. (5, Informative)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#43622695)

de-facto public domain

No, in fact, they're not public domain. Declaring them public domain based on their pervasiveness would mean that Mickey Mouse is also public domain-- and we all know that isn't true.

If you create a meme and plaster it all over the Internet, you can't expect to keep people from using it, for profit or otherwise

Pretty sure Fatso the keyboard cat was simply posted on YouTube and the meme snowballed.

Re:Madness must stop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622759)

Mickey Mouse is NOT de-facto public domain because every single person in the universe knows he's a symbol of Disney. With the characters in question here, that is simply not the case. They are owner-less memes from the public perspective, for all intents and purposes.

Re:Madness must stop. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622815)

Mickey Mouse is NOT de-facto public domain because every single person in the universe knows he's a symbol of Disney

Wrong, that is not why Mickey Mouse is not in the public domain. Not by a long shot.

With the characters in question here, that is simply not the case. They are owner-less memes from the public perspective, for all intents and purposes.

Irrelevant, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

Re:Madness must stop. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622839)

I think you should consider a key difference here: not only is Warner Bros. using the work to make profit on the game but they are also using these images to promote the game. There is a huge difference between some kid posting Nyan cat on 4chan for the billionth time and Warner Bros. using Nyan cat for marketing. That random kid on 4chan isn't making a profit from it. It's not part of his business model.

It's perfectly reasonable for the creator of Nyan cat to say "I don't mind it when random people (even if it is a lot of random people) post Nyan cat on imageboards just to have a laugh but I don't want a global corporation to use my image to make money without my permission".

That's how copyright works and to a certain degree that's perfectly reasonable. You shouldn't be expected to litigate against every single person who ever uses your image withot your permission. That is going to be way too onerous for something like Nyan cat. The Nyan cat creator would go bankrupt trying to sue the internet. It does make sense, however, to target a huge corporation who really should know better.

Re:Madness must stop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622737)

Just to be fair, I can see that Warner Brothers now, having content using these memes, could "accidentally" submit take down notices due to copyright infringement from the work they copied.

Given that they periodically do that, why not pre-emptive strikes, just to make sure they understand the dilemma?

Just a thought. But yes, it's public and many derivative works are out there, so probably this is just in protest for what I expect WB copyrights over their work.

Seems reasonable to me (5, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year ago | (#43622453)

These media conglomerates salivate in their sleep while dreaming of litigating the crap out of anyone they can get away with so that they can maintain a stranglehold on culture.

I am totally in favor of culture biting them in the ass, using the very laws they weas^H^H^H^Hchampioned.

Re:Seems reasonable to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622561)

Shakespeare said it best: "For 'tis the sport to have the enginer Hoist with his own petar'; and 't shall go hard".

Public Domain? (0)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a year ago | (#43622455)

I was under the impression that once something becomes a meme, it is essentially public domain since it's extensive public use would forfeit any intellectual rights the creators may have had.

From my point of view, they see that Warner Bros has lots of money and are making a cash grab even though they can't show any evidence of them trying to retain ownership of their creative works in the past. Where was the flurry of take down notices to the social sites these memes were propagated on? Where was the cease and desist letter to the Colbert show when Keyboard Cat was used numerous times there?

I'm all for the little guy being protected against the 800lb gorilla -- but in this case I hope the judge takes a sniff of this lawsuit and dismisses it outright.

Re:Public Domain? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622513)

"I was under the impression that once something becomes a meme, it is essentially public domain since it's extensive public use would forfeit any intellectual rights the creators may have had.
"

You don't seem to understand copyright at all then, sadly. Everything you just said is wrong. .

Re:Public Domain? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622539)

In trademark perhaps, but not copyright. You can choose to prosecute any subset of copyright violators that you have the resources to prosecute.

Re: Public Domain? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622565)

There is no obligation to protect copyright. That's trademark.

Re:Public Domain? (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about a year ago | (#43622607)

It sounds like you're saying it should be actionable if one person steals your work, but if everyone steals your work, it shouldn't be.

IMO, Warner Bros is in a "live by the IP, die by the IP" place. If they took someone else's work and used it for commercial gain, I don't have a problem with the creator whacking them on the head for it. The foolproof defense, oh big companies who make your fortunes by creating characters, is just never to steal someone else's characters.

Re:Public Domain? (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about a year ago | (#43622671)

That would explain why the song Happy Birthday is public domain.
Except that it's not. You're thinking of trademarks, not copyrights.

Re:Public Domain? (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#43622809)

I was under the impression that once something becomes a meme, it is essentially public domain

Just because you want it to be true doesn't make it so.

Legally, no it doesn't work that way at all.

Culturally, the only thing that any self-respecting netizen would advance as a meme isn't created by corporate influences or anyone that has the money or means to try and... you know... "own" a meme. As much as the PR department of Folgers Crystals would love to have their product become a meme, that shit just ain't happenin. But companies are certainly trying. I mean, that thing with the Old Spice guy is pretty well known.

Most memes are created and spread by, well, the poor. Poor in comparison to companies that own "brands", at least. The poor by and far do not enjoy the legal rights that people with lawyers do, and so the vast majority of memes are thrown about without worrying about being sued.

So when you say "essentially in the public domain", you're actually kinda right. Any copyright owned by the poor probably isn't going to be enforced, which is almost equivalent to being in the public domain.

If that seems unfair to you.... YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHH how about that suit against Warner Bros.?

Complete your sentences please (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | about a year ago | (#43622473)

Court documents alleged that Warner Bros and 5th Cell 'knowingly and intentionally infringed' both claimant's ownership rights.

They infringed both claimant's ownership rights and what else?

Pot, meet Kettle (4, Insightful)

redshirt (95023) | about a year ago | (#43622485)

Doesn't Nyan cat use the image of a Pop Tart as the body of the cat?

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (5, Informative)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43622527)

Frosted breakfast toaster pastries aren't an exclusively owned intellectual property. Nyan Cat doesn't have a "Pop Tart (tm)" label on the image; just an image of a food (?) product of which many generic variants are available.

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622629)

Frosted breakfast toaster pastries aren't an exclusively owned intellectual property

I know this all too well, and still suffer the scars of my youth; that one time when my mom brought home "Toaster Pastries" instead of Pop Tarts.

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622709)

It was because the store gave her a holocaust survivor discount.

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622659)

Not a Pop-Tart --- A Country- Square

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop-Tarts
 

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43622795)

FWIW, Its creator is quoted as saying it's a Pop Tart in its Wikipedia article. Part of having a Trademark is the responsibility of defending it against unauthorized use. If you don't defend it you lose it. So, Kelloggs will probably sue him at some point and he will then say it's not a Pop Tart.

Meh.

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622893)

Wrong: The person claims "Like a Pop Tart", not "Pop Tart". I'm glad I'm not your attorney and we are not in court, you'd have just lost us the case.

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622955)

Wrong. You should have kept reading:
 

Christopher Torres said: "Originally, its name was Pop Tart Cat, and I will continue to call it so, but the Internet has reached a decision to name it Nyan Cat, and I'm happy with that choice, too."

Source. [popgoestheweek.com]

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622537)

Not quite, but the folks from Horizontal Breakfast Bar Heavy Industries, Inc. should be pretty peeved right now.

let me explain (3, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a year ago | (#43622599)

Clearly the creators are confused. When big media takes something and uses it, that is just fine and everyone should look the other way. But if they (the big media maffia) even accuse anyone of taking something of theirs (or even that they would like to be theirs but really isn't) then that person is guilty and owes them irrational amounts of compensation.

Keyboard Cat Final Argument (1)

cheatch (1713998) | about a year ago | (#43622613)

Lawyer: "... And that concludes my final argument, play me off keyboard cat."

Keyboard Cat: &music&

Oh, the irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622683)

Did I use it right this time ? Huh, Did I ? ;-)

Sweet poetic justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622741)

This is the world IP holders like Warner Bros. want to live in. These are the laws they want. They must now lie in the bed they spent so much lobbying money to make.

I'm torn though. I really do want an injunction because it will hurt (albeit slightly) Warner Bros. but at the same time, Scribblenauts is kind of awesome and doesn't really deserve an injunction. Also, I don't want injunctions like this to be standard for mere allegations. Dilemma thy name is IP law!

Yeah yeah yeah... (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about a year ago | (#43622743)

Toss the "stick it to the man," "taste your own medicine" rubbish aside...

$1000 says WB wins, considering the justice system is rigged to favor the party with the most money.

Come on, who are we trying to fool here?

Re:Yeah yeah yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622827)

$1000 says WB wins, considering the justice system is rigged to favor the party with the most money.

$1000? So, that's like, 1/75th of an mp3?

The second coming? (3, Funny)

coldsalmon (946941) | about a year ago | (#43622791)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
a character with a cat's face and a body
resembling a horizontal breakfast bar
with pink frosting sprinkled with light red dots,
flies across the screen, leaving a stream
of exhaust in the form of a bright rainbow
in its wake, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.

Let's recount. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622941)

a) It's not "big greedy WB milking internet memes", it's "game dev, 5th Cell, inserting an easter egg in a game for fans amusement"
b) What's likely to happen is these two guys getting slapped silly by huge WB's lawyer team (unless they manage to settle out of court)
c) And what else is likely to happen is whether they win it or not, after that whenever a developer thinks about a meme-based easter egg, a man in a suit will come from HQ telling him to cut it out, because they don't want to spend time and money researching and licensing trademarks and/or getting in a lawsuit.

But let's not think about it and cheer it on! Boo, big WB! Yay, Internet freedom fighters! Trademark ALL the memes!

Case dismissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43623001)

WB is big, you are not. Therefore: no infringement.

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