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Hasbro Buckles Down on Copyright Infringement, Pony Fans in Outrage

Anonymous Coward writes | about 2 years ago


An anonymous reader writes "Back in 2011 there was a Slashdot story submitted about Hasbro's lenient copyright enforcement policies with regards to the then-new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic reboot. Hasbro did not protest when older fans created parodies and derivative works (and they even turned a blind eye when full episodes of the show were uploaded to YouTube) as they saw this activity as helpful to growing the brand. This was largely successful: the "brony" fanbase has swelled to the millions (their news site Equestria Daily is actually capable of Slashdotting other websites), and My Little Pony--a franchise previously known for being of interest only to little girls--has made its mark in pop culture. Now, Hasbro's tune has changed. Parodies and other works have been taken down, leaving fans upset and very worried. It looks like the cease-and-desist recently sent out to the fan-made game "Fighting is Magic" has become the straw that broke the camel's back, sending the fanbase into a total furor. (The linked article has so far attracted 1000 comments in just over two hours.) Also, it's worth noting that Hasbro originally was fine with this game being created, and this reversal means the cease-and-desist came after months of development.

Yes, it's true that this is (or was originally) just a show for little girls. However, My Little Pony became huge among grown men (!) in part because Hasbro was lenient on copyright enforcement--they basically allowed their content to be pirated, seeing it as free advertising. Now that they've reversed their policy, what will this mean for the fans? And what will it mean for the franchise?"

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