Nintendo has long has issues with content creators and gamers over its aggressive and often hostile approach to copyright infringement. While it’s not just Nintendo that like to assert dominance over modders and gamers, their latest salvo against a mod creator has a lot of people on edge.
The creator of the Super Mario 64 Online rom hack, a mod enabling multiplayer on the classic platforming game, has become Nintendo’s latest target in its IP protection crusade. Nintendo has shut down Super Mario 64 Online developer Kaze Emanuar’s Patreon account and removed 20 videos related to the game from his YouTube channel. Nintendo has also been pursuing DMCA takedowns of downloads for the hack hosted on third-party services.
It’s always a grey area when trying to monetizing modding, As the usage of unlicensed content for the purposes of profit, even through donations, can often spell disaster for a team. It may be the case that the Patreon funding is what pushed Nintendo to act in this instance.
Emanuar spoke to Kotaku yesterday regarding Nintendo’s focus on him following the release of Super Mario 64 Online:
“They took down my videos for containing their ‘audiovisual content,’ meaning Mario 64 gameplay and Mario 64 music. They even took down videos without Mario 64 music too though. The exact same goes for my Patreon. They didn’t personally message me, I’ve only received a ton of emails that things had been removed from YouTube/Patreon [Tuesday] morning. They seem to have targeted the ‘Super Mario 64 Online’ videos especially, as every single one of them has disappeared from my channel.”
Despite having only recently seen its release, Super Mario 64 Online will not be allowed to exist where the public can access or view it freely. Nintendo may also attack other mod projects from Emanuar in the future, as he had been involved with modding the game for years now. No cease-and-desist orders have been issued against Super Mario 64 projects yet, but they may be soon. Only time will tell how far Nintendo is willing to go when defending it’s copyright.