Oh Nintendo, what have you done once more? If you haven’t seen it already, Nintendo has frozen the Kickstarter campaign on Bitmap Books upcoming work, NES/Famicom Visual Compendium. They claim that the book is a collection of copyright infringements basically.
On his side, Sam Dyer, Bitmap Books founder, states that he did all the legal research that he could and ensured his backers that the content he used is under fair use.
However, it must have caught Nintendo’s eye because of the amount of money it raised, around £170,000 or $225,000. The last successfully crowdfunded project that used NES screenshots and game covers was Pat Contri‘s Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library 1985-1995 that managed to raise around $144,000 but, and let’s be honest, was less professional looking in terms of layout.
On the other hand, it’s true that Nintendo will not see any of those £170,000+ that were collected using the intellectual properties created by the Japanese company. But they have to realize that Sam and the Bitmap Books team are not ultra-capitalistic people that only care about the money. No, here we have a team of passionate people that create true work of art and tell the history of this amazing medium.
There’s definitely some middle ground to be reached here and let’s hope that the big corporation will do the right thing and see this for what it is, an homage to a whole generation of gaming.