Last week we reported how a single developer was re-creating Zelda: Breath of the Wild in 2D, in the style of the old Zelda games. Called “Breath of the NES”, he had already made a functioning prototype that gamers could download and play.
Until Nintendo’s lawyers issued a takedown notice. The company is notoriously protective of its trademarks and copyrights, and goes after anyone if there’s even a suggestion of infringement.
Luckily, the game’s developer, Winter Drake, said (via Twitter) that the game will live on and that he will continue working on it but will not use Nintendo’s characters any longer.
Here’s what the complete takedown notice from Nintendo’s lawyers looked like:
Dear Support Team,
We represent Nintendo of America Inc. (“Nintendo”) in intellectual property matters. Nintendo recently learned that content available at https://winterdrake.itch.io/breath-of-the-nes-zelda-fangame infringes copyrights owned by Nintendo. This notice is provided pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 USC § 512, and itch.io’s Terms of Service. We submitted a notice through itch.io’s web form yesterday, but the infringing content still appears.
This page linked above provides access to downloadable files that violate itch.io’s Terms of Service and infringe Nintendo’s copyrights in its The Legend of Zelda video game franchise, including but not limited to the audiovisual work, images, and fictional character depictions from the following: U.S. Copyright Reg. Nos. VA0001419268 (Link character); PA0000356140 (The Legend of Zelda); and PA0002028142 (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild).
I have a good faith belief that this use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. I hereby state that the information herein is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that I am authorized to act on Nintendo of America Inc.’s behalf.
We would appreciate your expeditious removal of all infringing content. Please contact me immediately with any questions.
This notice is not intended to and shall not waive or prejudice any rights and remedies that Nintendo may have at law, in equity, or otherwise. Any and all such rights and remedies are hereby expressly reserved.
Attorney for Nintendo of America Inc.