Nintendo sues popular TikTok/Twitch star

midian182

Posts: 6,072   +50
Staff member
What just happened? Few companies aggressively protect their IPs quite like Nintendo. The Japanese gaming giant has launched plenty of copyright infringement lawsuits in the past, but this is the first against a TikTok star/Twitch streamer/adult entertainment industry worker.

Boasting 1.9 million followers on TikTok and more than 50,000 followers on Twitch, Pokeprincxss has a big social media presence. The name and numerous tattoos of the creatures are a testament to her love of Pokémon.

Nintendo, on the other hand, isn’t a fan. Two months ago, she received an email from LegalZoom—the company where she trademarked her username—revealing that Nintendo had issued a cease and desist letter.

Nintendo likely objected to the Pokeprincxss trademark’s similarity with the Pokémon name, and the fact she sells merchandise based on her online personality featuring imagery from the long-running franchise.

As reported by Game Rant, Pokeprincxss assumed using the Pokémon imaginary would fall under parody and be classed as fair use. She notes that other streamers use the word ‘poki’ in their names and haven’t faced legal threats, while people sell Pokémon fan art all the time.

What could have put Pokeprincxss in Nintendo’s sights is her involvement in the adult entertainment industry and popular OnlyFans account. While the company isn’t quite as family friendly as it used to be—controversial murder simulator Hatred is supposedly coming to the Switch—it won’t want to risk any association with the streamer.

As a result of the letter, Pokeprincxss has had to pay Nintendo all of the money she made from merchandise sales and change her name to digitalprincxss.

We already know that Nintendo will send a pipe-wielding Mario (figuratively) after anyone who dares use one of its intellectual properties without permission. It's previously targeted devs of a Mario 64 mod, several ROM sites, a YouTube channel uploading its games’ soundtracks, a fan-made Super Mario 64 PC port, and many more.

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TomSEA

Posts: 3,275   +1,927
Calling these attention wh*res "stars" is just plain moronic.
This "follower" crap is another thing. Are people that pathetic?
Apparently. Gotta keep in mind though these "followers" are primarily pre-teens and early teens. In other words, kids who haven't developed a lick of sense yet and doing what all their friends are doing to keep up with the crowd.
 

Endymio

Posts: 603   +490
It's nice to see how big companies can get away with it.
What do you believe they are "getting away with"? A world without trademark protection would be a very sad and sorry place for consumers. When I buy a product with a company name on it, I like knowing it was actually produced by that company, whether it be McDonalds or Mercedes.

As for this particular case, linking a child-friendly mark like Pokémon to the adult film industry can in no way be considered benign. Plus, many people fail to realize that trademark law essentially requires mark owners to police such cases, or risk losing ownership of the mark entirely.
 

Stoly

Posts: 42   +20
What do you believe they are "getting away with"? A world without trademark protection would be a very sad and sorry place for consumers. When I buy a product with a company name on it, I like knowing it was actually produced by that company, whether it be McDonalds or Mercedes.

As for this particular case, linking a child-friendly mark like Pokémon to the adult film industry can in no way be considered benign. Plus, many people fail to realize that trademark law essentially requires mark owners to police such cases, or risk losing ownership of the mark entirely.
Would be a sorry place for creators, make that content owners. Not consumers.

 
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redgarl

Posts: 161   +220
Apparently. Gotta keep in mind though these "followers" are primarily pre-teens and early teens. In other words, kids who haven't developed a lick of sense yet and doing what all their friends are doing to keep up with the crowd.
The fact that these people are parasites... and that young kids see this as THE NORM or OKAY to beg for money and adulation, this is endangering a whole generation.

Twitch is nothing more than psychological prostitution.
 

Hexic

Posts: 760   +805
TechSpot Elite
That was painful to listen to. I’m unsure if the public education system failed us with that 10 minutes of babbling or just society in general.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,992   +2,447
The fact that these people are parasites... and that young kids see this as THE NORM or OKAY to beg for money and adulation, this is endangering a whole generation.

Twitch is nothing more than psychological prostitution.
Social media, in general, has been a pox upon humanity. It's destroyed families, encouraged degeneracy, turned social interaction into dopamine chasing likes and emotes, taking the slightest social provacation and railroading it into mountanious society ending plagues, and ultimately psycologically derailed an entire generation of people into thinking this is the normal way to interact, hell its derailed multiple generations.

The internet has simultaniously been the best and worst thing to ever happen to humanity.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 29   +27
The fact that these people are parasites... and that young kids see this as THE NORM or OKAY to beg for money and adulation, this is endangering a whole generation.

Twitch is nothing more than psychological prostitution.

And yet, isn't that how the tv/radio/movie/magazine industry has always been? :rolleyes:

Models have been getting paid to do favors the right-positioned super-fan/receiving fanmail with expensive gifts from fools for decades.

Before we had the ease and direct interaction of of Twitch streaming payments, folks went through the trouble of gifting for online-only photo-shoots. These were exactly the same as old magazine exclusive photo-shoots of old (where they paid models to pose, and fools bought the magazines).

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/r...s/news-story/7bc77c82e150fa1028dbbffbcc922fb2

The big stars have always make bank, but the little stars will take whatever they can get (or be forgotten in an hour). It sometimes means doing crossovers to keep your followers interested (like porn shoots for Pokemon fools.)


Back when I was in high school, I remember hearing of former models getting hardcore followers to pay their $3000/month apartment rent, so this is hardly a new thing. The online world just makes it easier for you to maintain your little kingdom of worshipers.
 
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Rayneofpayne

Posts: 233   +225
What do you believe they are "getting away with"? A world without trademark protection would be a very sad and sorry place for consumers. When I buy a product with a company name on it, I like knowing it was actually produced by that company, whether it be McDonalds or Mercedes.

As for this particular case, linking a child-friendly mark like Pokémon to the adult film industry can in no way be considered benign. Plus, many people fail to realize that trademark law essentially requires mark owners to police such cases, or risk losing ownership of the mark entirely.
While I agree with you to a degree, there is a point of ridiculousness, also porn already parodies main IP franchises, a parody is covered under being able to use the IP under fair use clauses........
She is technically under fair use, as long as her merchandise does not cross the legal line which a judge will need to interpret if it is close enough to infringe that is why these cases are taken case by case. It's like Apple sueing Macintosh amp. company in NewYork, Apple lost the case for a reason and the judge even stated there is a point when an IP becomes pop culture, references that are inferred or copied to an extent become a hazy mess where law is concerned where it looks like is not good enough of evidence.
 
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I literally feel dumber now that I watched a minute or 2 of that. Kids, if you're reading this, be your own fan, be your own star, cause airheads like this really just want your money and aint gonna do jack **** to help you out in life as they get richer.
 

Endymio

Posts: 603   +490
While I agree with you to a degree, there is a point of ridiculousness, also porn already parodies main IP franchises, a parody is covered under being able to use the IP under fair use clauses........
She is technically under fair use, as long as her merchandise does not cross the legal line which a judge will need to interpret
A good post. However, remember that parody fair use under trademark law is more limited than under copyright law. The most relevant case law is Louis Vuitton Melletier v. Haute Diggety Dog. Quoting from the decision:

"Defendant intentionally associated its marks [with the plaintiff's marks], but only partially and imperfectly, so as to convey the simultaneous message that it was not in fact a source of Plaintiff products. Rather, as a parody, it separated itself from the Plaintiff marks so as to make fun of them."

Trademark parody defenses are almost never successful. Not only would Nintendo raise the above objection that this model was not attempting to "make fun" in true parody style, but there are also other factors weighing against her:

a) Likelihood of confusion. If a child on the Internet sees a link to "PokePrincess", is there a possibility they may believe it to be related to a Pokemon product?
b) Her use of actual Pokeman images to promote herself, rather than just the name itself.
c) Potential damage to the Nintendo mark based on her association with the adult film industry.

If this model sought legal counsel, I'm sure they advised her that her likelihood of a successful parody defense was extremely low.
 
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Karlos95

Posts: 117   +40
Okay Grandpa. Settle down with the name-calling just because you are not into a thing.
Right!?

These same people probably bought huge amounts of music because they are fans of the artist.

Just because they don't like something so they call them bad (even if they are). Kind of like how I don't like screamo and think it is bad so I don't buy it. But to call someone stupid or low IQ to like it is dumb. Sure, there will be people who do have low IQ that do like it, but like with everything else, they aren't all dumb.

Not saying I like any of this and I don't follow anyone (kind of like people are fans of a celeb, why do you need to keep up to date with them, they don't care what you think) The whole social following or being a fan of someone is ludicrous to me. But some like it and that is who they are.

I guess it is the same as me thinking old people had it easy and are now senile in thinking. I mean, 1 male could support the whole family on their wage and the wife could stay home. Unless you are in the top 10%, good luck with that now. But hey, we are the ones that have it easy and just like complaining LMAO
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 233   +225
A good post. However, remember that parody fair use under trademark law is more limited than under copyright law. The most relevant case law is Louis Vuitton Melletier v. Haute Diggety Dog. Quoting from the decision:

"Defendant intentionally associated its marks [with the plaintiff's marks], but only partially and imperfectly, so as to convey the simultaneous message that it was not in fact a source of Plaintiff products. Rather, as a parody, it separated itself from the Plaintiff marks so as to make fun of them."

Trademark parody defenses are almost never successful. Not only would Nintendo raise the above objection that this model was not attempting to "make fun" in true parody style, but there are also other factors weighing against her:

a) Likelihood of confusion. If a child on the Internet sees a link to "PokePrincess", is there a possibility they may believe it to be related to a Pokemon product?
b) Her use of actual Pokeman images to promote herself, rather than just the name itself.
c) Potential damage to the Nintendo mark based on her association with the adult film industry.

If this model sought legal counsel, I'm sure they advised her that her likelihood of a successful parody defense was extremely low.
Yes, there was an issue a while ago on youtube, if you are familiar with MXRplays and the Dunkinmedia battle, "legaleagle" did a video on the very thing and covered alot of what you have stated and the legal possibilities from a lawyers perspective of defenses.
Law is interesting that in the streaming era laws need a bit more defining on rights for both sets of parties as a lot of it is shady at best in interpretation. At some point in an administration someone has to focus a platform on digital rights concerning the modern age as copyright and IP need some defined rulings as the current ones written are based on preinternet era media.

For her internet persona name, I do not believe they have a case against her, please forgive me I forget the specific cases but there was precedent set when a big name company sued someone over their name and it was ruled against them because you cannot copyright a common phrase or common sense language, I believe was the phrasing the judge used, Pokemon in japanese translates to "pocket monsters" so calling herself "pocket monster princess" Nintendo depending on her defense may not have a valid claim unless they can prove under trademark laws that their name specifically has a separate meaning for everyday common language, but that would be the burden of Nintendo to prove they have a trademark and even then they have to prove it being valid.
Once again though that more depends as you have stated to Interrpretation and how it applies here.
Nice job btw explaining all of that, very good and well spoken/typed. You have more patience than I do 😁
 

Endymio

Posts: 603   +490
please forgive me I forget the specific cases but there was precedent set when a big name company sued someone over their name and it was ruled against them because you cannot copyright a common phrase or common sense language
You cannot trademark preexisting words or phrases in their normal usage. For instance, you cannot trademark "Apple" with regard to selling fruit or pies -- but you can trademark it for use in selling computers and cell phones. Also, even in this case, it would be a defense only against trademark dilution, not intentional infringement. The fact that this model has actual Pokemons tattooed all over her essentially demonstrates intent.

Law is interesting that in the streaming era laws need a bit more defining on rights for both sets of parties
Most definitely; I agree.
 
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Nobonita Barua

Posts: 59   +50
You cannot trademark preexisting words or phrases in their normal usage. For instance, you cannot trademark "Apple" with regard to selling fruit or pies -- but you can trademark it for use in selling computers and cell phones. Also, even in this case, it would be a defense only against trademark dilution, not intentional infringement. The fact that this model has actual Pokemons tattooed all over her essentially demonstrates intent.

Most definitely; I agree.
Is that so? I thought it violates freedom of expression.