So this is how Nintendo could have shut down SSBM at EVO

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MrMazz

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Edited By MrMazz

Ever since that kerffule surronding Nintendos want to shut down not only the stream of EVO's Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament but the actual tournament itself, I have been wondering what legal ground does Nintendo have to do this.

Well acording to Ars Technica

Video games are treated differently, though, primarily because they exist on a screen rather than a board. "A video game under copyright law is an audiovisual work, which gives a public performance right of the copyright holder," Dallas attorney and Law of the Game blog author Mark Methenitis explained in an interview with Ars. "Under the public performance right, the copyright holder is allowed to say when, where, or whether something is publicly performed, meaning displayed in front of a group of people larger than, say, at your house."

In other words, if you want to put on a Street Fighter tournament and charge people to watch, Capcom can make you get a license for the "public performance" of the game.

Which makes sense but also seems kind of shitty. There is a lot more going on in the orginization of these tournaments beyond setting up a DVD and hitting play in a public place. The attraction isn't just the game but the people playing the game, the stream, and enviroment. It's interesting to see the distction made between video and board games. The latter dosen't run into many of these issues because it dosen't require a screen to play it on.

More worrisome is that this is a bit of a leagle gray area because there is not easy way to pay a licensing fee for a "public preformance". This is just like many gray areas in the Games Industry, where it's up to publishers and developers to just not really care about these events in a legal sense. Or things like streams, lets play's of their games, and others. Capcom does charge a licensing fee, which appears to be a subject of conttention among eSports organizers like MLG.

Personally I think this is just another sign of how boned our copyright system is in terms of catching up to new media and how we interact with it.

cheap plugs: you can find more random postings by me, usually about film and TV on tumblr at mazzz.net

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Darji

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Most of them even sponsor these tournaments liek Evo because it is just a HUGE positive PR for them. Apparently Nintendo wanted to completely shut down down Melee from Evo not only streaming but thanks to the uproar on the Internet they did not. And look how popular Melee is at Evo. This is just great positive PR for this series and If Nintendo had been smart they would have sponsored EVO as well.

Do they have the right to not allow it? Absolutely but should they do it? Absolutely not if they are smart.

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TruthTellah

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heh. I was greatly amused by your use of "leagle". Sounds like the name of a sequel to Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law.

Besides that dumb point of amusement, thanks for sharing part of the Ars Technica article. The law is still trying to catch up to modern technology and videogames, and it's going to take time for the laws to be reformed properly to accommodate these unique concerns. Videogames are still rather young as a medium, and hopefully we'll continue to work toward making the laws better serve the specific need.

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