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Nintendo has shut down a Kickstarter for a project which was making a compendium book of NES/Famicom-era art as reported by Game Informer.

The Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom: a visual compendium Kickstarter page was initially created by Bitmap Books. It has been replaced with a DMCA notification stating that the project is “the subject of an intellectual property dispute”. The complaint (which can be viewed here) details the specific infringing content. The project was shut down with less than one day remaining in its campaign.

Nintendo's complaint stated that this logo used throughout the Kickstarter campaign infringed on their trademarks in the US and EU.

Nintendo’s complaint stated that this logo used throughout the Kickstarter campaign infringed on their trademarks in the US and EU.

According to Nintendo’s complaint, the compendium book made use of “images and fictional character depictions” from Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt, ExcitebikeHogan’s Alley, Ice Hockey, The Legend of Zelda, MetroidMike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!Punch-Out!!Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Yoshi, and Zelda II – Adventure of Link. The complaint states that book contains images from these titles and that publication of the book would further infringe on Nintendo’s copyrights.

Additionally, Nintendo’s complaint takes issue with an image similar to their classic Official Nintendo Seal of Quality which was used in images for the Kickstarter. Nintendo holds Trademarks for the seal in both the United States and the European Union. Trademarks typically have to be vigorously defended or else the trademark holder risks losing them.

The original Kickstarter campaign is available at The Wayback Machine. The compendium included a mix of photographs, stylized blueprints of the NES/Famicom, and imagery from the above-mentioned games with text overlaid on them. Notably, the Risks and Challenges section of the campaign contains the following statement:

Risks and challenges

I have sought professional legal advice regarding the book. I have a strict set of rules to adhere to but these will not effect the overall design of the book.

Bitmap Books’ official store is currently closed at the time of writing, but an archive of the page is available at The Wayback Machine. The company’s other projects included Artcade – The Book of Classic Arcade Game Art, Commodore 64: a visual compendium, and Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection.

What do you think of Nintendo shutting down the Kickstarter for a visual compendium of NES/Famicom-era art? Was it a reasonable defense of their intellectual property or were they being too overzealous in this case? Let us know in the comments below!

Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I’ve had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven’t stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs – I’ve tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I’m always looking to try more!

  • Jonathan Litwinka

    I remember seeing this on Kickstarter and choosing not to back it because I figured it would be DMCA’d by Nintendo sooner or later. Shame, it looked like a cool book too.

  • Garrett Fitzgerald

    Stop loving a company that doesn’t love you back just because they did cool stuff when you were five.

  • Normally I get annoyed by DMCAs, but in this case I am amazed they didn’t see this coming.

  • Kris Godwin

    It baffles me how people launch these big, expensive projects – before acting gobsmacked at the fact that maybe – just MAYBE – monetising another company’s IP isn’t exactly a smart idea.

  • Zepherdog

    People are gullible like that

  • Heresy Hammer

    Nintendo shuts down a book of images. While at the same time making their overall image less appealing. Oh the irony.


    Yeah… I don’t know why they thought either a.) that they could get away with this, or b.) Nintendo would let this slide. Nintendo does not like copyright infringement.

  • goodguya

    I’ve never been a fan of oversized books consisting entirely of digital art. They’re just boring and the commentary is usually very inane and all.

    Are Nintendo within their rights to shut it down. Most probably. Are there others like this on the market that the didn’t put any pressure on? Certainly. I’ve definitely seen stuff like this at bookstores which may or may not have official support.

    Of course, the difference with most of these projects like Pat Contri’s book is that criticism comes into play and you’re not just reselling the art out of the games as the main attraction. Focus is the determining factor here. You could probably include images like this if the central content of the book was different.

  • Ammit-Chan

    It was quite correct to shut it down.
    They stole art, infringed Nintendos Trademarks and even used Nintendos seal of approval without being allowed to.
    That’s one of the cases where DMCA actually works as it should do!

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    With Nintendo being very protecting of their IPs, it was a really dumb idea to start a Kickstarter like that. And just like other said, Nintendo has the right to do so.