My regularly planned entry about this past weekend will have to wait a bit, due to this image (NSFW).
Its from the very first i am 8 bit show, circa 2005. Some of you might recall seeing it, along with several others pictures of numerous other pieces a whiles back. The image has been there since last spring and I haven’t head anything about it, at least nothing negative. But earlier this evening, I got the following email…
So its not directly from Nintendo, but some outfit called Cyveillance, an “internet monitoring agency”. Anyway, let’s break down the image.
First and foremost, its a piece of art. I’m no lawyer, but as far as I know, at least from what I recall from art school, artists do have some breathing room when it comes to depicting fictional characters, even those that are trademarked and copy-written, such as in the instance of parody or satire.
Second, and I’m not saying this to pass along any blame, but I didn’t create the artwork, some other artist did. One that I originally credited in my overview, but a friend of mine now feels may not be the proper one identified (hence why I am not passing it along here, though for anyone who’s curious, I guess its pretty easy to check who I listed).
I am willing to bet that the correct name is listed in the art book that was published not too long ago which compiled all the pieces from the show (as well as the second one from this earlier year as well I believe). So that same offensive image might possibly in print… is Nintendo going to go after the publisher or the folks behind the show as well? And the artist?
Thirdly, it’s a photograph of a piece of art. It’s not even the original, just a reproduction (and not even the best one possible). Also, I didn’t even take the picture, a friend of mine in LA did! Once again, I’m not saying this to pass along any blame, I’m just pointing out how silly this is! One more thing… take a look at the picture… is it that obvious that it’s Mario and the princess? Okay, I know that’s totally up to interpretation, but that’s the thing: it’s up to interpretation!
And how is this image any different from all the wacky Photoshops that you see on gaming message boards across the net, which as we all know, have far harsher depictions of Mario and company.
My reaction might seem a bit silly… maybe I should oblige and take it down. After all, I didn’t even create the piece, and this point, I’m not even totally sure who the original artist is! But I just have to wonder, given how ridiculous the request is, if Nintendo and the company representing them has any legal ground to make a request. And not to be dramatic, if so, then what’s next?
If anyone out there could do me a huge favor… if you have the i am 8 bit book, mind checking and seeing who the original artist is? Thanks in advance.
Oh, and here’s my post over at the Gaming Age Forums, which got me banned. HA! Granted, it was foolish of me to post without passing along a NSFW warning, but come on… not surprisingly, most folks missed the point completely, and the first person to chime in with any sort of reason is number #30.
EDIT #2: So the artist cited on the original page was indeed correct. It’s Jason Sho Green alright.
Here’s the confirmation, as well as a better look at the piece, via the i am 8 bit art book, courtesy of Amazon. And as you can all see, the image is copy-written! Hey Nintendo, time to give the lawyers a call.