June 24, 2021

Nintendo May Have Issued A Copyright Claim To Take Down Some Raunchy Bowser Art


Bowser's Hospital VisitBowser's Hospital Visit© Nintendo

It’s safe to say that this news piece is really going to stretch the boundaries of what is possible to talk about on a family-friendly website, but before we begin: this article will not actually feature the image in question, but it’s probably not safe to read at work, either. Then again, why are you reading about video games at work? Get back to your spreadsheets, Brian! Those reports won’t file themselves!

Patreon has long been a (relatively) safe haven for NSFW artists, with the genre of “adult games” alone making some creators over $76,000 a month. A month. Good gravy.

3D artist AkkoArcade is not making the kinds of sums that have to be carted away in big bags with dollar signs on them like a Looney Tunes cartoon, but they are still making a pretty decent $1,481 a month with their 3D models on Patreon. These detailed models can be paid for, downloaded, and used for animations – except for one particular model, no thanks to Nintendo.

The DMCA Takedown notice that AkkoArcade received from Patreon
The DMCA Takedown notice that AkkoArcade received from Patreon (Image: AkkoArcade)

AkkoArcade created a very lifelike version of, erm, Bowser’s Jnr. (which we’re not linking here for obvious reasons), and put it up for download in June of 2018. Almost three years later, Nintendo of America evidently found it (or someone pretending to be Nintendo, at least) and issued a DMCA Takedown – a copyright claim that forces the creator to take down their artwork. We aren’t lawyers, but we didn’t know that copyrighting Bowser also involved his Dry Bones.

This isn’t the first time that Nintendo has got their hands dirty with dirty content, either – they issued a DMCA takedown last year for a hentai-inspired game called “Peach’s Untold Tale“.

It's really hard to find images to illustrate a news piece like this
It’s really hard to find images to illustrate a news piece like this (Image: Nintendo)

Things get a bit muddy when it comes down to what is and isn’t considered “fair use”, which allows people to use copyrighted material as long as their work is “transformative”, which includes parodies, commentaries, or critiques. Adult creators can easily claim the “parody” defence, but taking on Nintendo in a legal battle is probably too much of a drain on resources to bother.

Still, in slightly more upbeat news, several of AkkoArcade’s fans replied to their tweet to point out that the 3D rendering of Bowser’s FLUDD must have been quite accurate for Nintendo to insist on its removal, thereby making it canon. Again, we’re not lawyers, but that sounds water-tight to us.

So, what do you think? Was this a dick move by Nintendo, or is their case rock-solid? Let us know in the comments.


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