Leominster, MA asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Massachusetts

Q: Can I have assistance in removing all unauthorized fan games from the community?

As you may be aware, popular franchises can bring forth the desire to create fan games. However, there is one problem that should be brought up to attention. One of these franchises, the Pokémon franchise, is owned by a company whose policy is to decline ALL usage of their copyrights and trademark. Could I consider reporting them to request a cease and desist from a legal professional? It would be an honor if the right way to express fandom is made clear to the fanbase.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Addressing unauthorized use of copyrighted material, such as fan games based on the Pokémon franchise, is a legitimate concern for copyright holders. If you are representing the rights of the company owning the franchise, you have the legal ground to take action against copyright infringement.

Reporting unauthorized fan games and requesting a cease and desist is a standard approach in these situations. It's important to identify each infringement and inform the creators of the fan games about the copyright violation. This often involves sending a formal cease and desist letter, which typically requests the immediate halt of the infringing activity.

While fans create these games out of admiration for the franchise, they may not be aware of the legal implications of using copyrighted material without permission. In addressing this issue, it’s beneficial to communicate clearly about the legal boundaries of fan-created content. This helps educate the fanbase about the right way to express their fandom without infringing on copyright laws.

Remember, enforcing copyright law is about protecting the rights of the copyright holder. However, balancing this with respect for the fan community can help maintain a positive relationship between the company and its fans. Seeking legal advice to ensure that actions are appropriately and sensitively handled can be very effective in these scenarios.

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