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Nyan Cat creator speaks out about Scribblenauts lawsuit

Christopher Torres speaks out about his recent lawsuit filing against Warner Bros. and 5th Cell and why he feels it was a necessary action.

copyright-attorney-trademark-sue-nyan-cat-keyboard-cat-Scribblenauts

Yesterday we told you that Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat creators has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Interactive and developer 5th Cell for using their copyrighted creations without permission. Today, Christopher Torres, the creator of Nyan Cat, has reached out to Eurogamer claiming that the lawsuit has been misreported. He claims that he was unaware of his meme’s use until it appeared in the debut trailer for Scribblenauts Unlimited, which was released in 2012. Nyan Cat was copyrighted in 2011.

Torres goes on to state that both he and Keyboard Cat creator Charles Schmidt reached out to Warner Bros. to try and resolve the dispute amicably, but that they were snubbed for doing so:

“We reached out to the companies in hopes of working out an amicable resolution of the issue, yet were disrespected and snubbed each time as nothing more than nuisances for asking for fair compensation for our intellectual property. That’s not right. I have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a meme , and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit. But this is a commercial use, and these companies themselves are protectors of their own intellectual property. Many other companies have licensed Nyan Cat properly to use commercially.”

Torres also mentions that 5th Cell took extra precautions to make sure players could not create copyrighted entities in the game by producing a pop up error when a copyrighted name is typed in. Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat are the only characters that appear in the game without proper licensing, as 5th Cell obtained proper licensing for the Nintendo characters that can be summoned in the game. Torres feels that this is unfair of Warner Bros. Interactive, which zealously protects its own trademarks and copyrights against the same infringing use.

5th Cell recently negotiated proper rights for several Nintendo characters for their games. Just because popularity with millions of fans has caused Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat to become famous by virtue of their viral or meme nature, doesn’t give these companies a right to take our work for free in order to make profits for themselves, especially considering too that they would be the first to file lawsuits against people who misappropriate their copyrights and trademarks. It just isnt fair.

Torres hopes that by setting the record straight on why the filing was introduced, that gamers will realize Warner Bros. Interactive had the opportunity to fix this mess and license characters from their creators properly, but chose instead not to do so at every turn.

Around the web
  • Arthur Jarret

    Smart of this guy to elaborate on the article and tell his side of the story. Especially noting the general backlash on the original article, this simple statement to eurogamer should certainly sway public opinion to his side as he seems determined not to make it look like a simple cash grab.

    • Jeffery02

      Exactly. Whether they want the money or not, this is an issue of respect. If WB expects respect of its IP then they need to respect EVERY OTHER IP. It would be one thing if WB added unlicensed IP to their games as an accident, but it is a whole other thing for it to be brought to their attention and they STILL have not done anything. It should have been “Sorry sir(s), we will try to license these right away!”

    • Saul Rivera

      It’s a cash grab…I would have made a statement saying its not too so I don’t look greedy on the internet…

      • Oni

        Even if it was a cash grab, how would you feel if you created something millions of people loved around the globe and some company starts making money off of your product, without your permission and no compensation? People copyright their stuff for a reason. It is exactly as he said, WB would have done the same thing if someone took their IP and tried to profit off of it without permission.

    • Guest

      ”I have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a meme , and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit.”

      http://www.buycoolshirts.com/n

      http://www.zazzle.com/keyboard

      So is it a cash grab or not?

  • Nintyfan

    He’s not exactly wrong… now I’m just waiting to hear what Warner Bros. has to say.

    • Magnus Eriksson

      Agree, why wouldnt he have the right to earn money on his own creations? Its not like he is suing poor people. If I used the WB logo in my commercial things WB would sue my ass so I would be poor for the rest of my life. Hope he wins this one. It would be fair.

      • DK_Hadouken

        For one, the memes have been in use since the first Scribblenauts, which was before he copywrote the meme. Two, how many times do people sue and claim the ‘Defendants’ we aware and it was total BS? Three, the court will see reason one and dismiss this farce. If he really wanted to protect the meme, then he would’ve copywritten it ASAP when it was released. But no, he waited until 2011.

        • Magnus Eriksson

          yaaaaawn… so booring…

      • Guest

        ”I have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a meme , and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit.”

        http://www.buycoolshirts.com/n

        http://www.zazzle.com/keyboard

        It smells like they are doing it for big money.

        • Oni

          “Many other companies have licensed Nyan Cat properly to use commercially.” what evidence do you have that they didn’t get permission?

    • http://waluigi.com/ Waluigi

      I love you

      • Nintyfan

        Lol!

    • BL4CKSH33P

      Actually this guy was wrong for even copyrighting nyancat. He created a gif, Pop Tart Cat. It wasn’t until someone on youtube took this gif and added a song he remixed, that was originally from niconico douga ,that the fucking cat even got attention. He didn’t even create this meme the fucking internet did, the fact that he copyrighted nyancat and not poptart cat shows he is greedy, taking credit for other peoples work. “Intellectual property” my ass. This guy would be a nobody without hatsune miku how can you respect that?

      Original Nyanyanyanya song:
      http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm11509720

  • Morits Lian

    Keybooard Cat.
    Keybooard.
    Whatever, I hope we can still keep them..

  • BieberBlows

    I want to know how these cats became popular because they are freaking stupid.

    • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

      DONT DISRESPECT THE NYAN

      http://nyan.cat

  • Magnus Eriksson

    Its not like he is suing poor people. This is nothing but fair. Why should WB get away with this just because they are huge? No, hope he becomes a millionaire after this. :)

    • DK_Hadouken

      So it’s only right if you sue the rich?
      Suing is only right, if and only if, you were truly wronged within the parameters of the Law.

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Well, he IS wronged. He own this right, and WB stole it. They have to pay him because that is what would have happened if he used some of their intellectual property.

        • BL4CKSH33P

          They didn’t steal shit, they were using it before this guy decided to copyright it and make money. I can’t believe how many of you people are justifying this… if they were suing Nintendo you guys would be up in arms I went there.

    • Silent

      ”I have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a meme , and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit.”

      http://www.buycoolshirts.com/n

      http://www.zazzle.com/keyboard

      Smells like a dick move. It also smells like they are doing it for big money.

      • Saikou Braza nii-san

        dude shut up with this comment and stop spamming it everywhere, nobody
        likes spammers. Yes they are doing it for money thats obvious enough and
        they arent hiding it BUT they’re also doing it for respect. After they
        copyrighted it its common sense to seek their permission for it if
        you’ll be using their product commercially. To not seek their permission
        is disrespectful like “yea we’re still going to use your product
        without asking what you going to do about it?” even though other
        companies got permission after their copyright. Its like also taking the
        other companies who paid for fools since they’re using it for free.
        Thats disrespectful. According to the quote you’ve been spamming –

        ”I
        have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a
        meme , and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative
        uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit.”

        It
        means if you arent using nyan cat in something that makes you money,
        then they wouldnt bother you. So if youre using it for memes and
        whatever they dont care. Dont see how thats supposed to be a dick move unless you’re Warner Bros.

        • Silent

          You didn’t read my comment. .The creator said he didn’t mind as long as it wasn’t used for profit. The two links are directed to sites who are selling t-shirts of the meme, so basically he is contradicting himself.

          ”After they
          copyrighted it its common sense to seek their permission for it if
          you’ll be using their product commercially.”

          Just like the T-shirt companies asked for their permission correct? Keep dreaming.

          Make sure to read before you launch personal attacks. No need to get all nasty as if this is your first time in this comment section. Also please, upgrade your spelling and grammar, so next time, I can bother to actually read your comment.

          • Saikou Braza nii-san

            Dude I freaking read your comment like 4 times not because I wanted to but because you spammed it all over the place. Plus 95% of your “comment” was a freaking quote from the article with the other 5% your bigoted opinion. Then theres the fact that I quoted your “comment” so dont say something as stupid as “You didn’t read my comment”. Plus check the site selling the nyan cat t-shirt it says “officially licenced” so duh of course they got permission. Dont be posting stupid stuff that contradicts even your spam comments cause it makes your spam comments even more stupid. And the only reason you got a “personal attack” from me out of every single comment on this article is not because you’re special dummy its because you spammed the same comment a couple of times on this article. Nobody likes freaking spammers. If you weren’t spamming and I wanted to reply to your comment, at least I’d do so with some respect even though I believe your spam comment to be stupid. I would have tried to properly reason with you at the very least.

          • Silent

            I stopped so please leave your personal attacks to your GFriend. Thank you.

        • BL4CKSH33P

          Why does a billion dollar company who has created a whole lot of shit need to respect a guy who made a fucking internet meme? You people act like they need the fucking cats and WB just cant use their own creative minds to make things like the fucking ARKHAM GAMES!! Fuck these guys.

          • Oni

            Copyrights exist for a reason. Why don’t you make something that becomes popular and have someone steal it without telling you and make profit off of it while you receive nothing. Bet your ass wouldn’t be happy with it either.

          • BL4CKSH33P

            That’s the thing you guys just toss in a “make profit off it” in there and you think its justified. How many people bought this game to see nyan cat? That’s right not a single damn person… So that’s just bullshit. People buy this game to imagine anything and destroy everything lol, to see abe lincoln ride a t-rex to victory. second I am working on a funny web comic series that I will upload to a website for all to enjoy. If one of my characters was an easter egg in something amazing without my knowledge it would make my fucking day. I think you mistook me for a greedy asshole sir, but I’m not like these guys.

  • Tom Brandow

    He never protected his property before. References to his work can be
    seen through other commercial projects including cartoons and video
    games. From what I understand of copyright laws he can’t all of a sudden
    expect compensation. His image has become to commonplace and by not
    seeking compensation from the vast majority of other projects he has
    lost the right to target a specific one.

    • DK_Hadouken

      Thank You!

    • Richard Keller

      “Many other companies have licensed Nyan Cat properly to use commercially.”

      I’m assuming you missed that point.

      • Guest

        ”I have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a meme , and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit.”

        http://www.buycoolshirts.com/n

        http://www.zazzle.com/keyboard

        I’m assuming you missed that point.

        • Richard Keller

          I hope you realize that the Nyan Cat shirts on Buycoolshirts.com states directly in the description that it’s officially licensed.

          The Keyboard cat stuff from zazzle.com is for sale by the person who Copyrighted Keyboard cat, Charles Schmidt (On sale on the website by username charlieschmidt.)

          So I’m not really sure what you’re trying to point out here.

    • Wighead

      Well that’s not really how it works. First, he did protect is work by getting a copyright in 2011, second, it’s not possible to see all infrigement done to the copyright right away unless you got an army of lawyers and employee, third letting someone use your work for free with an agreement is not letting the image “become to commonplace”. While it would be difficult for him to claim anything for an infrigement before he got the copyright, he sure can claim that WB should have tried to contact him before using the work. Moreover, it is just normal to pay money for something that is not yours and more so if by using it you make money out of it.

      • RyuNoHadouken

        nobody plays scribblenauts because nyan cat and keyboard mouse are in them…hell, i didnt even know they were in them

  • DK_Hadouken

    They’re going to loose the law suit. The memes have been used since the first Scribblenauts, which came out before he copywritted the damn cat. I don’t by the whole WB was rude to me BS. For one, we don’t have proof and two whose to say they themselves weren’t harrassing WB because they want money. If this really is about respect, then the money they’re suing for should go to charity.

    • BL4CKSH33P

      Damn good point, bet it doesn’t happen.

  • Javy G

    I don’t blame Warner Bros. for taking these guys as a joke. It’s a freaking cat puppeted to playing a piano, anyone could come up with that concept. Here’s an example of how the meeting went:
    Keyboard & Nyan Cat Creators: We want ONE MILLION DOLLARS!
    WB: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

    • DK_Hadouken

      I’m going to make a meme of myself reading this and laughing.

      • I Can’t Think of a Name

        I’m going to make a meme of myself laughing at people trying to make memes of themselves.

        • Arthur Jarret

          You can’t have a Meme without Me! Twice!

  • Javy G

    How do you complain about FREE advertisement at a high level!

  • Guest

    ”I have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a meme , and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit.”

    http://www.buycoolshirts.com/nyan-cat-juniors-t-shirt-nyan-cat-logo-royal-blue-tee-shirt.html?gclid=CO31xYm5-rYCFYRM4AodK08ANA

    http://www.zazzle.com/keyboard_cat_t_shirts-235831141043756597

    Smells like a dick move. It also smells like they are doing it for big money.

    • Flamingoathere

      You know, you don’t really have to post the same comment over and over again on the same article. I understand your opinion and think you have every right to post it, but I don’t want to see it everywhere in the comments section.

      • Silent

        Im not trying to enforce my opinion on anyone. I’m just saving myself time by paste and copying one of my responses. If I write, It has to be something new.

        • Flamingoathere

          What I’m saying is, stop spamming. We get it, we know your opinion on this issue. We don’t need to see it on every comment on this article.

          • Silent

            On EVERY comment? I actually did it a some times then stopped.

    • Chris Hamilton

      I don’t know if your reading comprehension are below par or you’re just a fanboy blindly defending WB, but that quote you keep spamming means that the creators don’t care if you use their IP’s as long as its for non profit, but if you are going to profit from their IP’s then they want their cut too.Of course they want to make money off something they created and became huge, you would too and that’s why they copyrighted it.

  • eli

  • deadmansam

    Those guys are fucking idiots – like really, sue Warner Brothers because they have Nyan Cat or Keyboard Cat in their game??! Hell, EVERYTHING HAS NYAN CAT AND KEYBOARD CAT! WHY NOT SUE THOSE PEOPLE?? Also, those memes were in the first two Scribblenauts games! Why not have a lawsuit then??!

  • BL4CKSH33P

    This is bull these guys are after money, That’s clearly why they copyrighted a fucking meme in the first place. Fuck nyan cat and keyboard cat its all about grumpy cat now! Ha! They don’t need your stupid characters in the game to sell it, so why sue them unless you wanted money for being a prick? They aren’t making anymore money from your meme being in their game than if they didn’t know what the fuck they were, you give yourself to much credit for making a flying poptart cat… If you used wb trademarks you would likely be sued but we already know these guys are greedy, they are an american company.

  • Guest

    Actually this guy was wrong for even copyrighting nyancat. He created a gif, Pop Tart Cat. It wasn’t until someone on youtube took this gif and added a song he remixed, that was originally from niconico douga ,that the fucking cat even got attention. He didn’t even create this meme the fucking internet did, the fact that he copyrighted nyancat and not poptart cat shows he is greedy, taking credit for other peoples work. “Intellectual property” my ass. This guy would be a nobody without hatsune miku how can you respect that?

    Original Nyanyanyanya song: http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm11509720

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1388593533 Matthew Beal

    Sincerly hope these asshats waste all their money pursuing this and go broke.

  • Jeovany

    I hope they lose this lawsuit