Warner Bros. being sued over memes in Scribblenauts
Warner Bros. has always been one of the biggest lobbyist for copyright protection for their movies and games, so it’s ironic we find them as a defendant in a copyright case. The plaintiffs are Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat creators Christopher Torres and Charles Schmidt, who claim Warner Bros. and developer 5th Cell infringed on their copyright by using their characters without permission.
Both Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat can be summoned into the game by typing their respective names in all Scribblenauts games, including Scribblenauts, Super Scribblenauts, Scribblenauts Remix, and Scribblenauts Unlimited, the latter of which is a Wii U title. The official complaint filing reads as follows:
“For the past three years, WB, along with game developer 5th, have knowingly and intentionally infringed plaintiffs’ copyrights and trademarks by using ‘Nyan Cat’ and Fatso’s image in WB’s top selling ‘Scribblenauts’ games. Including, most recently, ‘Scribblenauts Unlimited’, which WB released in 2011.”
The lawsuit also hilariously compares the WB shield logo to a meme, which is describes Warner Bros. lawyers as zealously protecting. I’ve never considered the WB logo a meme, but it is a trademarked representation of the company that should be protected as all logos are. Whether these two have a leg to stand on remains to be seen. What do you think of the lawsuit?