Nintendo Threatens Pokemon Site For Showing Pictures Of Pokemon

Nintendo, never afraid to go after the little guy, has sent a letter over the weekend to a Pokemon fan site, threatening them over their posting of pictures from the upcoming Pokemon Black & White.

Fan site PokeBeach, which obtained some copies of the game on September 17, was sent a letter on September 18 by Nintendo's lawyers, the highlight of which follows:

We recently learned that you have posted screenshots and other protected content from the Pokémon Black and Pokémon White games to your website at While Nintendo appreciates your interest in and support of the Pokémon game series, your publication of this content infringes Nintendo's copyrights in violation of federal law. Your activity also and has the potential to cause substantial damage to Nintendo, and leaves Nintendo with no choice but to take steps to protect its intellectual property rights.

The site was forced to remove "all graphics, screenshots and other protected content taken from the Pokemon Black and Pokemon White games", or under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Nintendo says it would be able to shut the site down.

Awfully heavy-handed for a bunch of screenshots, don't you think? I mean, it's Pokemon Black & White, you can't take three steps across a video game website without tripping over something to do with the game, whether they be screens, videos or even a list of all 156 of the game's new creatures.

We've contacted PokeBeach - who have since changed their name to PokerBeach - for more specifics, like when and how they obtained a copy, since that could very well be the reason behind Nintendo's actions. Likewise, Nintendo of America have been contacted for their side of the story.

UPDATE - Nintendo sent the same letter to another fan site, Serebii, for the same reason.

NO B/W IMAGES FOR YOU!! [PokerBeach]


    thats stupid. why dont they send those letters to gamespot, ign or other game related sites? dont they also post screens, videos and other copyrighted material belonging to nintendo/pokemon?

    I heard that this was possibly a hoax. After all, it doesn't really make any sense? Why now with black and white, why not during HG/SS, or D/P/Pt? And why only these two websites? There are dozens of other pokemon fasites that are just as popular that have shown images (such as bulbapedia).

    Also, I thought companies stopped being stupid by cracking down on fansites a long time ago. After all, it's basically free advertising for their own product...

    "Your activity also and has the potential to cause substantial damage to Nintendo"

    Every forum I go to that has had this posted has gotten people extremely excited for the game.

    Hell seeing that the new pokemon actually looked decent was enough to convince me to actually buy it.

    This kind of behavior by Nintendo is making me re-consider that though.

      I personally think this is an over-reaction on Nintendo's part and it should settle down in the next month or two.

      Based on what I've seen regarding the game - it's extremely promising.

    As Pokebeach + WPM (the owner) are American, the 'infringement' took place in the US, meaning that any legal stuff would use US laws. (Nintendo actually stated this with "Federal Law", right?)

    The US has "Fair Use" laws that pretty much covers exactly these scenarios - and so Pokebeach could make a claim against it.

    From what I can tell, they're only using the Sprites, Screenshots, etc. for educational purposes and critique, they're not reproducing even the slightest amount of the entire game (screenshots compared to an entire game experience is tiny), and they're doing nothing but helping sales with free advertising.

    Really, Nintendo saying that giving info about the games is damaging to them almost seems like they're so ashamed of their product, that they want to keep people in the dark about it.

    They need a kick in the butt for this one. =/

      Of course it's fair use. The point isn't whether or not it's legal at all. No, the point is that by making this threat, Nintendo would have taken these websites to court, which costs a vast amount of money whether or not you're in the clear.

      It's ridiculous, and should be illegal. It's an abuse of the court system.

    I find this really funny, as I know some people who are already playing the japanese version on emulators. And Nintendo is worried about screens :P

    Serebii took all their b&w sprites down, too.
    Doesn't make much sense, considering the sheer number of sprites for other pokemon games out there in the open.
    Nintendo should be pleased that there's so much excitement about their new games.

    It's because Nintendo doesn't want fans to see how bad the new Pokémon look for B/W...

    Seriously, has anyone else had a look at the Pokémon? Uninspiring, quite frankly.

    MS always gets bagged as the 'evil empire' company of gaming, but it seems the greater devotion of the fan base the greater dickish behaviour of the company.

    It seems the more that Nintendo are adored the nastier they are in dealing with their fans. It's like a creepy abusive relationship. Battered Gamers Syndrome maybe?

    nintendo knows its losing the console war now, its time to find money and power elsewhere...

    big deal most new pokemon are scribbles whits faces

    This was done because the sites mentioned were publishing a tonne of leaks on their news pages consistently over the last few months. A lot of the big reveals and oomph of the games were taken by these sights, which were publishing images and materials which were obtained without the permission of Nintendo prior to the game's release.

    By hacking the games code they have also revealed a tonne of information about what appears to be exclusive event Pokemon from the new feature "Dream World" which would also likely not make Nintendo too happy with them.

    I don't agree with censorship (especially now that the game is in the hands of players all over the world) but I believe this is a backlash from Nintendo over the sites publishing information and images leaked prior to the game's release.

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