New York Times accuses Nintendo of advocating piracy

KK Slider fingered as linchpin

Posted by Staff
Slider fights for turf to hawk hooky DVDs
Slider fights for turf to hawk hooky DVDs
A hilarious article in the New York Times seeks to claim Nintendo is advocating music piracy, with the comments of the Animal Crossing's notorious trouble causer and wandering vagabond, KK Slider causing intellectual property uproar.

The New York Times' Tom Zeller Jr wrote, “...the music industry - another purveyor of digital goods - could not have been very happy when bloggers last week began sharing screen grabs from a popular new Nintendo game, which includes, among its many characters, a guitar-toting puppy who seems to extol the virtues of file-sharing.”

The offending phrase? Slider comments, “Those industry fat cats try to put a price on my music, but it wants to be free.” Immediately this was jumped upon as evidence that Nintendo is an advocate of peer-to-peer file sharing, a disrespctor of IP.

“People can read a lot into a little," explained NoA head of communications Perrin Kaplan, "but musician K.K. Slider - a guitar-playing cartoon dog - is saying only that he's a free spirit who cannot be bought and sold for any amount of money,” going on to explain “...that K.K. wanted his music to be free in the sense of being "freed from his guitar, free from any constraints. As a dog, it's understandable that he would not want to deal with any 'fat cats.' "

And herein lies the point. Anyone who's played Animal Crossing will be well aware that the game is riddled with terrible puns. From bug-catching to fishing and every piece of interaction experienced, some character at some point is making a bad pun.

Though of course, Nintendo's response is a little disingenuous. Of course the character is referring to the MP3 file-sharing scene, though in a tongue-in-cheek way enabling his pun. Simply, it wasn't very well thought out, but then you try coming up with a pun for a musical dog after spending the last year of your life writing puns about other animals... However, the assertion that Nintendo is actively advocating file-sharing is, without question, ridiculous.

Indeed, any watcher of the games industry will be aware that Nintendo has always been at the forefront of IP protection, often safeguarding the property of other companies in its efforts. In fact, Nintendo's litigious bent has often gone too far, with some highly-publicised cases seeing pre-teen Pokemon fansite owners under the cost of illegal usage of Nintendo imagery.


SorelissLarethian 21 Dec 2005 11:47
Haha!! There must be something on this journalist's mind of NYT :) Nintendo lost and keeps losing share of the market of home consoles exactly because of that. No tolerance for piracy. PS took reigns because the console was easy to crack, XBOX toped GC as soon as the first piracy chips came out and so on.That is the way PSP is trying to work it's way up too by being pirates heaven.DS doesn't even have a working emulator. Cutthroat pirate corporate tactics; no pun intended. :) Nintendo is known to hunt down actively any people/companies who do not respect their IP and sometimes even too much... like this pokemon gene case.
Ditto 21 Dec 2005 13:04
This is the funniest article I've seen in ages.

Of course, we all know that Animal Crossing is really advocating the torture of animals.

You can catch fish and bugs and keep them in your pockets for hours. You can then keep them in tiny little containers, not much bigger than they are and never feed them.
jodo4 22 Dec 2005 02:41
Eh, I knew this would happen eventually. Some years back New York sued nintendo for monopolizing the game industry, the NES was also test released in new york, and Nintendo world store in Rockefeller center, it's always nintendo and NY somehow. Me living in NY, I find this HILARIOUS. Now all we need is jack thompson going to NY and saying that the revolution simulates real killing in a way that one can go on a killing spree with the controller in his hand.... through the transit strike possibly, too!
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