Rights and regulations

Every other time I load a flash, I have to sit through a text wall and do a mental tl;dnr with all the apologies to what an artist is ripping off. These splash pages are a pathetic attempt at seeming legal.

They can take it either way: they say they are doing a “tribute,” or a parody, so no copyright infringement has occurred, or they actually put the trademark symbol to show that the content is originally trademarked to someone else. Though neither have any legal bearing, at least they made an attempt, rather than the poorly animated cartoons with Mario sprites from the actual game so common.

I was wondering what actually constituted copyright infringement when it comes to flash. This conversation at mochi games raised some valid points, despite the typical childish banter. The idea of slightly changing the name of a character to something similar but different enough to detract attention is shaky at best. Just make an original character, it’s not that difficult.

I find it both hilarious and disturbing that a search for measures against theft of corporation’s ideas in flash animations comes up empty, but there are countless forms for protecting and reporting of games and art by flash users, who may or may not have infringed certain elements themselves. Seriously, they have forms at addicting games, at flash arcade, at mochi, etc. But this is the internet era, the golden age of passing off others work as your own. Even colleges have to deal with plagiarism.

Sadly, it is exposure that dictates legal action. If the flash doesn’t have critical appeal, the companies like Disney or Nintendo really have no idea this is happening (on a case-by-case). Popularity becomes a double-edged sword. Until the impossible day when everyone craves true and original work, and don’t want the instant gratification and page views of slapping a recognizable anime ninja on their project, we live in an internet cesspool anyone can edit.


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