Pokemon demands $4000 from broke superfan who organized Pokemon party

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Does the fan have any realistic legal challenge, rather than to just pay up?


Wow, I don’t even get the thinking. Let’s skull-fuck our own, most dedicated fans for the crime of enjoying our franchise for fun and NOT profit!.. What?


I think his strategy of seek the generosity of the internet and then get out of this mess and never look back is completely understandable. Maybe he could get people to help him with a legal fight too, but he would still have to dedicate a lot of his life that that fight.


This makes me wish I was licensed to practice law in Washington instead of here in CA. I would take this guy’s case pro bono. This is bullyism at its worst:
“I want to settle and pay you everything you demand.”

I think this guy has a decent fair use argument. In particular, because the “effect on the potential market” is likely a net positive for Pokemon, and the use is extremely limited. More to the point, Pokemon wants you to buy licensed party supplies, but then, what, doesn’t actually want you to have a party or invite people to the party? Insanity.


Pokemon is owned by Nintendo, who appear to be similar killjoys in the youtube arena. They seem to believe anyone seen having fun with their products in a public space as a threat to their IP rights somehow. By this logic though, wouldn’t the NFL be able to demand payola from every Superbowl party?


They’ve tried.
“The NFL apparently nastygrammed a church for planning to host a Super Bowl party…saying that showing the Super Bowl on a screen larger than 55 inches represents copyright infringement.”
Which is why it’s often referred to as “The Big Game” etc instead of “The Super Bowl” on bars’ sidewalk advertising.


Let’s see, fair-use and not for profit party undertaken for fun? Yeah. It’s like being sued by Warner Bros. because you invited a bunch of friends to an Animaniacs marathon and told them to chip in for beer.


If you charge admission to your Superbowl party and the NFL finds out about it they can shut you down.


It’s the wrong strategy.

This gentleman is what lawyers and other scum call “judgement-proof.” In other words, you can sue him all day long but he doesn’t have any money, and you’re not getting any money. Lawyers drop cases like this like a hot potato.

The lawsuit is a bluff. If he pays up, the lawyers win. If he flips them off, they lose, and they know it, so they will quietly drop the case. (I learned this working at the IRS, btw.)


Well, that’s an easy risk to take when it isn’t actually you taking it, or when you have the money to pay if things don’t go your way. Sometimes when the extortionists come they don’t actually have the might to back up their threats. When you are the little guy, it probably feels safer to just pay.


I actually did once - I was that broke I had nothing to lose. The trick is not having the money to pay. It’s only a risk if you have something to lose. (I think Janis Joplin made the same point.) I thought about sending the great “bring it on” letter, but in the end I just ignored them and they forgot all about me.

At the IRS they had the tools to peek at your paycheck and your bank balance, and if they were low enough, your account was marked “uncollectable.” I’ve been told collection agencies have the same system.


Q: What’s a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean???
A: A good start!


Still, while I might easily throw in some money for the cause of FIGHTING the bullshit lawsuit, I’m not in the habit of donating money to PAY OFF the bad guys. I feel for the guy, but this is like a kick-starter for the law firm’s bank account. Screw that.


The law firm uses social media. https://www.facebook.com/dwtlaw

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Surely they’d just do something like a lien, so at any time in the future, the moment you have the money to pay, yoink?

Only works if you own real estate. Fewer and fewer Americans do.


And you’ll hear a lot of local radio commercials which talk about rooting for “the home team,” because the professional sports leagues will not let you mention team names, even in a positive, promotional sort of way, unless you fork over the cash.

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I’m not going to criticize your approach here, I get it. To me, I know that the law firms and the bankers are going to get their cut one way or another (until the revolution!).

Do I feel like I am giving someone lunch money specifically so a bully can take it away from them? Yeah, a bit. Saves them today’s beating, though.


So, from my reading it looks like the problem is the depiction of 2 characters on the posters advertising a commercial event. That may not be fair use since it is a commercial event.
Seems to me this guy can avoid the problem by either not using character images or drawing them himself but badly.