Super Mario 64 is getting a fan-made HD remake — for now (update)

January 6, 2015Article
Venture Beat

The group behind the remake says it will release the game on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms. It also says that the project is not for profit, although this doesn’t ensure that Nintendo won’t put a stop to the effort. The company has a history of releasing old games on new platforms, so it may not appreciate a free version of one of its biggest classics existing as a computer download. Nintendo released its own remake of Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo DS in 2004.

Jesse Saivar, who specializes in intellectual property protection at the Gleenberg Glusker firm, told GamesBeat that Nintendo definitely has legal grounds to stop the project. “This is absolutely something Nintendo could take down if they wanted,” Saiva told GamesBeat. “It certainly constitutes copyright infringement (it’s a near direct copy of a protected work) and may also constitute trademark infringement (because they’re using both the name and the well-known ‘brand’ that is the Mario world of characters). I think the more interesting question these days is whether Nintendo will want to take it down, because there’s always a tug of war between wanting to enforce your rights and wanting to foster fan involvement in your brand. It never looks good to go after fans who are just showing their love for your content. If they haven’t already, Nintendo may try to find some middle ground that will preserve their rights while letting these guys continue to do what they’re doing, such as a license with certain restrictions.”

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