News Article

Nintendo Silence Talking Link

Posted by Adam Russell

Nintendo issue take down notice for fan-made Zelda film

A Zelda film created by fans has been removed from the Internet at Nintendo’s request.

The film, The Legend of Zelda: Hero of Time, is based loosely on Ocarina of Time, is around two hours long and features a number of Zelda favourites including Gorons, Saria and of course Link.

Following the take down notice, the film’s producers released the following statement:

We came to an agreement with Nintendo earlier this month to stop distributing the film. In the spirit of the holiday season they were good enough to let us keep the movie up for you to watch and enjoy through the end of 2009, but not past 2009. We understand Nintendo’s right to protect its characters and trademarks and understand how in order to keep their property unspoiled by fan’s interpretation of the franchise, Nintendo needs to protect itself — even from fan-works with good intentions.

For those who haven’t seen the film, make the most of it while you can with the official trailer:

[via destructoid.com]

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User Comments (67)

MrPinguy

#1

MrPinguy said:

Silence fans (costumers) this way?
This maybe one of the worst bussiness decision of Nintendo ever made.

bro2dragons

#2

bro2dragons said:

that sucks. i don't understand that at all. is it not just more publicity? i'd be kinda flattered, despite the movie's cheeziness. i'd never turn down fan-work. oh well. nothing anybody can do about it, i suppose.

The_Fox

#3

The_Fox said:

Good. Seeing it killed part of me. The less that suffer it the better.

y2josh

#4

y2josh said:

Some people probably think that's made by Nintendo (and that would make Nintendo look bad in its own right). It looks like a lot of time and money was spent on making the movie, but that trailer makes me glad I never watched it.

Stevie

#6

Stevie said:

'Another dead Link on the Internet.' - :D

Somebody on NL posted a link to this film a while back and I watched some of it and it is terrible, all I can say is that the people involved should learn their lesson and ask for permission next time before wasting hours making a film about/butchering copyright characters.

Slapshot

#10

Slapshot said:

Good caption Prosody. I could careless honestly, as long as 3D Dot Hero ends up making it Im fine. If they stop it I will never buy another Zelda game.

ejamer

#11

ejamer said:

Although I like seeing fan-made tributes, Nintendo does have a legal obligation to protect their copyrights... otherwise Nintendo essentially loses the rights and controls over their characters.

Klapaucius

#13

Klapaucius said:

Only reason I can think for this is if Nintendo has plans to make their own film at some point. That, and because Nintendo's lawyers are cold hearted vampires.

jhuhn

#15

jhuhn said:

Nintendo & Miyamoto own the rights to Zelda so they have the right to decide whether there should be some blockbuster movie somewhere down the road in live action and special effects and such. When Nintendo is ready for something like that, they will announce it and choose the company to produce it.

SMEXIZELDAMAN

#16

SMEXIZELDAMAN said:

Lol you guys are mind readers. I was just thinking yesterday about an awful zelda movie trailer i saw and now theres a story about it :o

astarisborn94

#18

astarisborn94 said:

I personally thought it was excellent for an fan-made movie. It's a shame that Nintendo had to take it down.

Betagam7

#19

Betagam7 said:

I agree with the above poster. All these people whining and complaining about how terrible it alledgedly is: What movies have you made? For a fan made production this actually looked very impressively done. Top marks to whoever put it together.

DazzaAdmin

#20

Dazza said:

Well it can't be any worse than the official Mario Bros. movie can it? LOL

bro2dragons

#21

bro2dragons said:

@Dazza, it was, but i enjoyed it nonetheless.

still, i don't see how a fan-film posted on the internet is any different than fan-fiction or fan-art posted on the internet.

oh, and somebody may need to refresh my grammar, but i'm not sure the article title is quite right...

Tellyn24

#22

Tellyn24 said:

Odd move by Nintendo, surely it's not doing them any harm to leave it alone if the creators agree to keep it non-profit?

Two brilliant Lord of the Rings fan films have been made, and the Tolkien Estate has allowed them to be distributed for free on the internet, and both are magnificent for fan films. Nintendo should take a leaf out of their book and encourage this sort of thing rather than unleashing the hounds on fan productions like this, crappy or not. (If you're a LOTR, I recommend watching those films by the way - Google "The Hunt for Gollum" and "Born of Hope" to find them; the former takes place during the Fellowship of the Ring as Aragorn tracks Gollum before Sauron can find him, and the latter is a tale of Aragorn's parents and the Rangers. Good stuff.)

bboy1

#23

bboy1 said:

As soon as I saw Link I felt embarrassed for them. Some games and animes just don't work when it comes to real life interpretations. Zelda is one of them. This looks terrible even if it is a fan made movie. It was never going to work and it never will. It's like making a real life Pokemon movie. Just take a look at that stupid Dragon Ball movie. God, it just makes me cringe. The fact is this movie looks like a trailer for some porno movie with a Zelda theme.

Maybe Nintendo saw it and cringed at how bad it was too. Maybe they thought that even so, some people could mistake it for some serious movie about the franchise and get the wrong idea especially due to some of the things like 'this fall'.

Elmernite

#25

Elmernite said:

Hmm.. I'll look into those Tellyn24, thanks for the info.

I also think this a bad move on Nintendo's part. Common, even if Nintendo released a movie of there own, it's not like the little fan piece would make less people watch the real deal. The opposite is true even.
-Elmernite

pixelman

#30

pixelman said:

Thank God. That movie was absolute garbage. It was even worse than the "so bad it's good" category.

AVahne

#31

AVahne said:

i hope Nintendo doesn't take down the Star Fox fan game: Shadows of Lylat

aaronsullivan

#33

aaronsullivan said:

It looks pretty embarrassing to me and I fully appreciate how hard it is to make something like it. Nintendo needs to legally clarify and allow stuff like it, though, IMO. George Lucas does it, and as mentioned above there are the LOTR fan films. There are many others (I personally dig the Indiana Jones and the Relic of Gotham).

One reason Nintendo should do it: Nintendo's own cross media promotion is seriously lacking -- in the US at least. Where are the toys? Where are the books for all reading levels? Where are the videos and movies. My four year old daughter wants to know. :)

Doesn't Nintendo realize how gaga kids up through 30+ year olds would go over full on play sets for Mario or Zelda or Metroid? Ahem.

Bobpie

#34

Bobpie said:

@bro2dragons
The grammar's right:

Nintendo (group) Silence Talking Link.
as opposed to
(for example) Shigeru Miyamoto (individual) Silence*s* Talking Link.

Yay for Grammar!

bro2dragons

#35

bro2dragons said:

@bobpie: isn't Nintendo singular, though, as it's one figure, despite the fact it represents many? in fact, a corporation is viewed in (American) law as a single individual.

http://www.learnenglish.de/grammar/nouncollective.htm

note specifically: When such a group is considered as a single unit, the collective noun is used with a singular verb and singular pronouns. For example - The committee has reached its decision.

New_Age_Retro_Hippie

#37

New_Age_Retro_Hippie said:

I'm expecting epic backlash. Why is making a feature-length movie about the series a violation? Are they going to threaten everyone who draws fanart or writes fanfiction of the series?

RowdyRodimus

#38

RowdyRodimus said:

So Nintendo goes after the fans who made a film that in no way presents itself as an official motion picture adaptation, but still allow IGN to randomly use their April Fool's Day Zelda trailer that actually makes it out to be official.

Wow.

Bad or not, they were fans expressing their love of classic gaming icons, then again, all they do is hand Nintendo money everytime a new game or system comes out. It's not like they give the games reviews and give us eloquent works not seen in the press since the days of W.R. Hearst such as "Nintendo is Lazy and You Don't Care".

IlikeVideoGames

#39

IlikeVideoGames said:

Nintendo is not the first company to go after fan films. 99% of time fan films usually are pretty horrible so it does not bother me. Whether it is right or not I do not care to debate and nor do I want to get into a long drawn out copyright infringement debate.

bowsersenemy

#41

bowsersenemy said:

wow. people actualy glad to see something like this gone? ok, so you do something that takes years to make, you set aside time to do it. time you could have spent doing something else. now, it's FINALY done, and the powers that be, tell you that you wasted your time, and you're not allowed to give it out, no matter HOW it looks. you and the people that followed you are going to be hurt bad. IT'S A FAN TRIBUTE! it wasn't meant to be perfect! besides, compared to alot of the other stuff out there, this was the best. better than any zelda movie nintendo's ever made. oh wait... THEY NEVER HAVE! nintendo removed it because they don't want to appear lazier than they already are. you know, i will admit the movie was lacking, yes. but like i said, it was the best zelda fan film i've seen, and to be honest, nintendo's been ticking me off for a while, and this latest act of money hunger has nearly pushed me to boycotting them.

BlueFlameBat

#42

BlueFlameBat said:

Well that sucks. I guess the taking down of Ocarina of Time re-orchestrated can't be far away.

melvin2898

#43

melvin2898 said:

I'm not trying to be funny but once something hits the Internet,it's never gone.I'm sure you can find the movie on plenty of sites.

Waxxy

#45

Waxxy said:

For the people complaining that Nintendo should not have taken action: Please read up on copyright law. Nintendo had little choice in the matter, unless they wanted to open the flood gates for anybody out there wanting to make similar (but probably far worse quality) works in the future.

A copyright holder MUST take appropriate action to limit who has the right to use their IP. If they do not, then someone in the future could make a much crappier -- or even offensive -- film using the same IP, and could argue that since Nintendo allowed the older work, theirs should not be stifled. Nintendo is not allowed to "pick and choose" which unofficial versions of their IP they will allow to circulate if they want to keep their rights to the material.

So, there are two questions you should be asking. 1) Why did these fans, knowing quite well I'm sure that they were releasing unofficial and potentially illegal material, not contact Nintendo and get permission before they invested all this work? And 2) Why did Nintendo not shut them down before now?

I think I know the answers to both questions. 1) They didn't ask because they knew they'd be told no; in which case the wasted time and effort is their own fault. 2) Nintendo didn't stop them when they only had trailers and teasers because it generated free publicity without seriously jeopardizing their copyright.

BlueFlameBat

#46

BlueFlameBat said:

I wish Nintendo wouldn't be so damn tight-aardvarked about their intellectual properties. They should take this as a compliment. It's not like these people were trying to make money off of it.

jdarrell

#47

jdarrell said:

If copyright laws were ever fixed such that they made sense, there'd be a lot of lawyers out of a job.

Stuffgamer1

#48

Stuffgamer1 said:

As I understand it, this fan movie was not prosecutable as long as it remained free to watch. Copyright law only pertains to your ability to make money off of the IP, correct? Though I must admit I do understand wanting to protect the IMAGE of your IP, I'm not really sure how the legality of doing so works out. Damn screwed up legal systems...:|

I'm glad I watched the movie before it was removed, anyway. I'm in the camp who thought it was pretty good overall, and I'm not too pleased with those of you who are so quick to say it was an abomination that NEEDED to be removed.:|

Token_Girl

#49

Token_Girl said:

Nintendo doesn't want crappy works of film circulating with their Zelda IPs? Well, EXCUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSE ME Nintendo!

@Stuffy
Disney has been known to sue soccer moms for putting Mickey on their kid's jerseys (the mouse has always been above all in a**hat copyright enforcement). This is pretty reasonable compared to that.

JimLad

#51

JimLad said:

You have to admit, they put a lot of effort into that.
Once you get past the whole 'reality is ugly' reflex, it is a much more competent effort than other independent Zelda productions.
Probably the reason why Nintendo came down on them so hard.

Stuffgamer1

#52

Stuffgamer1 said:

@Token Girl: That doesn't mean Disney had the legal grounds to do that either, y'know. That's just big corporations taking advantage of the legal naivite (or however you spell that) of the average consumer.

Strofan7

#53

Strofan7 said:

dang this looks really cool. looks like i missed the boat on this one though.

DarkLink

#54

DarkLink said:

Rules of the internet #16 - "When you are forced to remove a video/file/story from the internet, ten more will replace it."

You'll still be able to find the film if you want to watch it and are prepared to look hard enough

p.s. @bro2dragons The grammar is perfect ;)

jbrodack

#55

jbrodack said:

Companies have the legal right to protect their IP however it doesn't mean that its morally right to do so. A lot of the nintendo fans just mindlessly agree with whatever Nintendo does. Nintendo should have only required that they make it clear that this is an unofficial production with no affiliation with Nintendo, and also should not have any money made on it. That would have protected their intellectual property without having to seem like a mean cold hearted corporation.

Anyway this looked decent for a no budget production.

Rensch

#56

Rensch said:

Nice way to treat one of the biggest tributes ever made to your own work.

Klapaucius

#57

Klapaucius said:

Odd. I went on their website and was able to watch the film yesterday (January 2nd). I don't think it was their fault, just its still on some server somewhere probably.
Amusing film. ...I was disappointed though - I thought it was the full film of that trailer that we got a year or two back. That 'April Fools' trailer, which looked awesome if it became a real film or made-for-TV-movie.

paulcmnt

#58

paulcmnt said:

Booooooooo.

Nintendo doesn't want crappy works of film circulating with their Zelda IPs? Well, EXCUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSE ME Nintendo!

DITTO. Maybe the Big N just doesn't like it that they're not being payed for it.

Mikarlo

#61

Mikarlo said:

Honestly, I know Nintendo only did what they had to do. It stinks, and actually I'd kind of would liked to have seen the film, but the law is the law...no matter how senseless the law seems.

But maybe Nintendo could have handled it better...like using the film to promote a contest of of fan-made films based on their favorite Nintendo characters or games? With some sort of prize and all, I don't know. I just know I hate seeing creativity and ambition squashed.

WaLzgiStaff

#62

WaLzgi said:

@Mikarlo: Unfortunately, if you make something big like this without asking permission from the trademark owners, you run the risk of it being removed. Remember the fan game of Chrono Trigger?

@Hippie: There are too many fan fics and fan art for Nintendo to sue. If anything, they promote fan art, well at least Nintendo Power does.

Token_Girl

#63

Token_Girl said:

@Stuffy
Knowing Disney, they probably lobbied to create laws that would allow them to sue under those circumstances. (Though, I'm not a lawyer, so I really have no idea about the legal grounds/details). While piracy is bad, massive amounts of unlicensed Disney stuff is one thing I'm happy to see in China. That just falls into Karma's a b***** in my book.

gojsse

#64

gojsse said:

The Zelda franchise has always been one of the more creative in the video game business. This film would destroy that notion entirely were Nintendo to let this slip by.

RowdyRodimus

#65

RowdyRodimus said:

@Token, what's funny is if the soccer mom's had bought and used a Disney iron on transfer like you can find all the time at craft stores, Disney couldn't say a thing about it. That's one of the things that scares me about Disney buying Marvel Comics, if they are that sue happy fo Mickey Mouse (who hasn't been relevent since the 50's) imagine what they will do with Spider-Man.

paulcmnt

#66

paulcmnt said:

Thankfully, this movie will never disappear from the Internets. •wink wink•

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