In mid-October we told you about Full Screen Mario, a free, open-source HTML5 web version of the original Super Mario Bros., the work of college student Josh Goldberg. The site attracted publicity due to its recreation of the original game, as well as a random map generator and level creator. With publicity came the attention of Nintendo, which issued the following statement as it confirmed it would take action against the project.
Nintendo respects the intellectual property rights of other companies, and in turn expects others to respect ours as well. Nintendo is seeking the removal of the content, as we vigorously protect against infringement of our intellectual property rights.
It seems Nintendo succeeded in getting the site taken down earlier this month, with the official website for the game showing the DMCA notice; Goldberg also posted the following message.
FullScreenMario.com has been found in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and on Friday, November 1st was taken down by an official DMCA complaint from Nintendo. The website allowed players to play an open source HTML5 remake of Nintendo’s 1985 Super Mario Bros, containing the original 32 levels, a random map generator, and level editor. This was in violation of Nintendo’s copyrights and trademarks.
Full Screen Mario was enjoyed by nearly 2.7 million unique visitors during almost a month of popularity, across 6 continents and dozens of languages. I’m glad so many people got to enjoy the game, and look forward to working on new and exciting (and legal) projects.
It's not the only illegal use of Nintendo's copyrighted material, with numerous smartphone games in particular likely to be in Nintendo's firing line. The company's vigorous pursuit of this project has upset some, though as the owner of the copyright and with Super Mario Bros. being sold on multiple Nintendo platforms, it's clearly in the legal right.
Do you agree with Nintendo's strong stance with this project, or should it have allowed it to grow and, by extension, play a role in solidifying the role of Super Mario Bros. in popular gaming culture? Let us know in the comments below.