Cat ‘meme’ makers sue Warner Bros. over video game copycats
The creators of two popular online cat videos have sued Warner Brothers for allegedly using their characters’ likenesses in the company’s “Scribblenauts” video game series.
ABC News reported on Friday that “Nyan Cat” creator Chris Torres and “Keyboard Cat” creator Charles Schmidt are accusing the media conglomerate and game developer 5th Cell Media of both inserting knock-offs of their characters into the game then ignoring requests to settle the issue out of court. They have filed an injunction asking that sales of the game be stopped until the issue is resolved.
“We reached out to the companies in hopes of working out an amicable resolution of the issue, yet were disrespected and snubbed each time as nothing more than nuisances for asking for fair compensation for our intellectual property,” Torres said, according to gaming site Wii U Daily. “I have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a meme , and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit. But this is a commercial use, and these companies themselves are protectors of their own intellectual property. Many other companies have licensed Nyan Cat properly to use commercially.”
PC Magazine reported that Schmidt and Torres have both secured the copyright for their respective creations and applied to register the names “Fatso Cat” and “Nyan Cat” with the U.S. Patents Office. The latest installment in the game series, “Scribblenauts Unlimited,” was released in November 2012.
Watch video from ABC News, posted on Friday, below.