• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Square Enix sued by SNKPlaymore, cops raided office

GekigangerV

Member
Jan 16, 2008
1,598
0
995
AZ
Original Post by Professor from MMCafe here

Update*please note it is actually a criminal lawsuit

Interesting news today. According to a report by the MSN Sankei, Square Enix's main office in Tokyo and related personnel were raided on August 5 by the Osaka district police due to a criminal lawsuit filed by SNK Playmore.

The claim alleges that SNK Playmore's intellectual properties were being infringed by Square Enix's publishing division in their popular arcade manga "High-score Girl". Police officials will be looking through confiscated evidence and will be conducting interrogations to the editor as well as the author, Rensuke Oshikiri.

"High-score Girl" is a love comedy manga that takes place in Japan during the 1990s and features many scenes with fighting games which was the big trend at the time. SNK Playmore claims that the manga has over 100 cutscenes featuring characters from their games including KOF and Samurai Shodown. The end pages of the books have (C) printed with SNKPlaymore's company name, making it look as though they were published under permission.

SNK Playmore realized the infringement when anime production for High-score Girl began in summer of 2013 and its production company contacted them for authorization on the use of their characters and music. The company filed suit this May.

Article
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/west/west_affairs/news/140806/waf14080602000002-n2.htm
Some Commentary by Professor
Now, Some personal notes about this queer incident.

1- Square Enix and SNKPlaymore hasn't been in a rocky relationship at all, so this may come as a surprise to many people. Keep in mind that Square Enix was one of the few companies that actually did collaborations with SNKP with their "Lord Of Vermilion" arcade card game, which had cameos from KOF characters. Square Enix is also the parent company of Taito that sells the TypeX arcade board and also runs the NESiCA arcade distribution system, which SNKP's titles currently run on.

2- This was clearly filed in criminal court, not civil court. Otherwise the police couldn't have gotten involved.

3- According to the article, SNKP realized in Summer of 2013, but they didn't file a suit until this May. That's a huge mysterious gap. Perhaps things will become more clear in the upcoming months.

4- As stated in the article, High-score Girl has been popular enough that an anime release is scheduled. What will happen to it after this suit this is something we'll need to wait and see. In an unrelated note, Capcom gave out free limited edition NESiCA cards featuring Zangief and the manga's heroine as a gift to loketest players of Ultra SF4 in Japan. Sample here
 
Jan 20, 2010
16,696
27
765
I guess that professor is an expert on Japanese business culture

Not sure what to think about this though. Seems like a big fuck-up by SE to not ask for permission.
 

Tizoc

Member
Jun 23, 2010
81,146
13
960
33
Oman
If I were drinking a soda I would've spat it out from reading the thread title...
 

Sage00

Once And Future Member
Oct 29, 2006
6,485
0
0
Japan
The idea that Taito will stop providing SNK arcade boards because they sued over a clear copyright infringement, and deny themselves all that money, is ridiculous.

These are massive companies, not neogaf posters.
 

jabuseika

Member
Feb 18, 2011
4,643
1
590
When I read the headline I thought they were hit by the copyright police for plagiarizing their own characters for decades.
/s
 

Sir_Crocodile

Member
Mar 31, 2009
21,807
1
755
I've read Hi Score Girl. The main character is a video game fanatic that goes into detail on various systems and games (including snk stuff). But the games are shown because of the love for them, people don't read the manga to see those images and the manga could easily do without them.

I have as much contempt for squenix as the next guy, but the suit seems pretty sleazy to me.
 

TreIII

Member
May 15, 2006
17,478
0
0
36
The idea that Taito will stop providing SNK arcade boards because they sued over a clear copyright infringement, and deny themselves all that money, is ridiculous.

These are massive companies, not neogaf posters.
Pretty much.

If there really is a case to be had here, SE and SNKP will likely just settle it out of court, and move on.
 
Mar 21, 2005
22,117
2
0
meanwhile, in the basement of S-E headquarters, Hiroyuki Ito is wondering what kind of mess his janitorial team will have to clean up later...
 

Jomjom

Banned
Nov 26, 2009
11,734
2
0
Los Angeles
Don't think SNK really cares if they damage their reputation and relationships with companies in the gaming industry. They don't even really make games anymore. If S-E was a pachislot company, then they wouldn't have dared.
 

Xpliskin

Member
May 22, 2009
4,233
0
0
Europe
Well there's clearly copyright infringement, but there are others ways to settle this.

I mean SE using characters without consent was a risky move.
 

Silky

Banned
Apr 6, 2013
20,318
0
0
Georgia, US
Don't think SNK really cares if they damage their reputation and relationships with companies in the gaming industry. They don't even really make games anymore. If S-E was a pachislot company, then they wouldn't have dared.
Doesn't SE make money from Pachislot games as well?
 

BOTEC

Member
Feb 8, 2010
1,846
0
0
SNK will sue anyone over anything. Given what happened with Aruze in the past, I can't really blame them.
 

Zonic

Gives all the fucks
Mar 21, 2013
40,475
0
550
28
Well now this just makes me want to check out Hi-Score Girl, especially seeing that it's suppose to get an anime adaptation.
 

survivor

Banned
Jan 23, 2009
13,054
0
0
Canada
I would have figured the referencing done in High Score Girl would be fair use and wouldn't need permission for it. Big fuck up by SE manga publishing side to not have cleared the permissions before publishing the manga.
 
Feb 28, 2009
39,127
2
0
I would have figured the referencing done in High Score Girl would be fair use and wouldn't need permission for it. Big fuck up by SE manga publishing side to not have cleared the permissions before publishing the manga.
Japanese fair use laws are really wonky. The existence of doujinshi and actually be able to profit from them kind of proves that.
 

GrayFoxPL

Member
Mar 26, 2007
19,829
569
1,355
Poland
They are suing for fan service manga.

SNKP I know you are poorer then CliffyB but don't go that low.
 

Deckard Cain

Banned
Sep 3, 2013
1,137
0
0
Update:

Police did a through search of the building but found no traces of Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Heats 3.
 

striferser

Huge Nickleback Fan
Nov 25, 2013
7,118
0
0
Oh man, i love that manga!
I wish it won't stop the publication...I need to see how it's end!
 

jbug617

Banned
Jan 8, 2012
37,183
0
0
I think they have some sort of permission from Capcom because there was Hi Score Girl promotion with USF4 in Japan