Legality of Cashing in on Pokémon GO?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by NekoMichi, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. NekoMichi

    NekoMichi Retro Collector

    Jun 4, 2015
    Minus World
    With the hugely popular release of Pokémon GO, many people have unsurprisingly tried to piggyback on its success to try and promote their own businesses. But the question is, is it legal to do so?

    I am not referring to the places that have a simple Pikachu drawing welcoming customers or even phone stores saying "let's get you a phone to catch 'em all!", but stores that use official logos or other licensed material from Niantic without permission to sell their own (technically) unrelated products, such as this Wal-Mart in Texas allegedly did:
    Or apps that charge users to access Pokémon GO-related guide videos created by others that are already freely available on YouTube:
    Or even apps that falsely claim to provide additional functionality to the game:
    I know that most of these are unethical, but are they illegal?
    Last edited by NekoMichi, Jul 18, 2016
  2. darcangel

    darcangel Lovely Troll

    Sep 12, 2009
    Free propaganda for a APP that will soon be Chashing UP too?
    It's even better for Nitendo
  3. Katsumi San

    Katsumi San GBAtemp Fan

    Jan 15, 2012
    Oh Texas... I go shop store "target" in Houston and can find cardboard of satoshi and pikachu... Say something.. "You can catch Pokemon here too!!" Near area of cellphones.... Small table is have cellphone charger, protective armor, etc....
  4. 8BitWonder

    8BitWonder Small Homebrew Dev

    Jan 23, 2016
    United States
    47 4F 54 20 45 45 4D
    Probably not, but I imagine there's no way big Ninty or Niantic would go after so many people doing it.
    Especially if all of it is free advertising for them, the app, and the games in general.
    Ryccardo and NekoMichi like this.
  5. fischermasamune

    fischermasamune GBAtemp Regular

    Aug 6, 2013
    United States
    About the stores: I think that if Pokemon Go is an activity too, there's nothing wrong or illegal to sell related product, and advertise them as helping you becoming the ultimate trainer.

    The app which compiles other videos offer a service which I certainly wouldn't pay for. But if people pay off their own volition, and get what they paid for, there's nothing wrong or unethical or illegal.

    If the fake location app doesn't work, and they knew it as it seems (of course programs can fail and crash sometimes, but it doesn't seem to be the case), it's fraud, and there's space for people to request their money back.

    I don't think promoting apps after the success of others is wrong (if it doesn't use their copyrighted assets), and I don't think any of the app makers above can be sued for that. I don't know if Niantic could sue "Monika Kriegl" for building an app which supposedly cheats in the game. If I had to guess, I would say they can't sue them for that.
    Ryccardo and NekoMichi like this.