Nihon Ad Systems (NAS)

Alright. I’ve been trying to upload on Fridays so that I had a proper schedule but I just couldn’t wait any longer to talk about this (so forgive me alright?)

So NAS is a company that owns the rights of many different things regarding anime. What I specifically want to talk about is how they own the rights to the Yugioh characters and card images. Because of this, NAS filed a Cease and Desist (C&D) order against my favourite online dueling system; Dueling Network.

I liked Dueling Network more that other systems like YGOPro and DEVPro because you didn’t have to download anything for it, you could just play it in your browser and have a blast without worry.

Now this C&D was issued earlier in the year. NAS forced Dueling Network to remove their card images and character images. It basically sent DN into the dark ages. That being said, DN was still able to use images as long as the players imported them on their own (not ideal but good enough). And now we get to the more important part. As of the 5th of July 2016 NAS filed YET ANOTHER Cease and Desist order, forcing DN to officially shut down their server. Then they did the exact same thing to YGOPro and DEVPro (which are no longer downloadable).

Now… I have a question to ask. Are the things that NAS have done legal? Considering that all of these engines are of US origin, the US law applies to them. I am studying Law at my college but I have been learning UK law so I’ve done a little research and I think I get the gist of it.

So let’s start with NAS’ first C&D against DN. They got rid of the images. Fair Use under US law has 4 categories that determine whether or not the use of something is fair. These categories are:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Quite a mouthful no? Anyway.

The first section is not breached because all of these engines are free to use and do not make any profit whatsoever (or in other words it’s non-commercial).

The second section would probably not be considered as a breach as DN is nothing more than an online community creating, running and playing the game. This is purely fan-made and non-profit.

The third section is the only one that could be considered a breach as all of the images that NAS own the rights to were there (so I’ll give them that).

And the Fourth section wouldn’t be breached because DN has almost no impact whatsoever on the market or the value of the work. I myself played (past tense… ‘Sigh’) DN and I still went out and bought some of the Yugioh games (highly recommend the Tag Force games if you’re trying to get into the game by the way).

So, the first C&D can be considered lawful. Now onto the next one.

This time they shut down the entire server of DN. But here’s the thing… The images aren’t there anymore. So that means that DN is no longer violating any sections of fair use (or, at least, not in my opinion). So this C&D would be considered unlawful.

The same goes for YGOPro and DEVPro. NAS can legally strike them for using their images and have them removed but forcing them to stop the downloads would not be lawful.

My point is, NAS only owns the rights to the images, they should not be able to take down DN’s servers or stop YGOPro and DEVPro’s downloads. They should only have the power to take away the images. The only party that should be capable of that would be the creator of Yugioh (Konami). But Konami hasn’t done anything to any of these engines and it is impossible for Konami to simply not know about it (meaning Konami doesn’t mind them being there).

But one thing that does confuse me… DN was officially released on the 17th of May 2011… Why did NAS file those C&D’s now? 5 Years have gone by and they’ve only done it now? DN is a hugely popular website, there were (possibly) tens of thousands of users that playd on DN so why now? As well as that… Why do you care? They’ve literally done nothing to you.

Anyway, that’s it for this post. Like I said, I’ve studied UK law but this is my first time handling US law so I might be wrong (if I am then please tell me and I’ll edit accordingly). But if I’m right then please share this post and help me bring back these dueling engines. As well as that please feel free to tell me your opinion on this!

#BringBackDN #BringBackYGOPro #BringBackDEVPro

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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