Dreams, Media Molecule’s massive creativity platform for the PlayStation 4, can be impressive. The depth of talent, creativity, and variety on display from the game’s userbase can keep you occupied for hours, even if you aren’t making anything yourself. While there’s tons of original content, one issue Media Molecule has been dealing with is copyright infringement. It’s a natural consequence of providing people with such versatile tools. Recently, the hammer came down big time, as Nintendo got involved with a popular Super Mario model.
One of Dreams’ big features is that creators don’t just make content, they can share bits and pieces for others to use. That means you can make a character model for example, then people can download it, iterate on it, and make their own games, movies, levels, you name it. So when Dreams creator PieceOfCraft made a high-quality Super Mario asset, of course it was instantly popular. While there are levels and works in progress you can still play, a copyright notice from Nintendo itself means users cannot find or use this Mario, and PieceOfCraft can no longer edit the original.
The email came through to the same email i have linked to my psn but it was from the legal and business affairs Division of Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
so not from Mm.
And stated Nintendo, themselves, had objected to my use of their Super Mario IP in Dreams
— Piece of Craft (@Piece_of_Craft) March 21, 2020
This isn’t a huge surprise, as Media Molecule has a policy for removing copyright-infringing content from Dreams. PieceOfCraft even received a form email from Sony Interactive Europe’s legal team, informing them of Nintendo’s IP claim. Nintendo also has a well-established history of taking down fan-created content, usually in the form of fan game projects such as Another Metroid 2 Remake. Nintendo has also come down legally on ROM sites with massive, high-dollar lawsuits, but that’s very different territory.
As I mentioned earlier, there are several creations in Dreams made by other users, which have PieceOfCraft’s asset in them. These projects, such as SilverDragon-x-‘s Super Mario Infinity, are pretty elaborate and popular, with thousands of plays. As of right now, they’re unaffected by the takedown.