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Koei Tecmo Cracks Down on Unauthorized DOA Body Pillows

DOA Body Pillows

Dead or Alive series publisher Koei Tecmo took action against an unauthorized seller of DOA body pillows in Japan. The company referred the offender to the Kanagawa Prefectural Police for violations of copyright on January 24, 2023 [Thanks, Famitsu!].

According to the announcement from Koei Tecmo, the offender possessed DOA body pillows (also called “dakimakura” or “hug pillows”) with covers that “adapted or copied the appearance” of characters from Dead or Alive without authorization. The offender possessed 22 body pillows and pillow covers purchased online with intent to resell them to others. The pillow designs featured six characters who appear in Dead or Alive 6, which had been modified in various ways. The modifications included deleting their clothes. The announcement didn’t list which characters were found in the offender’s stash of DOA body pillows, but did mention that the character Marie Rose was among them. In its statement, Koei Tecmo condemned the act as “extremely malicious” and damaging to the image of Dead or Alive.

Such acts of copyright infringement are relatively common, and this isn’t the first time Koei Tecmo (and Tecmo before it) took action on behalf of Dead or Alive specifically. In the past it cracked down on vendors selling things like videos created using versions of Dead or Alive games that used similar “nude mods”. The secondary market for fan-created works is very active, and many companies producing IP will issue “derivative works” guidelines to advise creators on what sort of content can be created and monetized without them. For example, in 2021 HoYoVerse (then miHoYo) listed rules on creating fan-made merchandise based on Genshin ImpactUma Musume publisher Cygames also updated its guidelines to caution creators against making and selling work that “damaged” the names of the real-life racehorses that are represented in-game.

Dead or Alive 6 is available on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Josh Tolentino
Josh Tolentino is Senior Staff Writer at Siliconera. He previously helped run Japanator, prior to its merger with Siliconera. He's also got bylines at Destructoid, GameCritics, The Escapist, and far too many posts on Twitter.