The weekend is approaching and everyone is winding down for a long sunny week here in England, so what better way to start today than with a completely daft news story that Warner Brothers is facing a federal lawsuit because of internet cat memes!
The two (seperate) authors of “Charlie Schmidt’s Keyboard Cat” and “Christopher Torres Nyan Cat” have sued WB over their use of their memes in the game Scribblenauts, which was published by WB Games and developed by 5th Cell, who have also been named in the lawsuit. They claim this usage infringes on their copyrights and trademarks.
I shouldn’t need to remind you all who Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat are, but I absolutely must, because this is the internet and it was almost literally invented for cat videos… and that is a fact (probably).
With over 30 million views just on the original YouTube submission alone, there is no doubt that this video went viral over the last few years.
While Nyan Cat has racked up nearly 100 million views on this video and even more than that on copy… erm, cat videos. Although it is worth pointing out that Christopher Torres didn’t add that stupid music, he just created the cat and that is what is standing up in court, not the music.
Yet due to their success, it turns out both creators of the memes have registered the trademark for protection. While some time later 5th Cell then added the two characters to their game Scribblenauts, which was released on various gaming platforms such as the Nintendo DS.
To make matters worth for WB and 5th Cell, the two meme creators have joined forces against them and state that “Defendants have used ‘Nyan Cat’ and ‘Keyboard Cat,’ even identifying them by name, to promote and market their games, all without plaintiffs’ permission and without any compensation to plaintiffs,”.
WB is charged with both copyright and trademark infringement, the case will be litigated in the Central District of California, which includes Hollywood.