What is the worst thing that can happen to a crowdfunding project? Generally, it is the events that follow whenever copyright rears its ugly head. Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection looked to be a very promising project, with Nintendo megafan Stu “Super Famicom Guy” Brett producing a high-quality coffee table book of Super Famicom (that’s the Japanese name of the Super Nintendo system) box art. If all had gone according to plan, he planned to get the book ready to print right after the Kickstarter campaign ended. Unfortunately, plans don’t always work out as we’d expect.
In the case of Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection, it’s copyright that has stalled the process. You see, video game box art is designed by an artist and owned by the game’s publisher even though box art itself is not playable content. Initially the hope was that this book was in the clear copyright-wise as it obviously featured no game screenshots or video which are often hit with copyright claims. After digging deeper into legalese, Stu realized that without obtaining clearance most of his favorite games would be published in the pages of his book without copyright clearance at all. Unlike some projects on Kickstarter, there was no impending legal threat that forced Stu to stop. He simply wanted to complete his project in a full and legal manner, which is why the campaign had to be canceled.
The hope is now that Stu will be able to speak with the various copyright holders and receive proper clearance to get each piece of box art he loves in the book. Here’s hoping we’ll see Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection return to Kickstarter in the future!
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