Fan turns to the crowd for Pokemon PAX party settlement

The Pokemon Company wants $4,000 to drop the lawsuit over a cancelled fan party at PAX Prime

The Pokemon Company is asking for $4,000 to settle a case against the organiser of a Pokemon themed event at PAX Prime, despite the party being cancelled two days before it was due to take place.

The "Annual Unofficial Pokemon PAX Kickoff Party" was created by Ramar Larkin Jones, and 2015 was to be its fifth successive year. However, this year The Pokemon Company noticed, and it was particularly interested in the event's flyer and Facebook page, which featured the copyrighted characters Pikachu and Sinvy. The suit was filed in August, and the party was subsequently cancelled.

But that wasn't the end of the matter. Speaking to Geekwire, Larkin Jones admitted that he assumed the suit to be a "scare tactic" to force the event to close. This assumption was on the basis that The Pokemon Company had not issued a cease and desist letter prior to doing so, or otherwise warned him in any way.

Larkin Jones must now pay $4,000 to settle the matter, or face the costs that will arise should the matter escalate further.

"Totally didn't expect that," he wrote on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, which he is using to raise the money for the settlement. "I cancelled the party, refunded everyone the $2 I charged to help cover all the prizes I bought for the cosplay contest and smash bros tournament. Pokemon wants $4000 that I just don't have. I told them I would pay it over a year and they denied that. They want it now with in the next 45 days.

"I work in a cafe and I literally don't have $4000. I wish they would have just sent a cease and desist because I had no problem dropping the party but I just don't have $4000 to pay in the next 45 days."

Larkin Jones has claimed that the party was about fandom, not profit. This was the first year that the event had an entry fee, and all of the money raised was all used to buy prizes, giveaways and decor.

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Latest comments (3)

Jonah Falcon Writer 4 years ago
What is the end game for The Pokemon Company here? Here's what the end goal now is: don't play our game. Don't promote our game. Fuck our game.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
Actually, Jonah... the moral is "If you want to use copyrighted characters for anything like a paid fan event at a convention... get proper permission!"

That and I believe legally, paying for prizes, giveaways and decor using collected fees IS profiting. Or using the profits you've collected.

I guess if he'd donated the money to charity and let TPC know what he was doing so he could use those copyrighted images, he'd have not been slapped down. Being a fan is a great, but knowing and following whatever laws are out there regarding use of certain material is part of that.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
Yes, but it's in a companies best interest to decide what should be dismiss-able. Technically, even drawing fan art is against copyright. The reason fan art is so easily dismissed by companies is because ... it actually helps in the long run and pissing off your fans is going to cost you. It's better to turn a blind eye to things like that, because it's technically a win win for both sides. Fans get to be happy, company makes money and gets free publicity.

This is sort of the same situation really, when it comes down to it. Even if they where charging money to get in to do prizes and giveaways. It's going to cost them a whole lot more if the entire crowd that was going to attend decides they will no longer buy games, and even more if it effects others outside of it.

Turning on your fans and pissing them off simply is never a good thing to do. At some point, it's going to come back to bite them.
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