GameStop Sold NFT Games Without 'Consent,' Dev Claims

GameStop Sold NFT Games Without ‘Consent,’ Dev Claims

An astronaut hands an image from the Breakout Hero HTML game to another astronaut.

Image: Gamestop / Krystian Majewski / Kotaku

GameStop has proven once again with its NFT shenanigans that an unregulated market based on planet-destroying technology is not, and this may surprise you, a terribly bad idea. in a minute report Ars Technica, the GameStop NFT marketplace is once again the subject of controversy, as an NFT minter on the platform has been caught selling NFT-ified versions of HTML 5 games that he didn’t make himself and had absolutely no permission to do. sell them. Oh and here’s the fun part, these games will probably live forever on the blockchain now!

GameStop has had a number of fights in recent years as it has tried to stay competitive and relevant. His recent experiment has been trying to make waves in NFT space, launch of a market for digital assets while it’s still horrible. The market has not been without controversy, including a recent NFT that featured art similar to an image of a person falling to their death during the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. However, the latest round of nonsense to come out of the store involves a man named Nathan Ello and his NiFTy Arcade NFTs, whose goal is to provide an NFT with interactive fun. … But he didn’t seem to stop and ask if he had permission to use games developed by other people for this project, much less if he had the right to make money from them.

speaking to KotakuNathan Ello declined to comment on this story.

Kotaku has reached out to GameStop for comment.

NFTs have been the subject of theft and questionable ownership for some time. if it’s not an NFT previously owned by a celebrity being stolenthus throwing IP into a giant gray area, then it’s someone minting NFT with art that is not theirs. The supposed security of NFTs has also been shattered by phishing schemes Y clever hackers. The secure and traceable future of commerce via blockchain has been very insecure and it has been very difficult to identify bad actors. And this latest GameStop and NiFTy Arcade controversy is just another example of that mess. Meanwhile, the industry insist on sale, wearingY praising the NFTs Although overwhelming negative reaction Y humiliating failures.

What Ars Technica First reported today, Ello’s “NiFTy Arcade” NFTs were intended to be “fully playable from an owner’s crypto wallet” or on GameStop’s own marketplace. This at least seems to make a bit more sense than a simple JPEG. Instead of just buying a “link” to an image that you apparently “own” a part of, you can at least play a fun little HTML 5 game while you burn the planet.

That fun, however, comes with the added bonus that NiFTy Arcade included games entirely developed by other people who never gave permission for their work to be used in this way or for profit. In fact, many of these games, like Nom Nom Worm can be found on with a very clear Creative Commons license that does not allow commercial uses.

The reaction was fierce, with several developers stating that they felt ripped off by NiFTy Arcade. Krystian Majewski, developer of rising herosaid in a statement to Ars Technicathat his work was “sold for profit without my consent.”

Ello has stated on Twitter that, in some cases, inconsistencies with the licensing language for other titles surely meant he did nothing wrong by simply taking them.

What Ars Technica detailed in their report, Ello had its minting privileges suspended from GameStop’s marketplace and the NFTs in question were removed from the platform.

On top of that, through the wonderful magic of NFTs and the powerful blockchain, these minted games could live on forever, where they can be bought and sold on other cryptocurrency markets. GameStop’s NFTs use an “Interplanetary File System” (IPFS) which would sound great if that technology didn’t allow others to continue to buy and sell NFTs without any apparatus to verify the content or any legal issues surrounding them. However, it is not entirely clear how GameStop verifies or randomly verifies the NFTs that come to their market. your terms of service indicate that the buyer is responsible for verifying the authenticity of the NFT, not GameStop:

You are solely responsible for conducting research on an NFT, and for understanding the seller’s terms and conditions of the prospective purchase or sale of the NFT, prior to purchase or sale. Such investigation includes, but is not limited to, verifying the authenticity and accuracy of the seller’s claims and description of the NFT, such as ownership, uniqueness, intellectual property, licensing, scarcity, rarity, value, and functionality. None of the GameStop Entities (defined below) endorse any NFT or make any claims regarding the authenticity, ownership, uniqueness, intellectual property, licensing, scarcity, rarity, value, functionality and/or other attributes or rights therein. .

But even if there is a thorough vetting process by GameStop, through the blockchain, IPFS file hashes can be accessed on any active node on multiple servers. It’s a Pandora’s Box of art theft.

That may be the nature of the NFT beast, but GameStop isn’t entirely without problems here. What Ars Technica uncovered, you can still access unlicensed NiFTy Arcade games on GameStop servers. All you need is the correct link and you can continue to access these NFTs anyway. Joseph White, creator of the PICO-8 game engine that powers pixel games that Ello appropriated for its NiFTy Arcade games, has spoken out against GameStop, saying Ars Technica that the video game retailer does not offer any kind of clear way to remove an NFT that infringes the copyrights of others. He filed DMCA requests, but it seems they hit a dead end.

Kotaku has reached out to Joseph White for comment.

I guess you have to be a bit richer for a DMCA takedown request to have any kind of effect; What a fair system! Maybe if I coin some Metallica songs, Lars Ulrich will intervene to put an end to all this nonsense.

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