Leaks are a big part of the games industry. Some people avoid them like the plague while others seek them out. Pokemon Sword and Shield was a game which was rife with leaks before it’s release earlier this month. Now it looks like the Pokemon Company wants to punish those who are responsible.
According to Forbes, the Pokemon Company’s lawyers are trying to hunt down several individuals in the US thought to be behind the leaks. The source of the images appears to be the official strategy guide, which was supposedly ‘on lockdown’ up until the release of the game.
It seems like the two biggest targets for the lawsuit are Discord and 4Chan. Both companies are being subpoenaed for the real names of the users who were responsible for leaking the images. There are several reasons why subpoenaing one of those companies is probably not going to work out.
It seems like the lawsuit is basically on hold until the names can be found, meaning if they never are that the lawsuit will never go ahead. While Discord users have to provide personal information when they sign up, that is not true at all of 4Chan users. Although 4Chan does log IP addresses, it is likely that the leakers will have used a decent VPN if they had any sense.
This basically means that the Pokemon Company might be plumb out of luck. If they fail to get any personal information their lawsuit is dead in its tracks. Boohoo for them. Honestly, even if they can find these leakers’ personal information, they shouldn’t be suing them anyway.
I’m not going to sit here and push the narrative that the leakers are poor defenseless internet users. We don’t know anything about these people other than the fact that they’ve leaked Pokemon information.
The law exists to protect people and companies from damage. Exactly what damage did these Pokemon leaks cause? One of the leaks in question was of the new version of Farfetch’d, and the reactions surrounding it were mostly positive.
It doesn’t appear as if any actual damage was caused by the leaks. The sales for Pokemon Sword and Shield managed to break records for the company. So, why are they even doing this? I doubt that they’d be able to actually get money out of the leakers since they’d have to prove damages.
The Pokemon Company is just using a frivolous lawsuit to dissuade leakers. The company is huge, they have a legal team kept on retainer at all times. These leakers likely do not. Even if the Pokemon Company cannot get any damages, getting the money together for legal representation may be hard enough for their victims.
At the end of the day, the Pokemon Company is just another big corporation throwing its weight around. The leaks did no damage to the sales of Sword and Shield. Suing these leakers is just a way of stopping others from doing it again in the future. These releases weren’t even narrative spoilers, just some new forms of Pokemon which got people hyped up for the game anyway.
In short, the Pokemon Company doesn’t need this lawsuit. They should probably step off because honestly it just makes them look bad, and no one likes a bad guy.
Last modified: January 11, 2020 2:31 PM UTC