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Hand-picking when and when not to protect your IPs isn't a good idea, if you understand how IP laws work. Even if they didn't want to remove it, it wouldn't have been smart to do that.
And it's pretty clear they didn't, because they let them finish it, even though it's been in development for quite a while and pretty well known.
But seriously, if you understand how messed up IP laws are, you understand why Nintendo does this. And no, the fact that they didn't charge any money for the remake doesn't make a difference. It's still something that potentionally eats away Nintendo's sales (not by the millions of course) and something that is made by using things that Nintendo created.
Not everything a big company does is evil.
Ultimately it doesn't matter though, because this is the internet and you can find ANYTHING on there.