EPA says they're 'looking into' whether their recycling game contractor got permission from Nintendo to use a Yoshi's Island DS song (UPDATE)

UPDATE - The music has been removed from the game, and the music file has been deleted from the server.

The other day, we found out that the U.S. government had a Flash game about recycling put together as part of their EPA initiative. That game included a song ripped right from Yoshi's Island DS, and without any credit or comment on usage at all. Believe it or not, news of this situation made it all the way back to the EPA. Here's what an EPA spokesperson had to say on the matter.

"The Recycle City Challenge game was created for EPA by a contractor. We are looking into whether the contractor received permission to use the music, to the extent permission was necessary in this instance."

No need to do any research here, EPA. The answer is 100% no. Whoever was contracted to create this game did not get permission from Nintendo to use that song. Boy, I can't wait to see where this goes from here!

Categories: Portables
Tags: ds, dsi, yoshi


Whoever they contracted did a generally AWFUL job. The "game" is ugly and is not fun at all.

They didn't even steal a very good song, either.

One could say they weren't great recyclers because the song they got was garbage.

I love the song. Having played Yoshi's Island DS, I fondly remember it. It's pretty catchy

It's like our country was run by morons, oh wait.

Wed Feb 20 19 11:23pm
Rating: 2

I wish this was the most scandalous thing in the government.

I'm not sure how things work in that country but does a free Flash game really need to get permission to use music from other games? I Wanna Be the Guy cribs a crapton of music like that.

The game isn't free, it's paid for by the government. Whether the money comes directly from the ones playing it, or via taxes is insignificant.

The game isn't free, it's paid for by the government

So if the contractor had used the same song and given the game to the government at no cost that would be legally kosher?

Doesn't matter whether the game is free. If the developers of the game didn't have the permission from the copyright holders to use the music, then the piece of music can't legally be in the released Flash game.

If that's true why isn't Nintendo (or a couple dozen other companies) trying to takedown kayin for putting their music in IWBTG without permission?

I wrote that it can't be legally in the game. That doesn't mean that Nintendo will go after it. I wouldn't be surprised if there are thousands of videos, games, and similar media that illegally has their assets. Yet it doesn't mean that Nintendo will go after the content creator (the EPA, this "kayin" person, or otherwise). Nintendo has to first decide whether they should pursue legal action against the content creator who's misusing Nintendo's assets. Going to court, though, takes resources. It could be as easy as contacting them, telling them to take down the piece of media, and the content creator complies. Or, Nintendo may have to get their legal department to research the laws broken, then send a letter to the content creator saying that Nintendo will sue them, and see where it goes.

In this case, they could just send a cease and desist letter to the EPA, or the company who was contracted to create the Flash game, and the EPA will probably take the game down. However, since the EPA is investigating the game, Nintendo may not have to intervene at all.

I wrote that it can't be legally in the game. That doesn't mean that Nintendo will go after it.

So then a Flash game doesn't really need permission then? It just needs to not satisfy whatever mysterious and arbirtary conditions would make Nintendo or whatever other company want to retaliate.

Fri Feb 22 19 06:55am
(Updated 1 time)

This just sounds like you're being pedantic now =P

They "need" permission to have it be legal, just like I "need" to pay my taxes. Sure, they have the choice to not get permission just as much as I have the choice to not pay my taxes, and if they and I are smart about it, we all can avoid legal trouble. In that sense, none of us "need" to go the legal way.

But that's not what people mean when they say "need". You have to consider the context. If you don't, then basically nothing is a necessity since there is almost always a way out somehow

If "thousands" of people didn't paid their taxes at all and the government knew and didn't do anything that'd be weird too. (~_~)

I still don't buy that permission is needed to be legal. I think Nintendo only doesn't go after kayin and others because they'd lose.

Maybe the contractor thought, 'it's a game about recycling, so let's recycle some old music while we're at it.'


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