Webseries threatened with legal action and removal from Kickstarter.
A new campaign popped up on Kickstarter last week, which proposed a new web exclusive miniseries based on the all time role playing game classic, Final Fantasy VII. The Kickstarter goal was pretty hefty in its asking, though nothing on some of the bigger crowdfunded projects out there- specifically, it asked for $400,000.
Of course, Square Enix, which still views the Final Fantasy VII brand as one of its most valuable, and regularly releases new entries in it across media, is having none of it. The Kickstarter project is now caught up in a legal tangle. Specifically, the backers of the Kickstarter project received a message today notifying them that ‘ a project [they] backed, Final Fantasy VII: The Web Series (Unofficial Fan Project), is the subject of an intellectual property dispute.’ The message goes on to tell that should the dispute be resolved, the Kickstarter will continue from where it was suspended.
Square Enix, on its part, has been pretty clear about the whole situation. “Square Enix is the owner of all intellectual property rights to the Final Fantasy franchise under which videogames, online services, and motion pictures have been published… The project itself is in infringement of our copyrights and should be removed entirely from Kickstarter.”
This is one of those rare situations where the company does not seem to be acting out of proportion. If the webseries was planned as a not for profit, self funded venture, then it might have had a shot (as well as the legal and moral highground). However, as it is, it is an economic venture, with proposed investments from others in a pretty hefty amount so I’m not surprised it was shot down at all.