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The Real Reason You Don't Want To Be A Pokemon Leaker

If there is one thing about Nintendo that you should know, it's that the company values its intellectual properties enough to fight for them. Should you find yourself at the receiving end of a lawsuit involving any of its IP, you will see that mercy is in short supply. As it turns out, that fact extends to companies under partial ownership of Nintendo, like The Pokemon Company.

According to a report from Forbes a few years back, the wrath of the "Pokemon" owners awoke after a few individuals shared preview photos taken from a strategy guide for the then-unreleased "Pokemon Sword" and "Shield." These images circulated across the internet, giving the entire world a sneak peek at content that wasn't to be seen until release. Such a leak was unacceptable in the eyes of The Pokemon Company, so it went after the parties responsible.

A special forensics team was hired to track down the anonymous users, one of whom was later identified as someone who worked for the printing company that pressed the strategy guide in question (via Polygon). An accomplice was also identified; this individual was responsible for distributing the images.

Leaking Nintendo properties comes at a price

The case against these Pokemon leakers has been settled and the verdict was pretty devastating for the perpetrators. Each defendant has been ordered to fork over a cool $150,000 to cover "damages and attorneys' fees." This is a staggering sum that many simply would not be able to afford.

When you are privy to information for an upcoming game, it can be quite tempting to share it with the rest of the world. After all, anticipation is high and everyone wants to know what you know. This court case may serve as a warning for the potential consequences of circulating information that's not yet meant for the public eye.

Messing with Nintendo properties has always been dangerous, and in fact, this isn't the first time fans have been thrown into legal trouble over the "Pokemon" franchise. Back in October 2020, Nintendo sued the "Pokemon"-loving streamer and content creator formerly known as Pokeprincxss over her name and merchandise, which were based on the franchise in question. More recently, Nintendo destroyed a bootleg site after its owner tried to fight back in court.

After this latest copyright case and subsequent fines, it doesn't seem very likely that anyone would try to repeat these offenses with any of the upcoming "Pokemon" games.