GameStop Sold NFT Games Without ‘Consent,’ Dev Claims

An astronaut passes an image from the HTML game Breakout Hero to another astronaut.

Image: Gamestop / Krystian Majewski / Kotaku

GameStop proved once again with their NFT shenanigans that an unregulated market built on planet-destroying technology, and this might shock you, isn’t a great idea. In a thorough report of Ars Technica, the GameStop NFT market is once again the subject of controversy, as an NFT miner on the platform was caught selling NFT-based versions of HTML 5 games that he did not make himself and who did not have any permission to use them. to sell. Oh, and here’s the fun part, these games are now likely to live on the blockchain forever!

GameStop has a number of struggles in recent years because it has tried to stay competitive and relevant. The recent experiment was to try to create waves in NFT space, launch of a digital asset marketplace while it’s still awful. The market has not been without controversy, including a recent NFT with art resembling an image of a person who perishes during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. However, the latest nonsense to come out of the shop involves a man named Nathan Ello and his NiFTy Arcade NFTs, whose purpose is to provide interactive fun to an NFT… but he didn’t seem to stop and ask if he had permission to use games developed by other people for this project, let alone if he had the right to even monetize them.

Speak with KotakuNathan Ello declined to comment on this story.

Kotaku has contacted GameStop for comment.

NFTs have been the subject of theft and questionable ownership for some time now. If not an NFT previously owned by a celebrity is stolenso throwing intellectual property into a giant gray area, then it’s someone who mints NFTs with art that doesn’t belong to them. The alleged security of NFTs has also been inflated by: phishing schemes and smart hackers. The secure and traceable future of blockchain trading was very insecure and it was super difficult to identify bad actors. And this latest controversy over GameStop and the NiFTy Arcade is just another example of that junk. Meanwhile, the industry insists on sale, usingand praising NFTs despite overwhelming negative reaction and humiliating failures.

As Ars Technica First reported today, Ello’s “NiFTy Arcade” NFTs were intended to be “fully playable from an owner’s crypto wallet” or on the GameStop marketplace itself. This seems at least a little more logical than a simple JPEG. Instead of just buying a “link” to an image that you apparently “own” a portion of, at least you can play a fun little HTML 5 game while burning the planet to the ground.

However, that fun comes with the added bonus that the NiFTy Arcade featured games that were developed entirely by other people who never gave permission for their work to be used or profited from in this way. In fact, many of these games, such as: Worm Nom Nom can be found on Itchi.io with a very clear Creative Commons license that does not allow commercial use.

The backlash has been fierce, with several developers saying they felt ripped off by NiFTy Arcade. Krystian Majewski, developer of Breakout Herosaid in a statement to Ars Technicathat his work “was sold for a profit without my permission”.

Ello has stated on Twitter that in some cases inconsistencies with the licensing language for other titles certainly meant he did no harm by just taking them.

As Ars Technica detailed in their report, Ello suspended its coin privileges on GameStop’s marketplace and removed the NFTs in question from the platform.

Moreover, through the miraculous magic of NFTs and the mighty blockchain, these minted games can simply live on forever, where they can be bought and sold on other crypto marketplaces. GameStop’s NFTs use an “Interplanetary File System” (IPFS), which would sound cool if that technology didn’t allow others to continue buying and selling NFTs without equipment to check the content or any legal issues surrounding it. and verify. However, it is not entirely clear how GameStop verifies or randomly checks the NFTs arriving in its marketplace. their terms of service declare that the buyer is responsible for verifying the authenticity of the NFT, not GameStop:

You are solely responsible for conducting research into an NFT and for understanding the seller’s terms and conditions regarding the potential purchase or sale of the NFT, prior to purchase or sale. Such investigation includes, but is not limited to, verifying the authenticity and veracity of the seller’s claims and the description of the NFT, such as ownership, uniqueness, intellectual property, licenses, scarcity, rarity, value and functionality. None of the GameStop entities (defined below) endorses or makes any representations as to the authenticity, ownership, uniqueness, intellectual property, licenses, scarcity, rarity, value, functionality and/or other attributes or rights therein.

But even if there is a thorough vetting process at the end of GameStop, IPFS file hashes can be accessed over the blockchain on any active node across multiple servers. It’s an art theft box from Pandora.

That may be the nature of the NFT beast, but GameStop isn’t quite off the hook here. As Ars Technica found that you still have a lot of access to the unlicensed NiFTy Arcade games on GameStop’s servers. All you need is the correct link to and you can continue to access these NFTs anyway. Joseph White, creator of the PICO-8 game engine that powers the pixel games that Ello appropriated for its NiFTy Arcade games, has spoken out against GameStop. Ars Technica that the video game seller does not provide any clear way to remove an NFT that infringes on the copyrights of others. He’s made DMCA requests, but they seem to have come to a dead end.

Kotaku has contacted Joseph White for comment.

Guess you need to be a little richer for a DMCA takedown request to have any effect; what a fair system! Maybe if I play some Metallica songs, Lars Ulrich intervenes to put an end to all this nonsense.

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