Taito not happy about the use of Space Invaders at the Leipzig show, considering legal action

Shaggy August 22, 2008 5

If you follow the consumer game media at all then you probably have heard of the Leipzig Game Show that has been going on in Germany. You also might have heard of the controversial Space Invaders-related exhibit which is being touted as art. Well Taito doesn’t care what it’s called, they are thinking of taking legal action:

TAITO is seriously considering all available options–including legal actions against the infringer and, if necessary, the Games Convention exhibitor involved–in order to end this unauthorized and impermissible misuse of the Space Invaders content and to protect TAITO’s intellectual properties.

Ouch! Of course it doesn’t help that the theme also has to do with the World Trade Center Towers, September 11th, and the whole war on terrorism. I imagine that Taito doesn’t want to be linked to this sort of thing which is probably what caught their attention. Hit the jump for Taito’s full press release.

UPDATE: A response from the artist:

——statement of the artist——————
After three days of a steady downward spiral in public discussion of the
piece, I have just given my agreement to the organizers of the Leipzig
Games Convention to simply turn off the installation Invaders! While I
realize the dangerous precedent of allowing the lowest common
denominator dictate what is and is not a valid form of expression,
unfortunately the current tone has totally obfuscated the original aims
of the piece. While I take full responsibility for the uncomfortable
ambiguity of certain aspects of this work, it was never created to
merely provoke controversy for controversy’s sake, and unfortunately,
this is what the piece has now become. The American response to this
work has been, frankly, immature, and lacking the sophistication and
consideration that other parts of the world have so far shown the work.
Contrary to previous reports, I am an American, and it saddens me that
we as a people remain so profoundly unable to process this event outside
of some obscure, but tacitly understood, criteria of purely anesthetized
artistic representation. Due to these profound misunderstandings, I
simply feel that from an artistic point of view, the work has lost the
ability to have any valuable impact, poetic or otherwise. I have not
been pressured by the Leipziger Messe, nor by the Computerspiele Museum
in this decision — to the contrary, they have offered their support in
defending the right of artists to speak freely, and in whatever context
they may choose.

August, 22nd 2008 Douglas Edric Stanley

And in case you’re curious, here’s what the exhibit looked like




Tokyo, Japan, (August 22, 2008) – TAITO Corporation (TAITO), a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Square Enix Co., Ltd., today stated unequivocally that the “Invaders!” installation by Douglas Edric
Stanley and displayed at the Games Convention held in Leipzig, Germany was produced entirely
without TAITO’s knowledge and that the use of the world-famous Space Invaders® content was
wholly unauthorized. The “Space Invaders: Die Jubiläumsshow!” (“Space Invaders: the
Anniversary Show”) exhibition of the Computer Game Museum Berlin hosting the installation was
likewise planned and presented without TAITO’s knowledge and authorization.
TAITO is seriously considering all available options–including legal actions against the infringer
and, if necessary, the Games Convention exhibitor involved–in order to end this unauthorized and
impermissible misuse of the Space Invaders content and to protect TAITO’s intellectual properties.
About TAITO Corporation
TAITO Corp. (TAITO) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Co., Ltd. With headquarters in
Tokyo, Japan, TAITO operates core businesses such as game arcade operations, coin-operated
game machines, and mobile phone content services. A seminal part of gaming history, TAITO
caused a worldwide sensation with its arcade legend, SPACE INVADERS, and developed such
fan favorites as EXIT™ and ARKANOID. Today, TAITO continues to thrill game lovers of all
generations by offering both classic and new family-oriented titles on the latest gaming platforms.
TAITO delivers a wide range of entertainment experiences with the goal of providing consumers
with fresh surprises and new discoveries. More information on TAITO can be found on the Internet
at http://www.taito.com/.


SPACE INVADERS, TAITO and the TAITO logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TAITO Corp in the United
States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners


  1. Slonie August 22, 2008 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Honestly, I’m surprised that Taito hasn’t gone after more people re-appropriating their sprites over the years without permission.

  2. editor August 22, 2008 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    I agree it has taken them some time to start to defend their turf – it is a factor in why so many companies think they can create retro machines with no permission.

  3. editor August 25, 2008 at 11:05 am - Reply

    we have moved the discussion on the legality of the installation, and general IP usage to: http://iq.lycos.co.uk/qa/show/68498/Space+Invaders+-+Illegal+Use+of+IP/

  4. Paul August 25, 2008 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Big fucking deal. Taito (and ‘editor’) should stop being such patent nazis and let people have fun. The exhibit wasn’t charging anything per play; it was just up there to honor Space Invaders and be fun.

    Taito isn’t really going to sue. When they threaten to use all available options, or however they phrase it, it’s just an intimidation tactic to make the person take down the exhibit. And it always works.

  5. editor August 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Why sue when a threat can get the installation pulled, and the artist dropped by all his commissions!

    But as Paul says’ I am ‘strict’ about patent infringements – anyone who has ever built a project and worked hard with a team on an original creation always feels anger when people try and profit (or deride) other peoples efforts.

    Remember one persons fun -is another persons effort!

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