Nintendo shuts down "Etikons" fundraising campaign over copyright claim

Just days after cancelling a Splatoon 2 stream due to fans rallying with Smash communities, Nintendo is shutting down a fan-made Joy-Con project. On December 6, content creator Cptn Alex revealed that the crowd-funded Etikon campaign on Indiegogo was issued a cease and desist for infringing on Nintendo’s trademarks. The Etikons campaign was started to remember Desmond “Etika” Amofah, a beloved content creator who took his own life in 2019.

The Etikons fundraising campaign featured two custom black and white Joy-Con shells that players could replace their current Joy-Cons with. Inspired by Etika’s fanbase, known as “Joyconboyz,” the custom cases were little more than skins for fans’ Joy-Cons. According to Cptn Alex, Nintendo issued the notice because it included the word “Joy-Con” in the description of the shells. Custom skins and shells are widely available online and give players unique ways to customize their console.

Proceeds from the Etikons campaign planned to go to the Jed Foundation. The Jed Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to promote emotional health and suicide prevention. The organization works with teens and young adults across the United States. At the time of the campaign’s closure more than $36,000 raised by members of the community.

“His early death highlights a major issue in the US today — our mental health care system,” reads the campaign description. “By raising money for the JED Foundation, we can put the necessary tools into the right hands and help provide resources for mental health and suicide prevention awareness.”

Etikons minus the Joy-Con

Cptn Alex has since closed down the campaign and on December 7 the YouTube Channel “JoyConBoyz” uploaded a video discussing the cease and desist. Production of the Etikons has stopped since Cptn Alex received the cease and desist notification. Cptn Alex appears to be interested in releasing more copies of the shells, with changes to the design to ensure there is no infringement over Nintendo’s copyright.

If you are struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, please contact your local crisis hotline. For those in the United States, please call 1-800-273-8255. If you are in Canada, call 1-833-456-4566 or visit the Crisis Services website.

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