Around 1:30 AM this morning, a Reddit user posted a copy of what is presumed to be a DMCA notice from Hasbro Legal against multiple Windows Phone App store publishers, informing them of alleged infringement of multiple copyrights and intellectual properties. Horse News is on the scene trying to establish how Hasbro Legal found the apps in the first place, when Windows phones started to get apps, and who the hell even uses a Windows phone in the first place.
The poster is a developer of one of the accused apps, and had stated that his app was targeted by Hasbro for infringing on copyright along with many other apps with a focus on My Little Pony. Many of the accused apps had content relating to My Little Pony, with the bulk of it assumingly directly copied from the show itself, and marginally less originating from non-hasbro sources like deviant art and others.
Preliminary estimates put the current number of casualties included in the takedown at up to 19 apps. "My Little Soundboard," "My Little Pony Portal," and "Flappy Little Pony" were only some of the many apps struck down by the recent wave of DMCA notices. More soon may follow as Hasbro Legal writes memo's, warms up the fax machine, and starts the coffee pot for the day.
It is not a surprise that Hasbro would jump the gun and completely eliminate any trace of non profitable use of intellectual property outside of their control and Licensing Department, but what is surprising is the total accuracy and abruptness of the takedown. It targeted dozens of apps, though all small and unimportant, all still dealt with in a manner that conforms totally to the law of copyright. Each one is listed with dozens of instances of small fallible infringements, such as using the name of a pony. It was expected, as these developers knew they were acting well outside the confines of fair use, but the severity of punishment for such a small sliver of content is only a harbinger for what is to come.
In a typical, or rather "traditional" take down, Hasbro would only deal a small C&D to whatever company was possibly operating without paying tribute to the corporate overlords at Finances. This takedown, however, was dealt with swift and cunning accuracy against an atypical group of criminals, windows app developers, which have an obscure appeal to an even more obscure crowd, windows phone users - a much smaller scenario than an overarching plot meant to swindle profits away from under the nose of a mega corporation. In no way were the developer's intentions geared towards turning a profit over stolen property. But since copyright holders are held liable for acting upon instances of infringement, or risk losing the copyright, any form of infringement, whether innocent or spiteful, is susceptible to the grips of the American copyright system.
DJscootaloose stated that "[the takedown] was bound to happen sooner or later."
Of course this takedown did not come as a surprise to many a brony, as it only follows along with the trend set forth by Hasbro for a while now: scorched fandoms, total media domination across all mediums. This event, though insignificant in the grande scheme of the fandom's mechanism, is shadowed in comparison by what it signals for the future, a relentless campaign against all content creators using Hasbro property, regardless of medium and size, with no end in sight.
The war wages on, and the battles are only getting more intense. Tread carefully.
Backup transcript of notice and Reddit post: http://pastebin.com/AUVpz1hK