October 29, 2004 | By Wendy Seltzer

Nintendo Warms to Fans' Online Speech

We reported earlier on Nintendo's cease-and-desist to the SuicideGirls website. (BoingBoing has been following the twists and turns.) BoingBoing now brings us this good news: Nintendo apologizes to Suicide Girls!

Nintendo's lawyer-gram had demanded the removal of Nintendo trademarks (Zelda, Metroid, Nintendo) from the text and metatags of a SuicideGirls profile page. SuicideGirls is a cross between Playboy and LiveJournal, and one of its members had mentioned Nintendo among his hobbies -- protected speech, not a consumer-confusion-inducing trademark infringement. Nintendo should be congratulated for not only recognizing that one of its letters had gone astray, but then acting quickly to reverse the chill.

We would like to apologize to you and to those who frequent the suicidegirls.com website for inadvertently contacting you about a fan posting on the website.

We know that many of our fans are old enough to make their own choice about what they want to view on the Internet. We value the support of our fans and we respect their decisions. The letter was sent as part of an ongoing Nintendo program to aggressively protect our younger consumers from the hundreds of sexually explicit sites each year that use Nintendo properties to attract children. We are proud of our efforts in this area. Unfortunately, the site posting identified in our letter was targeted by mistake.

As a gesture of goodwill, we would like to offer you (and RuneLateralus) a free Nintendo video game system and game of your choice. (...)

Thanks to Nintendo for their generosity and candor. If more companies showed this willingness to admit and correct errors, the Web would be a much friendlier place for speech.

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