GameStop has been selling NFT games without “consent,” the developer claims

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

picture: Gamestop / Krystian Majewski / Kotaku

GameStop has proven once again with its NFT shenanigans that an unregulated market built on planet-destroying technology isn’t a particularly good idea, and that may shock you. In a thorough Report from Ars Technica, the GameStop NFT Marketplace is once again the subject of controversy as an NFT minter on the platform was caught selling NFT-ified versions of HTML 5 games that he did not create himself and had no permission whatsoever, to sell them. Oh, and here’s the fun part, these games will probably live on the blockchain forever now!

GameStop has one number of fights in the last few years as it has tried to remain competitive and relevant. His most recent experiment was to try and make waves in NFT space, Introduction of a marketplace for digital assets while it’s still terrible. The market was not without controversy, including a recent NFT that featured art similar to an image of a person falling to his death during the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. However, the latest round of nonsense to come out of the store involves a man named Nathan Ello and his NiFTy Arcade NFTs, which aim to provide an NFT with interactive fun…but he didn’t seem to stop and ask if he had permission to use games made by other people for this project, let alone if he had the right to even make money from them.

Speak with kotakuNathan Ello declined to comment on this story.

kotaku has reached out to GameStop for comment.

NFTs have been the subject of theft and questionable ownership for some time. Unless an NFT previously owned by a celebrity is stolenthrowing intellectual property into a huge gray area, then so be it someone who shapes NFTs with art that doesn’t belong to them. The supposed safety of NFTs has also been blown up phishing schemes and clever hackers. The secure and traceable future of trading via the blockchain was very uncertain and it was very difficult to pin down bad actors. And this recent controversy involving GameStop and the NiFTy Arcade is just another example of this mess. Meanwhile the Industry insists sale, useand praises NFTs In spite of overwhelming negative reaction and humiliating failures.

As Ars Technica As first reported today, Ello’s NiFTy Arcade NFTs should be “fully playable from an owner’s crypto wallet” or on the GameStop marketplace itself. That seems to make at least a little more sense than a plain JPEG. Instead of just buying a “link” to an image you seem to “own” a part of, at least you can play a fun little HTML 5 game while you burn the planet down.

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

The backlash was intense, with several developers saying they felt ripped off by NiFTy Arcade. Krystian Majewski, developer of breakout heroagreed in a statement Ars Technicathat his work was “sold for a profit without my consent.”

Ello has stated on Twitter that in some cases inconsistencies with the licensing language for other titles has certainly meant that he didn’t do anything wrong by simply taking them.

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

Furthermore, through the wondrous magic of NFTs and the powerful blockchain, these minted games could just 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 this technology didn’t allow others to continue buying and selling NFTs without devices to inspect and verify the content or legal issues involved with you. However, it’s not entirely clear how GameStop verifies or samples the NFTs that arrive at its marketplace their terms of use 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 understanding the seller’s terms and conditions for potential purchase or sale of the NFT prior to purchase or sale. Such research includes, but is not limited to, verifying the authenticity and accuracy of Seller’s claims and description of the NFT, such as: B. Ownership, Uniqueness, Intellectual Property, Licenses, Scarcity, Rarity, Value and Functionality. None of the GameStop Entities (as defined below) endorses any NFT or makes any claims as to authenticity, ownership, uniqueness, intellectual property, license, scarcity, rarity, value, functionality and/or any other attribute or right therein.

But even if there is a thorough verification process on GameStop’s side, IPFS file hashes on any active node can be accessed across multiple servers via the blockchain. It’s Pandora’s box of art theft.

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

kotaku has reached out to Joseph White for comment.

Guess you have to be a little wealthier for a DMCA takedown request to have any effect; What a fair system! Maybe if I coin some Metallica songs Lars Ulrich steps in to put an end to this nonsense. GameStop has been selling NFT games without “consent,” the developer claims

Curtis Crabtree

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