Fangames get shut down, while the actual pirates who are distributing the original games illegally don't? In other words, companies like Nintendo don't mind people copying them, they just don't like it when people get creative and start building new ideas on top of theirs.
Large scale violation of free speech/expression is already happening and has been for a long time now. It's just that the original ideas they don't want you to express have been stigmatized as "unoriginal" by virtue of drawing from preexisting culture and ideas that aren't at least half a century old..
Sorry, this stuff just makes me REALLY angry. Maybe you think I'm overreacting and making a big deal out of nothing. After all, there are still plenty of non-fanmade works out there to enjoy, right?
But I am not overreacting, and I am right to be this angry, and you should be too and the fact that you aren't is probably because you have some serious misconceptions about the nature of creativity and originality and what constitutes censorship.
To be frank, my views on fanmade works are rather unusual. I think I can probably sum it up like this: Fanfiction DOES NOT EXIST.
Yes, you read that correctly. I am saying that fanfiction does not exist. There is only fiction. No need to add the "fan-" prefix to anything. It is an arbitrary and meaningless distinction, a line drawn by the law and by public opinion which doesn't correspond to the uniqueness or novelty of a work, nor the amount of time or effort put into its creation, nor even its quality or value.
What it does correspond to is whether someone is making money off of an idea and would like to have a permanent monopoly of that idea, even if it means silencing other people who try to comment on or build on that idea without making a joke out of it.
Most of my favorite novels are considered to be "fanfiction". Not just a few of them. Most of them. And these aren't guilty pleasure sort of readings either. Many of them I consider to be literary masterpieces which stand on their own and stand apart from the "original" works that came before them.
Why is it that "Harry Potter and the Philosophers' Stone" by J.K. Rowling gets to be in libraries and bookstores where mainstream readers will actually be able to see them, but a vastly better written and more insightful novel which inspired an entire social movement, "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" by Eliezer Yudkowsky can't?
Because Rowling published her book first, and we have this crazy idea that the first person to use an idea should have the sole rights to it forever.
As Benjamin Disraeli said in 1870, "Books are fatal: they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense."
Unfortunately, refutations of nonsense have to be published after the nonsense. So if someone writes a lower quality novel (like "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer) and then someone else tries to write the sort of masterpiece that said lower quality novel could have been if its author was smarter and better at writing (like "Luminosity" by Alicorn), the second novel gets the fanfic label and all the associated stigma, while the first novel is what actually is allowed to be published on respectable platforms where the public will actually see them.
I can write a really good, unique, original, well-written novel all by myself, but if there's any part or aspect of it that builds on or twists an idea that someone else came up with (the very definition of originality!) and someone else is already making money off of that idea that I'm twisting or building on, then according to public opinion and the law, that person owns my novel.
This is seriously messed up. It should not be possible to have sole ownership of a novel that you did not write which someone else did write. But unfortunately that is the world we live in, and most people just blindly accept and tolerate this state of affairs.
"But what about public domain!?" You cry.
Public domain is kind of a joke. Not much has entered it in a long time. You're probably never going to read much in the public domain, unless you're particularly interested in old classics from the previous century or earlier, much of which may have been published before you were even born.
"Fanfiction" doesn't exist. It's an arbitrary and meaningless distinction meant to excuse large-scale violation of the basic human right of freedom of speech.
If it weren't for copyright law and the public domain dying, we probably wouldn't have this idea of "fanfiction" as a distinct category at all.
Shame on you Nintendo. Shame on you J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers and everyone of your kind. Freedom of speech and expression is fucking important for free societies and culture, and you are violating that basic human right, and no one is standing up to you because you have convinced them that what you are doing is okay.
But it is NOT okay, and you should know better.