Atlus sues fans who hosted Shin Megami MMO private server for copyright

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Atlus is suing fans who hosted their own private servers of the Japanese company’s closed MMO, Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Onlineclaiming copyright infringement.

The lawsuit filed in December 2021 (spotted by Twitter user Marsh, via VGC) says the Japanese company has sued players in the heart of a long-shutdown MMO SMT relaunch server. Atlus claims in the court filing that the private server has “caused and will continue to cause irreparable damage to Atlus unless restrained by this Court.” The document names Rekuiemu and COMP_Hack as defendants in the case. ReImagine Online was not nominated by Atlus.

As such, Atlus is asking the court to shut down all websites and private servers linked to the fan-created server, as well as seeking up to $25,000 per violation found by the court.

This could impact other fan-run private servers, which is really nothing new in the MMO world. Private, fan-made emulated servers run titles from Star Wars Galaxies at city ​​of heroes. However, the impact would remain to be seen, especially since it would involve the former copyright holders of these titles actually seeking the legal battle.

In the lawsuit, Atlus claims that the defendants not only created the emulated server to play the MMO, but recreated the original SMT: Imagine website used by Atlus themselves when the game was live. As it stands, one of its competitors according to MMOBomb, Reimagine online, were shut down, with the latter doing so out of caution according to a Discord post.

[Update 8:52pm PT: Updated this post to clarify that it was Rekuiemu and COMP_Hack who are named as the defendants, not ReImagine Online. We apologize for this error and thank those who have pointed it out.]

Featured image via Fanbyte

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