Or, to put it another way:
Warner Brothers sued for unauthorized use of Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat
by Timothy B. Lee
Warner Brothers is facing a federal lawsuit for using two feline-themed Internet memes in a video game without their creators’ permission. The authors of “Keyboard Cat” and “Nyan Cat” have sued the media giant arguing that the game Scribblenauts, published by WB Games, infringes their copyrights and trademarks. The game’s developer, 5th Cell, is also named in the lawsuit.
Keyboard Cat is a YouTube video uploaded in 2007. It shows a man’s cat supposedly playing music on a keyboard. Nyan Cat is featured in an extremely irritating video that was uploaded to YouTube in 2011. As the complaint describes it, Nyan Cat is “a character with a cat’s face and a body resembling a horizontal breakfast bar with pink frosting sprinkled with light red dots” that “flies across the screen, leaving a stream of exhaust in the form of a bright rainbow in its wake.”
Both videos went viral and racked up tens of millions of downloads. The creators of the memes havebothregistered for trademark protection. At some point, 5th Cell allegedly added the characters toScribblenauts, a series of games for the Nintendo DS and other platforms.
If you’re thinking, “Gee, isn’t Warner Brothers one of those Big Media asshats that’s always suing people and dropping takedown notice bombs on sites for using its intellectual property without permission, so nyah, nyah, how’s your own medicine tasting, huh?” then we’re thinking alike.