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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cease and Desist Against Pony Archive

By EuropaMaxima

Pony Archive has received a cease and desist from (alleged) law ponies claiming to act on behalf of Hasbro. BronyFarm [new link] and BronyNews have reported on it, including the full letter (with a few gaps) and Pony Archive’s great response to it. If the letters should vanish there, I can reproduce them here in full. Equestria Daily did’t post the letters themselves, but I though I might include the link anyway.

Update 2011-12-15 08:44Z: Derpy Hooves News has posted a great article on the topic.

More after the break.

The gist of the cease and desist:
We therefore demand that you immediately remove the archive pages and information from your website as well as the direct downloads and unlisted videos from YouTube.com, and cease and desist from any further use of the MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC® property, including the image of the PINKIE PIE™ pony on your website, and provide us with a written assurance that in the future you will refrain from any further unauthorized use of the MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC® property.

The response:

Thanks for your consern. Since we are merely spreading friendship and
magic we feel that we're protected by princess Celestia herself.

Also, we are not based in the US - so US law does not apply to us.

Please feel free to download the episodes from our website in order to learn about accepting, friendship and happyness too.

Have a nice one :)

Well, we have to give them props for using the Traditional Royal Canterlot Voice. I never had a high opinion of Hasbro to begin with, so I’d be almost ready to believe that they might file a cease and desist against Pony Archive, but I won’t comment on the legitimacy of the letter just now. Pony Archive said, “We have an anonymous source as to the legitimacy of the takedown notice, and it is most likely real.”

The good news is that Pony Archive is not planning on shutting down. Also, this is the Internet, it won’t be hard to find high-quality rips of all sorts even without a central and well-organized repository such as Pony Archive. The real problem is what this will do to the fandom—if the letter is legit. We can love a show for what it is, and for the artists producing it, right bronies?

And now to something completely different. Pony Archive actually hosts full episodes, but other than that, they are mostly a repository for links to episodes hosted elsewhere. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Tor hidden services and I2P eepsites. Anonymization overlay networks like Tor or I2P may not be fast enough to provide us with high-speed downloads (of drawings of OC ponies, I mean), but what they do provide is a high degree of anonymity for the pony running the hidden service. Tor2Web provides an easy way to access Tor hidden services though the visitors anonymity is not guaranteed that way. I’m just putting this out here in case you didn’t know.

As usual, I’ll update this post as I learn more.

Update 2011-12-16 20:45Z: Inserted a link to a new BronyFarm post.

Update 2011-12-20 21:07Z: The original Pony Archive domain now redirects to this Pony Archive domain, where—under the title “Fuck you, Hasbro”—a letter to Celestia is shown:
Dear Celestia,

Today we learned that Hasbro, are no real bros. They are indeed proper wankers.

We were only trying to spread the word that friendship is magic, and then these twats came along with their fancy threat-letters.

Please, banish HasNObro to the hell-holes forever.

Yours truly
Pony Mc Archiveington

Update 2011-12-20 21:17Z: Derpy Hooves News on the latest developments.

Update 2011-12-20 22:07Z: Now there’s also a new Equestria Daily post on the topic. In the comments, simonAJ wrote: “I would like to officially go on record as saying that I have had nothing to do with PonyArchive since the first Cease & Desist hit, and I would like to disassociate myself from the message currently up on the site. I find it an incredibly immature act and I do not think it a wise course of action at all. – simonAJ, __former__ ponyarchive staff member”

Update 2011-12-20 22:13Z: A GeoIP lookup of their new IP says: “NL, Netherlands.” Perhaps they haven’t permanently shut down yet.

Update 2011-12-20 22:56Z: In the comments of the abovelinked Equestria Daily article, someone using the name “ponyarchive” wrote: “Well, we did this for teh lulz. Why not end it all with a big trolling instead of playing nice with has"bro"? Stop being so boring everyone, it's not like we're illegal anymore.” I take the short paragraphs (I removed the newlines here), the play on the name “Hasbro,” and the general Discord-esque style as further indications that this pony may be the one who wrote the unkind missive on ponyarchive.eu. This would mean Pony Archive really did “end it all.”

Update 2011-12-22 00:10Z: BronyFarm has posted a statement by one of the admins of Pony Archive, one who quit. I think that leaves only simonAJ, but don’t take my word for it.

Update 2011-12-22 11:24Z: Pony Archive has put this line into their HTML header (with inconsistent indention). Uhm, srsly?
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="15; url=http://1.ooskar.com">
Update 2011-12-23 04:00Z: SunshineSmiles has posted an interesting article on BronyNews that may help a few fellow bronies to let go of their, let’s say, disdain.


  1. I also don't understand why Hasbro would send the C&D, unless they felt mandated to do so on account of their licensing and profit-sharing agreement with Apple or another for-pay distributor. Hasbro has said all along that they are okay with free sharing of pony on the net. On the other hand, if you're going throw in veiled criticisms of copyright and IP in general, you should provide some backup for your opinion. There are good reasons why IP is enshrined in the original language of constitution of the United States. It's one of the important bases for a free society. We're not talking about megacorps here - we're talking about giving individual artists, thinkers and inventors the opportunity to COMPETE against those megacorporations, and eventually become successful themselves.

  2. I enjoyed your comments on the EqD post! It’s laudable that you use your expertise with patents to give the individual artists, thinkers, and inventors a chance. My content here is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license by the way. I’d be very interested to hear your opinion on the wording of the letter, and especially on the fact that they explicitly mention the Pinkie Pie image (*cough*). There is a bit of a discussion on the topic on Derpy Hooves News, but I don’t think any of us have much experience with letters like that one. (Unless you have reasons to refrain from commenting on these matters, of course.)

  3. This all seems very odd to me. Hasbro has been fortunate to end up with an unintended audience, an international one, with plenty of viral marketing potential and lots of disposable income. This is very fortunate for them, as it will add to toy sales and spread their brand.

    Pissing off this audience doesn't make sense. And for what, a few more sales on iTunes, while alienating the whole non-US fanbase and probably a lot of the US one as well?

    So either Hasbro is extremely incompetent (wouldn't be the first time companies fail to understand the Internet and try to fight it, shooting themselves in the foot whilst doing so), or this is not legit and is a troll who has moved on from fake YouTube copyright notices and moved right to the source (which wouldn't surprise me, some trolls seem to have no life whatsoever and thus no limit to how far they will take something out of pure spite).

    Either way, there will still be ponies. Though if it is legit, some people may leave the fandom, or stop buying toys, due to their annoyance with Hasbro.

    After all, the Internet crowd can find other things to occupy themselves with. After a few months they'll have forgotten all about ponies and will be devoting their time and money to something else.

    Some of you might not see it that way, but that's how the Internet works. Things come and go. Just because people are very into something at the moment, they won't be forever, and trying to demand money from them can just speed up the process.