SEGA Europe has sensationally filed a lawsuit against humour website YTMND (You’re The Man Now Dog!) over jokes it contains involving Sonic the Hedgehog.
YTMND, for the uninitiated, is a website where users can create their own webpage consisting of only an image for a background and a voice clip as background music. Many trends are built on the back of this, where Star Trek’s ‘Epic Manoeuvres’ and Star Fox’s ‘Do A Barrel Roll’ being gags that has spawned countless YTMND joke pages.
The most popular of the Sonic jokes, a mickey take on the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon motto “That’s NO Good!”, involves editing the voice clip to include various random quotes from films and other cult references. Many different versions of this Sonic gag suggest furry rape or sex or some other kind of ‘NO Good!’ activity, which is likely the reason that SEGA have kicked off in such a way.
The lawsuit in question – received on 11th January – demanded in 7 days that the website remove all pages that show Sonic in a derogatory light, provide SEGA with the website’s creation tools, pay SEGA any royalties arisen from popularity of the gag and transfer ownership to SEGA at once.
The press release offers some explanation to the action: “The Sonic the Hedgehog series is one of the world’s most popular computer game series and continues to be exploited and distributed… We are concerned that our prospective customers may be confused into believing that the Website is in someway linked to or associated with us…”
Don’t know about you, but I wasn’t exactly confused.
Webmaster ‘Max’ is quoted on the YTMND website, responding to the lawsuit as a way of SEGA “shitting on their target audience“.
The message this lawsuit sends, whether successful or not, could spark a growing mistrust in the community from fan humour sites – sprite comic websites in particular. Dare we mock Sonic the Hedgehog ever again, or are YTMND getting just desserts for defaming SEGA’s most treasured IP? Post your thoughts in the comments box, or join in the fun we’ve had the last week on SSMB here.
Today marks the final date YTMND has before it has to concede to SEGA’s demands. We’ll keep you posted as to what exactly happens on Friday morning. We will also attempt to grab a comment from SEGA in the midst of all this hubbub.