The people behind two of the Internet's most famous cats are suing Warner Bros for what they claim is unauthorised use of their creations in a computer game.
The complainants claim Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat featured without permission in the Scribblenauts series of games on the Nintendo DS and other systems, the BBC reports. Both moggies have clawed their way up the YouTube charts, scoring millions of views, and their creators own both their copyright and trademark.
Court documents allege Warner Bros and 5th Cell -- developer of Scribblenauts -- "knowingly and intentionally infringed" ownership rights of both claimants. Warner Bros and 5th Cell "used 'Nyan Cat' and 'Keyboard Cat', even identifying them by name, to promote and market their games, all without plaintiffs' permission and without any compensation to plaintiffs," court documents said.
Hilariously, we also get a description of Nyan Cat in the court documents. They describe "a character with a cat's face and a body resembling a horizontal breakfast bar with pink frosting sprinkled with light red dots," which "flies across the screen, leaving a stream of exhaust in the form of a bright rainbow in its wake". So there you go.
The video for Keyboard Cat was recorded in 1984 by Charles Schmidt, then it was put to music and uploaded to YouTube in 2007. Nyan Cat was made by Christopher Torres, and uploaded in 2011, the year in which it was the fifth most-viewed clip on YouTube. To date, it has more than 96 million views, while Keyboard Cat is hot on its tail at more than 30 million.
Both Torres and Schmidt have called for an injunction banning the sale of Scribblenauts. Warners Bros and 5th Cell have so far declined to comment.
Do you think people making cat clips on the Internet stand a chance against the might of Warner Bros? Does the case give you paws for thought about intellectual property rights? Let me know in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.