PPN situation warrants skepticism

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  • Wednesday, September 12, 2007

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This editorial has been written by Argy. It expresses the views of the writer, not necessarily those of Bulbagarden networks.
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This is an editorial by Argy.
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Argy is the former editor in chief of Bulbanews, a style editor at Bulbapedia, and an administrator at Bulbagarden forums.

When it comes to rumors, the best reaction is skepticism. Such should be the case with the report that Pokémon Palace Network Web master PPNSteve's home was raided by the U.S. government at the request of Pokémon USA. It all just seems a bit too far fetched to believe.

Let's look at the facts. The only account of the incident was provided by PPNSteve via telephone contact with TSS_Killer. He said his home was raided and his possessions were seized, including his Nintendo DS and a stack of Post-it Notes, and the reason for it was "copyright infringement." Since the revelation, Pokémon Palace Network has been offline.

PPNSteve told TSS_Killer to tell the fan community that Pokémon USA is going after fan sites, and he said we should write to PUSA and even our Congresspeople to get the charges on his reversed.

However, how likely is it that PUSA, a company that has a previous record of working with fan sites, would get the government (FBI? Police? PPNSteve never said.) to raid fan site owners' homes without first sending out letters of cease and desist?

In addition, aren't raids usually a newsworthy event? Yet, absolutely no mention of the event can be found in the archives of PPNSteve's hometown (Sacramento, Calif.) newspaper. PUSA has made no statements or closed any other sites.

PUSA's public relations frequently sends out press releases about new Pokémon products, events, or milestones. These are like news articles and are meant to be used by news outlets. Print newspapers aren't likely to subscribe to the PUSA mailing list, so who gets (and posts) them? Fan sites.

As some have suggested, it's quite likely that this has a lot less to do with Pokémon and a lot more to do with PPNSteve. What exactly is going on is unknown to us, but at this point all we have is PPNSteve's word.

It's wise to be skeptical. Bulbagarden and other fan sites aren't going anywhere.