How did Etika die? Nintendo slammed for banning 'Etikons' created in memory of tragic streamer
CptnAlex, who runs an Etsy store selling custom controllers, was sent a cease and desist from Nintendo. 65 percent of his proceeds were to be donated to the JED Foundation, a nonprofit that “protects emotional health and prevents suicide"
On Monday, December 7, Nintendo was on the receiving end of a lot of criticism from its customers. On Twitter and Reddit, many seemed unhappy with the Japanese consumer electronics and video game company. According to reports, Nintendo angered fans after sending a cease and desist letter to a custom Joy-Con creator who was selling Etika-themed shells for charity.
CptnAlex, who runs an Etsy store selling custom controllers reportedly said he was sent a cease and desist from Nintendo covering all his products: "While [Nintendo] didn't specifically tell me why each design was taken down, they did include a list of copyrights my designs broke, and the word Joy-Con was on that list. This is my only design specifically with the word Joy-Con on it, so that's obviously what they were referencing when they attached that."
The “Etikons” were named after the now-dead YouTuber Desmond ‘Etika’ Amofah. These controllers bore the trademarked word “Joy-Con”. It was a reference to Joycon Boyz, the name for Etika's fan community. According to CptnAlex’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, of each $65 pledge, 25 per cent would be taken as production fee while 65 per cent was donated to the JED Foundation, a nonprofit that supposedly “protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults”.
As per a report, the cease and desist order was sent to CptnAlex by Nintendo back in September, News of the ban, however, broke only over the past day. According to a screenshot of the mail sent by Nintendo, as shared by CptnAlex on Twitter, “You are on notice that your production, marketing, and sale of the Infringing Products, your use of Nintendo’s trademarks in connection with these activities, and your false association with the Nintendo brand violate Nintendo’s intellectual property rights.”
First campaign was not successful.— CptnAlex (@Cptn_Alex) December 7, 2020
Second campaign was successful.
Remaining stock of Joycons were for sale my Etsy since last year.
Nintendo sent me a cease and desist at the end of September.
Here’s a picture of me with a bin of all the shells I can’t sell anymore pic.twitter.com/ytdWzObh9x
Despite the fact that Nintendo is technically within its rights to pursue copyright infringement cases, fans were angry that Nintendo was hampering a charity initiative. “To be fair, we all should have known the direction Nintendo was going when they made a guy named ‘Bowser’ the head of the US Branch,” wrote a Twitter user. Another Twitter user said, “Bans Online Melee Tournament, Cancels Splatoon NA Open over #FreeMelee team names, Bans Etika Joy-Cons made for charity. Keep going Nintendo. There's still 3 weeks left until 2020 ends.”
To be fair, we all should have known the direction Nintendo was going when they made a guy named "Bowser" the head of the US Branch. pic.twitter.com/trBmHlDtBW— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) December 7, 2020
• Bans Online Melee Tournament— JOURDON⚡ (@DynamoSuperX) December 7, 2020
• Cancels Splatoon NA Open over #FreeMelee team names.
• Bans Etika Joy-Cons made for charity.
Keep going Nintendo. There's still 3 weeks left until 2020 ends. 🤡 pic.twitter.com/tpNyg3ZwdX
Who was Etika and how did he die?
Desmond Daniel Amofah, better known by his online alias Etika, was an American YouTuber, streamer, and model. On June 25, 2019, the NYPD had announced that he was found dead. At the time his body was found, the NYPD had been searching for him for about a week -- he had gone missing after posting a video discussing suicidal thoughts.
As per the Verge, the NYPD first confirmed Amofah’s disappearance as a missing person’s case on June 20, 2019, approximately 36 hours after Amofah uploaded an eight-minute video, voicing suicidal thoughts. While the video was removed by YouTube for violating the company’s community guidelines, it has since been reuploaded by other people. “I really had no intention of killing myself,” Amofah said in the video. “But I’d always push it too far. I guess I am mentally ill.” He also said, “I hope that my story maybe helps to make YouTube a better place somehow in the future.”
The NYPD later discovered Amofah’s belongings on the side of the Manhattan Bridge. As per the New York Post, police found Amofah’s New York State driver’s license, along with several other cards and his wallet. They also found his cell phone, a black and red Nintendo Switch. and a laptop bag believed to belong to Amofah, which contained a pair of boxers, a shirt, shorts, and headphones.
As per CNN, his body was pulled from the East River on June 24, 2019. Two days later, on June 26, 2019, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined that the cause of Amofah's death was drowning, and the manner was suicide.