Now a few things to get through.
I AM NOT A LAWYER, THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE! Got that?
THIS IS MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION, IF YOU HATE IT AND HAVE REASONS. I WANT TO KNOW. IF YOU JUST HATE IT BY INSTINCT I DON'T WANT TO KNOW.
Now onto the fun part
If you aren't in the Brony scene, you probably haven't heard anything about this.
MLP: Fighting is Magic is told to be:
[quote="Gamespot"]This game should not exist. The concept is just too absurd: ponies, in a fighting game? And not just any ponies, but cartoon ponies whose sole purpose is looking cute and teaching viewers about cooperation and friendship? Making them fight is a blatant contradiction that completely undermines the spirit of the show. It must be the work of an overactive fan base with too much free time.[/quote]Quote from Fighting Is Magic: The Most Unlikely Fighter You've Never Heard Of
Now Gamespot brings up an important point, but I'll revel on that later. Now the cause of this massive fracas is this. Hasbro (The owners of the My Little Pony [MLP] franchise) has sent a Cease and Desist letter which has sent the Developers of MLP: Fighting is Magic (Mane6), telling them to immediately stop developing the game, and remove all MLP assets.
[quote="Mane6"]We have attempted negotiating with Hasbro for the continued use of the property in our non-profit, voluntary project, but so far we haven't received an answer. As such, we're complying with the contents of the C&D letter until we receive answer from their PR and/or Legal departments. [/quote] Now the likelihood for Hasbro to allow this is slim, simply because (In my opinion) they were targeted for a reason.
Now if you look at the Harvard Cyber Law about Trademarks you would find that while there is no reason for them to have to act on it (Contrary to popular belief, if a company doesn't immediately loose their trademarks if they don't police it.) there is the "Gentrification" of the term [Which happens over YEARS]. More importantly, the courts look to see if it's deemed a 'common term' (Like Aspirin) and they usually look at the dictionary and any evidence of attempts by the trademark owner to police its mark. And the fact that it's Non-Profit game, means squat in this.
It's also important to note the Trademark infringement is for the term "My Little Pony" [And it's "MLP" variant].
Now, why does that make me feel like it was targeted. Simple, Hasbro only needs to have proof that they are policing the Trademark, so they don't have to attack every single infringement, only a few. Now, why attack this one? There are two reasons.
It's high profile
It has already garnered a lot of attention (And still is) and as such, it would be easy for them to prove.
But this also will cause it a lot of negative attention against them. Especially while still riding the recent spoilers outrage. [One thing they can take notes from the US Military from, because they both leak like a sieve]
It was designed to raise the profile of MLP:FiM [The TV show], by using Hasbro's IP and introducing it into a different market, and travelling with such a similar name.
It protects their brand image in more ways than one
When ever you hear "MLP:FiM" you think of Hasbro's franchise, which unsurprisingly is why Hasbro has trademarked it.
Now when you read the Gamespot quote I quoted above it says [quote="Gamespot"]but cartoon ponies whose sole purpose is looking cute and teaching viewers about cooperation and friendship? Making them fight is a blatant contradiction that completely undermines the spirit of the show.[/quote]
Now Trademarks are designed for Companies to protect their brand, this is a lovely picture of a company doing just that, it's not attacking a rival, but protecting itself.
Now a lot of people will know of the Rule 34 [AKA Cloppers], and the amount of Negative attention it has garnered in the (Predominantly American) media, who knows what will happen when a game that allows players to fight cute ponies, hits the media. So Hasbro are playing this one safe, and removing all their content while they can.
Now yes, this is going to annoy some people, but I think Hasbro was in the right. My Little Pony is inevitably a franchise which has it's roots in Friendship, and this game didn't really suit that at all (What friendship is in beating the crap out of your friends). The game literally had so many items that go against the brand image(One of it's teaser images had Rainbow Dash fighting Scootaloo (A 'Child' in the show) with the message "Scootabuse denied").
And there is a flip side
In the act, Hasbro removed ammunition for the (*Cough*American*Cough*) media, and it's war on Bronies. Who knows what they could have spread when they could have Rainbow Dash beat the *Squee* out of Fluttershy.
Anyway, giddy up bronies, there's a new episode coming out very soon!