Updated: The Iron Sky iPad Game by Ziiso is an Unauthorized Chinese Knockoff

September 9th, 2011 by Timo Vuorensola

Guys, we have a small problem. Last week we noticed that a Chinese game company called Ziiso is creating an Iron Sky game for iPad, one that uses our plot line, characters, ships and even our damn tagline. This was a surprise for us, since we have in no way or form given that company any rights to the Iron Sky brand, or approved their game project. The game was published in iTunes App Store yesterday and people are starting to notice it, so here’s a warning to all the fans:

If you buy the Ziiso’s Iron Sky iPad game, the money goes to some dudes who have nothing to do with Iron Sky at all. You won’t be supporting independent cinema, you will be supporting douchebags who are riding on the coat tails of other people’s hard work. Moreover they are pretending that this is an official Iron Sky product, for example by adding the game information to our Wikipedia page, which it is not. It’s a scam. (BTW, if someone could go and correct the information about the game “Iron Sky: The Last Territory” on the WikiPedia page, we’d be grateful – Operation Highjump is valid information.)

While we warmly welcome all kinds of fan products, what we can’t stand behind is using Iron Sky in this kind of a commercial way, for making money, without even consulting us beforehand. Moreover it’s very unfortunate that these people are taking money from unsuspecting fans who think that they are helping us finance Iron Sky by buying the game.

We have made a complaint to Apple and since the are pretty draconian in their copyright policies, they will probably be pulling the game out of the store quite fast.

We are not publishing Iron Sky merchandize to increase the company shareholder value or whatever – we are publishing it to get money to make this film. For this reason this kind of IP grab frankly pisses us off.

UPDATE: Looks like the justice has prevailed. After we sent Apple a legally well formulated signed complaint according to their instructions, it took them two days to pull the game from the App Store. Thank you for all of you for your support on this issue, and thanks to Apple for acting quickly in pulling that… well, frankly, rather crappy game from circulation.

But as said, we welcome unofficial and non-commercial fan art and such projects, and if you are interested in creating a commercial video game or other product, don’t hesitate to contact us at pekka.ollula@blindspot.fi!

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34 Responses to “Updated: The Iron Sky iPad Game by Ziiso is an Unauthorized Chinese Knockoff”

  1. Esa says:

    Just let Apple know and the game will meet a fiery death. Hopefully.

  2. Tuomas says:

    As above, you can contact Apple and have the game removed from the app store since you are obviously the copyright holder.

  3. Lost Dude says:

    Isn’t that the very concept of communism though, ‘riding on the coat tails of other people’s hard work’?

    Time to sue the buggers, methinks.

  4. red says:

    Amusing and annoying. Hopefully Apple will remove it quickly!

  5. Daniel Nilsson says:

    So when is the official Android-game with support for the Open Feint-achievement system coming? :-)

  6. P1r says:

    That was quick, I can’t find the app in iTunes so I’m guessing Apple’s pulled it already. Shame, I wanted to at least take a look. Anyone save some screenshots?

  7. P1r says:

    (not a shame that they pulled it, of course, I was just curious)

  8. Andrei says:

    Make Apple Store send YOU the money for the game and let the Chinese sue Apple if they disagree.

  9. Dave says:

    I don’t want to sound like a douchebag supporter ;) however…!! Unless Iron Sky is a registered trademark with the global coverage fees paid, OR the plot “IPR” patented (protected) it could be very difficult to stop this from happening in the future. The ipad app developer in a pure legal sense potentially can sell a product under the name “Iron Sky” as its a product name under the developing company’s portfolio. IPR law is a wild west and in the wild east its even crazier. Its good to see Apple being sympathetic but this might not be the last you hear or see this type of thing. Legal protection is a must, now you guys are known and have global recognition. Sadly the only guys who win are the lawyers and patent offices. But in the long term legal protection will save you millions. You need to get advice on a solid protection strategy. (I am not a lawyer or offering any services!!)

  10. Dave: You can not “patent” a plot. But yeah.

    It’s ridiculous that all the energy is put into making tougher laws agains private copying, while stopping commercial exploitation is more difficult and more expensive. Seems completely ass backwards to me.

  11. Janne Torssonen says:

    Still there unfortunately http://itunes.apple.com/app/id460318119

  12. Tuomas says:

    IPR law can be complex as hell, especially international IPR law. Chinese IPR infringements are notoriously common. Generally the rights of creator are recognized even if you didn’t take any precautionary steps.

    You should probably talk with a lawyer who knows his trade, and by minimum contact youtube and appstore with a copyright infringement claim on the video and game.

    I am a law student, but I by no means know much about international IPR.

  13. Dave says:

    Jarmo: cheers for the clarification ;) You seem to of got my point anyway. I second the opinion the system is ass backwards.

  14. Tim says:

    Imitation is the highest form of flattery !

  15. MarkHB says:

    I had a word with a mate, who’s zapped an email to Apple. When the relevant guy gets to his desk at about 0900 PST today, then this should get pulled.

  16. Nemesis says:

    @ Timo Vuorensola,

    You need to contact Apple directly. Once they recieve a direct complaint from Iron Sky, they will quickly pull the game.

    I hope you get this situation sorted out soon.

  17. How about collaboration?

  18. Maybe you guys should do the same as what happened with Angry Bird.. The amusement park in China, also nothing to do with the originals from the start, but now it seems to have..

    I meant to say, that probably contacting the Ziiso in terms of co-operation might be good, instead of sueing them. It might be that you could take Ziiso down, but what do you think, how fast the ideas are copied in China.. maybe next week you can read about ZieZo, who has launched the Iron Sky mobile game or even Copper Sky, which is not even reminding you straight by the topic name anymore.

    Anyhow, the guys have made it already, so how about co-operation, before you make more damage with Iron Sky-brand ..

    - Just a thought -

  19. Chilton says:

    JUST NO!

    This is a shoddy game. The Iron Sky name is not done any good service by being associated with these people.

    If Timo wants to collaborate with a game developer, there are many, MUCH BETTER, game developers who would JUMP at the chance to be part of this.

  20. Anonymous Coward says:

    Download the game, crack the copy protection, have Apple shut down their account for IP violations, then upload the game as an official product.

    Yeah, that’s right: rob the pirates.

    What are they going to do? Complain that you stole their illegal copy of your content?

  21. Won Hosung says:

    That’s is China. Don’t believe Chinese! They are suck.
    They love illegal events and do anything to make money!
    It’s just such a piece of shit

  22. Won Hosung says:

    I knew such this will gonna happen since Chinese have interested in IronSky.

    Everytime when Chinese starts have interest in something, It makes me anxiety! They don’t know how to do good things.
    They are root of all evil.

  23. plutr says:

    @Lost Dude
    no, it’s pure and hard capitalism.

  24. Fyi.I.Am.A.Spy says:

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    Facepalm

  25. Cerberus says:

    I think we should stop talking about that, because they need such publicity!

  26. Max says:

    Slick bastards!

  27. DJ MAX says:

    Unborn son in the case, there is a bastard is not bad!

  28. Max says:

    Well, you know what I meant. I am a fan of this production and I am doing what’s fun and fan for me to support it, like creating a Russian Wikipedia page for the movie, or running this fan Iron Sky website of mine, but what these bogus chinese dudes did is simply sick.

  29. Josh says:

    Have you guys also checked out their site? They basically directly rip off your plot and almost make it seem like the movie is coming from them. However the bottom of their page also says COMPYRIGH 2011, and includes a contact number and email. Perhaps some direct communication with them might be in order?

  30. Josh says:

    Sorry the site is http://www.ziiso.com/Ironsky/index.php if you didn’t already have it.

  31. cz460909 says:

    oh…god…as a coder, I have to say…. I have to change the code again and again…it’s boring…

  32. WOW – very usefull, especially for me THX :)

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