Club Penguin rewrittena popular clone of Disney’s children’s MMO Club Penguinwas dismantled, and three were arrested by London police.
Club Penguin was acquired by Disney in 2007, a penguin-filled MMO aimed at children that was shut down in 2017, which unsurprisingly led to a number of unauthorized remakes on private servers. Club Penguin Rewrite was one of the most popular remakes and it launched in 2017 after the game was discontinued. Except Disney has now shut it down as well, because what is an IP address if not something you can file a takedown request on.
Not only that, but as reported Tech Crunch, Club Penguin Rewrite has been fully handed over to the City of London Police. The remake of the game had a popular Discord community, although the only remaining message is one that tags the whole server, with a message that reads: “CPRewrite is stopping immediately due to a full request from Disney We have voluntarily given control over the website to the police to continue their copyright investigation.”
And according to an email sent by Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt of the City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) to TechCrunch, three have also been arrested in connection with the situation. “Following a complaint under copyright law, PIPCU has seized a gaming website as part of an ongoing investigation into the site,” the email read.
“Three people were arrested on April 12 on suspicion of distributing copyright infringing material and searches were carried out. They have been released under investigation and to facilitate the police investigation they have agreed to surrender website to PIPCU’s control.”
It’s unclear why the three were arrested, but according to BigChun (via Gizmodo), a game moderator, this may be due to advertisements appearing in Rewrite. “Running a game like this costs money. Therefore, ads have been placed on certain parts of the game,” BigChun said. “We, or at least I, assume that’s how Disney got us.” However, ads were placed in Rewrite in the summer of 2020, two years before Disney took action, so why they waited until now to take action is unclear.