Popular fan-made website ‘Club Penguin Rewritten’ was unexpectedly shut down by Disney over copyright infringement, leading to the arrest of three people.
In the early 2000s, Children’s RPG ‘Club Penguin’ introduced many people across the world to their first online community before Disney purchased it in 2007 for a whopping $700 million. Ten years later, Disney decided to shut down the game due to falling interest.
In February 2017, fans re-made the popular game and launched Club Penguin Rewritten, which quickly accumulated over 10 million accounts.
On April 13, 2022, it was revealed that the fan-made game was shut down due to a request by Disney for “copyright infringement,” leading to the arrest of three people.
Club Penguin Rewritten shut down for copyright infringement
After over five years of operation, a user posted on the Club Penguin Rewritten subreddit with the announcement: “Our world is breaking down around us… this is the current state of the snow fort.”
With several dozen upvotes, the post documented how the fan-driven remake of the iconic game was beginning to be removed.
The Discord server for the game was the home to over 140k users from all around the world until thousands of messages disappeared, just to be replaced by an announcement from one of the admins.
The message stated that the game was shutting down immediately due to a full request by Disney. It said: “We have voluntarily given control over the website to the police for them to continue their copyright investigation.”
At the time of writing, the game’s website also reads that the City of London police have taken it over.
Three people arrested in London
In a statement by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit at the City of London Police, reported by Club Penguin Mountains, three people were arrested on suspicion of distributing materials infringing copyright.
It reads: “Following a complaint under copyright law, PIPCU have seized a gaming website as part of an ongoing investigation into the site. Three people were arrested on April 12 on suspicion of distributing materials infringing copyright and searches were carried out.
“They have been released under investigation and to aid with the police investigation, they agreed to sign over the website to the control of PIPCU.”
It’s unknown at the time of writing who exactly was arrested or how long they will be in custody. We’ll be sure to update this article with any new information as it becomes available.