Feeling nostalgic is not new for the average 90’s kid. Buzzfeed and other sites frequently put out lists and reminders of what children experienced in the 90’s and 00’s. One site brought actual television shows from Nickelodeon to your computer streaming. Nickreboot did more just remind the visiter that they used to watch these shows, but allowed the visiter to sit and relive the episodes. Visitors could watch Doug, My Fairly Odd Parents, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and countless other shows from their computer.

In 2013 the site shut down after receiving internet attention. The creator posted on Facebook that “this amount of publicity will almost certainly force Viacom to come to a legal decision about us. . . . I am absolutely horrified of what that might mean for myself, my loved ones, and for anyone else who was involved.” Shortly thereafter the site started back up again to the joy and celebration of many 90’s and 00’s kids. The creators claimed that this website was non-profit and using the shows under “fair-use.” Visitors were angry at the articles that brought more people to their beloved gem and caused the increase in popularity.

Unfortunately the site is down again, but this time it does not look like the site will be able to wait for the popularity to die down to restart. Most of the blogs and user feedback has been extremely supportive of Nick Reboot. Viacom has claimed trademark and copyright infringement at the end of February. Viacom is claiming that users may believe that they authorized this use, but no permission was ever given to NickReboot.com. They are requesting a permanent injunction and possession over the domain name.

The creator of NickReboot claimed the actions were not malicious, and would have been willing to work with Viacom if contacted. The creator then stated that there was no notice of the legal action or contact from Viacom to the creator. This makes sense because Viacom did not list the creator in the complaint, but instead listed “John Does”. For now, however, the site is down and users will have to wait and see if this is “fair use” or if Viacom will see a market and create a similar site for the nostalgic.

Cassidi Hammock

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One Response to Nick Reboot Tried to Feed Nostalgia, but Instead Is Getting the Boot

  1. Lauren C. Ostberg says:

    It’s unfortunate that fair use doctrine is so uncertain, and requires enough factual inquiry that it requires significant time and resources to assert. This uncertainty could definitely deter risk-averse creatives from drawing on usable sources in their work.

    The interactive aspect of NickReboot (people chatted in a window to the side of the streaming video, right?) reminds me of MST3K (a program that, incidentally, has gone through its own reboot and infringement lawsuit).