Another landmark emulation case, although slightly different from the Connectix one. Bleem was another emulator for the Sony Playstation, and Sony sued it for the use of copyrighted images on their packaging. Basically, on its packaging Bleem compared what a video game looked like on a Playstation vs. what it looked like on the emulator. To do this, they used screen shots of Sony video games, which Sony contested. Bleem, of course, claimed fair use. The court decided in agreement with Bleem, noting that the use of copyrighted images fell under fair use because it was comparative advertising. Since Bleem is a direct competitor to the Playstation, it needs to be able to use copyrighted material in order to make a successful advertisement. Sony even claimed that Bleem was hurting the market for screen shots by using them in advertising, but the court shot that argument down as well, stating that Sony could still use the screen shots in advertising if they wanted to. Also, since a screen shot is an absurdly small portion of the total work, Bleem is not actually copying that much from Sony.
Similar to the Connectix case, the Bleem case drove home to the video game industry that contesting emulators themselves would lead nowhere. With emulators being fully allowed to advertise using copyrighted video games, there was no need to hide their real uses. Emulators and their creators are free to proudly display the abilities of their systems, without fear of any legal reprisal. This makes it much easier to distribute a particular emulator using advertising, and in turn makes emulators much more widespread. If this decision had gone the other way then the difficulty in advertising an emulator (remember, you wouldn’t be able to use any copyrighted shots in the advertising) would have been a huge obstacle to distribution. But, without any legal recourse to stop the distribution of emulators or make them harder to spread, the video game industry needs to focus on the people illegally distributing the actual games, not the programs that play the games.