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Nintendo DMCA Notice Wipes Out 8,535 Yuzu Repos, Mig Switch Also Targeted

By iptv.legal , in Anti-Piracy DMCA Nintendo Nintendo Switch yuzu , at May 2, 2024

yuzu-codeOver the last quarter-century the piracy landscape has regularly received major blows from which many believed it could never recover.

While in most cases the doomsday scenario never materialized, not all niches are created equally. Those that require a very specific set of skills usually face more complex challenges.

When Nintendo sued the company and ultimately the developers of the Yuzu emulator in February, that was a significant event. When the team settled the lawsuit just a week later, that was not just unexpected.

The speed of the settlement seemed to suggest some type of vulnerability beyond the paperwork, and real enough – whatever it was – for Yuzu’s developers to submit. Comebacks aren’t unheard of or impossible, but coding an emulator is an entirely different proposition than running a website or uploading movies; there’s certainly not much of a crowd to hide in either.

The Big Clean-Up

The law didn’t change overnight when Yuzu was sued but Nintendo’s messaging since then strongly suggests that the company’s tolerance of infringers has shifted. Nintendo started its post-Yuzu clean-up operation in March, targeting numerous projects that until recently had operated mostly without fear of serious disruption.

Then last week, Nintendo made its intentions clearer still when targeting Nintendo-themed addons for Garry’s Mod, potentially a couple of decades worth, according to the team. That fairly turbulent event has just been followed by perhaps the most efficient takedown filed anywhere on the internet in recent years.

A single DMCA notice filed at GitHub triggered a chain reaction that took out over 8,535 Yuzu repos, all in the time it took to send an email.

dmca-nintendo-git

Had the lawsuit against Yuzu not been filed and settled so quickly, and Nintendo hadn’t articulated its legal position with such clarity, GitHub’s approach to the takedown may have been more difficult. In the event the platform says it contacted the owners of the affected repos to give them an opportunity to make changes, and provided information on DMCA counter notices and availability of legal resources.

nintendo-dmca-gh1

Weeding out every last repo will clearly take much more time but given the diminishing returns, that may not be of particular interest to Nintendo. Resources directed towards emerging threats may be considered a more effective strategy, however.

Mig Switch / Mig Dumper Suppression

Last December, rumors began to circulate about an upcoming product, a flashcart for the Nintendo Switch billed as a backup and development device. Branded Mig Switch, it was claimed the device would have enough memory to store several ROMs and would allow users to select which ‘backup’ to play, no soldering required. Mig Dumper, a tool for backing up original games, would appear separately.

Videos and reviews of Mig Switch have been appearing online and while prospective buyers will need a Switch console to use it, in common with Yuzu the plan is unlikely to involve the purchase of games.

As a result, Nintendo is already attempting to remove Mig Switch and Mig Dumper reseller websites from Google search, including those whose screenshots are shown below, along with Nintendo’s takedown text.

nintendo-mig-switch-takedowns

At the time of writing, pages on around 75 domains have been targeted for deindexing. Nintendo used DMCA anti-circumvention notices which unlike regular DMCA notices, have no counter notice process available.

Meanwhile, Mig Switch reportedly faces competition from UnlockSwitch, a not dissimilar device with the same functionality that may (or may not) be a clone of Mig Switch, which in turn may (or may not) be a clone of UnlockSwitch.

The people behind Mig Switch alleged that UnlockSwitch is a pre-order scam and their review units are actually Mig Switch devices underneath. Which side to believe, if any, is a personal choice; there’s unlikely to be a patent or registered mark to clear up the dispute.

Genuine dubious device or merely a copy of one?unlockswitch

Things rarely stand still in the Nintendo piracy scene; its ability to recover seems inextricably linked to the size of Nintendo’s user base and the opportunity to generate revenue with the right product. As a result, it’s unlikely that Nintendo’s hardened approach will deliver a terminal body blow at this end of the market anytime soon.

As for the future of the Switch emulation scene, there’s no denying it looks more precarious now than it did in January.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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