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Nintendo wins high court case against Switch piracy

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Nintendo is well-known for a litigious legacy, and that’s just been reinforced by another ruling in the gaming giant’s favor this week. The company is infamous among many gamers for going after piracy in all its forms.

Nintendo has already gone after piracy sites and ROM sharing communities in the last few months. The more infamous of these attempts being a shutdown of LoveROMs and LoveRETRO, two popular ROM sites. Other major sources like EmuParadise also removed game files from their servers under threat of legal action.

The target this time were four identified websites that sell pirated Switch games, promote modified hardware, or provide instructions on how to mod the Switch for piracy reasons.

This latest case took place in the UK, and was based on an attempt by Nintendo to force the hand of ISPs to block various pirate sites hosting content from their games, including full rips. ISPs like Sky, BT, EE, Talktalk, and Virgin Media must all now abide by the ruling. This means that these ISPs will implement automatic filters which block known pirate sites for their customers.

A Nintendo rep had the following to say:

“Nintendo is pleased that the UK High Court has confirmed that dealing in devices or software that enable piracy on Nintendo Switch systems is unlawful. This decision will help protect the UK games industry and the more than 1,800 developers worldwide that create games for the Nintendo Switch platform, and who rely on legitimate sales of games for their livelihood and to keep bringing quality content to gamers.”

Ukie, the UK trade body for video games also supported the ruling, saying:

“These circumvention devices, which enable the use of unauthorised copies of video games, jeopardise the businesses of those who uphold and rely upon the sales of legitimate products. As such, Ukie fully supports the ruling and wishes to reiterate the strong stance of the UK video games industry against illegitimate operators. The case represents one of multiple industry endeavours to prevent bad actors from infringing upon and exploiting the intellectual property rights associated with games.”

Though the practice has been decried by various activists and even the ISPs themselves at times, it’s a well-established attack on piracy in this modern age of media. Facebook and other social media sites already consistently block these sites from being shared on their platforms, so it makes sense that service providers would be the next target. After all, these companies are beholden to their bottom lines first and foremost, meaning they will do anything to protect profits and avoid litigation, even if that means taking away consumer choice.

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Source: Eurogamer

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