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Nintendo goes after Switch emulator yuzu in new lawsuit

By - | Views: 58,019

Well, here we go. Nintendo have formally filed a lawsuit against the creators of the popular open source Switch emulator yuzu. Nintendo certainly aren't holding back on this one either.

Looking over the document filed February 26th, Nintendo give an example in their complaint with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom saying that it was "unlawfully distributed a week and a half before its release by Nintendo" and that copies of it were "successfully downloaded from pirate websites over one million times before the game was published and made available for lawful purchase by Nintendo".

A major part of the argument is how Nintendo say that "Yuzu unlawfully circumvents the technological measures on Nintendo Switch games and allows for the play of encrypted Nintendo Switch games on devices other than a Nintendo Switch". Nintendo go on to talk about how yuzu allows working around all the protections they put in place, and that "to be clear, there is no lawful way to use Yuzu to play Nintendo Switch games, including because it must decrypt the games’ encryption".

To work yuzu needs certain things from a Switch console, of which the early models had an exploit where this was possible. The yuzu install guide mentions specifically you need a "HACKABLE Nintendo Switch", which Nintendo argue in the suit that "Users obtain the prod.keys either through unlawful websites or by unlawfully hacking a Nintendo Switch console". Because of how yuzu works Nintendo state it "turns general computing devices into tools for massive intellectual property infringement of Nintendo and others’ copyrighted works".

What's not particularly great for the yuzu team is a quote included in the suit from the project lead Bunnei, where Nintendo quote Bunnei saying "users probably just pirate a yuzu folder with everything" when replying to another user about the Quickstart Guide as it can be confusing for people. For context, this is a quote from the yuzu Discord server, but a follow-up post from another developer mentions directly after it "just to clarify on that last statement, we do not endorse, nor support piracy and the users who do won't receive assistance". Still, it's giving Nintendo easy ammo.

Nintendo are going after damages (which look to be quite high in monies), plus they want the yuzu website domain transferred to Nintendo control and the total shut down of yuzu as a whole.

This is going to get messy for yuzu, and for the future of emulation.

Via Stephen Totilo on X.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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83 comments
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A summary article from TorrentFreak: https://torrentfreak.com/nintendos-yuzu-lawsuit-aims-to-pour-banana-peels-over-all-emulators-240228/

QuoteDespite Bunnei’s alleged importance, the only defendant listed in the complaint is Tropic Haze LLC and Nintendo provides almost no information about the company, including details of ownership or control, despite claiming that its sole business is to “develop and distribute unlawful circumvention software.”

It necessarily follows that ‘Bunnei’ is not listed as a defendant, Doe or otherwise. In fact, the language used by Nintendo throughout the complaint suggests that it either has no idea of Bunnei’s true identity or may have gone to considerable lengths to give that impression.

What lies behind this, if anything, is unclear, but there’s a strong possibility that sooner or later, pressure to settle will likely enter the equation. Right now, there are no real names in the complaint, but that could be changed in an instant, at least if any are currently known.
TorrentFreak was also curious about what exactly Tropic Haze LLC is. They didn't get any further than me.
Cyril Feb 28
Quoting: pleasereadthemanualSnip

Woah, thanks for the feddback...
I think Nintendo can win the championship of bad faith! facepalm
elmapul Feb 28
Quoting: TheSHEEEPBut the audience that is interested in emulation to begin with is almost automatically "in the know", so would always find ways to acquire the emulators & files needed.

actually that is the main issue here.
the new generation must know about those games , not just us the old folks, otherwise they will be sucessfull in killing history.
not to mention everyone starts as a newbie.
elmapul Feb 29
Quoting: EhvisThe weird thing about these lawsuits is that they are now targeting a company as "the makers of yuzu". I don't know anything about the development, but assuming that this company is the main driving force, it is still only a part of it. Second problem is that this is a US lawsuit using US laws that mean nothing for most of the world. So even if this went to court and Nintendo wins, nothing would change. The emu either continues directly or is forked and continued. So from a perspective of stopping emulation this is not going to work and is possibly going to have the opposite effect. So to me, it sounds more like a way of extorting a few dollars from US corporate entity.

i wouldnt say that, when the main branch of an open source project dies, usually there isnt any fork with enough momentum to keep things working (by working an mean improving instead of just have the same bugs and features that the original software had, without major improvments)

for example, audacity got purchased by an nefarious corporation and afaik their forks dont have enough man power to be an reasonable alternative.
elmapul Feb 29
honestly this incident just show how important an device like the steam deck is.

1)we arent locked to valve to make an device running linux (unlike nintendo and their proprietary OS)
2)we arent locked to valve to make an OS based on linux (unlike windows)
3)we arent forced to purchase games from valve on steamOS (unlike consoles and iOS devices)
4)we arent locked to valve to fix our devices (unlike some phone manufactors)
5)we arent locked to valve to make accessories
and so on, i can continue for longer and longer to point is:

if companies like Nintendo succeed, we will lose access to more and more media over time, it might sound impossible now, but we saw that happening with many MMOS, we have some lost media in old games, and cloud is a big menace on our future (eg: cloud exclusive games)

if only we had an publisher that made alternative games to nintendo games, capable of outputing the same ammount of games as then, with games that are different enough to no count as plagiarism, but similliar enough to compete for the same audience while at the same time, they could make better games than nintendo, as well as make high quality original games instead of just imitations, if we had all of this with an company that was actually ethical...
nintendo would be forced to improve.

meanwhile, we have things like this...
ToddL Feb 29
Quoting: elmapulif only we had an publisher that made alternative games to nintendo games, capable of outputing the same ammount of games as then, with games that are different enough to no count as plagiarism, but similliar enough to compete for the same audience while at the same time, they could make better games than nintendo, as well as make high quality original games instead of just imitations, if we had all of this with an company that was actually ethical...
nintendo would be forced to improve.

meanwhile, we have things like this...

Sega would've been the closest one to this but with the mismanagement that they had to dealt with at the time and the fact that they are a third party publisher is such a shame because they had some really good IPs.


Last edited by ToddL on 29 February 2024 at 3:28 am UTC
Quoting: elmapulif companies like Nintendo succeed, we will lose access to more and more media over time, it might sound impossible now, but we saw that happening with many MMOS, we have some lost media in old games, and cloud is a big menace on our future (eg: cloud exclusive games)

Exactly, eg: Google Stadia Exclusives

Anyone remember The Sega Channel (back in the 1990s?) ... Gone....
elmapul Feb 29
Quoting: ElectricPrism
Quoting: elmapulif companies like Nintendo succeed, we will lose access to more and more media over time, it might sound impossible now, but we saw that happening with many MMOS, we have some lost media in old games, and cloud is a big menace on our future (eg: cloud exclusive games)

Exactly, eg: Google Stadia Exclusives

Anyone remember The Sega Channel (back in the 1990s?) ... Gone....
nintendo also had one of those. satela view.

and speaking of stadia exclusives, fortunatelly they got ported.
personally i was interessed in guilty, but havent purchased it yet.
Nozo Feb 29
Everyone should keep in mind this, if Nintendo wins this case it would set a pretty serious precedent and not only for the emulation scene, it would also affect even compatibility layers like Wine, imagine Microsoft taking down Xenia and Wine claiming to "defend their intellectual property" and without anyone being able to do nothing about it, killing any vestige of competition for desktop operating systems in the process as well as getting rid of the Steam Deck (something Nintendo will be pretty happy about too).

No, the exceptions and exemptions of the DMCA wouldn't be much useful there, at that point it is to be expected that these companies will put pressure on the US government to abolish them, companies with this kind of behavior are infamous for molding the legal system to their own benefit, as happened with the Disney and Mickey Mouse case.
robertosf92 Feb 29
If this goes on, it will truly be a sad moment for humanity, mostly for the ramifications of it.

Everyday that passes I'm more against this whole "Intellectual Property" thing. What a scam!
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