Nintendo lawsuit accuses Switch emulator creators of ‘piracy at a colossal scale’

Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the makers of Yuzu, a popular Switch emulator that allows users to play games developed for the platform on their PCs and Android devices. In the case Shared by Stephen Totilo of Game Filethe company claimed that Yuzu violated anti-hijacking and anti-trafficking provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Nintendo explained that it protects its games with encryption and other security features to prevent people from playing pirated copies. Yuzu has the ability to defeat these security measures and decrypt Nintendo games. “[W]If Yuzu hadn’t cracked Nintendo’s encryption, unauthorized copies of the games would not have been playable on PCs or Android devices,” the company wrote in its complaint.

According to the DMCA, it is illegal for Nintendo to “circumvent the technological measures put in place by copyright owners to protect copyrighted works from unauthorized access and copying.” And the distribution of “software designed primarily to circumvent technological measures” also constitutes illegal human trafficking. The defendants are thus “facilitating piracy on a large scale,” the lawsuit alleges. This case could set a precedent for future lawsuits against emulators, which are not illegal in and of themselves. whom Ars Technica notes that Nintendo’s arguments call their nature illegal.

To show how much Yuzu has affected its business, Nintendo disclosed this in its complaint The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom it was illegally distributed a week and a half before its official release. Apparently, it has been downloaded more than a million times from pirated websites, which made it particularly noticeable that people could play the game file through Yuzu. The company also noted that Yuzu’s creators make money from their emulators. They make about $30,000 a month from Patreon supporters and have so far made about $50,000 from the paid version of their software on Google Play.

Nintendo is asking the court to stop Yuzu’s creators from promoting and distributing the software. He is also seeking an unspecified amount in “equitable relief and damages.”

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