The Greatest Story Ever Told

The Greatest Story Ever Told

I think we can all agree that The Greatest Story Ever Told was that of an Italian plumber who eats magic mushrooms while jumping on Goombas and dodging THS to save a princess from a turtle dinosaur. Nintendo’s software development team is awesome, but Nintendo’s legal team is terrifying. I actually tried to name my firstborn son Luigi and immediately got served a seasoned assist, so I had to name him Snake instead. Today, the Seal Team Six of legal teams has their sight set on an open-source project called Yuzu.

Nintendo’s Legal Battles

It is February 28th, 2024, and you’re watching the code report. People steal and re-upload my content all the time. I could do something about it and make a Digital Millennium Copyright Act report, but that would take an hour out of my day. So, instead, I just bend over and take it. Nintendo, on the other hand, will not be bent over. They have a long history of defending their intellectual property rights through legal action.

A History of Lawsuits

Back in the 90s, there used to be this thing called The Game Genie, which allowed you to modify Nintendo games to cheat with things like invincibility. The thing sold millions of units, but Nintendo sued Galoob Toys, arguing that they were violating their copyrights. Nintendo lost that lawsuit, but they don’t always lose.

If you have a Raspberry Pi laying around, one thing you definitely shouldn’t do is go to RetroPie.org and download this tool that turns your Raspberry Pi into an arcade with emulators for NES, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64. RetroPie itself is not illegal, but if you go to websites like EmulatorGames.net, you can download ROM images, which are digital copies of video games. These websites still exist, but a few years back, when Nintendo released its Mini Retro Throwback console, their legal team went after hosting websites.

This one dude who is making 30k a year from ROM Universe has been ordered by the court to pay 2.1 million to Nintendo in damages to be paid in $50 monthly installments. The guy’s already defaulted on the first payment. Nintendo doesn’t need the money, but they want to ruin this guy’s life to send a message that Nintendo will not be bent over.

The Yuzu Emulator Lawsuit

And that brings us to 2024 and the Yuzu emulator lawsuit. Yuzu is an open-source Nintendo Switch emulator that you can find on GitHub. It’s written in C++ and allows you to run Nintendo Switch games on Windows, Linux, and Android. It currently has 34,000 stars, but be careful not to click this button because you might get sued.

Yuzu also has a Patreon that’s bringing in 30k a month. That’s a nice amount of money, but they’re going to need a lot more than that to fight their legal battle with Nintendo, where they’re accused of “facilitating piracy at a colossal scale.” Because Yuzu is actually making money, it helps justify Nintendo’s case to go on the offensive.

How Yuzu Works

Let’s take a look at how Yuzu works so you can decide who’s in the wrong here. First, you go to Yuzu.org to download the installer. You then configure the settings for your hardware, and now you’re ready to start playing digital versions of Nintendo Switch games. Well, actually, it’s not quite that simple. You’ll also need a hackable Nintendo Switch.

Here’s where the legal gray area comes in. For some games to run, you need to dump system files from a real Nintendo Switch. In the documentation, it explains how to do this by exploiting older Switch consoles that are vulnerable to the Fusée Gelée exploit.

This exploit runs before the bootloader, allowing you to change anything in the existing Switch OS. This allows hackers to run custom firmware and homebrew applications on the Switch. Switch games are also encrypted to prevent piracy, but Yuzu can dynamically decrypt them at runtime.

Nintendo is arguing that this violates the DMCA, which clearly states that you can’t circumvent software protections. However, the actual encryption keys don’t come from Yuzu; they need to come from the end user. So, technically, Yuzu is not providing pirate games, just the tools to run them.

Legal Precedent

There’s a lot of legal precedent that protects emulators. It’s illegal to pirate software, but that’s not what Yuzu is doing. It’s merely giving you the emulator and teaching you how to make the bullets in the quick start guide. And really, there’s nothing wrong with that unless you use that information to go postal or, God forbid, pirate a Nintendo Switch game.

This has been the code report. Thanks for watching, and I will see you in the next one.

33 COMMENTS

  1. The thing is that Nintendo have no idea how much of a pro gamer move it would be for them to make their legal team go easy on people for a change.

  2. There's a few technicalities with this. Yuzu wanted to make a paid service, and has been (to my understanding) circumstantial evidence of the Yuzu team using leaked devkits to get games working pre-release. Ryujinx was NOT hit by this lawsuit, because they haven't done these things and are pretty accurate, so they don't really need to do special things to get games working pre-release (which would probably be illegal!).

  3. From all of us who bought a switch day 1, bought all the games and are sick and tired of playing them at 20fps 720p, sincerely, go fuck yourself Nintendo.

  4. I don't live in the USA, so DMCA etc. Is still in dippers here. One thing that make piracy flourish is the lack of accessibility, or too much to get it.
    When there was only Netflix, people where willing to pay for that single subscription. Now we pay for one and piracy the rest.
    The same for games. I own now a legion go. I'd love to play some games, I'd rather get them in a some place (steam) but there is not legal way to play then in PC. Me personally won't buy more than one device to play (money constraints). But there are plenty of people that if posible would buy the digital copy and play it in other devices if Nintendo (Sony) would allow it.
    Something to have in mind, way before playstore for pc, many of use play android games in PC via Emulator…..

  5. I think you missed something here. The lawsuit shows that screenshots of the Yuzu devs boasting about Yuzu's support for Nintendo games such as Tears of The Kingdom *before they were released*. This means that the devs themselves definitely committed some sort of piracy and – arguably – encourage it.

  6. How can nintendo claim money for damages when they dont offer a service to play their own retro games on their own modern consoles? It's not like these roms are eating into their revenue

  7. I don't care who is in the right or wrong legally speaking. Nintendo is a company which has been creating a monopoly for far too long. Their games are only released on their console, which you can only buy in their store. Nothing of theirs is ever on sale ever, because they have 0 competition.

  8. Sorry Nintendo, but I prefer my The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom at smooth 4K 60 FPS, rather than laggy 720p 30 FPS. Make better products.

  9. I was literally in a meetup about AI cyber security and, as happens every few years, my mind wandered and I asked myself the question 'Is Charlie Sheen still alive?' At basically the same moment you were uploading this video. At this point I just have to assume I'm Truman living in a quantum simulation and my every thought is the only force shaping reality.

  10. I'm actually reading through the 41-page document right now and Nintendo's case is way stronger you would like to admit.
    This is the exact same type of extreme arrogance that is causing Yuzu's downfall.
    Talk about a massive white pill, I'm so happy the ninjas are winning!😊

  11. Yuzu has nothing to do with the TotK leak. Nintendo's retailers just delivered the game early, so I put it in my Switch and played it a week early.

  12. I still remember when I couldn't buy games. Sometimes you can't just afford spending so much money on a hobby.
    They're free to try to protect it however they want, but my take is anyone should be able to pirate at their own risk. Yuzu are merely facilitators.

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