Nintendo are suing the team behind the Switch Emulator Yuzu

Nintendo has taken legal action against the Yuzu Switch emulator

Nintendo are suing the creators of the Yuzu Switch emulator, alleging that the tool is “facilitating piracy at a colossal scale”. With this lawsuit, Nintendo are seeking to shutdown the emulator and seeks damages through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Nintendo has also accused the emulation team of copyright infringement. Strangely, Nintendo has not taken action against the Ryujinx Switch emulator.

In their lawsuit, Nintendo alleges that Yuzu is “primarily designed” to circumvent the Nintendo Switch’s encryption. This allows users to play copyrighted Nintendo games and enables piracy. Nintendo’s stance on emulation is that it is unlawful. Well, they like emulation when it can help them bring older games to their newer consoles, or allow them to sell devices like the NES or SNES mini.

Simply put, Nintendo are Suing Yuzu to wipe the emulator from existence. Nintendo wants Yuzu’s domain names, URLs, chatrooms, social media accounts, and even the team’s hard drives. As mentioned before, Nintendo also wants a lot of money for damages.

Nintendo are suing Yuzu over piracy concerns

Nintendo alleges that Yuzu is a piracy tool, stating that leaked version of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was downloaded 1 million times before the game’s release. At the same time, Yuzu’s Patreon support doubled. Nintendo are aiming to link Yuzu with piracy, alleging that their business model allows Nintendo game piracy to flourish.

Is emulation illegal? Yes and no. Emulation tools themselves are not illegal. It is legal to reverse engineer a console and to develop and emulator for it, provided it uses none of the console’s source code. Piracy is illegal, which is why most emulator developers encourage users to backup their own games for emulation.

Last year, Nintendo managed to exert enough pressure to prevent the Dolphin Wii/GameCube emulator from releasing on Steam. This is despite the fact that Nintendo are unable to take down the emulator through legal means. Nintendo’s stance of emulation is simple, it’s fine if they do it, it’s not ok if anyone else does it.

Nintendo argues that there is no legal way to use Yuzu to play Nintendo Switch games. It remains to be seen if Nintendo can prove this in court. After all, the US Copyright Office allows users to make copies of software for archival/backup purposes. Using personal software backups on an emulator should be legal, poking a hole in Nintendo’s case.

You can join the discussion on Nintendo suing the makers of the Yuzu Switch Emulator on the OC3D Forums.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

A Northern Irish father, husband, and techie that works to turn tea and coffee into articles when he isn’t painting his extensive minis collection or using things to make other things.

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