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posted by hubie on Saturday March 09, @07:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the money-money-money dept.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/03/switch-emulator-makers-agree-to-pay-2-4-million-to-settle-nintendo-lawsuit/

The makers of Switch emulator Yuzu say they will "consent to judgment in favor of Nintendo" to settle a major lawsuit filed by the console maker last week.

In a series of filings posted by the court Monday, the Yuzu developers agreed to pay $2.4 million in "monetary relief" and to cease "offering to the public, providing, marketing, advertising, promoting, selling, testing, hosting, cloning, distributing, or otherwise trafficking in Yuzu or any source code or features of Yuzu."

[...] ending "effective immediately," along with support for 3DS emulator Citra (which shares many of the same developers)

[...] The proposed final judgment, which still has to be agreed to by the judge in the case, fully accepts Nintendo's stated position that "Yuzu is primarily designed to circumvent [Nintendo's copy protection] and play Nintendo Switch games" by "using unauthorized copies of Nintendo Switch cryptographic keys."

[...] While that admission doesn't technically account for Yuzu's ability to run a long list of Switch homebrew programs, proving that such homebrew was a significant part of the "ordinary course" of the average Yuzu user's experience may have been an uphill battle in court. Nintendo argued in its lawsuit that "the vast majority of Yuzu users are using Yuzu to play downloaded pirated games in Yuzu," a fact that could have played against the emulator maker at trial even if non-infringing uses for the emulator do exist.

[...] While emulator programs are generally protected by US legal precedents protecting reverse engineering, console makers could bring similar DMCA actions against certain emulators that rely on the use of cryptographic keys to break copy protection. But many emulator makers feel that such hardball lawsuits are less likely to be brought against emulators for defunct systems that are no longer selling new hardware or software in significant numbers.

[...] Nintendo's legal department has established a track record of zealously defending its copyrighted works by going after fangames, ROM distribution sites, and hardware modders in the past. While direct legal action against emulator makers has been less common for Nintendo, the company did send a letter to Valve to prevent Wii/Gamecube emulator Dolphin from appearing on Steam last year.

Previously on SoylentNews:
Emulation Community Expresses Defiance in Wake of Nintendo's Yuzu Lawsuit - 20240303


Original Submission

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Emulation Community Expresses Defiance in Wake of Nintendo's Yuzu Lawsuit 3 comments

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/02/emulation-community-expresses-defiance-in-wake-of-nintendos-yuzu-lawsuit/

Nintendo's recent lawsuit against Switch emulator maker Yuzu seems written like it was designed to strike fear into the heart of the entire emulation community. But despite legal arguments that sometimes cut at the very idea of emulation itself, members of the emulation development community I talked to didn't seem very worried about coming under a Yuzu-style legal threat from Nintendo or other console makers. Indeed, those developers told me they've long taken numerous precautions against that very outcome and said they feel they have good reasons to believe they can avoid Yuzu's fate.
[...]
"This lawsuit is not introducing any new element that people in the emulation community have not known of for a long time," said Parsifal, a hobbyist developer who has written emulators for the Apple II, Space Invaders, and the CHIP-8 virtual machine. "Emulation is fine as long as you don't infringe on copyright and trademarks."
[...]
And others feel operating internationally protects them from the worst of the DMCA and other US copyright laws. "I have written an NES emulator and I am working on a Game Boy emulator... anyway I'm not a US citizen and Nintendo can kiss my ass," said emulator developer ZJoyKiller, who didn't provide his specific country of residence.
[...]
Chief among those differences is the fact that Yuzu emulates a Switch console that is still actively selling millions of hardware and software units every year. Most current emulator development focuses on older, discontinued consoles that the developers I talked to seemed convinced were much less liable to draw legal fire.

Here's How the Makers of the “Suyu” Switch Emulator Plan to Avoid Getting Sued 14 comments

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/03/heres-how-the-makers-of-the-suyu-switch-emulator-plan-to-avoid-getting-sued/

Last week, the developers behind the popular Switch emulator Yuzu took down their GitLab and web presence in the face of a major lawsuit from Nintendo. Now, a new project built from the Yuzu source code, cheekily named Suyu, has arisen as "the continuation of the world's most popular, open-source Nintendo Switch emulator, Yuzu."

Despite the name—which the project's GitLab page notes is "pronounced 'sue-you' (wink, wink)"—the developers behind Suyu are going out of their way to try to avoid a lawsuit like the one that took down Yuzu.
[...]
After consulting with an unnamed "someone with legal experience" (Sharpie would only say "they claimed three years of law school"), the Suyu development team has decided to avoid "any monetization," Sharpie said. The project's GitLab page clearly states that "we do not intend to make money or profit from this project," an important declaration after Nintendo cited Yuzu's profitability a few times in its recent lawsuit. Other emulator makers also told Ars that Yuzu's Patreon opened the project up to a set of pesky consumer demands and expectations.

The Suyu devs have also been warned against "providing step-by-step guides" like the ones that Yuzu offered for how to play copyrighted games on their emulator. Those guides were a major focus of Nintendo's lawsuit, as were some examples of developer conversations in the Yuzu Discord that seemed to acknowledge and condone piracy.
[...]
The Suyu GitLab page is upfront that the developers "do not support or condone piracy in any form," a message that didn't appear on Yuzu's GitLab page or website.

Switch Emulator Suyu Hit by GitLab DMCA, Project Lives on Through Self-Hosting 7 comments

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/03/switch-emulator-suyu-hit-by-gitlab-dmca-project-lives-on-through-self-hosting/

Switch emulator Suyu—a fork of the Nintendo-targeted and now-defunct emulation project Yuzu—has been taken down from GitLab following a DMCA request Thursday. But the emulation project's open source files remain available on a self-hosted git repo on the Suyu website, and recent compiled binaries remain available on an extant GitLab repo.

While the DMCA takedown request has not yet appeared on GitLab's public repository of such requests, a GitLab spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the project was taken down after the site received notice "from a representative of the rightsholder." GitLab has not specified who made the request or how they represented themselves; a representative for Nintendo was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment.

Previously on SoylentNews:
Here's How the Makers of the "Suyu" Switch Emulator Plan to Avoid Getting Sued - 20240318
Switch Emulator Makers Agree to Pay $2.4 Million to Settle Nintendo Lawsuit - 20240308
Emulation Community Expresses Defiance in Wake of Nintendo's Yuzu Lawsuit - 20240303


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Saturday March 09, @09:53AM (7 children)

    by looorg (578) on Saturday March 09, @09:53AM (#1347988)

    Was I wrong. This did accomplish much, in a very short time. That said I can't really blame them. Under immense pressure from the lawsuit. After all it didn't go so great for the last people that tried to stand up to the Nintendo onslaught, prison and in debt for life. So caving, paying and moving on might have been the best thing for the once involved.

    • (Score: 2) by loonycyborg on Saturday March 09, @10:10AM (6 children)

      by loonycyborg (6905) on Saturday March 09, @10:10AM (#1347990)

      How are they going to pay the money they don't have?

      • (Score: 2) by looorg on Saturday March 09, @10:45AM

        by looorg (578) on Saturday March 09, @10:45AM (#1347994)

        I'm not aware of how much money they have or not, but they must have had some money since the latest version of the emulator was paywlled behind patreon and they did have a fair few such people. But like Gary Bowser otherwise it is in installments over the next 50000 years?

        But who knows. Perhaps it's symbolic. Like so many other lawsuits and settlements. Not like anyone is going to survive those 100+ years in prison etc. They did agreed to it. If the company/entity doesn't have it I guess it's just there as a reminder to seize all their assets and make sure it doesn't restart again. They were quick to bring down their Github.

        I'm more interested in knowing if Nintendo makes something of the seized emulator assets. After all NERD (nintendo europe research and development; best acronym ... ) does a lot of inhouse emulation etc. Even tho they could just have looked at it and used it before, now they technically could own it. If it was any good or better then what they already had.

      • (Score: 2) by epitaxial on Saturday March 09, @03:40PM (4 children)

        by epitaxial (3165) on Saturday March 09, @03:40PM (#1348028)

        The emulator was taking in $30k a month from Patreon.

        • (Score: 2) by loonycyborg on Saturday March 09, @04:37PM (3 children)

          by loonycyborg (6905) on Saturday March 09, @04:37PM (#1348029)

          2.4 million is 7 years of pateron at this rate. Roughly as long as Switch exists. Yet Yuzu exists for lot less than that and they weren't taking 30k in pateron from day one.

          • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday March 11, @03:16PM (2 children)

            by Freeman (732) on Monday March 11, @03:16PM (#1348249) Journal

            Whether or not Nintendo gets all of the money isn't the point. The point is that a large $$ settlement was reached and is a further deterrent for other would be Nintendo "hackers".

            --
            Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
            • (Score: 3, Touché) by loonycyborg on Tuesday March 12, @02:18AM (1 child)

              by loonycyborg (6905) on Tuesday March 12, @02:18AM (#1348352)

              Nintendo itself could use some good deterring.

              • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday April 03, @09:25PM

                by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 03, @09:25PM (#1351536)
                Good luck with that. Nintendo is one of the few companies still actively selling games they produced in the 80s. The practical issue that raises is the court's pretty much always going to be on their side. You might be able to turn the heat up with the fandom but I'd be really really really really shocked if enough public opinion would sway Nintendo to overlook that stuff.
                --
                🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by tekk on Saturday March 09, @02:25PM

    by tekk (5704) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 09, @02:25PM (#1348022)

    Emulators are still protected and the Yuzu devs did the correct thing (per the website it didn't include decryption keys or break Nintendo's encryption, you were required to extract keys from your own Switch.)

    What they *did* was paywall support for specific Nintendo games on their patreon as "early access", and regularly test and develop against unreleased Nintendo games. Anyone with a working brain can see how this might be a stupid idea for an emulator developer. It was apparently a trend for leaked games to suddenly have support in Yuzu somewhere between a week before launch and launch day itself.

    Of course, now there are plenty of Yuzu forks out there to use and there's still Ryujinx, which is a much better emulator to begin with (it just emulates the Switch correctly, where Yuzu is a more HLE affair with all sorts of game-specific hacks.)

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