Dolphin: Nintendo “Only” Blocks The Steam Release!

It’s inaccurate to say that a DMCA claim was made, as a phrase was missing from the Nintendo letter (which Valve received).


Initially, it seemed that a DMCA claim had been made by Nintendo against Valve, complaining that Dolphin, an emulator that can be used to run GameCube and Wii games, “infringes Nintendo’s intellectual property rights,” which could be thrown away with the term “backup copy,” but we won’t explain that again. A lawyer, well versed in intellectual property and technology law, has examined the letter from Big N and summarised that the situation is somewhat different.

Kellen Voyer, an attorney at Voyer Law, told PCGamer, “I would characterize this NOT as a DMCA takedown notice and instead as a warning shot that the software, Dolphin, if released on Steam, would (in Nintendo’s view) violate the DMCA. There is no allegation that Valve is hosting anything that infringes Nintendo’s copyright or, more broadly, violates the DMCA. Rather, Nintendo is sending a clear notice to Valve that it considers Dolphin to violate the DMCA, and should it be released on Steam, Nintendo will likely take further action. Given that Valve controls what is available on its store, it decided not to wade into any dispute between the Dolphin developers and Nintendo and, instead, followed Nintendo’s preemptive request and took down the Steam page.”

So Nintendo didn’t go that far, but their reaction remains awful. The company would have to accept that not all emulation is harmful and that if someone were to play a game that wasn’t released in their region, the cost of the cartridge would be too high. The hardware itself would wear out over time (e.g., a SNES can be 30 years old by now), they are better off emulating. Or physically buying it doesn’t add to Nintendo’s fortunes. They haven’t thought it through.

Source: PCGamer

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