Nintendo is no stranger to waving its legal finger at parties it deems to be infringing upon its properties. That’s exactly what’s happening between Nintendo of America and some resellers of software that can hack Switch units to play pirated software. The company has filed two lawsuits; one in an Ohio court against Tom Dilts Jr,, who allegedly operates a website called UberChips. The other lawsuit was filed in a Seattle court against “a number of anonymous defendants from a selection of websites”, reports Polygon. Interestingly though, these defendants have apparently been selling products from the infamous Team Xecuter, a notorious Switch hacking group that has sparked waves of controversy due to their various hacking tools that have been released over the Switch’s current lifetime. Ironically, this is the same hacking group that created an anti-piracy program for its piracy program.
As a result of the lawsuits, the UberChips website has been taken down, simply displaying a “scheduled maintenance” message for the time being. Nintendo has yet to be successful with bringing down the other websites in question, however. They are currently still live and continue to host hacking products for sale, not only for the entire family of Switch systems but even other consoles as well, including the Nintendo 3DS.
What Nintendo is looking for in terms of money seems rather light, however—$2500 per trafficking violation. The company is also seeking a permanent injunction in order to bring all of these websites down. The reason why I said this fee seems “rather light” is that it is notably smaller than what Nintendo hit Jacob Mathias with back in 2018. Mathias was the owner of the now-defunct LoveROMs and LoveRetro websites. He was hit with a massive $100 million lawsuit primarily due to “copyright infringement”. It is likely that Nintendo didn’t actually expect to get all of that money, but simply wanted to send a strong message to the ROM community. That message did indeed hit hard, as EmuParadise, a very large repository of ROMs, ISOs, and emulators caved under the pressure just weeks later, despite Nintendo not taking any formal legal action against the site.
As it stands, Nintendo may likely win these two sets of new cases. However, this probably won’t bring an end to the Switch hacking scene. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen many times before, even if one cell is neutralized, many more tend to float around. So, while this may prove to be a hit to the hacking community, chances are it will continue to trudge on until Nintendo chases after another it again.