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Nintendo going after Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom art book leaker

Posted on April 10, 2023 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom art book leaker identity

A couple of months ago, a massive leak surfaced for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom that essentially revealed everything from the game’s art book. It was a surprise for a few reasons. For one thing, the leak happened several months before the official launch. We also don’t typically see leaks of that scale for Nintendo products.

Nintendo understandably wasn’t happy with the situation, and is now looking to track down the original leaker. TorrentFreak reports that the company “has homed in on a specific Discord user and is now trying to obtain their identity.”

Nintendo’s response seems to have kicked in on February 21, just a couple of days after the leak happened. A DMCA notice was sent to Discord, and specifically the “Tears of the Kingdom Official Discord Server” channel. Six URLs were mentioned containing images “from Nintendo’s copyright-protected and unreleased special edition art book for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom video game in violation of Nintendo’s rights.” Discord responded eight minutes later and indicated that the content would “be removed promptly.”

The situation continued from there, as about ten hours after the initial takedown notice, Nintendo asked for “immediate review and takedown” of the Discord channel as members were still distributing the pre-release artwork using direct messages and links. The company also said:

“Additionally, some members have been assigned the role of ‘The PDF Pirate’ which identifies them as a source for PDF files of the infringing art book images. For your review, we have also provided screenshots from the server featuring four members and a brief description below highlighting their activity in the server.”

After another 18 hours, Discord “issued a warning to the server for the reported activity.” Something else Nintendo wasn’t pleased with was the use of “official” in the discord name since the “server is not operated or authorized by Nintendo.” However, Discord advised the company to file a trademark complaint if it was “concerned about potential consumer confusion”.

Unsurprisingly, Nintendo of America then filed an application for a DMCA subpoena at a district court in California. The company would go on to bring up a Discord channel and a specific user:

“[Nintendo of America] is requesting the attached proposed subpoena that would order Discord Inc. …to disclose the identity, including the name(s), address(es), telephone number(s), and e-mail addresses(es) of the user Julien#2743, who is responsible for posting infringing content that appeared at the following channel Discord channel Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom..[..].”

Currently it’s still unclear how the leak happened, and who actually began to upload images online. 

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches on May 12, 2023. The collector’s edition will include a copy of the game, the art book, a steelbook case, poster, and a set of four pin badges. We’ve rounded up the different pre-order bonuses for the game here.

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