Nintendo issues cease-and-desist letter to company that installs mod chips for Switch
Nintendo has a tendency to take a strong stance against the modification of its hardware. Piracy has been a particularly notable issue over the years, which has prompted the company to pursue legal action time and time again. We’re now seeing the latest instance of this by sending a cease-and-desist letter to a company that only installs mod chips obtained elsewhere.
The affected company is Logistics Consulting LLC, which has recently offered a “Nintendo Switch SX CORE SX LITE Mod Chip Service” on its website. While it doesn’t actually make or sell mods, it does provide that installation service. That was enough to set off Nintendo, with the Big N’s lawyers arguing that it violates the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking clauses of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Nintendo of America said in a statement to Ars Technica:
“Nintendo consistently protects the creative works of game developers and publishers who expend significant time and effort to create fun experiences. Nintendo is passionate about protecting those creative ideas and will vigorously enforce its intellectual property rights to allow the continued delivery of unique and original entertainment experiences to our consumers.”
Van Rheen from Logistics Consulting also commented on the situation while speaking with the site:
“[The lawyer] wouldn’t get into what law I broke, she kept referring back to the letter. I said, ‘I read the letter, I see your point, but how is this breaking the law?’ [They said,] ‘You’re circumventing the copyright,’ and I’m like, ‘All I’m doing is putting the solder on, how is that breaking the copyright?'”
“My argument for this device’s existence is that it lets you export your saved games, whereas the regular Nintendo Switch does not. You have to subscribe to Nintendo’s service [for cloud saves] or you’re done. Being able to obtain your personal data off the device, I think it’s [an exception] that’s nullified [in the DMCA]. I’m not a lawyer, I’m just following logic-based arguments.”
“It’s not like the thing comes with all the games on it. You have to load the games on an SD card. It’s not like I’m selling them a pre-loaded SD card with all the Nintendo Switch games on it. That’s over that line. This just has the capability to play pirated games. You could buy a knife—it has the capability to kill someone, or you could just use it to chop up onions.”