Nintendo wins UK court case against websites that enable Switch game piracy
Nintendo has secured a major win in the UK against Switch game piracy. Thanks to a new injunction, Sky, BT, EE, Talktalk, and Virgin Media will now be forced to “block, or at least impede access” websites that help distribute pirated games, modified hardware, or provide information on how to mod consoles related to piracy.
The Switch hardware itself initially opened the doors to custom firmware. While this loophole has since been closed, Nintendo said that people are still attempting to hack the console’s current system software.
Meanwhile, the court was in agreement that certain websites had infringed on Nintendo’s trademarks. There is also no legal defense for modification of Switch hardware to enable piracy.
Nintendo said in a statement to Eurogamer today:
“Today, the UK High Court found the sale and distribution of ‘circumvention’ devices for the Nintendo Switch unlawful. Nintendo is pleased that the UK High Court has confirmed that dealing in devices or software that enable piracy on Nintendo Switch systems is unlawful. This decision will help protect the UK games industry and the more than 1800 developers worldwide that create games for the Nintendo Switch platform, and who rely on legitimate sales of games for their livelihood and to keep bringing quality content to gamers.”
UK video games industry body UKIE provided the following statement as well:
“These circumvention devices, which enable the use of unauthorised copies of video games, jeopardise the businesses of those who uphold and rely upon the sales of legitimate products. As such UKIE fully supports the ruling and wishes to reiterate the strong stance of the UK video games industry against illegitimate operators. The case represents one of multiple industry endeavours to prevent bad actors from infringing upon and exploiting the intellectual property rights associated with games.”