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Nintendo Is Suing Two Key Players In The Switch Piracy Scene

It's-a-me, DMCA!

Nintendo’s crusade against Switch pirates doesn’t seem to have lost any steam after its heavily-publicised lawsuit against the Yuzu emulator earlier this year which resulted in a settlement of $2.4 million USD and a complete shutdown of its services.

As reported by TorrentFreak, the company is apparently now going after two more prominent names in the Switch modding and pirating space – modchip and MIG device seller, Modded Hardware, and one of the moderators of the r/SwitchPirates subreddit.

These two cases seem a little more cut-and-dry compared to Nintendo’s court battle against Yuzu and the murkiness of emulation. Modded Hardware directly sells modified Nintendo Switch consoles and “MiG” carts and devices that allow users to quickly and easily copy retail Switch cartridges and play them on unmodded hardware – unabashedly enabling easy piracy. Nintendo reportedly reached out to its alleged Michigan-based owner and operator, Ryan Daly, threatening to sue unless he ceased selling the devices. Daly didn’t stop however, and so the company is making good on those threats.

“Defendant not only offers the hardware and firmware to create and play pirated games, but he also provides his customers with copies of pirated Nintendo games,” Nintendo’s complaint reads.

“Typically, when a customer purchases a Hacked Console or the Circumvention Services, Defendant preinstalls on the console a portfolio of ready-to-play pirated games, including some of Nintendo’s most popular titles such as its Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid games.”

“Indeed, because pirated Nintendo Switch games cannot be used or created without a Hacked Console and related software and hardware, it is only because of products and services such as those sold by Defendant that illegal marketplaces distributing pirated games exist and thrive,” it continues.

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The other case is against Arizona resident James Williams, who goes by Archbox on Reddit and is alleged to be involved in multiple “Pirate Shops” and responsible for facilitating the playing of pirated Switch games in the r/SwitchPirates subreddit as a moderator.

“Defendant became a leading (if not the primary) moderator of the SwitchPirates Reddit community, which he helped grow to nearly 190,000 members. Since 2019, Defendant has posted thousands of comments and messages to the SwitchPirates Reddit Group,” Nintendo’s complaint against Williams reads.

“Defendant’s posts have included, by way of example, messages directing users to the Pirate Shops […]; and offering technical advice and encouragement to other users about how to use the Pirate Shops, how to download and install Circumvention Software, and how to play pirated copies of Nintendo Switch games.”

“Defendant is well aware that his conduct is unlawful and infringes Nintendo’s intellectual property rights. Indeed, Defendant has bragged publicly that he is a ‘pirate’ who “[isn’t] going to give Nintendo $50 for a game”,” it continues.

You can see the full complaint against Modded Hardware here and the complaint against Williams here, courtesy of TF.