Nintendo, a company with an apparent vendetta against the idea of emulation, is coming after another open-source project aimed at helping players preserve games for the future. Surfaced by programmer Simon Aarons via Twitter, Nintendo has issued a DMCA takedown notice to Github to have Lockpick removed from the website.
Lockpick, for those unaware, is a homebrew project that allows users to dump their digital keys from Nintendo Switch games. Doing so allows them to load the games on Nintendo Switch emulators on their PC.
According to Nintendo, the reason for the takedown request is because of copyright infringement and an apparent way to “circumvent technological protection measures”.
“The reported repository offers and provides access to circumvention software that infringes Nintendo’s intellectual property rights,” the request reads. “The use of Lockpick with a modified Nintendo Switch console allows users to bypass Nintendo’s Technological Measures for video games; specifically, Lockpick bypasses the Console TPMs to permit unauthorized access to, extraction of, and decryption of all the cryptographic keys, including product keys, contained in the Nintendo Switch.
“The decrypted keys facilitate copyright infringement by permitting users to play pirated versions of Nintendo’s copyright-protected game software on systems without Nintendo’s Console TPMs or systems on which Nintendo’s Console TPMs have been disabled.”
Should Lockpick be removed, one of the only legal ways for users to emulate Nintendo Switch games will be taken offline. Without the ability to dump digital keys to play their own games, those wishing to emulate games are likely going to have to look to other means to access the game, including pirating titles.
As of publishing, the Lockpick repository remains available for download and access on GitHub. There’s been no response to Nintendo’s request for takedown as of yet.
Nintendo’s timing for the DMCA takedown request comes right before the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Though the game doesn’t release until May 12, it has already been leaked online with it being played via various PC emulators.
What do you make of Nintendo’s recent attack on emulation and video game preservation?
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