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Nintendo issues CnD to tournament organizers for using "project slippi" an emulation mod allowing a 20 yr old game to be played online

 

 

Summary

 Nintendo issues a cease and decease order against super smash Bros tournament franchise "the big house" due to the use of fan made technology that allowed their 20 yr old game to played online using rollback netcode.

Quotes

Quote

Slippi is designed to “bring Melee into the future” by adding features such as replay files, improved video quality, and online matchmaking, basically supporting the game in a way that Nintendo doesn't have the time to do.

 

Nintendo was initially sponsoring the event, but upon learning that Slippi would be used, they withdrew support and sent their C&D, which caused the organizers to cancel the event.

 

My thoughts

 Nintendo is once again flexing their legal arm against the use of modding and emulation of their software. One reason this is important is because its happening during a global pandemic and this fan made tool allows an event that hosted 3000 people the previous year in 2019 to be played online where people can be isolated. Also not only has Nintendo taken down the tournament but has also sent cease and desist to past tournaments that were already held to take down the YouTube and twitch recordings of the matches played with this technology. This can create a huge precedent for companies that want to be overprotective with their IPs to crack down on gaming communities that thrive with the use of modding and emulation as well as the implications of how much control can a game publisher have in the context of eSports2343603-2217710-box_ssbm.png.479647fade967647b5b1cf25892fb110.png. A similar incident happened 2 years ago with Toei and  Capcom and the game Dragonball fighterZ

 

Sources

 https://gaming.ebaumsworld.com/articles/nintendo-issues-cease-and-desist-letter-to-fans-twitter-explodes/86457489/

 

https://www.gamespot.com/amp-articles/super-smash-bros-melee-online-tournament-canceled-by-nintendo-cease-and-desist/1100-6484683/

 

http://shoryuken.com/2018/12/24/maximilian-speaks-out-on-dragon-ball-fighterzs-alleged-copyright-issues-and-tournament-woes/

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What a dog shit company

Awareness is key. Never enough, even in the face of futility. Speak the truth as if you may never get to say it again. This world is full of ugly. Change it they say. The only way is to reveal the ugly. To change the truth you must first acknowledge it. Never pretend it isn't there. Never bend the knee.

 

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Can only blame ourselves as in general, the people have given these companies too much power. But that's the way it goes.

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30 minutes ago, GreatnessRD said:

Can only blame ourselves as in general, the people have given these companies too much power. But that's the way it goes.

They would lose in a court case, but they can make it expensive. Right now they can get away with it because the cases have never gotten close enough to trial to make it a real risk. The important precedent, in the US Legal System, is Roy Orbison v. 2 Live Crew. We're eventually going to get something similar for video games, but it'll be a while. Until then, legal departments can be abusive because the cost of fighting is always too high.

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58 minutes ago, Lord Vile said:

It’s their IP, maybe they should just play the new smash. The one that doesn’t require illegal practices to use. 

It shouldn't matter if it's their 'IP' or not nor should this be seen as 'illegal'. If it's something from like so long ago and isn't that widely available anymore, they shouldn't care about it, just let them play.

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ah yes
two negative news about nintendo in just a single day
never change nintendo, always fucking around with your costumers
but you guys still make money because people buy everything nintendo related despite the product is lackluster *cough*Mario 3D all star collection*cough*

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12 minutes ago, Master Delta Chief said:

It shouldn't matter if it's their 'IP' or not nor should this be seen as 'illegal'. If it's something from like so long ago and isn't that widely available anymore, they shouldn't care about it, just let them play.

Just because something is older doesn’t mean it’s a free for all, well it does once copyright expires but that’s a way away for a 20 year old item. 
 

If they don’t fight this then if someone makes a switch emulator with all the Nintendo exclusive games bundled in and decides to sell it then they have no leg to stand on.

Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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6 minutes ago, Lord Vile said:

Just because something is older doesn’t mean it’s a free for all, well it does once copyright expires but that’s a way away for a 20 year old item. 
 

If they don’t fight this then if someone makes a switch emulator with all the Nintendo exclusive games bundled in and decides to sell it then they have no leg to stand on.

i mean they can just fight something that's actually threatening to their revenue like the paid switch emulator you described instead of something they can't even make money from anymore 

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28 minutes ago, Master Delta Chief said:

It shouldn't matter if it's their 'IP' or not nor should this be seen as 'illegal'. If it's something from like so long ago and isn't that widely available anymore, they shouldn't care about it, just let them play.

The copyright protection extends to the life of the creator PLUS 70 years. Nintendo is with in its LEGAL right. 

 

The fact is, if Nintendo doesn't protect their IP and allows projects like this, it erodes their ability to protect their IP in the future. Because essentially they set a precedent allowing people to use their IP without permission. Also, just because they are not making money off a particular game doesn't mean they cant in the future. They offer quite a few NES and SNES titles on the Nintendo Online service. So who's to say they wont be remaking any of their older titles and releasing them in the future? 

 

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10 minutes ago, Morris_lee_9116 said:

i mean they can just fight something that's actually threatening to their revenue like the paid switch emulator you described instead of something they can't even make money from anymore 

Well you can try but the case gets exponentially harder if you’re trying to stop one person doing something when you’ve already allowed someone else to do the same thing. Scale doesn’t really matter you’ve set the precedent. It’s why Apple goes after logos that maybe kinda look like theirs, they don’t particularly care that a plum orchard logo looks like theirs and they don’t have to win or even put up a real challenge but they have to defend their IP or it’s easier for someone who they do care about to win in court. 

Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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5 minutes ago, Donut417 said:

The copyright protection extends to the life of the creator PLUS 70 years. Nintendo is with in its LEGAL right. 

 

The fact is, if Nintendo doesn't protect their IP and allows projects like this, it erodes their ability to protect their IP in the future. Because essentially they set a precedent allowing people to use their IP without permission. Also, just because they are not making money off a particular game doesn't mean they cant in the future. They offer quite a few NES and SNES titles on the Nintendo Online service. So who's to say they wont be remaking any of their older titles and releasing them in the future? 

 

Especially if they’d remained a sponsor too, I mean if I were a defence lawyer opposing them in an IP case my eyes would light up at that. 

Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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1 hour ago, Lord Vile said:

Just because something is older doesn’t mean it’s a free for all, well it does once copyright expires but that’s a way away for a 20 year old item. 
 

If they don’t fight this then if someone makes a switch emulator with all the Nintendo exclusive games bundled in and decides to sell it then they have no leg to stand on.

I don't mind if someone makes an Switch emulator nor do I care whether if it's within their own legal right in sending a CnD, especially in this case. Just because it's still their IP doesn't mean it's a good thing for them to pull shit of like this when they themselves don't offer an alternative way to play the game. I know Nintendo has re-released some old games on newer platforms, but that doesn't mean every game is gonna return. You must be very naïve to think that. 

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1 minute ago, Master Delta Chief said:

I don't mind if someone makes an Switch emulator nor do I care whether if it's within their own legal right in sending a CnD, especially in this case. Just because it's still their IP doesn't mean it's a good thing for them to pull shit of like this when they themselves don't offer an alternative way to play the game. I know Nintendo has re-released some old games on newer platforms, but that doesn't mean every game is gonna return. You must be very naïve to think that. 

I don’t care what Nintendo release, they have to defend their IP or it weakens their ability to do so when it matters. Ultimately this makes sense.

Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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8 minutes ago, Master Delta Chief said:

I don't mind if someone makes an Switch emulator nor do I care whether if it's within their own legal right in sending a CnD, especially in this case. Just because it's still their IP doesn't mean it's a good thing for them to pull shit of like this when they themselves don't offer an alternative way to play the game. I know Nintendo has re-released some old games on newer platforms, but that doesn't mean every game is gonna return. You must be very naïve to think that. 

Consumers don't get to decide when it's OK to take over someone else's IP. 

 

It's a MORAL grey area, 

But it's black and white in a LEGAL sense. 

 

Nintendo has always been very strict when it comes to protecting their IP, as any company should. 

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3 hours ago, Lord Vile said:

It’s their IP, maybe they should just play the new smash. The one that doesn’t require illegal practices to use. 

The problem with the newer one is that apparently the networking code is terrible even under ideal situations, which your just not going to have.
I don't know the specifics but things like clients can get out of sync with each other? - Which is certainly not something you want in a tournament.

Also just because something is newer doesn't mean its better - or in this case that it actually works.
Its a melee tournament not a Smash Ultimate one. It be like hosting a Mario 1 (NES) tournament and you telling them "New Super Mariobros (WiiU) instead!"
Or telling Steet Fighter 2 players "Just play Streetfighter -"... I actually do not know what the latest version is? 5 super ultra mega arcade hyper remix awesome edition?
Same series, different games. - and surprise, Ultimate does not play exactly like melee (apparently) and thats not just a "new characters" thing.
 

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34 minutes ago, DeScruff said:

The problem with the newer one is that apparently the networking code is terrible even under ideal situations, which your just not going to have.
I don't know the specifics but things like clients can get out of sync with each other? - Which is certainly not something you want in a tournament.

Also just because something is newer doesn't mean its better - or in this case that it actually works.
Its a melee tournament not a Smash Ultimate one. It be like hosting a Mario 1 (NES) tournament and you telling them "New Super Mariobros (WiiU) instead!"
Or telling Steet Fighter 2 players "Just play Streetfighter -"... I actually do not know what the latest version is? 5 super ultra mega arcade hyper remix awesome edition?
Same series, different games. - and surprise, Ultimate does not play exactly like melee (apparently) and thats not just a "new characters" thing.
 

They could play melee on hardware that supports it but unfortunately there’s a pandemic going on. Doesn’t mean you’re allowed to break the law because you can’t play the version of a game you’d like to play. 

Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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I love Nintendo's games. I'm not going to defend them as a company. 

If you want players to play your newest game online in tournaments, just give it fing netcode already or make your servers usable. Kicking pros out of playing Melee isn't going to make more people play Ultimate, it's going to make more people play Street Fighter or Slap City or RoA. Heck, they could even make a Switch port of Melee with netcode and people would eat it up, and they've shown that they are capable of doing so with the 3D All-Stars thing. But don't mess with people who couldn't care less about Ultimate.

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4 hours ago, Donut417 said:

The copyright protection extends to the life of the creator PLUS 70 years. Nintendo is with in its LEGAL right. 

 

The fact is, if Nintendo doesn't protect their IP and allows projects like this, it erodes their ability to protect their IP in the future. Because essentially they set a precedent allowing people to use their IP without permission. Also, just because they are not making money off a particular game doesn't mean they cant in the future. They offer quite a few NES and SNES titles on the Nintendo Online service. So who's to say they wont be remaking any of their older titles and releasing them in the future? 

 

Just because Nintendo can, doesn't mean they should. I don't understand why EA get so much hate for pulling this stuff, but nintendo will get defended relentlessly for doing the same stuff. Nintendo is an awful anti-consumer company.

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4 hours ago, Lord Vile said:

Well you can try but the case gets exponentially harder if you’re trying to stop one person doing something when you’ve already allowed someone else to do the same thing. Scale doesn’t really matter you’ve set the precedent. It’s why Apple goes after logos that maybe kinda look like theirs, they don’t particularly care that a plum orchard logo looks like theirs and they don’t have to win or even put up a real challenge but they have to defend their IP or it’s easier for someone who they do care about to win in court. 

 

3 hours ago, Lord Vile said:

I don’t care what Nintendo release, they have to defend their IP or it weakens their ability to do so when it matters. Ultimately this makes sense.

You're blurring the lines between copyright and trademark.  Trademarks you need to actively try preventing people from using it...copyright not really.  If they allow older games, but pursue just the newer ones they don't really lose much legal authority or even make their case more difficult.  Trademark infringement, people are allowed to point to other examples though and use it to build a case to weak a trademark.

 

In regards to the topic, I totally understand why Nintendo would drop out and stop sponsoring it (and wouldn't blame them for doing so).  The C&D letter is really bad though, and really dislike the usage like that...with that said the organizer's were a bit stupid.  They are using illegally copied games...at the very least they should have required participants to own the copy (and then just do a rom patch)...it would have at least put them on a ground where a C&D might not have been possible.  [And if the contestants so happened to get their copies on the modified patched rom without owning it...well that wouldn't be on the organizers and no one would have known]

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3 minutes ago, wanderingfool2 said:

 

...with that said the organizer's were a bit stupid.  They are using illegally copied games...

This. We can argue for days over the morality and/or legality of Nintendo's dealings, but we ALL know how they feel about ROMs and emulators. The event organizers should have been more careful at dotting their i's and crossing their t's to prevent catching the eye of Nintendo's legal team.

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In the US, it's establish in law that people are lawfully entitled to bypass DRM when it's necessary in order to use software (such as a video game) that a person owns. If the people in the tournament own a copy of the game, then they are allowed to use a cracked version to play if there isn't a better method available. This has been ruled on by a US federal court and by the Library of Congress.

 

In the case of the Big House tournament, it sounds like they are bypassing DRM in order to play Super Smash Bros when there is no better way to accomplish their ability to play their game and hold their tournament. Therefore, using a cracked version of the game should be protected lawful conduct in the US so long as all those participating in the tournament own a copy of the game.

 

https://www.publicknowledge.org/blog/the-library-of-congresss-drm-exceptions-not-just-about-jailbreaking/

Quote

the circumventing user must “reasonably believe that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use.” That means that if there is an alternative to circumvention, like video capture, the user must “reasonably determine” that the better quality of the clips taken from a DVD is needed for his or her purpose. Circumvention is only allowed when “required” in this sense.

In the case of Big House's planned tournament, it sounds like there isn't a better way to fulfill the purpose of playing the game for the sake of the tournament due to health and safety considerations, and due to Covid-19 lockdowns. I think that means that bypassing DRM to play the game another way is warranted and reasonable and protected by US law.

 

It could be that Nintendo's C&D is akin to the RIAA's DCMA against a YouTube video-downloading program that was temporarily pulled from GitHub before being restored upon EFF notifying GitHub that the software didn't constitute a DCMA violation.

 

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2010/07/court-breaking-drm-for-a-fair-use-is-legal/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/10/victory-users-librarian-congress-renews-and-expands-protections-fair-uses
https://www.polygon.com/2018/10/26/18027200/video-game-drm-consoles-repair-dmca-library-of-congress

 

 

Regarding a claim that modding a game represents a violation of something:

On 11/20/2020 at 10:55 AM, Delicieuxz said:

No, that isn't Nintendo's complaint against them. Nintendo has targeted their aim to use pirated copies of the game.

Image

 

Modding a game or software that you own is perfectly legal. So, yes, they are justified to mod their own game copies to have any functions they want them to have.

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4 minutes ago, Delicieuxz said:

...

 

In the case of the Big House tournament, it sounds like they are bypassing DRM in order to play Super Smash Bros...

They aren't bypassing anything. They are adding features that didn't exist before to play the game the way THEY want to. That is not even close to the same thing. Not being permitted to play in-person by government authorities does not justify hacking a game to perform whatever functions you desire.

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