Last week, Nintendo issued a DMCA takedown against the Steam release for Dolphin, and emulator used to play Wii and Gamecube games in PC.
In a statement issued to Kotaku, Nintendo commented on their reasons for the DMCA takedown. According to their spokesperson, Nintendo took action against Dolphin for “illegally circumventing Nintendo’s protection measures”, and in order to protect the “hard work and creativity of video game engineers and developers”. The statement also asserts that illegal emulators “harms development and ultimately stifles innovation”.
“Nintendo is committed to protecting the hard work and creativity of video game engineers and developers. This emulator illegally circumvents Nintendo’s protection measures and runs illegal copies of games. Using illegal emulators or illegal copies of games harms development and ultimately stifles innovation. Nintendo respects the intellectual property rights of other companies, and in turn expects others to do the same.”
In a review of the legal notice by PC Gamer, it was revealed that Nintendo was accusing Dolphin of using “cryptographic keys without Nintendo’s authorization and decrypting the ROMs at or immediately before runtime”. This is likely the illegal activity that Nintendo referred to in its above statement, and what allowed them to take action against Dolphin’s attempt to release on Steam.
That said, even if Dolphin were able to re-work the emulator such that it did not contain Nintendo’s keys, it seems unlikely that Nintendo would allow them to release their program on Steam unchallenged. Stay tuned for more updates as they come.
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