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[dupe] Nintendo's use of surveillance and private investigators to target modders (twitter.com/eclipse_tt)
264 points by areoform 5 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 108 comments



Previous discussion (I think?): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25508782


More vital context is missing, https://twitter.com/forestillusion/status/134123063191354163...

Nintendo's measures included surveillance of the target. It included going through his work history and may have extended to surveilling family members etc. This also isn't the first time Nintendo has been accused of something like this.

Before the approach was made they attempted to find any other material they could use as leverage. This is deeply unethical and wrong.

It would be one thing to do this in the natsec context, where such an approach is understandable, but it is another for a private company to surveil and intimidate someone who has legally purchased hardware. Video games are amazing entertainment and (sometimes) art, but their importance in the big picture is out of sync with the disproportionate nature of these measures.

It might be of interest to HN moderators to replace the twitter link with this,

https://torrentfreak.com/nintendo-conducted-invasive-surveil...


>It would be one thing to do this in the natsec context, where such an approach is understandable, but it is another for a private company to surveil and intimidate someone who has legally purchased hardware. Video games are amazing entertainment and (sometimes) art, but their importance in the big picture is out of sync with the disproportionate nature of these measures.

"show me the incentives I will show you the outcome" or something like that.

Capability trickles down over time thanks to technological progress constantly making things cheaper and more accessible. No surprise that BigCo is constantly nipping at the heels of the kind of stuff that 20yr ago was so resource intensive it was reserved for state sponsored actors.

Both types of organizations have responsibility spread so thinly that they will behave as badly as they can justify in pursuit of their goals. Obviously Nintendo isn't gonna slip polonium in this guy's tea for hacking and France isn't gonna drone an ex-pat on a beach in Miami, the risk/reward doesn't favor that kind of behavior. But something like sending PIs to tail him is clearly fair game by Nintendo's analysis or they wouldn't have done it.


When you figure out that the companies are using the resources of the state intelligence and security apparatus to do their bidding, you see the zero integrity nature of the "professional liars" in the IC, who often find it hard to refuse because of the blackmail material and leverage their employers have on them.

Given the nature of their work, I find it hard to see a situation where it doesn't become the corrupt degenerate swamp it is, unless it transforms to become radically open, transparent and accountable.

Given the vested interests benefiting from the current version, this seems unlikely to occur on its own. The cancer of secret corruption that has eaten that industry from the inside is the Achilles Heel of "Western liberal democracies".


>It would be one thing to do this in the natsec context, where such an approach is understandable, but it is another for a private company to surveil and intimidate someone who has legally purchased hardware. Video games are amazing entertainment and (sometimes) art, but their importance in the big picture is out of sync with the disproportionate nature of these measures.

I agree with you. However, Nintendo has/makes more money than many countries. I'm sure it's entirely justified in their eyes.

The better topic would be a discussion on how to change our various cultures to act in the greater good first and profits second. Even as I write that, I laugh at the impossibility of it.


[flagged]


We don't do politics here?


It depends on the story and thread. Generic "capitalism vs. communism" stuff is out because it's repetitive and tedious (and usually nasty) [1]. Same with political/ideological battle in general. Political flamewar is out because any flamewar is out [2]. Sensational/news-of-the-day/horse-race political stories are out because they're not intellectually interesting [2].

But curious, thoughtful conversation on topics with political overlap is ok on HN [3], and always has been [4].

[1] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&sor...

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

[3] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&so...

[4] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17014869


No clue why the sibling comment was not just down voted but flagged. But to kind of respond to it, my 0.0006 cents :)

ed25519FUUU:

"Generally curious, do we just basically ignore what happened in the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China when we discuss the “community motivations” of communism and how that plays out?"

- there's the political and economic philosophy, and then there are real world implementations, done with various degrees of honesty and varied goals

- some will claim Russia etc are state capitalism or some other format rather than "pure communism"

- some will point out that purest examples of practical communism, the Israeli Kibutz, were wildly successful

(none of this is to indicate I have remotest interest in living in communism - in fact we ran across countries and continents to not be in one... But the theory is still interesting and in some ways relevant)


https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

In general, yes. Politics aren't really on the discussion list here.


We don't do partisanship here, but we do do policy. And policy maps back to politics with trivial ease, although not always consistently.


Now, imagine what all the other tech companies are doing with these methods...and to whom....and why.....

"But our Western liberal democracies are so free!"

That's why it must all be kept so secret.

Snowflake at the tip of the iceberg. Dig deeper.


>It would be one thing to do this in the natsec context, where such an approach is understandable, but it is another for a private company to surveil and intimidate someone who has legally purchased hardware.

Could we consider why it is appropriate for a state actor to it? If we were to break down why we consider it okay for the state to do (does it depend upon their intention, on some citizen mandate, does it factor in potential abuse or past abuse) and build up a consistent framework, I'm not so certain the distinction between these two things would be so clear cut. I personally suspect the outcome would find that state actors doing this thing is in the same realm of bad as company actors.


To piggyback on this, Nintendo has profited from using forced prison labor in China and prison labor in the USA. Both are defined as slave labor by domestic and international law.

It's not surprising that massive multinational corporations engage in unethical practices, but these free market activities are perfectly legal in their respective jurisdictions.

I'd agree that spying on families for modifying video game products is unethical. I'd also argue that slavery is unethical. It's really eye-opening once you realize the scope of slavery and other unethical practices when it comes to our major everyday corporations.

Uyghurs, Falun Gong adherents, and other political dissidents make up most of the slave population in China. Many of them work in growing and processing cotton, and the largest Western clothing companies rely on this cotton. Many people are wearing, eating, and using products of slave labor right now without even realizing it.


If it’s wrong, then why isn’t it illegal?


Using the law as a moral compass is a bad idea.


So Nintendo did nothing illegal. Good.


Really? Ok, I’ll bite.

Neither did Hitler.


Hitler set the law. He made things that were illegal legal. Nintendo is just a company that adheres to the laws of democratic countries, and if what Nintendo is doing isn’t considered illegal by those countries, then I’m fine with it.

Also, things get better over time. A hundred years ago, many racist and sexist things were probably legal but aren’t anymore. That’s good. The laws have gotten better. That’s my point. Laws need to evolve with the times. If what Nintendo is doing should become illegal, I am fully on board. If not, then I don’t care.

You can’t have it both ways. Either disallow it, or accept that it’s happening. Nintendo’s brand is too strong. No criticism from the public will affect it.


Thank you for posting that link.

I have blocked all social media (including Twitter) at the DNS level so I usually have to skip over any HN articles that come from Twitter.


How is Nintendo's "establish communication and clarify that nothing illegal is going on" any different from a lawyer sending a cease-and-desist?


> How is Nintendo's "establish communication and clarify that nothing illegal is going on" any different from a lawyer sending a cease-and-desist?

I am unsure about how it works in your jurisdiction, but where I live, sending a C&D rarely involves a lawyer sitting outside your house to note your schedule as well as other comings and goings.


I can see exactly how this has played out:

1) Someone at Nintendo learns about a "anonymous hacker conducting exploits against the 3DS"

2) Exec's panic because "anonymous hacker" and a history of piracy battles and consequently hire a private eye to find out about the person behind the exploiting

3) Private eye does their job and writes a detailed report in the style of a private eye

4) Nintendo uses information to establish communications with said hacker

Just Hanlon's razor at work


Forgive me ...

I have zero knowledge of (current) Nintendo hardware and architecture and what tinkerers and reverse engineers are capable of doing with them.

However, I find myself strongly compelled to stand up to this ridiculous behavior on the part of Nintendo and I have the time and resources to do so.

With that in mind, I am going to purchase, on ebay ... what ? A plain old retail Nintendo Switch ?

Then I will send that switch (or two, or three) to ... who ? Let's say I have a budget of USD $10,000 - who can I pay to do original, clean-room reverse engineering of this device ?

The goal here would be to publish everything that I can pay people to find.

Suggestions ? Who should I be in contact with ?


First the insane telemetry in Horizon and now this.

I learned to program writing GBA homebrew and absolutely love Nintendo games. The stuff they've done with the switch is so sad.


The moment I learnt about the surveillance/drm/etc stuff they do with the Switch I decided I definitely am not buying it. I was planning to buy it and to use it pretty normal kind of way until that.


I haven't bought any new games ever since I started using homebrew because the idea of getting banned really weirds me out. It's so frustrating.


You're completely safe if you use an EmuNAND.


This might need more explanation:

Bans are issued on some kind of unique per-device ID. So you're not completely safe using EmuNAND, unless you refrain from ever going online.

Common practice is to do homebrew activity on EmuNAND without going online there, and keeping a clean SysNAND for online activities. You can also wipe uniquely identifying keys on EmuNAND and essentially ban yourself there, then you won't be able to use any Nintendo services (incl. updates & online play) in EmuNAND but you can go online for homebrew stuff -relatively- safe.

So what you can't have is both homebrew and online services in the same NAND. Not to mention no matter how hard the community tries, each new update has the potential for Nintendo to introduce more "telemetry" to identify CFW devices before community gets wiser.

Either way, there are no certainties when it comes to ban evasion.


Any updated sites you can recommend for switch hacking. I have an original one so I know it is fully hackable just haven’t followed the scene in a while and wonder where it is at? Thanks



Same here. I'd really like a Switch but refuse to buy general computing devices that don't give me root access.


How do you define a "general computing device?" Anything with a CPU?


(My view) Certainly anything that could load and run arbitrary code in the absence of artificial constraints. That is, I don't care about the processor running my kitchen timer, because it's fixed-purpose and couldn't run anything else without replacing physical memory chips (and even then it's iffy). On the other hand, the Switch is designed with the ability to download and run arbitrary code from cartridges or the internet, and the only reason I can't run my own code is because Nintendo blocks me from doing so, and that is objectionable.


This definition would generally bar you from using phone modems, Wifi cards, and GPUs. With some exceptions, their CPUs have nothing to run without external help, so they are forced to load and run arbitrary code to even be operational.

Replacing a memory chip would not do anything because those aren't used.

The artificial constraint is either that the code (firmware) is closed, or both closed and signed.

Otherwise, I like the criterion a lot. It's a decent distinction between what's "software" and "hardware".

Another blurry line is devices that come with a memory chip where their program code is loaded, but they later need to have a patch loaded by the OS each time (like Intel microcode). Yet another uncertainty depends on how we define root access. If we take it to mean "I have the last word", then Intel/AMD and some ARM CPUs don't qualify, as they have deep, manufacturer-signed-only modes.


> This definition would generally bar you from using phone modems, Wifi cards, and GPUs. With some exceptions, their CPUs have nothing to run without external help, so they are forced to load and run arbitrary code to even be operational.

Although I personally don't always consider this to be a hard reason not to use hardware, yes, I am indeed quite grumpy about the fact that most of my systems contain parts that I don't control. As to practical fallout, it varies by impact and options; since AFAIK I can't buy a modem that doesn't use binary blobs, I just factor it into my threat model with mitigations where reasonable (thankfully, not all phones expose all of main memory to the modem) and move on, but where there are reasonable options (yes, that's weasel-worded; I haven't yet switched to POWER because I don't want to pay 10x for my machines) I use them, for instance when I buy a phone I filter by whether it has an unlockable bootloader.

> The artificial constraint is either that the code (firmware) is closed, or both closed and signed.

Yes, agreed.


> This definition would generally bar you from using phone modems

Back in the days when I used phone modems (USR Courier and Sportster) I actually flashed a cool custom firmware developed by an enthusiast hacker and there seemed to be no measures deployed to stop me from doing so.

IIRC at least USR Courier had Intel 80186 which was a full-fledged x86 CPU making the modem a real computer indeed.


I agree with this description.

I don't expect access to something running a minimal SoC with code burned to its ROM. I do expect it for something with a general OS that runs arbitrary code.

This can get tricky with modern devices. For example, pretty much every router runs some version of linux. Most do not give you root unless you flash your own firmware.


Also, a lot of IoT devices happen to run minimal but functional operating systems. I personally think whether something counts as "general purpose" or not is a gray area and depends greatly on the manufacturer's intent, and it's pretty clear that these manufacturers do not intend for users to run arbitrary software on the devices they make.


I disagree with that; in my mind the distinction is not whether the manufacturer wants me to to run arbitrary code, but whether they expect/intend themselves to be able to run arbitrary code after the device is shipped. So ex. a dumb digital watch that just has time/date/alarm/stopwatch functions is fine because once it's sold the manufacturer never expects to update its code (and said code is probably on actual read-only ROM), but an Apple Watch is intended to run arbitrary code - just that Apple locks down that ability to code that they allow, which I do object to even though Apple never intended to let users run their own code at will.


Most of them are a little more than minimal, almost all of the ones I've seen are running full buildroot Linux with tons of shell scripts gluing stuff together and the main app in C++.


horizon zero dawn was the first game I saw with such invasive privacy policy (no opt out, many unnecessary data collected), but I always wondered whether they're the first game to do it, or was only the first game to tell us.


Do you have any sources on those? I was unaware as of yet


Nintendo are so anti-user that I find it a little surprising that they're doing as well as they are. Actually, I'm not totally surprised, since it was really the Switch that reversed their trajectory of long term decline. Unless they keep coming up with more nifty little gadgets, I can see them digging their own grave over the next few decades in the sense that they'll exist through owning valuable properties but they may not be relevant as a game hardware company.


Anti-user, or anti-hacker...? Also, The Wii and DS were wildly successful, which was not long ago for a company founded in the 19th century.


Nintendo hasn't been improving their public image lately... first the virtual smash tournament being stopped and now this.


I think those are neither first nor the last examples of anti-consumer behaviour from Nintendo. The ones I can remember without looking up:

- Cloud saves require paid NSO subscription. You also can't export saves locally. So it's a matter of time until something happens to your device and all your saves are lost. Or you can pay Mafia^H^H^H^H^H Nintendo for protection.

- They recently introduced a timed exclusive game. You either buy it before the deadline or you can't ever buy it after that. Pinnacle of FOMO if you ask me.

- Nintendo never fully accepted the well-known joy-con drift issue, and after many years it's still not addressed in newer units.

... list goes on and on, though I'm not sure how much those things affect their public image outside of the hacker circles. Since there's no strong demand from the public for Nintendo to do better, they likely will not.


Devil's advocate, hear me out: Nintendo backlash is always dramatic. Zelda is my favorite franchise, so I've always followed this news. They are a large company primarily making recreational video games accessible for families and children. Whatever their mission statement is, it's simply not to cater to hardcore gaming. It's not part of their blood and the ecosystem they foster. Personally, sometimes I don't even think it's 100% for monetary reasons, they probably subconsciously think adults being overly obsessed with their kids properties is perverse. This twitter user has a filtered pokemon avatar (copyrighted) and said "[Nintendo] plan[s] your "death" and your next life probably." because some Japenese person made a legal flow chart. That seems wildly dramatic to me... some context too, I recently watched this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cSCLceDAjM by a famous youtuber I also felt was dramatic.


Seeing some of the comments here being ethical concerns too for basically stalking people for legal advantage. OK, that's certainly overkill. But I'm fine with them using some legal force. I just watched "feels good man", and seeing Pepe the Frog's image morph through a decade is a wild experience. I'm not claiming that hacking a gameboy is the same thing, but I really think it's fine to protect your intellectual property however you see fit. Sorry, but just make your own game systems.


Relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHawXa-GxLQ "A History of Nintendo and Anti-Consumerism" Fudj


What a sick world. Only one thing is left to say to all those Nintendo fans - "Stop buying their crap!"|


This is some Cyberpunk crap... If justice doesn't do anything about stuff like these imagine what they would do in the future.


Looked through the materials posted and it seems like Nintendo just diligently observed an active modder and as diligently made a detailed plan for a conversation with them in person, to (politely, as far as I can tell) get them to stop efforts that, in their perspective, might otherwise open up their console(s) for running pirated software or similar. The tweets seem a bit sensationalist to me. What am I missing?


Because a private company has no right to tell me what to do with the hardware and software I legally bought from them.

They can deny my warranty and ban my account and device-ID on their cloud services for breaking their EULA, fine, but they have no right to come into my life and politely (the mafia "stop what you're doing or else" kind of politely) tell me what I can't do with the device I legally own, in my spare time.

If I want to root my smart device which I legally own to run Doom on it, that should be completely legal. If the mods that allow me to run Doom on it could also be used by others to run pirated content is another matter that should not be my problem, but the device manufacturer's to patch and implement better security on their hardware and software and only go after those who are proven to be involved in piracy, not after the tool makers.

If a burglar uses a B0sch powertool to break into my house, should I go after B0sch for making tools that allow criminals to engage in illegal activities?


Circumventing the DMCA is against the law and can get you prosecuted, for better or worse. It's more serious than just "not following the EULA."

This is why the "right to repair" is important to fight for -- by default, Americans don't have such protections.


DMCA only applies to the United States. It practically has no meaning elsewhere (I don't know the modder nationality, but the modder claims he/she has a PAL Nintendo console (european version)).


While the nationality of the user is definitely questionable, there is no longer such a thing as a PAL or NTSC Switch, only first (easily exploitable) and second (much harder to exploit, has a longer battery life) generation Switches (and the Lite). In this case, my personal reading on this is that an American that tries to invoke "I do not violate DMCA because I bought this at another country", which is laughable if you are still in USA. Note that I despise DMCA as much as you are, but if you are in USA it still exists.

Edit: America to USA. However, Americans (as in people from the US) should note that there are similar provisions throughout Americas (especially Mexico and Brazil).


Sorry. With nationality I meant where the modder is located. The modder talks about an "european 3ds"[1]. I assumed the person was located in Europe (there is a related document in that thread called "belgian waffle").

The DMCA will still have effect for example, if the modder is in Germany and hosts their cracks on Github. A DMCA takedown can be sent to Github to take down the crack. The modder should be untouchable by American authorities (directly).

If the crack is hosted in a (for example) Swedish server, then the DMCA is no valid (only at the server owner discretion).

DMCA doesn't forbid you to crack the console, but to release the tools to circumvent a security measure. You can brag all what you want on internet about a crack you've made, but the moment you publish even a clue on how to crack something, a DMCA can be sent to either put down the info from a website or to make you to desist (only if either you and/or the server are located, or have business, in the United States).

[1] https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EpzhxXkXEAIuDYz?format=png&name=...

Edit: modder is a 26 years old male living in Belgium (https://twitter.com/forestillusion/status/134123063191354163...)


Good points, this would be out-of-scope of DMCA. However, I don't know if the modder would not be prosecutable under IP laws (violation of copyright) since interoperability seems non-existent (not building a 3DS clone or emulator) and Nintendo has done their due diligence on marketing it as a limited game console, not a general-purpose computer.


Just dropping by here with no context (just browsing comments). Buy I want to point out another fact about EU regulations. It is completely legal to reverse engineer software here.

Might apply, might not apply here. IANAL and I have not read the article :)


I understand it is legal, but I also understand that it has restrictions: mainly that it is legal only if the reason to reverse engineer something it must be on an interoperability or essential maintenance basis. I am not sure if "modding" beyond bug-fixing is legal in this situation (considering the time period).


Just want to point out that it only exists in the United States of America, not the rest of the Americas.


Good point, edited America to USA. However, Americans (as in people from the US) should note that there are similar provisions throughout Americas (especially Mexico and Brazil).


It appears that he lives in the EU (Belgium).


Well, fortunately not everyone lives in the United States. DMCA is not a thing and EULAs fortunately are mostly meaningless, or at the very least breaking them is not a crime.


Even if it's totally legal in your country, there is at least some precedent of the US arresting visitors for breaking the DMCA. It seems unlikely to happen again, but I could definitely see it being used if some intelligence agency thought you could help them.


Jurisdictional overreach in support of private company's intellectual property seems pretty normal for USA.


> Circumventing the DMCA is against the law and can get you prosecuted, for better or worse. It's more serious than just "not following the EULA."

Then it's a government problem and Nintendo is playing vigilante, which isn't better.


That part of the law was written by and for corporations.


I fully support the right to repair. I am a tinkerer myself. After looking into the details of a few of these cases I don’t believe Nintendo is in the wrong. A lot of these so-called hackers who have been targeted by Nintendo do this stuff in bad faith. They end up using the result of their efforts to build businesses based on pirating Nintendo content.

Once they get caught they will nearly always lie through their teeth about their illegal business activities and claim they are innocent open-source hackers or whatever. It’s really deceptive and more offensive to me as someone who legitimately likes to tinker. For the most part I disagree with the DMCA anti-circumvention law but in nearly every case I’ve seen the people being targeted were doing much more than just selling mod chips.


This is completely wrong. Neimod was in fact so against piracy that there's accounts of him banning people from the 3dsdev IRC simply for trying to jump-start the 3ds homebrew scene back then.


>hey end up using the result of their efforts to build businesses based on pirating Nintendo content.

Cite?


The Team Xecuter case comes to mind:

> These defendants lined their pockets by stealing and selling the intellectual property of other video-game developers–even going so far as to make customers pay a licensing fee to play stolen games,

https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdwa/pr/two-members-notorious-v...


>Because a private company has no right to tell me what to do with the hardware and software I legally bought from them.

Interestingly, Nintendo's explicit message was not that the hacking was wrong, but that the sharing of the hacking was wrong, because sharing the hack encourages piracy on a larger scale. It's hard to argue with that logic, TBH. And I actually admire their soft touch approach.

My sense is that this is not that big of a deal, to Nintendo or anyone else. The platform, the physicality of "normal" distribution, plus the general inability of people to successfully mod their stuff, all favors Nintendo naturally.

Seems like a tempest in a teapot, and if anything, I don't think it harms Nintendo's reputation at all (modulo sensationalist headlines).


> It's hard to argue with that logic, TBH.

If you can't come up with an argument against that then you're not trying hard enough. The most obvious is that sharing a mod is free speech and ought to be protected as such.

It's also unclear how mods contribute to copyright infringement in any meaningful way. I'm having trouble finding details about exactly what Neimod's mods entailed, but most mods I have experience with require an existing copy of the game.


Information products require artificial scarcity to be economically viable.

If freedom of speech gives individuals a license to say anything in any medium, then this means that artificial scarcity is inconsistent with free speech.

If artificial scarcity is immoral, then all information products are immoral.

(Note that as a practical matter I suspect that Nintendo only cares about "hacking" insofar as it undermines sales. I can't see why they would care about people modifying the games or equipment they own. I can totally see why they would care if someone invented an SD card cartridge for the 3DS that allows you to run every game ever written from it. Such a device, if mass produced and sold for profit, is clearly intended for piracy. Moreover, its easy to see how such a device is parasitic on the platform itself, so that if Nintendo didn't do something about it then there won't be a Nintendo.)


There is a huge difference between the speech of sharing exact copyrighted material, and the free speech of sharing methods of running whatever software you want on some hardware.

If the later is not allowed, this very comment might be illegal, as I'm telling you that such a thing is possible.


> I can't see why they would care about people modifying the games or equipment they own.

Nintendo has previously sued a company for selling a device which allows people to mod the device they owned. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Galoob_Toys,_Inc._v._N.... Nintendo is notoriously anti-consumer in this regard.

And anyways, restricting mods is unnecessary to encourage the economic viability of video games.


That link doesn't work. Okay, I admit I don't know much about the modding community these days, but back in the day it used to be ALL about enabling you to play the files you just downloaded. What do mods do these days? I admit that if someone is selling a mod that lets you, I don't know, change the sprites around in your favorite game, that would not affect N's bottom line and it would be a big problem if they confronted people about something like that.


> And I actually admire their soft touch approach.

Interviewing family members, hiring someone to build a schedule of your coming and goings, and so on... Does not seem like a "soft touch" approach to me. To be frank, it's something I would expect of the Yakuza, not a game company.


Oh, the Yakuza interviews family members and figures out your schedule? And here I thought they trafficked in drugs and humans, and routinely murdered people. Silly me.


And how do you get in position to murder someone?


How is it hard to argue with that approach? I get that a lot of people LOVE Nintendo and their products but this is insanely shady. What would be your reaction if Apple hired private firms to stalk iFixit founders? Would it still be "hard to argue"?


Bad analogy. Information products require artificial scarcity. Literally everyone making a living wage on this site benefits from this fact. If you want to follow your line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, then fine. But what I see are people who benefit from this fact taking a holier-than-thou attitude toward Nintendo, and I object to the hypocrisy.

iFixit is safe because it doesn't really affect Apple's sales. It may put a slightly downward pressure on Apple Store repair revenue. But iFixit solutions require technical aptitude, time and skill to apply that most people don't have, and wouldn't spend on fixing a laptop even if they had it!

But what if iFixit sold a dohicky that defeats the copy protection on all software written for macOS? Do you think that's okay, and that their right to share that device is free speech?


My argument was more in line with what the modders are doing. If Nintendo wants to DCMA takedown every website distributing their games that were cracked I am perfectly fine with that.

The issue I have is that they target people who figure out how to run and copy cracked game from their device, and not those who are actively distributing them. While it makes perfect sense from their side, the images from the tweet feed do not present a compelling argument that the modders are breaking the law and as such they are intimidating law-abiding citizen which is horrifying.


This is about modding. People have a right to mod their own hardware that they legally purchased.

That's all that matters.


>That's all that matters.

No, it isn't. But thank you for illustrating one consequence of "dogmatic belief".


People have a right to mod their own hardware. Thats the law.


If you’re distributing the software to allow pirated usage the lawyers might disagree with you.


That's their job as a company to hire developers to patch the exploits the modders find and use, not to go stalk the modders.

Should Google come after me for rooting my Andorid phone and sideloading apps not on their app store?


Not comparable. Android explicitly allows third-party software (even if you have to toggle a setting first.)

Jailbreaking falls under a legal gray area, which is debatably covered by the "right to repair" section of the DMCA.

Breaking a console's DRM explicitly to play non-approved software is violating the DMCA and against the law.

As I said, not really comparable.


I live in Europe where the DMCA does not apply.


Please look up your laws before commenting. Yes, DMCA, as you have correctly stated, does not apply in the EEA. However, IP infrigement in EEA is dealt with much tougher than the US. Don't believe me? From YouTube v GEMA and the whole youtube-dl debacle to cases in France regarding software copyright infrigement, the authors (in this case, Nintendo) have the collective right to assert copyright in the console software, and often is also the co-author of the software released on their platforms.

As asutekku have stated:

If you’re distributing the software to allow pirated usage the lawyers might disagree with you.

It seems that the US is the leader in IP cases, but that is simply due to the fact that most companies that can act are based there. The reality is that Europe have different IP statures which favors the authors more than others.

TLDR: US IP law deals economic losses, European IP law focuses on moral losses. This means that even with DMCA, Nintendo (and every other author, whether as an individual or company (in the non-corporate sense) or corporate) have rights in Europe that are stronger than in the US.


Genuine question in response to controversial voting pattern: Why? Is there a point here that is wrong specifically? Or you just hate the fact that corporations do have significant power in Europe? Because shooting down the messenger doesn't change the basic fact here.


...and they should take it up with the law. Not play vigilante.


There is more to the story, https://twitter.com/forestillusion/status/134123063191354163...

The idea that someone modifying hardware and software they legally purchased for the sake of their curiosity - something once called tinkering, would lead to private investigators dig up details, follow the person around, and try and interview their family members etc for pressure points is disturbing.

We typically do this for natsec, a private company doing it for a video game that's of little to no consequence in the grand scheme is fundamentally disturbing.


Well, sorry to break it for you but private companies have done this for decades.

Rupert Murdoch's Pirates is a fantastic book on the subject: https://www.amazon.fr/Murdochs-Pirates-hacking-Ruperts-skull...

Basically pay-for-TV companies went ballistic in the 90s' and 00s' against hackers, and people died in the process.


I'm sure if this person just enjoyed tinkering on the hardware in their office and not spreading code for intellectual property they don't own, we wouldn't be here.


I'm not aware of legal definitions but to me that sounds like stalking. Friendly contact would be an email or a phone call or talking to them at a public event but not setting up a team of field agents to follow someone and track their habits, then threaten with legal action at their door.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalking:

> Stalking is unwanted and/or repeated surveillance by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are interrelated to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them.

> According to a 2002 report by the U.S. National Center for Victims of Crime, "virtually any unwanted contact between two people that directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear can be considered stalking", although in practice the legal standard is usually somewhat stricter.


They are threatening to use their size and legal savvy to pressure a prosecutor to bring charges against him. At least that's how I interpret "mutually acceptable agreement with Neimod to discontinue hacking of Nintendo systems/products as opposed to pursuing a criminal referral".


You're missing the recent Nintendo news, maybe. They've been copyright-striking streamers who play their games. They earned in a couple months the reputation that companies like EA and Blizzard took years to earn.


Because the right to privacy is a human right and the corporation did not respect it. Yes, there are reasons which can limit the right to privacy but protecting corporate profit is not one of them.


[flagged]


>>which they could have done, according to the law

Why do Americans agree to have their rights limited this way? Don't you guys value freedom to do what you want with the devices that you bought legally?


Their attitude towards these things, make them look like they value corporations freedom above their own, probably with a expectation that someday their own "corporation" will be successful and then they will be able to have the same freedom. Which is a weird backwards way to value freedom.


Yes, the question is: who is putting this idea into people's minds?


It's kind of a myth that Americans are generally pro-freedom. We're one of the most litigious, punitive, and highly regulated nations on the planet. The only freedoms people usually care about are speech and guns; there's more but nobody really cares about them and just lets their lawyers figure that confusing stuff out. If we value freedom, it's the freedom for multinational corporations to control people.


For the same reasons Europeans do, I suppose. Nothing really changes across the Atlantic.


How generous of them - merely shot him in the knee when they could have decapitated him.

Nobel peace prize incoming


How would they ruin his life lawfully, exactly? (Keep in mind this is Belgium)




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