Two years ago, infamous hacking group Team-Xecutor announced the release of an ‘unstoppable’ Nintendo Switch hack.
The hack made it possible to load pirated games onto the popular console, an opportunity many people have taken advantage of. But Nintendo is now firing back.
Last week, the Japanese gaming giant filed two complaints in US courts, targeting nine online stores that sell Switch hacks and mods. The first complaint, filed at an Ohio federal court, lists local resident Tom Dilts Jr. and his company Uberchips LLC as defendants.
They stand accused of operating the Uberchips.com website through which hacks and mods are sold to the public. This allegedly results in massive theft and copyright infringement.
“Tom Dilts Jr. and Uberchips LLC operate a website at UBERCHIPS.COM through which they offer devices to the public, the sole purpose of which is to hack the Nintendo Switch video game console in order to allow people to play pirated video games,” Nintendo writes.
“Specifically, Defendants’ website sells products from an anonymous group of hackers called ‘Team Xecuter.’ Team Xecuter unlawfully designs and manufactures an unauthorized operating system called the ‘SX OS,’ and accompanying piracy tools that install it,” the company adds.
The devices Uberchips sells violate the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, Nintendo says. This includes Team-Xecuter’s SX Pro dongle that was released in 2018, but there’s also a new threat.
Late last year Nintendo released an updated version of the Switch console as well as a Switch Lite version. At the moment these devices are not hackable but that is about to change.
At the and of 2019 Team-Xecutor announced new circumvention tools, the SX Core and SX Lite chips, which will work on all Switch consoles.
SX Core and SX Lite are currently being tested by approved reviewers and some third-party stores have already accepted pre-orders. This is a major problem for Nintendo, which it hopes to resolve in court.
“Together, these new Circumvention Devices threaten to expose more than 35 million additional Nintendo Switch consoles and Nintendo Switch Lite handheld devices to piracy,” the complaint reads.
Uberchips is one of the ‘authorized resellers’ to have already taken pre-orders. Within a day the first batch was sold out, presumably to 342 customers, and two new pre-order batches have followed since.
Nintendo says that this will cause “tremendous harm” and hopes to stop these sales through this lawsuit. It accuses Uberchips and its owner of trafficking in devices that violate the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions and want that to stop.
The videogame company is requesting compensation for the damages it has suffered. Just as importantly, however, it also requests an injunction to seize or destroy all circumvention devices.
Nintendo also wants the domain registrar of Uberchips.com to immediately transfer the domain over to its possession. And, on top of that, it would like third-party intermediaries to stop facilitating access to any or all domain names, URLs, and websites through which the defendants infringe Nintendo’s copyrights.
The last request could, in theory, be applied to Internet providers as well. That’s worth noting considering the renewed interest in site blocking in the US. Nintendo is not new to this either having previously obtained a blocking injunction against Team-Xecuter domains in the UK.
There is no solid evidence that Nintendo has similar plans for the US, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
The second lawsuit, filed late last week in Washington, is nearly identical. It targets eight stores – Anxchip.com, Axiogame.com, Flashcarda.com, Mod3dscards.com, Nx-card.com, Sxflashcard.com, Txswitch.com, and Usachipss.com – which are all accused of selling circumvention devices.
One key difference is that the operators of these sites are unknown. Nintendo suspects that they are not located in the US, but has no further information at this point.
In addition to trafficking in circumvention devices, five of these stores are also accused of copying and distributing copyright-infringing content, as they sell pirated games as well.
Similar to the Uberchips case, Nintendo requests compensation for the losses it has suffered and asks for injunctions to stop the activity, destroy the products, and to seize or block the associated domain names.
TorrentFreak obtained copies of the legal paperwork. The complaint against Tom Dilts, Jr. and Uberchips, LLC, filed in an Ohio federal court, is available here. The complaint against the other eight stores, filed in the District of Washington, can be found here.