Nintendo Takedown Wipes “Rhythm Heaven” Remix Tool & 250+ Forks Off GitHub

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Nintendo's DMCA takedown campaign continues with the targeting of "Heaven Studio", a fan-created remix tool for the game "Rhythm Heaven." The software was flagged because it uses copyrighted sprites and sound effect files, but GitHub has taken the entire repository and 290 forks offline. Despite the setback, the tool's developers are not giving up.

heaven studioNintendo has been very active on the anti-piracy front recently, targeting emulators, ROM sites, and other piracy-associated services and tools.

Not all alleged pirates are equal, however. In fact, one could argue that some are among Nintendo’s biggest fans.

A takedown request from Nintendo, sent to GitHub a few hours ago, is a good illustration. The DMCA notice doesn’t identify any pirated games or emulators, but targets a fan-created software tool that allows fans of the game Rhythm Heaven to create their own remixes.


These remixes appear to be quite popular among fans of the game, as evidenced by the many videos floating around on YouTube and social media. Unfortunately, Nintendo is no fan of this activity, as the tool also includes copyrighted sprites and sound effects from the official game.

Nintendo Targets Heaven Studio

The popular remix tool Heaven Studio uses these Nintendo-owned items in its software, without permission, which prompted Nintendo to ask GitHub to remove the repository’s sprite and SFX folders.

“The copyrighted works are Nintendo’s Rhythm Heaven video games, including the characters, images, music, and sounds covered by at least the following U.S. Copyright Registration Nos: PA0001791194 (Rhythm Heaven) and PA0001791783 supp. by PA0001397418 (Rhythm Heaven Fever),” the notice reads.

nintendo heaven

The takedown notice doesn’t target the entire repository, only the sprites and SFX files. In addition, Nintendo wants the same content removed from all forks, more than 250 in total.

Entire Repo Removed

Interestingly, Nintendo got more than it bargained for. In response to the takedown request, GitHub removed the entire Heaven Studio repository and all forks, that’s 291 in total.

This isn’t accidental, as the following statement from GitHub clarifies.

“Because the parent repository was actively being forked when this DMCA takedown notice was received, and the submitter had identified all known forks at the time they submitted the takedown notice, GitHub processed the takedown notice against the entire network of 291 repositories, inclusive of the parent repository.”

heaven down

Game’s Not Over Yet

The Heaven Studio developers were taken aback by this removal. The team is not entirely sure if the takedown notice is ‘legitimate’ but they don’t seem intent on protesting it directly. For now, they’re making nightly builds of their code available at

“While we are unsure if the takedown is legitimate, at this point we aren’t taking any chances. While the project is currently being restructured, you can get the latest Nightly builds at [],” they write.

There are some suggestions that the takedown notice could be fake. This seems to be a common theme in response to Nintendo takedowns, but we don’t immediately see obvious signs of abuse.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that Heaven Studio has been targeted by the Japanese game company. The developers previously posted full releases of their tool on, but these were pulled offline by a Nintendo DMCA notice too.

In the Heaven Studio Discord channel, which has more than 40,000 members, users are encouraged to share their concerns with GitHub. Regardless of whether that will do anything or not, the developers are not planning to give up anytime soon.

plan b

There is talk about a “Plan B”. What this entails precisely isn’t clear but if we take Nintendo’s DMCA notice as a guideline, bringing back the software without the copyrighted sprites and sound effect files might work.

In any case, it doesn’t appear to be game over just yet.


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