Nintendo just had a big win in its crusade against pirates, although the consequences are slightly unusual. The gaming giant has won a UK injunction that will have five major providers in the country (BT, EE, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin) block four sites that distribute pirated Switch games, help users modify vulnerable Switches and offer circumvention hardware.
So the court agreed with Nintendo that these sites were violating Nintendo trademarks, targeted the UK and didn’t have a legal justification for the mods. It sounds like it was a pretty easy case to decide.
Nintendo says that the victory safeguards Switch developers that depend on legal game sales “for their livelihood.” Also, the industry agency UKIE says it “fully supports” the decision and said the pirates “jeopardise the businesses” of game creators and sellers.
The accused sites didn’t have much of a case. Bootlegging games is not experimentation. Blocking the sites is a new tactic, however. Nintendo usually takes down the content itself, rather than cutting off access. This could be due to where the sites are hosted (they may be outside the reach of takedowns), but that won’t be reassuring to those who object to ISP-level blocking.
Regardless it is a win for Nintendo.