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Nintendo issues a cease-and-desist order against Steam release of Wii emulator Dolphin.

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The Dolphin’s Steam page has been removed and release blocked by Nintendo for an indefinite period.

The creators of the Dolphin emulator, renowned for enabling users to enjoy GameCube and Wii games, recently made an unfortunate announcement regarding the highly anticipated Steam release of their emulator. On Friday, May 26, the developers revealed that the release has been indefinitely postponed due to the block imposed by Nintendo.

According to an official statement, Nintendo took legal action by filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice with Valve, the owner of the Steam platform, against Dolphin’s page on the popular PC gaming storefront. Consequently, Dolphin’s page was promptly removed from Steam.

Expressing their disappointment, the creators stated, “It is with profound regret that we must inform you about the indefinite postponement of the Dolphin on Steam release. Valve informed us that Nintendo issued a cease-and-desist order, citing violations of the DMCA, resulting in the removal of Dolphin from the Steam platform until the matter is resolved. We are currently exploring various courses of action and intend to provide a more comprehensive response in the near future.”

At present, the developers are actively investigating alternative options and contemplating potential solutions to address the situation. They assure the community that they will share a more detailed and extensive response as soon as possible, offering insights into their plans moving forward.

Dolphin emulator said to infringe the DMCA.

The recent removal of the Dolphin emulator from the Steam storefront has sparked discussions about the legal implications of emulation and its potential impact on game preservation. It appears that the inclusion of the Wii Common Code in Dolphin’s source code may have contributed to the takedown, according to tweets from user @LuigiBlood  citing the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). The DMCA mentions the inclusion of “cryptographic keys without Nintendo’s authorization” as a potential violation.

What happens next in this situation?

The Dolphin team now has a two-week window to file a counter-notice with Valve, asserting that the emulator does not infringe upon the DMCA. Subsequently, Nintendo will have two weeks to decide whether to initiate legal proceedings or not. If Nintendo chooses not to sue, there is a possibility that Dolphin could be reinstated on the Steam platform.

It is challenging to predict the legal outcome of this scenario, given its complexity. Nevertheless, the repercussions could extend beyond Dolphin and affect other emulation and game preservation endeavors. It is worth noting that other emulators, such as RetroArch, continue to be available on the Steam storefront.

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