nintendo sues bowser over switch hardware hacks

Nintendo of America is suing hacker Gary Bowser for selling Switch hard mods.

Gary Bowser is the hacker and leader of Team Xecuter who was arrested last year, along with another team member, Max Louarn. The new lawsuit says Bowser infringed on Nintendo’s copyright in creating hardware hacks and selling them online. The lawsuit was filed in a Seattle court and seeks to charge Bowser with two trafficking counts and one copyright violation.

The lawsuit describes Bowser’s setup as “an international pirate ring” of Nintendo Switch hacking devices. Each of the hardware mods can circumvent the company’s security measures to allow buyers to run pirate Nintendo Switch games. The SX Pro, SX Core, and the SX Lite are three such tools to hack the Switch and the Switch Lite.

Nintendo alleges that Bowser has been hacking Nintendo consoles since 2013 after distributing a device to hack the Nintendo 3DS. The Japanese company is going after him now because Team Xecuter operates as a for-profit company, selling its hacks for money. Nintendo is seeking $2,500 for each trafficked device, as well as $150,000 for each copyright violation. The lawsuit also seeks to end Gary Bowser’s hacking enterprise for good.

Nintendo Suing Bowser, Stalked 3DS Hacker

Nintendo is no stranger to taking strong action to combat piracy. In leaked documents revealed last year, Nintendo actually stalked a 3DS hacker and approached him about his activities. The documents reveal the depth of Nintendo’s surveillance, including outlining the hacker’s work and home life.

Nintendo eventually approached that hacker about working to help secure future Switch consoles. Now, Nintendo is aggressively fighting those who are selling hardware hacks to enable piracy. The debate surrounding piracy is a tricky one – many game preservationists say it’s necessary to save code that a developer may abandon in the future.

While others use it as a wholesale excuse to enjoy emulators of game on systems they have modified extensively. Previous handhelds like the PSP, PS Vita, and 3DS are all notoriously hackable with software tricks. Nintendo intentionally left a browser out of its Switch operating system to avoid some of the code execution tricks people pulled on the Nintendo 3DS.

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