A Legal Look at Nintendo's Shut Down of "The Big House" SSB Tourney

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1w Nov 20, 2020
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The Big House, an online Super Smash Bros tournament (at least in 2020), has been cancelled, apparently due to the use of the Dolphin emulator and a modification to that emulator called Slippi, after the organizers received of a cease and desist notification from Nintendo.

As part of Nintendo's statement on the cancellation, they also intimated that the use of the modification itself was predicated on using "illegal copies" of Super Smash Bros Melee, but do they have a legal leg to stand on?

And if they do, is it the same leg they are presenting to the world?

Let's dive in.

Nintendo wouldn't let them do a barrel roll...in Virtual Legality.

#Nintendo #TheBigHouse #freemelee


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Hat Tip

@itsAntWright (Twitter)
@TheRenzix (Twitter)
@RoyRelapse (Twitter)


Discussed in this episode:

"The Big House is heartbroken..."
Tweet - November 19, 2020 - The Big House (@TheBigHouseSSB)
https://twitter.com/TheBigHouseSSB/status/1329521081577857036

"Nintendo orders cancellation of Smash Bros tournament over mod use"
GamesIndustryBiz - November 20, 2020 - James Batchelor
https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2020-11-20-nintendo-order-cancellation-of-smash-bros-tournament-over-mod-use

"Nintendo's statement on the Big House event cancelation:"
Tweet - November 19, 2020 - Patrick Shanley (@pshanley88)
https://twitter.com/pshanley88/status/1329544558288400384

"The Big House Online cancelled by Nintendo C&D"
Reddit Post - November 19, 2020
https://www.reddit.com/r/smashbros/comments/jxajo5/the_big_house_online_cancelled_by_nintendo_cd/

"Exclusive rights in copyrighted works"
17 USC 106
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/106

"Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use"
17 USC 107
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107

"Video game console emulator"
Wikipedia Entry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_console_emulator

"Sega v. Accolade"
Wikipedia Entry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_v._Accolade

"Clean room design"
Wikipedia Entry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_room_design

Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo
964 F.2d 965
https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/964/965/341457/

"Micro Star v. Formgen, Inc."
154 F.3d 1107
https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/757702/micro-star-v-formgen-inc/

"Are game emulators legal?"
TechRadar - September 25, 2016 - Rich Wordsworth
https://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/are-game-emulators-legal-1329264

"BRO DID I JUST GET BANNED ON TWITCH FOR AGE OF CALAMITY?!"
Tweet - November 19, 2020 - REVERSAL (@REVERSALx7)
https://twitter.com/REVERSALx7/status/1329552330870689792

"Reading Final Fantasy VII's Streaming Restrictions (VL199)"
YouTube Video - March 31, 2020 - Hoeg Law
https://youtu.be/HF7RO5HAHvc

"Is Streaming Among Us...Illegal? (VL332)"
YouTube Video - October 6, 2020 - Hoeg Law
https://youtu.be/sNRk_BV5rFg

"Nintendo Switch Family: User Agreement"
https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/48058/~/nintendo-switch-family%3A-user-agreement

"Nintendo Game Content Guidelines for Online Video & Image Sharing Platforms"
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/networkservice_guideline/en/index.html

"Streaming, Copyright Infringement, and Fair Use (Virtual Legality #177)"
YouTube Video - February 19, 2020 - Hoeg Law
https://youtu.be/vTjsKrC3tOE


"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.


Blog: hoeglaw.wordpress.com
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Chris Leroux (Motion Graphics)
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