Nintendo has issued a DMCA notice to the developers of Dolphin, a popular emulator that allows users to play Wii and GameCube games on their PCs. The notice claims that Dolphin infringes Nintendo's copyrights and trademarks, and demands that the emulator be removed from Steam.
“Because the Dolphin emulator violates Nintendo's intellectual property rights, including but not limited to its rights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)'s Anti-Circumvention and AntiTrafficking provisions, 17 U.S.C. § 1201, we provide this notice to you of your obligation to remove the offering of the Dolphin emulator from the Steam store,” Nintendo's legal document reads.
Dolphin is an open-source project that has been in development since 2003. It enables users to run Wii and GameCube games at higher resolutions and with enhanced features, such as save states, online multiplayer, and controller support. Dolphin has also been ported to other platforms, such as Android, macOS, and Linux.
The developers of Dolphin had planned to launch the emulator on Steam as a free app, with the intention of reaching a wider audience and providing a more convenient way of updating and distributing the software. However, Nintendo's DMCA notice has put a halt to their plans, as they announced on their official website.
“We are very disappointed by Nintendo's decision to issue a DMCA notice against Dolphin,” the developers wrote. “We believe that Dolphin is a legitimate and fair use of Nintendo's software, as it does not contain any of Nintendo's code or assets, and requires users to own the original games in order to play them. We also believe that Dolphin benefits Nintendo by allowing fans to enjoy their games in new ways and by preserving them for future generations.”
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The developers added that they are exploring their legal options and hope to resolve the issue with Nintendo amicably. They also thanked their supporters and assured them that Dolphin will continue to be available on their website and other platforms.
Nintendo has not commented publicly on the matter, but it is well known that the company has a strict stance against emulation and piracy of its games. Nintendo has previously taken legal action against other emulators, such as iNES and UltraHLE, as well as websites that host ROMs of its games, such as EmuParadise and LoveROMs.