Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Discussion of development of software for any "obsolete" computer or video game system.
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nesrocks
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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by nesrocks » Thu May 07, 2020 9:53 am

Seems like the emulator devs have their bases covered by publicly saying they would never touch the leaked files. :) wink wink
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Bregalad
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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by Bregalad » Thu May 07, 2020 1:22 pm

The content of the linked article actually says the exact oposite of this thread's title.
Tom Dietrich, a Copyright Attorney at The McArthur Law Firm in Los Angeles, told Motherboard in an email that Nintendo would need direct evidence of the leaked code appearing in an emulator to have a strong infringement case. Looking at the leak and using it isn’t enough because reverse engineering code is legal in the U.S.

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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by Drag » Thu May 07, 2020 4:11 pm

This also doesn't invalidate the copyrights of existing emulator code. Don't forget that we've had N64, Gamecube, and Wii emulators before the leak too, for several years. :P

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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by strat » Fri May 08, 2020 7:38 am

It doesn't even matter if Nintendo has a case or not - they can shut down any emulator project with the proverbial snap. Sony's case against Bleem! was dismissed, but not before shutting that company down (that said, Bleem! was selling their emulator).

The Dolphin devs are right - they don't want to test the line between copying and merely using the code.

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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by NewRisingSun » Fri May 08, 2020 8:43 am

strat wrote:they can shut down any emulator project with the proverbial snap
Doubtful that they can do that effectively in the case of an open-source project from a pseudonymous author.

calima
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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by calima » Fri May 08, 2020 10:09 am

Github or other hosting will bow to a court order.

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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by NewRisingSun » Fri May 08, 2020 10:12 am

Plenty of non-U.S. hosting options that don't honor American court orders available. And getting a court order in a foreign country on something that is not as trivial as hosting pirated motion pictures, although entirely possible, is at least not easy as a "snap".

But yes, if one insists on using GitHub, it's easier to shut down one's project.

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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by NovaSquirrel » Fri May 08, 2020 4:57 pm

According to Hector Martin the leaks aren't even useful to emulation anyway

calima
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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by calima » Sat May 09, 2020 12:09 am

He's talking about a Wii POV; for N64 emulation, the verilog being there should be more useful. In the last tweet he says
Now if the leak *really* contained full Verilog for the GPU, for example, that could help resolve long tail emulation mysteries... But no sane emulator developer is going to want to taint their project like that. But it doesn't, so this is a moot point.
Remember there is no good N64 emulator in existence. They all suck in various ways.

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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by Pokun » Sun May 10, 2020 3:11 pm

Even if the leak doesn't provide much new knowledge, he clearly says that it does give some insight, so it's hard to argue that the leak isn't any useful, despite that he's trying to say otherwise. Information is information.
It's understandable that a big project like Dolphin doesn't want to associate themselves with a leak of confidential information though.

Regarding using code, emulators like Dolphin usually requires the user to provide themselves things dumped from a real system anyway, so I don't see why that would be a problem. I guess something similar could be done with Verilog code if it was about that.

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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by calima » Mon May 11, 2020 12:42 am

No, verilog is turned into hw, it can't be dumped via software. "Dumping" hw is decapping and manual transcription.

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Re: Using Leaked Nintendo Source Code Poses Serious Legal Risk to Emulators [link]

Post by Pokun » Mon May 11, 2020 4:33 am

I was talking about dumping software like GC/Wii DSP ROMs or the NAND memory in the Wii which Dolphin uses, not Verilog.

That about Verilog was the Verilog for the GPU (which the leak didn't contain) for a hypothetical hardware clone that needs it. An emulator wouldn't even be written in Verilog in the first place, so I don't see the problem there either.

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