UK internet providers must block access to websites which enable Switch game piracy, Nintendo has successfully argued in court.

The injunction requires five major UK ISPs – Sky, BT, EE, Talktalk and Virgin Media – to “block, or at least impede access” to four websites which help distribute pirated Switch games, modified hardware, or provide information on how to mod consoles for piracy reasons.

Nintendo has already taken steps to close the loophole used to install custom firmware, though in its claim said it was aware of ongoing attempts to hack the console’s current system software.

The UK high court upheld Nintendo’s claims that the listed websites had infringed on Nintendo trademarks, specifically targeted consumers in the UK and that there was no legal defence for modification of Switch hardware to enable piracy.

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“Today, the UK High Court found the sale and distribution of ‘circumvention’ devices for the Nintendo Switch unlawful,” a Nintendo spokesperson told Eurogamer this morning. “Nintendo is pleased that the UK High Court has confirmed that dealing in devices or software that enable piracy on Nintendo Switch systems is unlawful.

“This decision will help protect the UK games industry and the more than 1800 developers worldwide that create games for the Nintendo Switch platform, and who rely on legitimate sales of games for their livelihood and to keep bringing quality content to gamers.”

Speaking to Eurogamer this morning, UK video games industry body UKIE also welcomed the decision:

“These circumvention devices, which enable the use of unauthorised copies of video games, jeopardise the businesses of those who uphold and rely upon the sales of legitimate products,” UKIE spokesperson George Osborn said.

“As such UKIE fully supports the ruling and wishes to reiterate the strong stance of the UK video games industry against illegitimate operators.

“The case represents one of multiple industry endeavours to prevent bad actors from infringing upon and exploiting the intellectual property rights associated with games.”



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