Default Judgment Entered Against Seller of Nintendo Switch Jailbreak

Nintendo of America Inc. v. Minh
Case No. 2:20-cv-01707
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Filed November 18, 2020

Nintendo of America Inc. (“Nintendo”) filed suit against the seller of a Nintendo Switch jailbreak that lets Switch users play pirated games. The “RCM Loader” device, which defendant Le Hoang Minh sold on Amazon, injects “payload injection files” into the Nintendo Switch software when physically inserted into the Switch. This unauthorized custom firmware circumvents Nintendo’s technological protection measures to give users the ability to make unauthorized copies of their Switch games as well as play unauthorized copies.

17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(2) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) prohibits trafficking in any technology primarily designed for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected by copyright law. Nintendo filed a DMCA takedown notice with Amazon to have the RCM Loader product listing removed under 17 U.S.C. § 512(c), but the defendant submitted a counter-notification under 17 U.S.C. § 512(g)(3). In response, Nintendo filed suit.

Nintendo alleged that the defendant caused it significant financial harm by reducing sales of licensed authentic copies of video games by jailbreaking the Switch’s firmware to allow players to play unauthorized pirated games from which Nintendo receives no revenue.

Nintendo also alleged that defendant’s “unlawful conduct falls squarely within the DMCA anti-trafficking and anti-circumvention provisions” because the RCM Loader specifically “enables the deactivation of Nintendo’s technological protection measures—which Nintendo developed and put in place to protect its copyrighted works from unlawful access and copying—thereby causing widespread piracy of Nintendo’s copyrighted video games.”

Minh did not answer and a default judgment was entered for Nintendo on February 22nd. Nintendo sought damages and injunctive relief, which will ultimately be decided by the court.