The High Court has ruled that internet service providers in the United Kingdom must “block, or at least impede access” to websites that enable Nintendo Switch piracy.
That ruling will require that Sky, BT, EE, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media to prevent users from accessing four websites that distribute pirated Nintendo Switch games, modified hardware, or provide guidance on how to mod the portable home console.
That has seen the High Court uphold Nintendo UK’s claim that the websites infringe on the company’s trademarks, have targeted consumers in the UK, and acknowledged that there is no legal defense for modifying the console to enable piracy.
“Today, the UK High Court found the sale and distribution of ‘circumvention’ devices for the Nintendo Switch unlawful,” a Nintendo UK spokesperson confirmed to Eurogamer.
“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.”
UK games and interactive entertainment industry trade body Ukie also supported the ruling:
“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,” explains Ukie spokesperson George Osborne.
“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.”