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      Nintendo Wins US-Wide Injunction Against Seller of RCM Loader ‘Piracy’ Device

      Andy Maxwell · news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Friday, 16 April, 2021 - 20:19 · 4 minutes

    RCM Loader Nintendo is currently engaged in a war of attrition against individuals and groups who help people to pirate and play unlicensed Switch games.

    Products and individuals involved with the infamous Team-Xecutor became targets last summer and alongside, Nintendo has been chipping away at other sellers of similar circumvention devices.

    Lawsuit Filed Against Amazon Vendor

    Last November, Nintendo filed a lawsuit against Le Hoang Minh, an Amazon vendor doing business under the name ‘Winmart’. According to the gaming giant, the trader was selling RCM Loader, a Switch device marketed as a plug-and-play solution for injecting payload files to allow booting into custom firmware (CFW), including Team-Xecutor’s SX OS.

    “Once this circumvention has occurred, the unauthorized CFW modifies the authorized Nintendo Switch operating system, thereby allowing users to obtain and play virtually any pirated game made for the Nintendo Switch. All of this happens without authorization or compensation to Nintendo or to any authorized game publishers,” the company explained.

    Le Hoang Minh, who according to Nintendo is a resident of Vietnam, was sent a DMCA notice by Nintendo via Amazon, citing the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. As a result, a specific listing was taken down by Amazon but the defendant subsequently filed a counternotice stating that Nintendo had made an error. As a result, the listing was restored.

    In its lawsuit, Amazon claimed that Le Hoang Minh was not only a seller of RCM Loader devices but also the manufacturer too, going on to demand the maximum statutory damages available under the DMCA and a broad injunction preventing any future sales. Nintendo also demanded relief for the defendant’s alleged abuse of the DMCA’s counternotification system.

    Defendant Fails to Respond, Nintendo Moves For Default

    In a motion for default judgment filed this week, Nintendo says that it filed its lawsuit in response to the defendant’s counternotice, in order to keep the Amazon listing down. However, the defendant failed to respond to the lawsuit or enter into discussions with Nintendo.

    As a result, Nintendo demanded a default judgment on each of its claims, arguing that since the defendant is in Vietnam, only a ruling from a US court would allow it to prevent sales of RCM Loader taking place in the United States.

    To promote what Nintendo describes as “an efficient resolution” of the matter, the gaming giant reduced its damages claims to just $2,500 for all actions carried out by the defendant in breach of the anti-trafficking provisions of the DMCA.

    “This request for a $2,500 award is intended to be very conservative and does not reflect anything close to the full amount of damages Nintendo could reasonably seek from Defendant,” the company writes.

    “Nintendo could…credibly seek a separate award for every device Defendant sold — almost certainly many devices, given that Defendant’s RCM Loader device was available online for many months. However, rather than attempt to quantify Defendant’s total sales, Nintendo seeks to facilitate an efficient resolution of this case through entry of judgment awarding damages for a single § 1201 violation.”

    Nintendo also informed the court that it had incurred considerable costs pursuing the case but was not seeking to have those reimbursed. However, the company still demanded a judgment in its favor in respect of the DMCA violations, the misrepresentations made by the defendant in his DMCA counternotice, and the request for a permanent injunction.

    Court Sides With Nintendo

    After considering Nintendo’s motion for default, the court ruled that should be granted. In a final judgment issued Thursday, the court laid down the terms.

    A permanent injunction was granted against Le Hoang Minh and all other individuals and entities acting in concert, restraining all from circumventing or assisting in circumventing any technological security measures that effectively control access to Nintendo’s copyrighted works.

    The same are also restrained from manufacturing, offering for sale, distributing, exporting or otherwise trafficking into the United States “any and all products, services, devices, components or parts thereof” that are designed or produced for circumventing security measures in Nintendo’s consoles, products and protected works.

    Turning to RCM Loader and any product with identical function, the court restrained the defendant from carrying out sales, distribution, imports and/or shipping to any person or entity in the United States. Le Hoang Minh is also banned from indirectly infringing, facilitating, encouraging, promoting or inducing the infringement of Nintendo’s copyrights, whether in existence now or in the future.

    In an effort to prevent sales on platforms such as Amazon, the defendant was restrained from offering RCM Loader or any similar product for sale or distribution. Any seller or online marketplace who receives notice of the order must also “immediately cease and permanently refrain” from offering any such products in the United States.

    The court also authorized Nintendo to seize and destroy all circumvention devices and software that violate its copyrights or exclusive licenses. It further granted the $2,500 in statutory damages requested by Nintendo and reminded the defendant that any violation of the order may be punishable as contempt of court.

    Nintendo’s Motion for Default Judgment can be found here (pdf)

    The Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction can be found here (pdf)

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      RIAA: Not Even Improper YouTube ‘Rolling Cipher’ Complaints Can Be Countered

      Andy Maxwell · news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Monday, 18 January, 2021 - 19:20 · 4 minutes

    RIAA After the RIAA caused outraged by filing a complaint that took down the open source software YouTube-DL from Github, YouTube-ripping service Yout.com sued the music industry group .

    In common with its claim against youtube-dl, the RIAA had previously asked Google to delist Yout.com’s homepage on the basis that it too circumvented YouTube’s ‘rolling cipher’ technology. With both Github and the EFF arguing that youtube-dl’s features amount to little more than those already available in web browsers, an emboldened Yout.com hoped to take the fight to the RIAA and have itself declared legal .

    RIAA Fights Back: YouTube’s Rolling Cipher is a TPM

    In a motion to dismiss filed in a Connecticut district court, the RIAA is now attempting to remove the basics underpinning the entire Yout.com action. Apparently undeterred by the controversy surrounding YouTube’s ‘rolling cipher’ and its characterization as being somewhat ineffective, the RIAA says that according to copyright law, the threshold for a Technological Protection Measure (TPM) is already low.

    “[T]he allegation that Plaintiff or others with technical expertise have figured out how to defeat the rolling cipher does not establish that the rolling cipher is ineffective for purposes of section 1201. If Plaintiff’s position were correct, it would amount to a free pass because the statute would only apply to those TPMs that could not be defeated,” the motion reads.

    “For this reason, numerous courts have rejected the same argument upon which Plaintiff bases its claim about the alleged ineffectiveness of the YouTube rolling cipher.”

    In short, just because YouTube’s measures are easily bypassed, it doesn’t mean they can’t be considered effective. According to the RIAA, this is due to section 1201 of the DMCA considering the abilities of an “ordinary” or “average” consumer, not those of “an online security engineer with a background in computer science” – a reference to Mitch Stoltz of the EFF, who authored a third-party letter in the youtube-dl matter.

    “[T]he letter acknowledges that a German court has concluded, among other things, that circumventing the YouTube rolling cipher is ‘beyond the capabilities of the average user,’ and that it ‘was on this basis that the court declared the code to be an effective technical measure under Germany’s analogue of Section 1201. Plaintiff’s allegations therefore allow for only one plausible inference: the YouTube rolling cipher is an effective TPM,” the RIAA adds.

    RIAA: Yout’s Non Circumvention Claims Fail

    Yout.com’s lawsuit seeks a declaration from the court that the service does not circumvent YouTube’s ‘rolling cipher’ but according to the RIAA, that effort should fail. Circumvention means “to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner,” the RIAA writes, noting that Yout’s claim that it does none of these things isn’t plausible.

    Referencing Yout’s complaint, the RIAA notes that the company admits that its entire purpose is to give users the ability to copy audio from YouTube in MP3 format locally, allowing that content to be consumed offline. The RIAA says that YouTube aims to prevent users from “turning certain streams into downloads” and the method used to enforce that is its ‘rolling cipher’.

    “Plaintiff concedes that it ‘encounters’ the rolling cipher and then ‘reads and interprets the JavaScript program’ and ‘derives a signature value’ to access the file,” the RIAA writes.

    “The only reasonable inference to draw from those vague allegations is that the Yout service enables users to avoid or bypass that technological measure—that is the very definition of circumventing a TPM under section 1201. For this straightforward reason, Plaintiff cannot plausibly allege a claim for declaratory judgment under section 1201.”

    RIAA: Even Improper Anti-Circumvention Notices Can’t Be Countered

    As mentioned earlier, the RIAA previously sent DMCA takedown notices to Google, demanding that Yout URLs should be delisted from search results on the basis that the Yout service itself is a circumvention technology.

    Yout’s lawsuit states that since it does not circumvent technical measures, the RIAA either sent the complaints without carrying out appropriate testing or already knew that the site was non-infringing. As a result, Yout is entitled to compensation due to the RIAA interfering with the relationships between Yout and its customers, partners, and potential users.

    Not so, says the RIAA, as no claim is available under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f) .

    “Plaintiff’s claim fails as a matter of law because the statutory text makes clear that
    section 512(f) penalizes only misrepresentations regarding alleged copyright infringement , but not misrepresentations regarding alleged circumvention ,” its motion reads.

    Citing the Arista Records, Inc. v. Mp3Board, Inc. case, the RIAA states that Section 512 “only penalizes copyright holders for knowingly materially misrepresenting ‘that material or activity is infringing.’ It does not provide a cause of action for knowingly materially misrepresenting [other claims].”

    In other words, the RIAA believes it doesn’t matter whether the anti-circumvention notices were improper or otherwise since claims under Section 512 are limited to when there are misrepresentations of copyright infringement, not allegations of breaching technological measures.

    Furthermore, even if Yout could state a claim for alleged misrepresentations, the RIAA says that the company has failed to plausibly allege that the music group knew that the Yout service did not circumvent YouTube’s ‘rolling cipher’.

    “Plaintiff alleges that ‘Defendants failed to determine whether Yout’s software platform would, in fact, circumvent [YouTube’s rolling cipher] by testing the platform” with protected works. But purportedly failing to perform an adequate investigation is insufficient to establish a section 512(f) claim,” the RIAA adds.

    As a result of the above and other issues that rest upon them, the RIAA believes that Yout’s first amended complaint should be dismissed by the court.

    The RIAA’s motion to dismiss can be found here and here (pdf)

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Nintendo Files Lawsuit Against Seller of RCM Loader Jailbreak Device

      Andy Maxwell · news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Thursday, 19 November, 2020 - 10:43 · 4 minutes

    RCM Loader Nintendo’s ongoing battle to prevent people from playing pirated content on Switch consoles is showing no signs of slowing down .

    Its main targets thus far have been distributors and sellers of products offered by the infamous Team-Xecutor but a new lawsuit filed in the United States yesterday targets a seller of another jailbreak-style device.

    Circumvention of Technological Protection Measures

    As detailed in a number of earlier and similar lawsuits , Nintendo is determined to take action against any product that undermines the security features baked into consoles such as the Switch. These features are designed to prevent unauthorized access to the console and its games with the aim of preventing people from playing pirated content.

    According to the latest lawsuit, a defendant identified as Le Hoang Minh, who on Amazon does business under the name ‘Winmart’, sold a device known as RCM Loader. The dongle/device, which operates via a USB-C connector, is marketed as a plug-and-play solution for injecting payload files that allow booting into custom firmware (CFW), including Team-Xecutor’s SX OS.

    “Once this circumvention has occurred, the unauthorized CFW modifies the authorized Nintendo Switch operating system, thereby allowing users to obtain and play virtually any pirated game made for the Nintendo Switch. All of this happens without authorization or compensation to Nintendo or to any authorized game publishers,” the company’s complaint reads.

    Another feature of the system criticized by Nintendo is the ability for owners of legal copies of games to copy and share those games with others who are also using unauthorized custom firmware. Nintendo says it has been working hard to reduce the availability of SX OS and similar custom firmware but due to the trafficking of devices like RCM Loader, that battle continues.

    Defendant Sold RCM Loader Via Amazon

    According to the lawsuit, Vietnam-resident Le Hoang Minh, sold RCM Loader devices on Amazon so, to counter this distribution, Nintendo filed a DMCA takedown notice on October 21, 2020, citing 17 U.S.C. § 512(c) and requesting that the listing be removed.

    While Amazon did take the listing down, the removal was only temporary.

    RCM Loader Amazon

    This short-lived takedown was due to the seller submitting a DMCA counter-notice to Amazon on November 4, 2020, under 17 U.S.C. § 512(g)(3) , claiming that the listing was non-infringing and had been taken down in error.

    Defenses Listed in the DMCA Counter Notice

    Attempting to cover most available defenses, relevant or not, the counter-notice from Le Hoang Minh is comprehensive if nothing else.

    In addition to claiming that the devices are not copyrighted and are therefore in the public domain, the Amazon seller advised the platform that Nintendo’s claim is faulty due to the company failing to provide any copyright registration information in its takedown notice.

    “The complainant does not hold the copyright to the material in question, is not the designated representative of the copyright holder, and therefore lacks standing to assert that my use of the material is a violation of any of the owner’s rights,” it added.

    In addition to a laundry list of alleged technical failings in Nintendo’s takedown notice, Amazon was advised by the defendant that the use of “the material” was legally protected “because it falls within the ‘fair use’ provision of the copyright regulations” and if Nintendo disagrees with that assertion, it “must” work with the seller to solve the dispute.

    “This communication to you is a DMCA counter notification letter as defined in 17 USC 512(g)(3). I declare, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the complaint of copyright violation is based on mistaken information, misidentification of the material in question, or deliberate misreading of the law,” the counter-notice reads.

    Importantly, the declaration adds that Le Hoang Minh submits to the jurisdiction of any appropriate US district court in case of a legal dispute with Nintendo.

    Nintendo: Challenge Accepted

    The lawsuit filed yesterday is a clear indication that Nintendo believes it has the law on its side, in respect of the illegal nature of RCM Loader and the validity of the DMCA counter-notice that attempted to reinstate the listing.

    “Defendant manufactures, imports, offers to the public, provides, and otherwise traffics in a circumvention device and software that circumvents the technological measures on the Nintendo Switch — specifically, the RCM Loader,” the company states.

    “On information and belief, the only purpose of Defendant’s circumvention device is to circumvent Nintendo’s technological protection measures.”

    Demanding maximum statutory damages for each violation of the relevant sections of the DMCA, Nintendo also demands a permanent injunction preventing the defendant from offering to the public or otherwise trafficking in circumvention devices in the future.

    On top, Nintendo is demanding relief for the defendant’s alleged abuse of the DMCA counter-notification system by misrepresenting material facts to Amazon, crafted to have the listing restored on the platform, in violation of Nintendo’s rights.

    Finally, the gaming giant asks the court to issue an order that will allow for the seizure, impoundment and destruction of all RCM Loader devices in the defendant’s possession, including any related software.

    The complaint can be found here (pdf)

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.