The Steam launch of Dolphin, an open-source emulator for the Wii and GameCube, has been indefinitely delayed (via computer games). A blog post by the developers says this is due to “Nintendo ceasing and desisting from citing the DMCA” (which is earlier version From the blog post it simply said “Digital Millennium Copyright Act passed” but it has since been updated) After that Announce plans To launch Steam in March.
With great disappointment we have to announce that the release of Dolphin on Steam has been indefinitely delayed. We have been notified by Valve that Nintendo has issued a cease and desist DMCA inference against the Dolphin Steam page, and has removed Dolphin from Steam until the matter is settled. We are currently examining our options and will have a more in-depth response in the near future.
We appreciate your patience in the meantime.
Pierre Bourdon, who says he has been involved with Dolphin for more than 10 years in various capacities and was named in the email from Valve, He writes in a series of Mastodon posts that the notice was the result of a back-and-forth with Nintendo initiated by Steam and did not include any DMCA notice, describing the action as “simply standard legal takedowns/C&D between two companies”.
One element that may be the point Nintendo is using to justify its request to ban Dolphin lies in its distribution of AES-128 disc encryption for the Wii, according to Bourdon. Instead of requiring users to supply the key themselves, the software shipped with the Wii’s “shared key” embedded in its source code for many years.
Bourdon wrote on Mastodon that, unlike the direct DMCA takedown, in this case, Dolphin’s creators have no legal recourse to retaliate. That leaves the group up to the whims of Valve, who says it could have ignored Nintendo at this point without any repercussions.
We’ve reached out to Valve, Nintendo, and The Dolphin Emulator Project for further comment.
at least one other emulator, RetroArch, is on the Steam platform, although this program does not work in the same way as Dolphin. Where Dolphin emulates GameCube and Wii consoles directly, RetroArch acts as a front end into which emulator “cores” can be loaded, giving users one central place to configure software settings for their emulators.
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