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Nintendo Portables (Games) Security Games Your Rights Online

The FSF's Campaign Against the Nintendo 3DS 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the terms-of-disservice dept.
Max Hyre writes "The Nintendo 3DS's terms of so-called service, and the even more grotesquely-misnamed privacy policy, make it clear that you are in the service of Nintendo. Specifically, anything you do, write, photograph, or otherwise generate with the 3DS is Nintendo's possession, for them to use however, whenever, and for as long as they want. On the other hand, if you do something they don't like, they're prepared to turn your device into a doorstop — and you gave them permission when you started using it. And if you have a child's best interests at heart, don't give it to anyone too young to know to never use her real name, type in an address or phone number, or take any personally-identifiable photos. They might, at best, end up in a Nintendo ad."
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The FSF's Campaign Against the Nintendo 3DS

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  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @06:41AM (#36163866)

    Is there any way I could interpret this as Sony's fault?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Well, if Sony hadn't so royally screwed up it's security on the PS3 and the PSN, Nintendo wouldn't have felt the need to lock down their newest system this hard! They learned that the only way to stop people from hacking their consoles is to cause the consoles TO CATCH FIRE AND EXPLODE if you do something wrong. But they realized that might end badly, so they went with the next best option and just decided to brick the things. Sony, on the other hand, is trying to perfect localized disintegration technology
      • by sqldr (838964)

        cause the consoles TO CATCH FIRE AND EXPLODE

        Nah, that's Dell laptop batteries. Nintendo would prefer to make you mentally ill by causing you to have dreams about nauseatingly cute characters making stupid noises, bouncing around platforms, talking in speech bubbles and overusing the word "destiny".

        Actually, I think they just do that anyway whether you've annoyed them or not. Anyway, screw this, I'm off to buy a copy of "moron power 3: batshit edition" with the free keyring.

    • Funny you should ask that. When I first submitted the story, I had typed ``Sony'' at one point, instead of ``Nintendo''.
  • Unsurprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon (735973) * on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @06:46AM (#36163890) Journal

    Time to burn some karma, I guess...

    There's this strange perception around some parts (particularly around here) that Nintendo are somehow "more ethical" or "consumer-friendly" than the other console manufacturers. This overlooks the fact that Nintendo are the people who normalised console region locking (and who are still trying to push and extend it even now, when Sony and MS have decided they're not interested any more), cracked down on homebrew whenever they can and put out consoles which don't even give so much as a tiny whiff of an "OtherOS" or "PS2 Linux kit" walled garden. In fact, going off their track record, they'll even try to sue you if you have a job they don't approve of and make a post on your blog saying you like one of their games (though I seem to remember they did apologise to the young lady in that particular case after it sparked an outcry).

    Ok, they've probably got a way to go until they beat the Sony CD-rootkit fiasco (which didn't actually stem from Sony's gaming division anyway). But in pretty much every other respect, it's hard to say that they're any better than Sony - and I'd personally say that they're more anti-consumer than MS's gaming division (who don't seem particularly evil these days, even if they do occasionally do "inept" or "stupid" over something like Games for Windows Live).

    I suspect Nintendo get a free pass from many due to a combination of nostalgia and the fact that they were the industry's underdog for two console cycles. One could perhaps draw parallels with Apple, if one really, really wanted to burn karma. It's not always correct to assume that the underdogs are any more ethical than the.. erm... overdogs. Reflexively and uncritically back the underdogs in every case and you may find yourself in a very uncomfortable position when they actually break through (feel free to insert Egypt/Libya comments here as appropriate to your own political persuasion).

    • On the region lock thing, they actually made the 3DS region locked. That console is officially useless unless you live in the US or Japan.
      Good for the FSF, Nintendo needs a reprimand in form of low sales or high piracy rates, they need to be returned to reality. With a bang.

    • Don't forget their never ending battle against the First-sale doctrine.

      Glad I'm not the only one who grew up to find their favorite games company is most consumer hostile corporation in gaming.

      • by RogueyWon (735973) *

        Hey, I was more of a PC gamer and Sega person myself (though I confess that there were some SNES games that turned me green with envy, like Super Mario World).

        And it's not as if Sega went on to do anything evil. Well, not unless you want to count pretty much every Sonic game published between Sonic 3 and Sonic Colours (excluding those two titles). I've seen... pictures... of cutscenes... that I would pay a lot of money to be able to forget. Actually, yes, that counts as some of the vilest evil in the histor

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Honestly, if compared amongst the console makers, Apple's the most dev-friendly. You think the App Store process is bad? Try going through cert with Microsoft/Nintendo/Sony.

      Hell, try being a dev for Microsoft/Nintendo/Sony. No garage development at all there - NDAs up the wazoo and secure offices separate from the residence of any employee.

      Hell, developing for Apple is cheap and painless by comparison (cost of mac + cost of iOS device + $100/year). No need for offices, expensive devkits ($5000 for a Wii/DS/

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by scot4875 (542869)

        Too bad Apple doesn't make a console then, eh?

        Or, by your logic, Google/Android must be an even better environment, because it's a one-time $25 registration fee with far less hassle than Apple?

        --Jeremy

  • by vadim_t (324782) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @06:59AM (#36163942) Homepage

    Now I'm definitely not doing it.

    I'm actually one of the apparently few people who really likes 3D tech of all kinds, and could have possibly bought it just for that (I don't really play games much anymore). Still I figured it could be fun to play with.

    But this crap sucks all the enjoyment out of it. If I'm not going to have control over what I buy, then I'm not going to buy it at all.

    • Now I'm definitely not doing it.

      I'm actually one of the apparently few people who really likes 3D tech of all kinds, and could have possibly bought it just for that (I don't really play games much anymore). Still I figured it could be fun to play with.

      But this crap sucks all the enjoyment out of it. If I'm not going to have control over what I buy, then I'm not going to buy it at all.

      I take it that you only use Free Software then? According to the EULA You don't own Windows, the XBox, the Playstation, any of their respective games, and add to the list nearly all proprietary software. Next time, before you click "accept", scroll through and see exactly what rights you're giving up. (At work, I recently clicked "accept" and agreed to waive my company's rights to a jury trial, and allow the software developer to choose the arbitrator.)

      Even with the GPL you are giving up some right --

      • by vadim_t (324782)

        I take it that you only use Free Software then? According to the EULA You don't own Windows, the XBox, the Playstation, any of their respective games, and add to the list nearly all proprietary software. Next time, before you click "accept", scroll through and see exactly what rights you're giving up. (At work, I recently clicked "accept" and agreed to waive my company's rights to a jury trial, and allow the software developer to choose the arbitrator.)

        That's entirely correct.

        I use Linux on my laptop, deskt

  • What does Nintendo get from this that the federal government doesn't already have on you (which they may be able to get through a FOIA request)?
    • FOIA requests concern data held by the government - not data held privately (such as the Nintendo 3DS parked under your television). The FOIA is only useful if the government already has your data. Besides, privacy exclusions limit the information that can be disclosed. An FOIA request doesn't grant ownership of the requested data. It's not as if the USPS can request a copy of the song you wrote last week on your 3DS in order to sell it to MCA.

      • The FSF is specifically concerned about users giving their own identifying information to Nintendo through a 3DS. However the government already knows who you are, where you live, who you've worked for, when you were born, etc. Plenty of companies have already shown how easy it is to get that information from the government and do whatever you want with it.

        If, on the other hand, you are creating new data on an internet-connected gaming device, I would suggest you might want to look at new platforms fo
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FatAlb3rt (533682)
      If it's no big deal, damn_registrars, please post your name, address, and telephone number here.
    • by Max Hyre (1974) *
      You have one (faint) advantage with the (U.S.) federal government: they are still somewhat restrained by the Constitution. Nintendo, courtesy of the spineless Congress, has roughly no limitations on what they can do with the info.
      • Sure, but the point I'm after is that the information on the consumer that the FSF is so interested in raising a stink over, Nintendo could just as well get from the federal (or local) government anyays.
  • It is not specific to Nintendo, Sony, or whatever company. The problem is that they can put whatever in the "terms" (which are only shown after the sale) and that for some incomprehensible reason some "law" systems abide extreme corporate fantasies instead of protect from them.
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:28AM (#36164000) Journal
      The extra problem, with modern electronic devices, is that the absurd terms can often be enforced automatically, which makes them hard for anybody without significant technical knowledge to avoid, and hard for anybody without significant legal backing to seek redress for after the fact.

      The practice of printing crazy shit vaguely grounded in a wet dream of copyright law on packaging goes back at least as far as Edison cylinders. However, an Edison cylinder wasn't going to phone home to the mothership and automatically enforce the terms whenever it got within range of an internet connection. If you did something in breach of the shrinkwrap EULA, the burden was on them to find out and sue you. Now, many of the terms can be enforced automatically, and it is on you to demonstrate that you were wronged in some legally actionable way and that the clickwrap is unenforceable.

      In this case, Nintendo appears to be claiming the right to hoover up, and use for any purpose, basically anything stored on the hardware, and to brick the hardware if they don't like its state. Both of these activities would be quite easy to do automatically. It may not be entirely true that "possession is nine tenths the law"; but starting from the position where the opposing party has already done unto you, and you have to fight to keep them from getting away with it is not a pleasant business...
  • by mentil (1748130) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:30AM (#36164004)

    There's little data you can create on a 3DS using built-in software and purchasable games. It's mostly just pictures and StreetPass data. StreetPass data is already broadcast promiscuously to every other 3DS you come near, so it's hardly going to be considered 'private information' by the owner (or shouldn't, if they have any sense).

    Nintendo collecting this information and using it for anything public and that anyone might object to would be foolhardy, as they'd have to navigate privacy laws. Even aside from COPPA etc., minors are legally unable to sign contracts, and that includes clickwrap EULAs. Nintendo would have to obtain written consent from the (potentially minor) players in order to use their pictures or other personal information. Aggregated game statistics are something that noone is likely to object to being publicly disseminated, even if the legal basis for its collection is murky/invalid.

    There is a built-in web browser but I'm skeptical that anyone would do serious web content creation from a 3DS and care that Nintendo could theoretically lay claim to it.

    • by Tetsujin (103070)

      There's little data you can create on a 3DS using built-in software and purchasable games.

      Ever seen Korg DS-10?

      (Personally, I don't believe Nintendo is gonna take people's photos and use 'em in ads or whatever. The clause is probably more to cover their ass, if they happen to feature something in an ad that someone claims they themselves created. Nintendo can point to the clause and say "suck it, bitch!" But regardless of intent I think terms like that are unreasonable...)

  • by Wallslide (544078) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:32AM (#36164020)
    Sure, the person who owns the 3DS might have agreed to the terms, but what if a friend comes along and takes a picture using the device? They haven't agreed to allow Nintendo to use their picture.
    • what if a friend comes along and takes a picture using the device?

      Then Nintendo is allowed to harvest your internal organs. You should better read the license agreement.

    • by dreemernj (859414)
      Would they need to do that? In the US at least, if I take a picture of a random person on the street, the picture is mine. I can sell it to whomever I want without getting the subject's consent. If I don't get their consent and the picture ends up in an ad campaign, I'm sure they could sue for some money, but Nintendo has the lawyers to fight those battles.

      And that's assuming the subject isn't underaged. I'm pretty sure in that case you would need the parent's permission.

      But even then, the person th
  • by atomicbutterfly (1979388) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:33AM (#36164028)

    Virtually all services and products produced which are useful or fun in some way have got dodgy ToS' or EULAs or other disclaimers that screw the user's rights. At this rate if I boycott each and every company who's been or is currently being a dick towards the consumer, there'll be nothing left.

    Not that it's a bad thing for the FSF to make such hostile agreements public of course. But having said that, I doubt the FSF would support buying any modern console given they are all from dodgy companies and/or have dodgy terms/EULAs. So what's left? Certainly not the PC - the prime platform is Steam these days, and I find it hard to believe the FSF could support something like Steam for a multitude of reasons.

    Might as well just not play any games... except for the FLOSS stuff. If that's the case, I'd get a new hobby. The FSF sure makes life fun. Maybe the solution is to realize things are fucked, and just go with it. Better to not be ignorant of the state of the world, and at least get some enjoyment out of it. It's the only reason why I can stand using Steam - don't want to sound like a bitter old bastard later on in life while every else is enjoying themselves. :)

    • by tepples (727027)

      Might as well just not play any games... except for the FLOSS stuff. If that's the case, I'd get a new hobby.

      Or you could donate money or art assets to your favorite FLOSS game.

    • NOT go with it. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @09:53AM (#36165162) Journal

      Maybe the solution is to realize things are fucked, and just go with it.

      No. the real solution is to change the fact that these stupid things are lawful. FSF has a nice example, but the wrong target. They should target the law and politics for making these absurd situations possible. The law should protect you from these situations, not encourage them. Nintendo is only guilty of using the possibilities they were given. Target the people responsible for giving Nintendo these possibilities.

      • I think they should target both. Just because it's legal doesn't mean you have to submit to it.

      • Target the people responsible for giving Nintendo these possibilities.

        Ideally, if everybody voted with their wallets against companies that use these possibilities, there wouldn't be a market for products that incorporate these possibilities. Then these possibilities would become impossibilities because companies would avoid them for fear of having no customers.

        I did not buy a DSi. And without substantial changes in policy, I will not buy a 3DS or whatever Nintendo will call its successor to the Wii.

    • by Ltap (1572175)
      Maybe the FSF supports torrenting commercial games until free alternatives can be released ;)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htTs9CC52cA [youtube.com] She brings up some pretty interesting points. I was thinking about getting one as well but I'm definitely not anymore, not after this. I've also seen a few sites defending Nintendo because it "protects against piracy". When I asked the girl who covered this on her youtube channel she said she thinks it's not about piracy at all, but that Nintendo is using Piracy as an excuse to radically control its users and profit off of them. Interesting points, even if a bit "
  • Wait for the Hacked Cart's to come out that will bypass all this crap.

    Honestly, I dont see all the fuss, I played a 3ds for about 2 hours, the effect is not that impressive and I started to get a headache after a while. I can see 8 year olds whos parents are too busy with their career wanting it, but I cant see anyone else really interested in it.

    Honestly it looks like Nintendo reign as king of videogames is at an end. The last 3 iterations of the DS have been meh, and the WiiWii will not gather any atten

  • All hail the glorious CentiPod!

  • Just a few for starters:

    1. EU data protection: they are taking personal data, probably exporting to Japan. This is illegal
    2. EU data protection: they are giving personal data personal data to 3rd parties. This may be illegal
    3. Many of these things are given to kids who cannot legally agree to their rights being taken away nor their data being abused
    4. What is a kid takes a nude pic of themselves or a friend and Nintendo grabs a copy ? Nintendo become traffickers in child porn.

    I don't have one of these things (and have

  • Everyone buy a 3DS and take pictures of your Bowel Movements.. Should make for an interesting ad campaign for Nintendo.

    Its an extension of my TweetPoop campaign to Tweet the Conservastive Party of Canada everyone I sit on the can.
  • by Marrow (195242) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @10:48AM (#36165918)

    If you purchase a device second hand then you have not agreed to anything. Does their terms of service deny you the right to sell the device? Does their terms of service require you to inform the purchaser of any agreements?
    And if those are not the case, an they take your data and use it, then THEY have broken the law. Right?

    • by TraxPlayer (63993)

      Or if you buy it in a country with good laws eg. Denmark. Here companies can't force anything if the customer wasn't presented with the terms before buying the products. Terms included inside a box isn't legal including M$ EULA.

  • Ironically, just yesterday I just gave my 10 yr old son a 3DS for his birthday, he's been wanting one for months.
    As I was helping him set it up, I came across the Terms button, and almost clicked it to check; but then I realized that the reality was, there was no way I was going to tell this excited happy child, after his drooling for this thing the past 3 months, that his main birthday present, already in his hands, was suddenly going back to the store, -tough luck kid. I figured there'd be some of th

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