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Nintendo Portables (Games) Security Games Your Rights Online

The FSF's Campaign Against the Nintendo 3DS 187

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @06:48AM (#36163896)

    "By accepting this Agreement or using a Nintendo 3DS System or the Nintendo 3DS Service, you also grant to Nintendo a worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display your User Content in whole or in part and to incorporate your User Content in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, including for promotional or marketing purposes. (Chapter 1, Nintendo 3DS End User License Agreement)"

  • by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @06:55AM (#36163926)

    Not legal in many jurisdictions, and not enforceable. Check into your local laws, but most countries are sane about that kind of thing: specifically you cannot preemptively sign away your copyright on things you haven't even created yet.

    That said, I wouldn't buy the handheld anyway. My cell phone is good enough for casual gaming on the bus, and I have better things to do with my time than sit around playing video games... if I'm not at home, I'm either travelling or doing something. If I am at home, and the mood to play a video game strikes me, I have much better systems available to me than a handheld.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:38AM (#36164052)

    specifically you cannot preemptively sign away your copyright on things you haven't even created yet.

    Nonsense. That's the basis of most employment contracts, recording contracts, publishing contracts etc.

    I, for example, work for "insert massive international technology conglomerate" and they own the rights to ALL work I do during the time oft he contract including work I _MAY_ do in the future. That was the terms of my employment contract - and they can in fact do _anything_ they see fit with _anything_ I do during the instigation and termination of the agreement (it is a matter of debate whether this includes work I do during company hours or my own projects at home.

    So, I'm fairly certain they can write that into a contract and make it enforceable... The problem is that this is a "license" not a contract which brings up the thorny issue of enforcement.

    You would be on good, or at least interesting, legal grounds by saying that you did not agree to the terms provided. The "contract" provided by Nintendo, at least in UK terms, could be seen as abusive as it can not be terminated (unlike my employment contract). I find it unlikely that the clause "or using a Nintendo 3DS System" would be valid in that it means that you are bound by action (not contract) to an agreement not provided with the device you are using - that is to say you would have no idea that you had agreed to the license or even know what the license terms are just by playing Metroid... kinda stupid. Well, those are just random thoughts - I'm not sure anything like this has actually shown up in court so the number of possible ways to defend yourself and the the "provider" to defend themselves is currently a bit of an unknown.

    At least the agreement is non-exclusive!

    I have no idea why Nintendo have produced such a draconian license for, what is essentially, a toy.

    I'm not an lawyer but I have to work with dozens and dozens of damn software licenses and contracts every day - it's tiresome.

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:44AM (#36164080) Journal

    The 3DS is region locked. First handheld ever to be so. Every Nintendo home console since the year dot has been region locked. Sony ditched region locking for games on the PSP and PS3. The 360 has region locking, but while it used to be mandatory for certification, MS leave it up to the publishers these days and most of them don't use it. Earlier handhelds such as the Gameboy, GBA and DS were probably not region locked because it was simply too much hassle to put the extra gumpf needed for it into the handhelds at the time while keeping size etc down. And not only does Nintendo region lock, but they also have a paternalist, authoritarian approach to which games can come out in which regions - witness The Last Story getting locked as Japanese-only, despite the success of previous Mistwalker games in the west.

    I have no particular brief for MS. I own 360, a PS3 and a Wii (as well as a PSP, a 3DS and a high-end gaming PC). I like my 360 - and I like my PS3. Admittedly, Sony are in my bad books at the moment because I've just had to change my credit card thanks to them (which does tend to grate a bit). I don't tend to beat-up on them in the long term, though, because there are always plenty of others to do that. While at the same time, Nintendo do a lot of other things that are really, really bad (and if you are in Europe, then region locking is really, really bad) and generally seem to get away unscathed - indeed, with a little halo.

    I've also got no idea why on earth you think that I just want games full of space marines. A quick glance at my posting history will show that games I've written nice things about lately include Valkyria Chronicles and Ar Tonelico Qoga, both of which have a distinctly non-space-marine aesthetic. In fact, Halo bores me rigid (though I do have a soft spot for Gears of War, largely because it's just so ridiculously over the top).

    The absence of a browser in the 360 is an oddity, I'll admit. I've never really understood why they never put one in, given that the Wii and PS3 both have them (though the Wii's is borderline unusable and the PS3's is only marginally better). But to be honest, a browser is pretty low on the list of things that most people want from their consoles. Decent online multiplayer functionality tends to rank a bit higher on the list - and has yet to appear on any Nintendo console.

    Just saying.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @08:45AM (#36164424)

    What nonsense? The GP is correct in that in most sane countries the company you work for can't do that. In mine they're not even allowed to try.

    (Welcome to Sweden, btw)

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @10:16AM (#36165438) Homepage

    Where's my Gnu Call software to replace Skype now that there's a massive impetus to move away from MS-owned Skype? []

    GNU Telephony is a project to enable anyone to use free as in freedom software for telephony, and with the freedom to do so on any platform they choose to use. We also wish to make it easy to use the Internet for real-time voice and video communication, and in fact for all forms of real-time collaboration. Finally we wish to make it possible to communicate securely and in complete privacy by applying distributed cryptographic solutions. Our goal is to enable secure and private real-time communication worldwide over the Internet that is free as in freedom, and is also free as in no cost too!

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger