Dolphin Emulator Steam Release Delayed Indefinitely After Nintendo DMCA Notice

Dolphin Emulator Steam Release Delayed Indefinitely After Nintendo DMCA Notice

Valve, the popular digital distribution platform, has taken down the Dolphin emulator from its Steam storefront after receiving a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice from Nintendo. The developers of Dolphin had previously announced plans to bring the open-source emulator, capable of running GameCube and Wii titles, to Steam later this year. However, a legal notice obtained by PC Gamer reveals that Nintendo’s legal team requested the removal of Dolphin, citing infringement on the company’s intellectual property rights.

The notice, dated May 26th, states, “Because the Dolphin emulator violates Nintendo’s intellectual property rights, including but not limited to its rights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)’s Anti-Circumvention and Anti-Trafficking provisions, 17 U.S.C. § 1201, we provide this notice to you of your obligation to remove the offering of the Dolphin emulator from the Steam store.”

The Dolphin team now faces two options in response to the takedown notice. They can file a counter-claim with Valve, arguing that the emulator does not violate the DMCA as claimed by Nintendo. Alternatively, they can choose to comply with the takedown notice. If a counter-claim is filed, Nintendo would have two weeks to decide whether to pursue legal action. It remains unclear if Nintendo intends to proceed with a lawsuit against Dolphin. However, the implications of such a case could be significant for the broader emulator community. The Dolphin team is currently evaluating their next steps in light of these developments.

In a statement released on Friday, the Dolphin Emulation Project expressed disappointment over the situation. “It is with much disappointment that we have to announce that the Dolphin on Steam release has been indefinitely postponed,” the statement reads. “We were notified by Valve that Nintendo has issued a cease and desist citing the DMCA against Dolphin’s Steam page, and have removed Dolphin from Steam until the matter is settled. We are currently investigating our options and will have a more in-depth response in the near future.”

While the Dolphin emulator has been delisted from Steam, it is still available for download from the project’s website and GitHub page at the time of this article. The Dolphin team clarified that they did not receive a direct takedown notice from Nintendo.

The removal of Dolphin from Steam underscores the ongoing complexities surrounding intellectual property rights and emulation software. The outcome of this situation will undoubtedly be closely watched by the gaming community, as it may have far-reaching implications for the future of emulators and their compatibility with copyrighted material. Both supporters and critics of emulation will be following the developments closely as the Dolphin team navigates this legal challenge.