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New Wave Of Nintendo Anti-Piracy Complaints Helps Microsoft Too

While most if not all gaming companies have piracy issues to contend with, Nintendo is among the most aggressive when it comes to protecting its intellectual property rights.

The company has a multi-pronged strategy that tackles the issue from almost every conceivable direction. When sites create archives of gaming ROMs available for download, Nintendo is happy to sue their operators and when entities are more difficult to pursue with direct legal action, it has taken to the courts to have ISPs block piracy-facilitating platforms.

While it has many adversaries on the piracy front, the infamous Team-Xecutor is perhaps the company’s arch-nemesis. With its development of hardware and software solutions to skirt Nintendos technical protection measures, such as those available for the Switch platform, Team-Xecutor is now one of Nintendo’s priorities.

Last November we reported that Nintendo had begun targeting Google with relatively rare DMCA anti-circumvention notices, which detailed URLs where Team-Xecutor and similar piracy-enabling products could be found.

Since these notices aren’t easily countered, Google removed many listings from its indexes, meaning that anyone searching for Team-Xecutor’s SX OS and SX Pro products would find related pages more difficult to find. It now transpires that on this front, Nintendo is keeping up the pressure, firing off more and more complaints to Google in an effort to reduce the popularity of these products.

In early December, following our last update, Nintendo sent a notice to Google targeting 91 pages on Team-Xecutor.com.

“The URLs listed below promote, and direct visitors to resellers of, circumvention software and devices called the SX OS and SX Pro,” the notice reads.

“The SX OS and SX Pro is designed to bypass technological protection measures in the Nintendo Switch video game system and allows users to play unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video game files that are offered unlawfully via the Internet.”

While that was certainly the case for many of the listed URLs, rival gaming companies also benefited from the notice. Intentionally or otherwise, Nintendo also requested the delisting of pages relating to modification devices for Microsoft’s XBox 360, including the Xecutor Sonos 360 sound module, for example.

Another, a couple of days later, listed another 65 URLs, again targeting a mixture of Nintendo and Xbox-related products.

While Team-Xecutor and sellers of the R4 range of backup cartridges are the main targets, these devices are distributed through networks of resellers, all of which Nintendo wants to render harder to find. Many notices in December also addressed this issue, targeting a range of sites selling Team-Xecutor and similar products.

After a six week hiatus, this month Nintendo began sending notices again, largely following the same format as before by deleting specific pages on a range of sites from Google’s search results. While this is a nuisance for the targeted platforms, three in particular appeared to have made the mistake of offering circumvention devices on their homepages.

As a result, sxswitch.com, mod-switch.com, and gogioco.com have all had their homepages deleted from search results. Team-Xecutor.com received the same treatment back in September 2019.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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BPI Joins RIAA’s Takedown Battle Against YouTube Downloaders

Late last year the RIAA started targeting YouTube ripping sites by sending relatively rare takedown requests to Google.

Instead of the usual DMCA copyright notices, the music group asked the search engine to remove various URLs for alleged violations of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision.

The sites in question circumvent YouTube’s rolling cipher, which is a technical protection measure that protects audio and video from being copied without permission, the RIAA argued. As such, they should be removed from Google’s search results.

Over the past months, the RIAA has ramped up its efforts, hoping to make it harder for users to find these sites. However, the YouTube rippers themselves weren’t sitting still either. They actively countered the RIAA’s notices by continuously using new URL structures.

We highlighted this development in an article late last month, describing it as a game of whack-a-mole. While the RIAA was the only player on its side, it has now found an ally in its British counterpart, the BPI.

A few days after our whack-a-mole article was published the BPI started sending similar DMCA anti-circumvention notices, targeting the same YouTube downloader the RIAA is after.

Over the past several days, the UK group has sent over a dozen notices. The requests target over a hundred URLs from Mpgun.com, which allegedly circumvents YouTube’s copyright protections.

“To our knowledge, the URLs indicated provide access to a service (and/or software) that circumvents YouTube’s rolling cipher, a technical protection measure, that protects our members’ works on YouTube from unauthorised copying/downloading,” the BPI writes.

This is the same ‘rolling cipher’ the RIAA references, which is another indication that both groups work in tandem.

In fact, the entire statement above is copied verbatim from the RIAA. The BPI only changed the American ‘authorized’ to the British ‘authorised’ and corrected the RIAA’s copyrighted ‘woks’ to ‘works.’

This is the first time the BPI has sent multiple requests of this kind. When looking through the archive we did spot an older notice from October, but that was phrased differently (no cipher mention) and targeted only a single URL.

Whether the extra manpower will lead to any results has yet to be seen. With or without the BPI’s involvement, Mpgun continues to evade and bypass the takedown requests. For now, Google searches for terms such as “YouTube to MP3” and “YouTube downloader” still yield plenty of results, including Mpgun.

In fact, when searching for “MP3 and MP4 YouTube converter,” Mpgun comes up as the first result.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.