Nintendo uses copyright claims to take down Game & Watch hacking videos

While two videos have been taken down, this stacksmashing video on loading Doom onto the Game & Watch unit remains up.

Nintendo is using copyright strikes to take down YouTube videos that detail how to hack the recently released Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. color handheld.

A hacker going by the handle stacksmashing managed to hack the portable unit a day before its official November 13 release, thanks to an early retail delivery. But a YouTube video detailing that hacking method, originally posted on November 14, was taken down by a targeted copyright claim from Nintendo earlier this week. Another stacksmashing video, entitled “Bringing homebrew to the Nintendo Game & Watch,” has also been taken down by an apparent copyright claim.

Two other stacksmashing videos on Game & Watch hacking remain up as of press time: one detailing how to load a Doom port onto the unit, and one discussing how to dump the firmware. Neither of these extant videos features footage of Nintendo’s own games shown running on the Game & Watch; such footage is specifically blurred out in one of the videos, in fact.

Nintendo doesn’t seem to be automatically targeting all Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. gameplay footage on YouTube; you can still find plenty of videos reviewing the unit while featuring copyrighted footage, for instance. But Nintendo’s copyright on the games themselves gives the company incredibly broad discretion on which “performances” of those games to allow or block through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Unlike the NES and SNES Classic Edition consoles, which were relatively simple to hack via a direct USB cable connection, the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. unit features a locked CPU, AES-encrypted flash memory, and no data connection through the USB-C charger. Hacking the Game & Watch thus currently requires cracking open the system and using custom hardware to dump custom firmware and homebrew software back and forth.

Stacksmashing tells Gizmodo that they’re editing the videos in question and will file disputes in an attempt to get them back on the service. Nintendo has not responded to a request for comment from Ars Technica.

Listing image by Stacksmashing / YouTube




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