Nintendo sues Switch mod chip seller and Reddit moderator over Switch piracy

Nintendo has sued a Switch mod seller and the moderator of a popular Switch piracy site Reddit.

The company has filed complaints against Ryan Daly, who runs a shop called Modded Hardware, and r/SwitchPirates moderator Archbox, whose real name is James Williams, TorrentFreak reports.

The lawsuit filed against Modded Hardware alleges that Nintendo contacted Daly in March and threatened to sue him unless he stopped selling modded Switch consoles and MIG Switches (which enable pirated Switch games to be played on non-modded hardware).

According to Nintendo’s complaint, Daly agreed in March to stop selling unauthorized devices, but continued to do so, claiming he was looking for a new lawyer.

Accordingly, Nintendo filed a complaint in federal court in Seattle, accusing Daly of six counts, including “trafficking circumvention devices” and copyright infringement.

The lawsuit alleges that Daly not only sold mods to customers, but also offered a mail service that allowed gamers to ship their Switch consoles and return them modified, often with pirated games installed.

“Not only does the defendant provide the hardware and firmware to create and play pirated games, but it also provides its customers with copies of pirated Nintendo games,” the platform operator’s complaint states.

“Typically, when a customer purchases a hacked console or circumvention services, the defendant pre-installs a ready-to-play portfolio of pirated games on the console, including some of Nintendo’s most popular titles such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and the Metroid Games.”

Nintendo is seeking financial damages from Daly, as well as the complete shutdown of its website. It also wants him to “surrender to NOA all circumvention devices, hacked consoles, and any other physical or digital copies of materials that infringe or violate any of NOA’s rights.”

Nintendo sues Switch mod chip seller and Reddit moderator over Switch piracy
Nintendo alleges that Daly was selling customers modified Switch consoles with a selection of pirated games installed.

The second lawsuit was filed against Arizona resident James Williams, whom Nintendo alleges is “the operator, supervisor and driving force behind several Pirate Shops through which the defendant has offered massive libraries of pirated Nintendo Switch games.”

Williams was also a moderator on the SwitchPirates Reddit group, where he used the name Archbox and helped users with questions about modding their Switch consoles.

“Defendant became a primary (if not primary) moderator of the SwitchPirates Reddit community, which he helped grow to nearly 190,000 members,” Nintendo’s complaint states.

“Since 2019, the defendant has posted thousands of comments and messages on the SwitchPirates Reddit Group. Defendant’s postings have included, for example, messages directing users to Pirate Stores […] and providing technical advice and encouragement to other users on how to use Pirate Shops, how to download and install Circumvention Software, and how to play pirated copies of Nintendo Switch games.”

The complaint alleges Williams was involved in three ‘pirate shops’ that have since been closed, and claims a fourth is still active.

It also provides quotes of Williams stating on Reddit that he refuses to pay Nintendo money for its products.

“Defendant is aware that his conduct is illegal and infringes Nintendo’s intellectual property rights,” it says. “Indeed, the defendant has publicly boasted that he is a ‘pirate’ who ‘[isn’t] will give Nintendo $50 for a game.”

Nintendo is seeking financial damages from Williams, as well as a request that he shut down any remaining ‘pirate stores’ and all social media accounts associated with them.