Nintendo: “All Your Save Data Are Belong To Us”


Nintendo is claiming people who exchange save data are infringing its copyright.

Nintendo is concerned about sales of Pokémon save data (in copied, original or modified form) on auction sites, and its Pokémon subsidiary clearly wants what it regards as infringing auctions to be pulled:

“Even by just copying save data using whatever method, and selling it, they’re criminally infringing our copyright.”

Whether a publisher can claim copyright over player saves is legally untested ground, and it is not clear whether Yahoo! Auctions (Japan’s major online auction venue) is willing to go along and ban such auctions.

Japan has recently been tightening its copyright regime to unheard of levels – downloading is banned, “ripping” or format shifting is about to be banned, and police have run amok arresting people for such wicked offences game lending.

Strangely, the profits of major publishers continue to shrink…

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    Avatar of Shaolan-kun
    Comment by Shaolan-kun
    02:49 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I don't know who's more retard: people spending money to buy savegames, or publishers claiming copyright over those bits...

    In the next future we won't be allowed to play games anymore - just buy them and stare at those sealed cases.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:21 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Who the hell is insane enough to PAY for Pokemon save states when there's the "PokeSav" editor available to edit your own?


    Comment by Anonymous
    09:06 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    Comment by Anonymous
    04:09 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nope. You just won't own the save files or have direct access to them anymore.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Selling savefiles for money has never been allowed, ever, by any company.

    Avatar of Lune Ciel
    Comment by Lune Ciel
    05:16 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    But it's not like anyone ever really cared about it anyway.

    Avatar of ItsDemo
    Comment by ItsDemo
    12:01 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    All your saves are belong to Nintendo

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    11:50 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Kiss

    lets see here. i have 1 pokemon game, i want pokemon from other game, trading and shit in game is a hassle (it was on blue and red, don't know about current gen though) and i dont want to but a second version of a game i already have.

    if a save containing all the pokemon is cheaper than buying the game twice, i see no problem.

    but how do you do this? is it with ligit games, can saves be accessed by means other than a r4 or the likes? if not i see this becoming an issue.

    now with gold in wow, and selling accounts. i see no problem at all. is it game breaking? to some people im sure they think so. is it a noob thing to do, again, some think so. but take me and a friend for example with everquest. we played between the two if us 5 accounts, 3 on him 2 on me, and we wanted another character, now we were end game group, the only way a character could play with us would be up to 2 months of power leveling it alone (2 weeks to max its level, and 2 months to get it enough aa that its usable in group, not counting the time to equip it). so it was make a character or buy one and get it in a week, regardless of the server its on.

    people who suck buy an uber character, have no fucking clue how to play it, and get ignored by everyone who matters, its a system of checks and balances

    Avatar of The Kiss
    Comment by The Kiss
    05:23 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You mean like how Blizzard never cared about people selling gold for cash in WoW?

    I know they're different scenarios, but the principle applies: it's pretty much cheating the system.

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    06:56 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Blizzard does care, a lot. But they can't catch everyone.

    Comment by Anonymous

    And as it's written~ shrinking & shrinking.. away~~~~~
    nintentar~DODO believes their 3DDS will inject fresh yennies into their coffers soon, so all is good... for the nxt 2~3 years at least!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:30 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    stupid companies seems there is a market for this, they should just sell the game saves themselves.

    Avatar of Kuro'Base'Neko
    Comment by Kuro'Base'Neko
    06:41 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    a "crack" can do this job :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:54 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Whether or not it's "allowed" by the company is IRRELEVANT." In reality it's all about the precedent. The companies are trying to get by through just intimidation alone. I want to see when this goes to court then (assuming the defendant can get a GOOD defender) we will see who is in the right.

    Avatar of gundam4ever2
    Comment by gundam4ever2
    02:42 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Alienating and angering the buyer of your products. Sounds like a good idea to me.

    Avatar of alex251
    Comment by alex251
    02:44 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    they already showed us many times that Japanese companies understand shit about their customers

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:09 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I laughed when Square Enix sent a C&D note to people modding their SNES games.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    02:51 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh what a disaster =3= ♪

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:51 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No, they understand. It's a standoff, just like every other entertainment industry...

    Comment by Anonymous

    let me ask you this:

    you're in a pokemon tourney and have lovingly trained your own pokemon by yourself

    then you get beaten by someone who has the audacity to brag that he bought the pokemon he beat you with from an auction

    how do you feel?

    who do you think is 'in the right' in this instance?

    Avatar of Sithreis
    Comment by Sithreis
    03:54 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    04:02 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    You are in a pokemon tournament.

    You either fail HARD or you chose your pokemon out of a tiny pool of actually competitive pokemon and spend weeks training them in the most ridiculous way possible.

    If you did the second thing you should be able to beat someone who just bought them with your own skills.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:57 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    that's life. you can work hard to get a scholarship for college or you can be born rich and buy your way in, which one is 'right'?

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:33 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    If I'm in a Pokemon tournament, then I think it's time to have a good existential monologue about my value as a person.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:25 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "let me ask you this:

    you're in a pokemon tourney and has the audacity to brag that you bought the pokemon your supposed beat him with from an auction

    then you get beaten by someone who has the audacity to lovingly train his own pokemon by himself

    how do you feel?

    where do you think my money went in this instance? "

    there fix'd

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:00 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Let me point and laugh.
     HA HA

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:46 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or you just use a save gen modifier to create legal pokemon and skip the hassle of IVs and EVs.

    Avatar of baboynokma
    Comment by baboynokma
    05:18 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Yeah it sounds absurd for nintendo to say that the consumers don't have the right to share their saves, hard earned or not.

    But this guy feels that he's kind of cheated with the tourney thing. Maybe nintendo wants to protect the pokemon tournament players/fans, they just want it to be clean, fair and square, so no one would feel cheated on the tournies again, although their method is kind of silly.

    Avatar of Lune Ciel
    Comment by Lune Ciel
    02:47 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    I can see why they're doing that. Pokémon has a worldwide trade system which relies on you not being able to clone your pokémons. Additionally, this kills most of the purpose of pokémon tournaments and other contests.

    However, I don't see why this should matter to Nintendo as a company. It's not like the save files reduce their profit or anything.

    Avatar of Benoist
    Comment by Benoist
    04:14 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Simple : they probably intend to include unlocks for paid contents in saves or did foresee a possible loophole in this oh-so-uncrackable system.

    Were it for just game experience's sake (often used as lame excuse for providing low grade hardware), it sound totally contradictory with the "push any key to win"-politics they were about earlier

    Avatar of mix
    Comment by mix
    07:35 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    there are some special content that can only be unlocked by going to some promotional events... i guess it kind of qualify as paid items...

    Avatar of Lune Ciel
    Comment by Lune Ciel
    05:23 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't see it happening. There's no paid content in any pokémon games up to Black/White and the save files for 3DS games are likely to be incompatible with regular DS ones.

    Avatar of Mizushima 水島
    Comment by Mizushima 水島
    03:05 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    2 words action replay so i dont have to get another ds and buy another game. i just need one game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:56 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    funny you should say that, in reality using hex code a magikarp can be a Mewtwo using the Hex decimal system as 150- primary key for Mewtwo in gold and silver, a pokemon can be used to make another type of pokemon

    take Sneasel+beat up = Celebi cause beat up has a value of 251.

    action replay well... i have no clue who that makes problems.

    but they are probably saying 'our hex decimal system is ours'

    Avatar of toshironikko
    Comment by toshironikko
    03:34 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Mizushima 水島 aggree with you there - i dont have anybody around here that plays pokemon or even a DS really - the only way to get any title exclusive pokemon would be to buy another DS and that version of the game - which would increase Nintendo's Sales now wouldnt it >_>

    Comment by Anonymous

    I think it's a matter of principle. I believe a lot of readers here will misread what is between the lines here.

    We are at an age where a source code (what the copyright holder has rights on) is modified without the cp holder's permission. This process itself is usually ignored by Nintendo or any other company for that matter. It is when the illegally modified code has been taken, modified, and SOLD without the permission of the cp holder.

    That is the law which is being challenged. I thought this was a bias news piece but then it fell victim to subjective writing where Artefact implied relevance to 'offences in game lending' which, we all know is utterly silly.

    Nonetheless, it's an interesting blog post.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:22 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    game saves are not source code just like .psd files are not the source code of Photoshop.

    Learn what source code is before using the phrase source code.
    Learn what game saves are before claming they are source code.

    Copyright fag.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:56 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    You keep using that word "source code"...

    I don't think that word means what you think it means...

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:04 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I don't know what you think "source code" means, but as a comp sci undergraduate, I can assure you you are wrong about it.

    Avatar of geowrian
    Comment by geowrian
    15:56 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @ Anon 8:59
    You make a good argument, but by that logic almost any file that was not created using open software or via a direct text editor or hex editor could qualify. Can Microsoft say any office documents are their copyright? Modifying a Word document outside of Word could be copyright infringement? Those are the type of issues you run into when you claim the generated content is assumed to be the content producer's work. User-generated content is very different than content they generated for their own purposes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:59 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    as a game dev, source code is almost right, it is better to say "content generated by computer code" or "automatically generated content."
    additionally Nintendo owns both the source code and the content generated thereof, some examples of this are the patents and copywrites pertaning to creation of 3d-matrixis and other things, whereas the code (source) and the content generated (particular mathmatical constructs) are owned by nintendo, this is done by being able to say "there are N possible outcomes of this code, that we own, they are BLAH, and BLAH, and the only way to come up with these constructs are to use our code, or some derivation thereof: therefor under the patenting and copyrighting systems supplied we own the code and the creations thereof."

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:22 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Just waiting for the equivalent for the new generation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:04 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The content is generated in response to my input. That makes it as automatically generated as the text I just wrote.

    Also, for someone who claims to be a programmer, you make an awful lot of syntax errors. I sure wouldn't want to see your code.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:00 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    my brain just explode

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:39 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, I won't say the savd file is modified source code.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:02 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    It's actually common sense that selling parts of other peoples products is going against their copyrights and are illegal.

    One thing is just sharing your save file. Another thing is actually craving money for it. Two very different things. So different it's like comparing Mars to a potato saying they are the same thing.

    Profiting on other peoples work without their conscent is illegal.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:44 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Bullshit. The save files are purely user generated content. If anything, the data could be looked as creative work and property of the people who create it.

    Using a tool doesn't give any rights to the owner of that tool over content created with it. Otherwise, Adobe would make a real fortune out of selling every picture that was ever edited in Photoshop.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I believe all this would depend on the EULA or equivalent - a software maker can claim copyright to everything you make with their software if you agree to it (clearly there would be no market for most apps if they did this), just as a website can claim the copyright to everything you post there, or an employer or label can have you sign a contract stipulating everything you create for the contract's duration belongs to them.

    It is not clear that Nintendo has such a EULA, however, nor whether it would be readily enforcible.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:48 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    um in order to sell something made with photoshop, you need to have a license with photoshop to sell created photos, this is usually in the standard license, but nintendo has no such licenses, so it stands to reason that you cannot sell user generated content from nintendo made hardware. IE why your not allowed to make and sell games for a homebrew wii without a license.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:50 11/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well that must surprise the heck out of musicians using an electronic keyboard. It appears that all the data was just them pushing random buttons and thus not theirs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:02 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wish people would finally learn...

    I remember how everyone raged when the figure modders were arrested.
    Everyone was like "unjust arrest!", "creativity forbidden in Japan!" while it was a clear case of copyright infringement.

    Now, if they kept the modded figure for themselves and only showed photos online, that would be fine.
    If they created it from scratch, that would be fine, too. They could even sell it if they wanted to.
    If they sent it to someone, winner of a lotto perhaps, for free, that would also be perfectly fine.

    In this case, everything would be fine and dandy if their savestates were distibuted for free and didn't have any of the initially locked DLC content unlocked through hacking.
    Nintendo had the right to take action, as minor of a thing as this matter is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:44 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That is correct but the original article makes no mention of such licensing issues. Furthermore, "ALL YOUR DATA ARE BELONG TO US" type of agreements are pretty rare as far as video game licenses go, which is why I assumed there aren't.

    No, the save file contains the STATE of the game, not content from the game. The game save is a certain set of data that, when read by the software can properly place the game in a given state. You know just like a Photoshop document.
    I could create any save files I want with a simple hex editor if I knew the data format specs. How is that Nintendo's copyright?
    It's been legally tested and proven that creating

    No, you don't. The Photoshop license entitles you to use the software. Even if I were to pirate it, Adobe can only sue me for copyright violation of their software, not my pictures. Go read the damn thing.
    On another note, it's perfectly legal to create and sell homebrew games. However, there is no much market incentive to make commercial games for consoles hacked to run unsigned code as you may imagine. What is not legal is to use software such as development tools or software libraries that belong to the copyright owners and you are not authorized to use. See the reasoning behind OpenXDK for a little insight on the issue.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:54 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Uh, no. Every photo you "make" or "edit" in photoshop is created by photoshop. Just as you press a "button" to save the game data, you press a "button" to save your image (with 100 photoshop filters applied).

    Avatar of Alexeon
    Comment by Alexeon
    07:49 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    In a savefile you have to arrange things just so to get the proper output when you hit the save button. Id say thats pretty much what a picture on photoshop is, too. If one is creative content then why isnt the other one too? Besides, its not like you can play Pokemon by just possessing the save file so there really isnt a valid reason to say its copyright infringement.

    Another example is Visual Studio. You just press buttons (the keyboard) and hit compile and then you get a program out of it. That program is your own creation and Microsoft cant claim any of it even if you used Visual Studio to compile it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:12 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Didn't even imagine someone (other than corporate dogs) could think save data(USER GENERATED CONTENT) are not property of the user.

    Anon 03:02 you are either a corporate fag or a troll.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Uh no. Savefiles are not something you make. And everything the save file contains is data from the game using everything solely from the game.

    In photoshop you make your own things with tools. With savefiles you hit a button for the program to save data from the game, creating purely copy-righted content all containing only things made by the creators of the game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:37 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree, sharing is fully legal (to some degree...), selling is not.

    Avatar of Dreck
    Comment by Dreck
    02:49 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    And I'm not exactly sure where one can defend someone putting up game saves (of all things...) up for sale...?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:16 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I truly miss the 90's...Video Game companies where so much nicer back then and don't give a sh*t about things like these...

    Now...Now suing and copyright infringement is all the bloody rage...

    The consumers are the life-blood of a video game company, and if you spill them about with your sharp accusations of being criminals with such trivial things as game lending and save data selling...

    Then...Good luck getting a transfusion...

    -Azure Xuchilbara
    (account suspended)

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:52 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    While it is ridiculous that C&D notes and lawsuits are all over the place, don't you find it stupid that they were selling the savestates?

    Would you really like to pay for something you could probably find online, achieve it yourself through savestate hacking/action replay/whatever else, or just EARNESTLY earn it in game by spending some time on it?

    Does it really not bother you that they're asking you to pay them for a few kbs of data?

    I, for one, am glad nintendo took action. I mean, how greedy can you get to have people pay you for whatever the fuck you achieved.
    Besides, it'd be damn easy to scam people like that. You could just sell a regular start game save data saying it's 100% completion one.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:02 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    What´s more stupid, people selling saves or Nintendo taking an action to stop it?
    Hard to say, hard to say...

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:01 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is nothing new. Nintendo has always had this sort of aditude towards those it veiws as violating its intelectual properties.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:13 17/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    16:46 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know, they wouldn't alienate and anger them if they distributed the savestates for FREE.

    06:12 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's time to appoint a new CEO the old one has officially came down with dementia.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:32 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pokemon is serious business!! both legally and illegally...

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