Switch emulator Suyu hit by GitLab DMCA, project lives on through self-hosting

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Is a name like "Suyu" ironic enough to avoid facing a lawsuit?
Enlarge / Is a name like “Suyu” ironic enough to avoid facing a lawsuit?

Suyu


Switch emulator Suyu—a fork of the Nintendo-targeted and now-defunct emulation project Yuzu—has been taken down from GitLab following a DMCA request Thursday. But the emulation project’s open source files remain available on a self-hosted git repo on the Suyu website, and recent compiled binaries remain available on an extant GitLab repo.

A GitLab spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the project was taken down after the site received notice “from a representative of the rightsholder.” GitLab has not specified who made the request or how they represented themselves; a representative for Nintendo was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment.

An email to Suyu contributors being shared on the project’s Discord server includes the following cited justification in the DMCA request:

Suyu is based off of Yuzu code, which violates Section 1201 of the DMCA. Suyu, like yuzu, is primarily designed to circumvent Nintendo’s technical protection measures, namely Suyu unlawfully uses unauthorized copies of cryptographic keys to decrypt unauthorized copies of Nintendo Switch games, or ROMs, at or immediately before runtime without Nintendo’s authorization. Therefore, the distribution of Suyu also constitutes unlawful trafficking of a circumvention technology.

A Suyu Discord moderator going by the handle Princess Twilight Sparkle shared a message Thursday evening citing the project’s “legal team” in reporting that Suyu will have to use the self-hosted Git repo “in the foreseeable future. Getting our GitLab back most likely needs us to go through a lawsuit, which is going to be very difficult… Thanks for your understanding.”

Troy, listed as a “Core Suyu Developer” in the Discord server, wrote Thursday afternoon that the DMCA request came from an “unknown source” and that there is “no way to confirm” if Nintendo was involved. “There is also a possibility that the person who sent this DMCA is a copyright troll, like on YouTube, based on the wording of the DMCA reason that was sent to GitLab,” Troy wrote.

Suyu Discord moderator and contributor Sharpie told Ars Technica that “we don’t have any more information than you at this time.”

Earlier this month, Sharpie outlined to Ars many steps the project’s developers were taking to avoid potential legal consequences, including avoiding “any monetization” and taking a hardline stance on any discussion of piracy. Despite those precautions, Sharpie admitted to Ars that “Suyu currently exists in a legal gray area we are trying to work our way out of.”

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