DRM Rights Group Sends Bricks to Nintendo Over 3DS Terms of Service

Nintendo legally owns pictures, messages, and personal media sent over the 3DS.

By , Contributor

A few weeks ago, Comedy Central's South Park lampooned the Terms of Service (TOS) that came along with the iPad and Apple's ability to track a user's location as a result. Let's face it: no one reads the TOS, eager to dive into their new electronics or freshly downloaded program.

Someone did read the disclaimer for the Nintendo 3DS, the latest handheld venture from the company that has dominated the portable gaming space. The Free Software Foundation looked into what Nintendo has inserted into the lawyer-speak, and was outraged enough at the results that they have pulled the community together to send bricks to Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime.

The bricks are representative of a line in the TOS that allows Nintendo to "render the system unplayable" should they (Nintendo) detect any modified hardware or unauthorized device in use. In the gaming community, a console that produces a black screen or is otherwise unusable is referred to as being "bricked."

The legalese continues to get trickier, Nintendo also holding rights to any images you take with the hardware's built-in camera or any messages you send over their network. That's not entirely out of line with some other companies' TOS, Sony for example claiming any content created within the realm of their "do it yourself" platform game Little Big Planet is theirs, not yours. In this case, it becomes slightly unnerving that Nintendo owns your personal pictures and can use them for their own marketing purposes.

The Free Software Foundation has a simple goal as stated in a quote to Nintendo: "Change your terms of service." Over 200 people have sent a brick to Nintendo in response, meaning the group has certainly found some backers, especially with how expensive postage is. You have to be dedicated to send a piece of concrete via USPS.

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Matt Paprocki is a 13-year veteran of the video game, movie, and home media scene. He has written thousands of reviews, has been published on a variety of websites, and contributes his thoughts daily on a diverse range of topics.

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