Nintendo: Thick as a Brick on 3DS TOS

As a way to send Nintendo a "message" about the 3DS’ Terms of Service (TOS), anti-DRM group Free Software Foundation urged the community to order the company a cardboard brick. The group put out the call for action on May 9, asking the community to send Nintendo a brick for a brick – referring to the 3DS TOS which gives the company the power to "brick" (permanently disable) the system. The goal set was 200 and today the group announced that it has surpassed that goal.

"The Nintendo 3DS is Defective by Design and your Terms of Service are dubious, devious, and defective for the following reasons," the website’s opening remarks to the community read.

The TOS is a minefield of questionable ownership claims, a breach of user privacy and overreach of system control. Some of the clauses that are most disturbing include Nintendo claiming ownership rights to videos and pictures captured with the device, user activity tracking, mandatory updates to the 3DS at the company’s discretion, and the ability to brick the 3DS if any unauthorized device is used or any type of modding takes place.

The group wants Nintendo to change its TOS, and while Nintendo has begun to respond to the group’s complaints, it has not changed anything yet. If you’d like to join in on this virtual protest, check out the Defective By Design website.

Sources: Giant Bomb by way of The Escapist – thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip.

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  1. 0
    Grif says:

    I fail to see how murder even closely relates. But I’ll play along.

    If you want to assume that the neighbor is your closest friend who’s been by your side for 25 years, then no, I wouldn’t be bothered at all. He wouldn’t kill me unless I gave him a damn good reason to.

    It’s the same here. Even though Nintendo can, they won’t unless you give them a damn good reason to. And you’d pretty much have to do it on purpose, so you can’t claim "I didn’t mean to!".

    Again, I wouldn’t trust Sony or Microsoft with this kind of agreement, but Nintendo has yet to give me a reason to not trust them. I’m not going to let paranoia interfere with my video games.

    I got enough of that from playing F.E.A.R.


    "Power means nothing without honor and pride." My video game review site.

    Atlanta Video Games Examiner for

  2. 0
    Erik says:

    Yet again, even if they don’t the problem is that they can.  It is like your neighbor is suddenly given the legal right to kill you with no questions asked.  Now say that your neighbor is a really nice guy who won’t kill you.  Wouldn’t you still be bothered that he is allowed to dangle that sword of Damacles over your head?

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  3. 0
    Grif says:

    If it were Sony or Microsoft, I’d be concerned, but Nintendo? Nah, I doubt they’d do anything stupid unless they absolutely had to. If Nintendo wants to upload the pictures I took with the 3D camera to their website, I don’t particularly care, as long as I get to keep playing Dead or Alive Dimensions. This game kicks major amounts of ass.


    "Power means nothing without honor and pride." My video game review site.

    Atlanta Video Games Examiner for

  4. 0
    Erik says:

    Whether they will or not is a moot point.  The complaint is that they can.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  5. 0
    Erik says:

    The problem isn’t that they have, the problem is that they can.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  6. 0
    Grif says:

    I own a 3DS, and it has yet to be bricked, none of the pictures I’ve taken with either of the cameras, or on Pilotwings or DoAD have appeared on Nintendo’s website, it hasn’t locked out any of the music I’ve put on there, the voice recordings I’ve made haven’t mysteriously gone missing… Everything’s exactly the way it’s been since I bought it on release day.

    Oh, wait, there’s an OK Go music video here… *Shrug* I don’t particularly care.

    I’m… not exactly seeing the problem here.


    "Power means nothing without honor and pride." My video game review site.

    Atlanta Video Games Examiner for

  7. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    Basically Nintendo’s saying "We still own the system and anything that goes on with it." I can live with a lot of TOS privacy invasion (like if they want to know what games I’ve been playing, I couldn’t give a crap less), but when they start turning into Big Brother, then we got issues. Those photos (and eventually videos) are mine, and what I do with the system is none of their business.

    I know they want to maintain a family friendly facade, and if users start moding the system with "hot coffee" games, or using the camera for 3D porn, it’s going to look bad, but let’s face it; there’s nothing Nintendo can/should do about it.

    Try this on for size:

    "Nintendo 3DS Code of Conduct

    Your use of the Nintendo 3DS is subject to this Nintendo 3DS Code of Conduct, which prohibits all harmful, illegal or otherwise offensive conduct, including but not limited to the following:

    Misrepresenting, impersonating, abusing, stalking, theatening, or harassing any person or company…

    Doing anything illegal, disciminatory, defamatory, hateful, harassing, abusive, obscene, threatening, physically dangerous or otherwise objectionable in connection with the Nintendo 3DS System or Nintendo 3DS Service."

    And yet…

    "Nintendo is not responsible for, and to the fullest extent permitted by law, will not accept liability for, anything you say or anything that happens on the Nintendo 3DS System and Nintendo 3DS Service or as a result of your use of the Nintendo 3DS System and Nintendo 3DS Service; you alone are responsible."

    They try to control everything that goes on, only to wash their hands of it in the end. I think Nintendo would excel in Congress…

  8. 0
    Thad says:

    I agree with the FSF’s message but they tend to be overzealous in pushing it.  But I think they’ve done a great job of calling attention to this issue and hope that they can bring some changes.

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