Nintendo Issues Takedown Notice Against Freeshop App
A homebrew application for the 3DS titled “freeshop” which allows users to download 3DS titles without using the official eShop is in trouble with Nintendo according to an article by Nintendo Life. Freeshop allowed users to download their titles from Nintendo’s online store without actually using the online store’s interface, which many have criticized as slow and clunky. The homebrew app got around the interface through the use of something called “titlekeys”. A Titlekey basically tells the online store that you’ve purchased a game and allows the download from Nintendo’s servers. If you’ve purchased the game, the code should already be on your 3DS and freeshop basically cuts out the need to go through Nintendo’s interface by using the key and pulling the download through the 3rd party application rather than more official routes.
Many may be quick to criticize Nintendo for filing a DMCA takedown notice against an application that only sets out to allow a more streamlined avenue for customers to redownload previously purchased games. Is the company just bitter that someone designed a better option than they’ve employed? Well the issue really comes down to how freeshop handles titlekeys. There is the issue of titlekey sharing which would allow users to download a titlekey onto their system and use freeshop to bypass the security measures Nintendo has in place in their eShop. In addition to the issue of piracy, the direct downloads through freeshop add accessibility to products that Nintendo might not want available to certain people (such as region-locked games and software that has been disabled or removed from the eShop.)
In Nintendo’s DMCA takedown notice, they claim that the freeshop software bypasses the technological protections of eShop and encourages piracy. The company also takes issue with the use of the 3DS logo within the software. The developer of freeshop made a statement on gbatemp.net acknowledging the mistake of using the 3DS logo, but arguing that the software doesn’t further enable piracy since users have to find the keys elsewhere online in order to use them in his software. He’s said that he’s not sure whether he wants to fight the notice, and is currently seeking alternate hosting options for freeshop (which is no longer available on github).