The developers behind the superb Dolphin emulator for the GameCube and Wii post an update every month on the status of their project is coming along. This morning, they did precisely that — but they posted a warning too.
If you haven’t had a play around with Dolphin, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. Next to the MAME project, it’s perhaps one of the most superb emulators for any system ever produced. It’s a world-class project, really.
But dealing with copyrighted software, ISOs of old games and sorting out all the weird and wonderful bugs games have can result in some complications. For the Dolphin team, those complications came courtesy of Capcom, who at the start of April sent a lovely automated notice:
The DMCA flag was against files relating to Monster Hunter Tri. The bot thought it might have been the game itself, but according to the Dolphin team the files were only 12mb.
“None of Capcom’s copywritten material was in the files and they were only 12MB. Even scrubbed and compressed, we highly doubt that Monster Hunter Tri would fit into a 12MB zip file. Because of this flag, Google unlisted some pages of our forums that linked to these files, so we filed a counter notice to correct this obvious error. Unfortunately, our counter notice was refused.”
Now these sorts of DMCA annoyances crop up all the time. Content creators have their videos and streams flagged by automated scripts and bots that don’t even have any actual claim on the video, which can lead to some pretty funny workarounds.
But funny and frustrating though it might be, Capcom’s dickishness has some serious implications. “So, users uploading files to file hosts, even screenshots, modified builds, texture packs, or anything else need to be warned: Putting a game’s name on any of the files could result in your files being taken down or delisted by a bot.”
Capcom aren’t likely to worry about anything that’s posted on, say, ModDB. But what if another company decided to get overly aggressive when it comes to tackling pirated content? The simulation racing community has already had problems with Formula 1’s over-aggressive trigger finger. What would happen to, say, the Euro Truck Simulator community if certain vehicle manufacturers got excessively litigious?
It’s a small reminder of how flimsy the rights of creators are — provided those creators don’t have the reach, influence and wealth of major publishers and multinationals, of course.