Nintendo owns your 3DS photos, will brick consoles running pirated games

The 3DS end-user licence agreement states that the big N owns the rights to photos you take using the console, can access your personal data, and can break your device if you play pirated games.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Some rather unsavoury elements of Nintendo's 3DS end-user licence agreement have surfaced. Mario and Co own the rights to any photos you take using the 3DS' cameras, can remotely break your console for playing pirated games, and can access your user data.

In Nintendo's privacy policy (click 'documents and policies' in the left nav bar, then 'privacy policies' and 'end-user licence agreement'), the following gems appear:

'We may collect non-personally identifiable information from you... This includes information such as your Mii profile information, age, gender, geographic area, game-play data, online status, Nintendo 3DS system serial number and device ID, device certificate information, cookies, friend codes, wireless access point information, Internet protocol ('IP') address, and media access control ('MAC') address.'

More worrying is that Nintendo owns all of your 'user content', which it defines as 'comments, messages, images, photos, movies, information, data and other content (which includes the Nintendo 3DS user names, Mii, Mii nicknames, names of creators, and other names)'. That means the big N owns this ungodly image.

What can Nintendo do with your photos, movies and the like? Well, pretty much anything it wants. Owning the rights means it can use, adapt, publish and sub-license your stuff 'in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, including for promotional or marketing purposes'.

Playing pirated games, tinkering with the 3DS hardware or otherwise using an 'unauthorised device' will 'render the system permanently unplayable'.

These controversial pieces of small print were brought to light by the Free Software Foundation. The FSF is running a campaign to send cute cardboard bricks to Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America.

We're rather enamoured with the 3DS, but considerably less chuffed with the idea of Nintendo using our photos for its own marketing purposes --especially if it's in one of those sickening ads that are loaded with cut-price British celebrities.

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