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Homebrew 3DS app Freeshop hit with DMCA takedown over piracy concerns

Homebrew 3DS app Freeshop hit with DMCA takedown over piracy concerns

December 29, 2016 | By Alissa McAloon

December 29, 2016 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Console/PC

Freeshop, a homebrew program designed to mimic and bypass the 3DS eShop, has been hit with a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyrights Act) takedown notice from Nintendo for allegedly infringing on the company’s copyrights.

Nintendo typically isn’t one to take unauthorized use if its copyrighted materials lightly. While the bulk of the company’s recent DMCA notices have been targeted at unsanctioned fan projects, Nintendo has also been strict about finding possible exploits within its own systems. Freeshop seems to take advantage of one such exploit.

While not implicitly a piracy program, Freeshop can be used to circumvent Nintendo’s official eShop in a way that allows players to download 3DS games without actually purchasing them beforehand.

According to Kotaku, Nintendo uses tickets stored locally on individual 3DS systems to note which games players have purchased and have rights to download. Freeshop users can exploit this by bypassing the eShop and using those tickets to download games directly from Nintendo’s servers.

While potential-pirates would still need to track down tickets for unowned games through other sources online, the DMCA takedown filed by Nintendo still holds Freeshop responsible for facilitating illegal downloads of 3DS games. 

“Nintendo encrypts the game files available from its eShop servers to prevent users from accessing those files without paying for them,” reads the notice. “Nintendo believes the Freeshop application circumvents Nintendo's protection measures by decrypting the game files accessible from its eShop servers, allowing Freeshop users to access and play Nintendo's eShop games for free.”

Because of the notice, the Github repository where Freeshop was previously hosted has been disabled.

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