Nintendo of America has filed a lawsuit against Gary Bowser, an alleged leader of the hacking group Xecuter. According to a court filing shared by Polygon, Bowser and Xecuter "unlawfully manufactures and traffics in an unauthorized operating system called the 'SX OS,' and accompanying piracy tools which install it." The SX OS illegally allows the Nintendo Switch hardware to play pirated games, with Xecuter reaping the profits for the operating system. Back in October of last year, Bowser and another alleged member of Xecuter, Max Louarn, were arrested and charged with 11 felony counts. Xecuter is also alleged to have sold hacking tools for the DS, 3DS, and the Nintendo Wii.
The lawsuit filing goes on to describe how the software runs on Nintendo Switch, and the various ways that it infringes on the company's copyright. According to the filing, "the circumvention of Nintendo's technological measures" allows users to illegally download Switch games online, transfer them to a memory card, and then play them on the system using SX OS. Apparently, the operating system also allows users to make illegal copies of legally purchased Switch games, which can then be shared online with others. It's not hard to see how this could become a massive issue, if allowed to spread.
Bowser allegedly ran the group's "day-to-day operations." The filing claims that he ran multiple websites affiliated with Xecuter, and coordinated with multiple resellers for the operating system. Nintendo is seeking $2500 for each of the trafficked operating systems, as well as $150,000 for each copyright violation. The company has also requested a trial by jury.
Nintendo has a history of going hard after pirates, and the for-profit nature of the SX OS apparently put Xecuter on Nintendo's radar. Given the massive success of Nintendo Switch, it seems there could have been a substantial market for the operating system. Nintendo's efforts to put an end to Xecuter's operations are also intended as a disincentive for those that would try to sell similar products.
Of course, many fans online have found some humor in the idea of Nintendo going after a man named Bowser, as he shares a name with Mario's longtime nemesis. It actually seems somewhat fitting!
Are you familiar with Xecuter's operating system? Have you seen advertisements for the SX OS online? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!