Homebrew Hacking has always been a gray area, and in this article, I’m going to briefly be going over the controversial topic with the recently targeted Homebrew YouTuber, Modern Vintage Gamer. This article does not promote or condemn homebrew.
A few days ago, Homebrew YouTuber, Modern Vintage Gamer was seemingly targeted by Nintendo and had four videos that had Switch hombrew as a topic taken down. Since you can’t take down videos for ‘homebrew’ in YouTube’s current system, they were taken down for featuring Nintendo game footage. The problem with that is most of the game footage shown in the video only ran for a few seconds long – and if you know about fair use laws, a few seconds of video and music comes no where close to the time you are allowed. I have heard a few people in the Switch Community complaining that their Switch homebrew content was also being taken down, but so far, none of these people have provided any screenshots of the incidents – so it’s hard to verify their claims. Some of the games the videos were taken down for didn’t even feature in the video, making it rather fishy that only the Switch Homebrew content was taken down.
One common misconception that was brought up is, If you own the original game, you’re free to make a copy and play a ROM or emulated version of that game. That misconception is sadly false, all games should not be ripped or emulated no matter what – though where it falls into the gray area is preservation. I personally don’t use any emulators in a general sense. That being said, I will encourage and play ROMs of lost games, prototypes and unreleased content through either emulation or on a real console using alternative methods. To me, playing a released game and playing an unreleased game are two different categories, but that being said, I don’t have a problem with anyone else emulating. This may all be in relation to new Japanese Laws that have recently passed about emulation and modification. The Japanese laws state that any modification to existing hardware can be punishable by up to five years in prison and/or fined up to ¥5,000,000 per offense. The whole topic has been and will always be a gray area, and sadly, there’s nothing much we can do to fix this. If you would like to hear what Modern Vintage Gamer has to say, you can do so in the video below.