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Nintendo goes after fan-made custom Steam “icons” with DMCA takedowns

SteamGridDB images for five Switch games could “lead to consumer confusion.”



Enlarge / An archived page showing some of the custom Steam imagery that has been taken down by Nintendo’s DMCA requests. (credit: SteamGridDB / Internet Archive)

Nintendo has issued a number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requests against SteamGridDB (SGDB), a site that hosts custom fan-made icons and images used to represent games on Steam’s front-end interface.

Since 2015, SGDB’s collection has grown to include hundreds of thousands of images representing tens of thousands of titles. That includes custom imagery for many standard Steam games and emulated game ROMs, which can be added to Steam as “external games.”

To be clear, SteamGridDB doesn’t host the kind of ROM files that have gotten other sites in legal trouble with Nintendo, or even the emulators used to run those games. “We don’t support piracy in any way,” an SGDB admin (who asked to remain anonymous) told Ars. “The website is just a free repository where people can share options to customize their game launchers.”

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