I haven't seen this wording "... will render your ...", only on here in 2 topics this one included.
I have actually read the ToS and other agreements on the system one time I was bored.
They say "...may render..." and the wording points to not the system bricking, but the software used to pirate games or unlicensed homebrew may cause your system to brick when nintendo try to remove it.
It's just the classic "if you alter the system yourself, you're responsible if when we try to update it, it breaks."
I really don't get why people get upset over this. It basically means if you fuck around with the device, you might break it and it's not our fault. It's no different than those silly warnings on ladders on how to actually use them and such. They're basically lawyer CYA boilerplate stuff.
I am the author of the blog post on the defectivebydesign.org site. Although I know that this community has covered the idea that Nintendo has the ability to brick your device through a firmware update, there are other aspects of this story that don't seem to be getting attention on this discussion thread. Our analysis quotes many other aspects of the Terms of Service besides bricking (see, http://www.defectivebydesign.org/nintendo).
For example, we point out that through the Terms of Service, Nintendo is claiming a copyright license to all of the personal and non-personal data that gets onto your device. For example, any photos or videos you take, messages created or sent, wireless beacons you've come into contact, etc., can all be transmitted to the Nintendo servers and they then claim they can reuse that information, data, and media however they wish. Further they explicitly state that they may share this information with third party companies.
And, yes, as some of you have pointed out, it is often the case the Terms of Service are kind of crazy -- but, have you ever seen one go this far? (I have not heard of a device company making a copyright claim to photos taken on the device. If you have, please let me know!). I believe Nintendo is really entering into some uncharted territory with their use of DRM and Terms of Service.
Anyhow, I'd like to thank everyone who has chimed in on this thread. Knowing that people are discussing and thinking about this issue is the most important thing for me!
Free Software Foundation
I agree.. What Nintendo is doing is simply covering their "asses"... The only thing that troubles me is the bricking part. Only time will show if Nintendo will really block 3DSs. Really in a world where you can be banned for pirating (Xbox live) or companies keep your GPS data for one whole year (Apple), I don't think a so called "bricked" device is the problem as you have violated the law yourself byt using and downloaded games you didn't pay for. So I'm fine by that