Gary Bowser from Team Xecuter pleads guilty to charges, agrees to pay Nintendo $4.5 million

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Last year saw the arrest of two members of Team Xecuter, the hacking group behind the infamous SX OS. MaxConsole administrator and GBAtemp user GaryOPA was a part of that, and was extradited from Canada to the United States, where he would face charges. While he initially claimed he was innocent, the opposing prosecution did not accept the defense of SX OS merely allowing Nintendo Switch users to play homebrew software, and asserted that the main goal of Team Xecuter's exploit was to play pirated copies of games.

Faced with 11 felony counts, Bowser has just pleaded guilty to two of them: trafficking in circumvention devices and conspiracy to circumvent technological measures. According to the court, Team Xecuter has caused an estimated number between $65 million to $150 million in losses to video game companies.

This means that Bowser will not have to go to trial, with the plea deal also waiving the other 9 criminal charges. Despite that, he still may face prison time, and as part of the deal, has agreed to pay Nintendo for restitution, to the tune of $4.5 million. Bowser will also have to consent to the destruction or give up the technology seized from his home during his arrest, which includes around 30TB of hard drives, micro SDs, and flash drives, along with laptops, phones, modchips, and hacked game consoles.

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Memoir

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Fuck xecuter but guys this isn't a good thing
Depends on how you want to look at it. "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes." That's what comes to mind in this specific instance. It can set the precedent that something like a chip to enable CFW shouldn't be allowed to circulate in the open market. However, they openly advertised their offerings as being able to play pirated games. So...
 
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Kopimist

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RIP Team Xecuter. It's too bad it had to come too this. Sure could these chips enable piracy, yes you'd be a fool to deny that, but the chips are a tool. You can use them for homebrew and legitimate backups as well. Its up to the end user how to use it. Much like a handgun (at least in my country theyre legal) there are plenty of legitimate reasons to own one but you can also use it to rob a bank or otherwise harm others. Should we ban all guns for this reason? No, if somebody chooses to use a tool for an illegal purpose thats on them. Not on the manufacturer.

This is a travesty for freedom when it comes to devices in general. You should have the freedom to tinker with the hardware you own of course forfeiting any sort of warranty and risking being banned from online services.

Granted facing Nintendo's legal team in court would not be wise because they have some of the best lawyers out there and will likely get a conviction regardless of actual legality. I don't really blame Gary for taking the plea deal here. It's a bad situation all around imo
 

Rahkeesh

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Ideally I would've liked to see TX punished for illegally distributing Nintendo and Atmosphere code, not for creating circumventing hardware. Because the former is actual direct piracy for profit, and also at the core of the hater's complaints, while the latter applies to virtually any modchip for any console, including the long-dead ones or even things like ODEs that are a big part of keeping old games and systems alive.
 

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When I was told the Switch scene was childish, I thought they were exaggerating...
Someone from the scene that made it possible for thousands of people to put CFW on their switches being arrested is NEVER a good thing (only for Nintendo maybe).
 

Tatsuna

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As always, good and bad things happen from one single event.
Xecuter deserved it and they knew this day was going to come sooner or later. I don't think they were stupid. Especially if you do these kind of things with Nintendo, which has always shown to be the harshier when it comes to the hacking scene among the big three of gaming.

At the same time, we've lost one of the founding fathers of the Switch hacking scene, as well as the ones who were always ready to take things to the next level.
Now that they're gone I won't expect much improvements and I actually am worried about the next Nintendo consoles, including the OLED model.
Is this going to end just like the Playstation and Xbox hacking scene? I sure hope not, as I've met some extraordinary people during all those years and had fun like I wouldn't ever be able to have if I didn't have an hacked console.
 

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When I was told the Switch scene was childish, I thought they were exaggerating...
Someone from the scene that made it possible for thousands of people to put CFW on their switches being arrested is NEVER a good thing (only for Nintendo maybe).
Gary was just marketing and nothing else to the scene. He spent much of his time making empty promises and reassuring people that updates were going to happen. Gary was actually a lot more problematic for the scene then people might have realized. He was constantly stealing news, funneling clicks through his site to their actual source, attempting to convince devs into making close-source versions of their projects, making claims about community devs, and countless other issues. He was actually kind of a nuisance that people built up because he posted news for closed source products.
 

PowerBall253

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As always, good and bad things happen from one single event.
Xecuter deserved it and they knew this day was going to come sooner or later. I don't think they were stupid. Especially if you do these kind of things with Nintendo, which has always shown to be the harshier when it comes to the hacking scene among the big three of gaming.

At the same time, we've lost one of the founding fathers of the Switch hacking scene, as well as the ones who were always ready to take things to the next level.
Now that they're gone I won't expect much improvements and I actually am worried about the next Nintendo consoles, including the OLED model.
Is this going to end just like the Playstation and Xbox hacking scene? I sure hope not, as I've met some extraordinary people during all those years and had fun like I wouldn't ever be able to have if I didn't have an hacked console.
Yeah, as much as what the guys did was illegal, I still don't want people from the scene going down.
 

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Yeah, as much as what the guys did was illegal, I still don't want people from the scene going down.
So far, the reputable players in the scene are still around and active. TX didn't care about the scene. I'm saying this even though I have an SX Core installed in my system.
 
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PowerBall253

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So far, the reputable players in the scene are still around and active. TX didn't care about the scene. I'm saying this as I have an SX Core installed in my system.
Well, the creator of ReiNX already pulled out due to the arrests and the drama, iirc
And they were around since the 3DS days :(
 

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Well, the creator of ReiNX already pulled out due to the arrests and the drama, iirc
And they were around since the 3DS days :(
If Rei claimed that, then I think they were looking for an excuse because ReiNX was pretty dead before the arrests. Maybe the arrests gave them a good enough reason to finally pull the plug through.
 

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preety sure he hurted alot of software sales , with the switch having so much install base more than 90 millions consoles even if it was like 1% of hacked switchers that would be a damn huge money that was lost of software sales nintendo and 3rd party alike.
This is exactly the problem. Like I said, I'm not agreeing with the way sx os was made for piracy, but had it been the same cost and just homebrew, would you rather Nintendo (who clearly aren't financially hurt in any significant way by this) or TX have the money?

Don't support large companies above small ones/individuals. This is exactly what the large companies want you to think, I mean look at Hollywood and the record companies. They've been saying for DECADES about how that music and movie piracy is killing their business and yet, here we are, they're still making record profits from music and film, because it was just greed. They want every damn last bit of money from you.

Nintendo is exactly the same and their actions in the Switch era especially show that they're way out of touch and definitely don't care about the player, only the money!
 

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If TX were still about they would probably have been working on a chip for the OLED model and we would all be looking forward to running homebrew on that... We should all consider that and hope somebody fills the void
 
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HRudyPlayZ

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Ok so let's resume the situation :
- SX used stolen code, from Atmosphere AND Nintendo. This is indeed copyright infringement of both SciresM and Nintendo.
- They used that code for money, and broke the user rights to access the source code of their CFW. This is license infringement of Atmosphere's GPL.
- They proceeded to add malware code that bricks the Switch of any user that tries to reverse their code. This is malicious programming and highly illegal AND immoral.
- They promoted the use of SX for piracy in all of their marketing. This is promotion of piracy and illegal marketing.

On the other hand:
- Gary shouldn't have been extradited to the US in the first place, especially if he moved to Canada. He is entitled to being judged according to his resident country laws and not the one Nintendo choses to use. He didn't technically commit the crimes in the US, and other countries, although they might have similar laws, aren't as stupid as the US, especially regarding protection circumvention.
- SX didn't cause the damage cost they claim, by far. SX weren't the ones distributing the games and as such cannot be charged for the illegal use their users made of their products. Though they can still be charged for promoting it. At most, they can only ask for the cost of the cartridge code in term of damages.
- SX did allow patched switches to get hacked, which is entirely moral and protected under repair rights, user rights and other laws against planned obsolescence. This can also fall as an archival technique.
- Gary shouldn't be fined with such a high sentence. Maybe a few years of jail, but definitely not a 4 million dollars fine.
- This is a very bad sign for user rights overall, and shows that even if the law isn't necessarily against SX, Nintendo, who has an unlimited amount of money, always have the final say.

I consider both sides to be the culprit here. I guess it's time to pirate incoming Nintendo games, so they can really say they lost that amount of money, especially since they assume that all pirates would have bought their games, which most wouldn't.
 
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