Nintendo is sued the developers of the free and open source Yuzu emulator for Nintendo Switch games and succeeded in securing an agreement wherein both open source projects were shut down. I take no position on the litigation here. Instead, I highlight an absurd GitHub issue raised by a user with an unkind name directed at the Yuzu project (see archived issue). The user explains that he or she strongly disagreed with Yuzu’s decision to drop support for Windows 7 in the last few months (note that Microsoft dropped support for Windows 7 in 2020). This prompted the user to find 93 Nintendo emails and social media accounts and send messages “informing” Nintendo, a multi-national corporation that is very defensive of its intellectual propery, of the existence of Yuzu. After news of the lawsuit broke, the user confidently stated that Nintendo “probably” sued because of his or her awareness effort, but humbly conceded “maybe not.” While the user thinks that it is at least 50.1% likely that his or her spam emails and posts led to Nintendo unleashing its lawyers on Yuzu, I am 100% certain that  Nintendo, which named one of its most popular characters after one of its former lawyers, was well aware of Yuzu and rival Valve’s not subtly encouraging people to use Yuzu on Steam Deck while the disgrunted GitHub poster was still happly running Yuzu on his or her Windows 7 PC.

Main take-away: Imagine having the self-confidence to believe that your email and social media spam spur Nintendo’s legal department to action.

New BIA Decision Requiring Aggregate Analysis of Past Persecution in Asylum Claim by Matthew Hoppock (Hoppock Law Firm)
The Board said all the way back in 1966 that long and pervasive discrimination can amount to persecution. Matter of Salama, 11 I&N Dec. 536 (BIA 1966) (recognizing discrimination against Jews in Egypt as persecution). Matter of Salama was one of the first BIA decisions construing the phrase “persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion” in the Immigration and Nationality Act. What today’s decision confirms is that the Board’s analysis in Salama, that “a government campaign of discrimination” may be persecution, remains true.

I wrote a detailed analysis of a 1966 Board of Immigration Appeals decision in Matter of Salama, 11 I&N Dec. 536 (BIA 1966). In that post, I worked through the decision and examined the small number of citations to it in precedent decisions. I opined that although I first came across the decision while researching economic persecution precedents, its analysis is too limited to provide much value in that area of asylum law. The Hoppock Law Firm’s description of Salama as holding that “long and pervasive discrimination can amount to persecution” is over the target. However, as I explained in my piece, the limited analysis makes it difficult to discern an easy-to-apply broader principle in Salama.

Anti-Israel Statements After the Massacre Trigger Free Speech Fights in Higher Education by Jonathan Turley (Jonathan Turley)

Universities and colleges across the country have become embroiled in a debate over free speech in the aftermath of the…

Jonathan Turley’s blog is part of my RSS feed collection. One reason I enjoy his work is because he is consistent in his views and articulates his position well. However, his recent piece on free speech issues related to the response to pro-Hamas demonstrations on college campuses in the last week was a bit sloppy. That some high-powered law firms rescinded offers of employment to Harvard law students on account of their views has received a good amount of publicity. After Mr. Turley touched on that issue (granting private law firms have discretion in hiring), he made a claim that I am less familiar with.

However, some have gone further to discuss these views as unprotected free speech and suggested that law students holding such views should be prevented from joining the bar.

I have not seen examples of people arguing that law students who support Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, or more charitably justify their atrocities, should be prevented from sitting for the bar. At a minimum, these arguments are far less common than the broader debate about the views being expressed on college campuses. I agree with Mr. Turley’s position that abhorrent views should not prevent one from becoming a lawyer, but he provides no source for examples of people making this argument. While this is not the sort of disingenuous claim I examined in my critique of experts say headlines, it does read like trying to squeeze a side argument where it does not fit. The omission of a source is notable because he provides many sources for other issues raised in the article. For whatever it is worth, I think what we are seeing raises questions about U.S. immigration policy and the efforts to subsidize college tuition through federally backed loans, not admittance to the bar.