Nintendo looks to sue more Aussie firms

After Nintendo Australia was awarded $620,000 in a court battle against an Australian company which sold devices enabling games to be illegally copied, it said it could take similar action against other device sellers.

In a statement today the company confirmed news broken yesterday by ITNews that the firm had successfully taken action against local group RSJ IT Solutions, which trades as GadgetGear and the individual directors of the company, Patrick Li and James Li. The company had been selling R4 cartridges.

An R4 cartridge — popular internationally — runs its own operating system for Nintendo's DS handheld device. Individual games and other applications, some of them purporting to be legal, can be downloaded from the internet as small files and simply added to the chip's storage.

The cartridge is then slotted into the top of a Nintendo DS as any other cartridge would be. It does not permanently modify the handheld console and is sold by a number of Australian and international distributors.

"Nintendo will pursue those who attempt to jeopardise the gaming industry by using all means available to it under the law. In particular, Nintendo is currently contemplating bringing further actions against other sellers of game copying devices in Australia," the manufacturer of popular game series like Mario and Zelda said in its statement.

The result of the court action was understood to be a settlement that came in the form of Federal Court orders.

According to Nintendo's statement, GadgetGear had acknowledged that the devices it was selling infringed Nintendo's copyright and trademarks and were "illegal circumvention devices" that the company will now refrain from importing or selling.

"GadgetGear and the directors will also pay Nintendo a total of $620,000 by way of damages. GadgetGear will also be delivering to Nintendo all its stock of game copiers for destruction," Nintendo said.

The game company said since 2008, it had pursued over 800 actions in 16 countries to stop game piracy, confiscating "well over" half a million game copiers for the Nintendo DS. The company said piracy affected sales, the price of video games, and employment in the video game industry.

"The existence of piracy jeopardises the strength of the video game industry overall," Nintendo said.


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Ben posted a comment   

If games weren't so overpriced in the first place people wouldn't go to such extreme lengths to copy them. I only buy pre-owned games because they're semi reasonably priced - but the game vendors don't want you to do that either. They're wanting to build in protection so one disk/cartridge can only ever be played by one device. What I'm saying is if they were $15 per game you wouldn't have these issues.


CopyWrong posted a comment   

Interesting article to say the least. See here is the predicament in Queensland for example. Since the passing of the Brigalow Corporations Act which makes Queensland separate to the Commonwealth of Australia, the Commonwealth Copyright Act does not apply to Queensland, so therefore you can do what you want. Oops they forgot to mention this in the paper.

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