Nintendo sends the legal hounds after game pirates

Nintendo sends the legal hounds after game pirates

Summary: Nintendo has kicked off a legal battle against the owner of multiple websites that sells game copiers.

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Nintendo has kicked off a legal battle against the owner of multiple websites that sells game copiers.

The websites are owned by NXPGAME which sells game copiers that allow users to crack, download, play and distribute copies of Nintendo DS and DSi video games. Nintendo has tried of several occasions to get NXPGAME to stop selling the game copiers, with the owner once agreeing to shut down the operation, only to move address and start the operation off once more.

"Using game copiers to play unauthorized downloaded games is illegal and it’s wrong," said Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America’s senior director of Anti-Piracy. "Piracy is especially harmful to smaller developers. When their creative works are stolen and copied illegally, some companies find it difficult to survive economically."

Now, I don't condone piracy in any way, shape or form. If you want a game, pay for it. Unlike a CD or DVD which can scratch and be damaged, there's no legitimate reason for anyone to copy a game. That said, this action does seem to me to amount to Nintendo doing little more than spitting into the wind. Game copiers for Nintendo cartridges are readily available (and no, I'm not going to tell you where to get them ...). Here's a clue as to just how widespread the problem is:

Since 2009, Nintendo has supported almost 1,500 legal actions (including customs seizures, law-enforcement actions and civil proceedings) in more than 20 countries that have resulted in the confiscation of more than 422,000 video game copiers.

And despite this, copiers still flood the market.

It seems to me that the only way that Nintendo is going to put a stop to this game copying epidemic is to change the cartridge format, beefing up the copy protection. Sure, that's likely to be broken at some point, but it'll slow things down a bit.

Topics: Mobility, Piracy, Security

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  • Yeah...

    [i]It seems to me that the only way that Nintendo is going to put a stop to this game copying epidemic is to change the cartridge format, beefing up the copy protection. Sure, that??????s likely to be broken at some point, but it??????ll slow things down a bit.[/i]

    And it will demonstrate once again that DRM does nothing to stop pirates, and in fact only penalizes honest customers who would most likely be forced to buy new consoles that would be compatible with such changes in format and DRM.
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • RE: Nintendo sends the legal hounds after game pirates

      @James T. Kirk
      Except that DRM doesn't affect users of a DS. The cartridge only plays on the DS unit. So unless DRM was restricting the game to 1 and only 1 DS, I can't see how the user would be inconvenienced by encryption and such on the game. The DS would decrypt it and hide the whole process.

      Otherwise, I agree about DRM.
      mtgarden
  • Nintendo needs to send some legal sounds after Dgemu instead

    First off, Nintendo shouldn't be targeting people who make copiers, copy-protection crackers, and flashcarts. If I want a copy of a game I bought from a legitimate video game store, I have the right to make a few back-ups for myself. If Nintendo REALLY wants to crack down on piracy, they need to go after Dgemu.com. Dgemu has been reported, literally, hundreds of times, but Nintendo refuses to go after them. Apparently, Dgemu can't be touched because they're Israeli-based (where there's a huge loophole that allows rampant piracy in Israel). Dgemu sells DPs (Download Points) for money, which are then used to download Nintendo DS, GBA, and many other roms. It's appauling. And since Dgemu is making people pay to download roms that Dgemu stole, they're also the laughing-stock of the rom scene.
    thomas s.
    • Two minor corrections

      1) They're making copies of games, not stealing them. Stealing would be taking the games away from Nintendo, so that Nintendo no longer had them.

      2) If getting rich is something to be laughed at for, I hope you start laughing at me soon.
      AzuMao
      • We've already been laughing at you for quite some time

        @AzuMao
        Can you read?

        1.) Dgemu doesn't copy games; Dgemu steals ROMs from release groups and sells them for money on their website

        2.) People who get rich by selling ROMs will eventually get their arse pounded; first by the law, and second in jail by their cellmate. That's why we're laughing at them (and you).

        ROM release groups never willingly provided Dgemu.com with the ROMs -- Dgemu scoured the internet for the ROMs and stole them from the release groups to sell for money. ROM release groups dump/release ROMs so that game fans can enjoy them for free. You're clearly not familiar with etiquette in the ROM (or any trading) community, because it's a huge taboo (and irrefutably-illegal) to exchange money for copies of copyrighted material (whether it be ROMs, cassette copies, DVD copies, VHS tape copies, or print copies of anything). ROM sites that provide free ROM downloads are great, but Dgemu is one of the few ROM sites that the ROM community shuns because Dgemu exchanges money for ROMs, which are copies of copyrighted material.

        Dgemu and the people who run it do the equivalent of stealing photocopies of every J.K.Rowling novel and selling them on the street for money. There's a difference between freely giving away copies of something in your possession and charging money for it. Xerox (or, in this case, NXPGAME, game copiers, and game fans) are not the problem -- the people who steal and sell the copies of copyrighted material for money are the problem.
        Curtis_
      • Yes, Curtis_. Can you think using your brain for once?

        1.
        Dgemu doesn't steal anything; Dgemu copies games (in the form of ROMs).

        2.
        Only if they live in a fascist police state.
        AzuMao
    • RE: Nintendo sends the legal hounds after game pirates

      @thomas s.<br>@Curtis_<br>
      DGemu Does not charge users for DP, you earn them by earning GP in various ways; Posting, quiz/lotto prizes. you convert the GP into DP, which combined with the points you earn every day, you use the DP to pay for the bandwidth for the downloads. or you can take out a DP loan that will take ur DP daily bonus away for X days. they do this so that people can contribute to the site, and not to just download and kill the forum part of the site.<br>they do not force users to have to pay to gain DP, you can donate to their site and it gives you a larger bonus towards ur daily DP,<br>you might be able to buy DP, but it isnt forced.<br><br>Also any donations go to the upkeep of their site,<br>DGemu doesnt make any profit, and they dont even have Ads on their site,<br>its purely a community to download ROMS and free games.<br><br>also with the whole laws against roms that you need to have a copy of the game is extremely hard to enforce, it might be a bad idea to legally pursue the people that download said games because it would funnel alot of money into the investigation, and nintendo wouldnt earn much in lawsuits from it.<br><br>my personal opinion, go after the sites that offer it, not the users.<br>because it will cut off and prevent more copyright/illegal bootlegging of their games.<br><br>also i dont think we should go after the people that make, destribute and sell the readers, <br>1: they have to be bought online, they dont sell these at gamestop or wallmart.<br>2: they have other uses, like homebrewn games, internet clients, ports of pc games you would already own like doom, some applications that operate pc internet functions like e-mail, or a video player.<br>3: If you look at the sites like the r4 site, they have a disclaimer when you download their firmware for the card, that they cannot be held responsible for what their customers do with their software and hardware. (they dont sell/offer any cracking, or anti-piracy patching software)<br><br>though, i can see why people choose to bootleg the games,<br>prices are high, and for a game that takes like 6 hours to 100%, it costs $30!<br>and the game is only about 16mb!<br>that should be a bargin bin game,<br>every company is trying to make money.<br>and im not bashing that, but when games are over priced, and a game that got the golden mullet and costs $25 at gamestop (where they told me it was the worst game of the year, but i still loved the game), and i could get it for $15 and blockbuster! there is inflation, could be caused by bootlegging, and we have bootlegging caused by inflation. <br>its a endless cycle
  • DRM is ridiculous

    I had a Nintendo disk that refused to play. My solution was to find a used one or pay Nintendo 25$ to REFURB the disk. Of course it was a new disk I got back, at an exorbitan price. I should have only had to pay for shipping & handling after furnishing the original.
    Then these bucaneers wonder why their work is pirated!!
    proton_z
  • The "problem"? The only "problem" here is Nintendo.

    This would be like if J.K.Rowling tried to have everyone in Xerox arrested and all photocopiers confiscated because they might be used to copy Harry Potter books. Completely ridiculous.
    AzuMao
    • Bad Analogy.

      @AzuMao

      Don't try to aggrandize your argument with a flawed analogy. First, no one was arrested. The owner agreed to close shop, but reopened under another name. Second, Xerox makes all purpose copiers. If they made a copier specifically marketed and only capable of copying J.K. Rowling's books, then that would be more akin to this situation. Finally, you often argue on these forums that companies should not go after individuals when it comes to IP violations. Yet, when they target the actual suppliers and manufacturers, you have a problem with that too?
      PlayFair
      • If he hadn't shut down is what I meant, obviously.

        The digital copiers made by NXPGAME weren't specifically to copy, said, Metroid Prime. They were general purpose copiers that could be used to copy anything in the DS cartridge format. Ergo your analogy was bad, not mine. And I love how you didn't even touch on the part about confiscating all photocopiers, despite your assertion that [i]my[/i] analogy was off.
        AzuMao
      • RE: If he hadn't shut down is what I meant, obviously

        @AzuMao First of all, Xerox copiers are made to copy non-copyrighted works or copyrighted works under fair use. They are NOT made to copy copyrighted books. That would be stealing. Yes, stealing. The taking or acquisition of an item that does not rightfully belong to you.

        Secondly, while I see that someone might want to make a backup copy for themselves of a game, there is no "general use case" like a copier. The only reason for this cartridge format is to carry copyrighted games for play on a DS. That's it. You don't need to store copies of your book reports or thesis on these like a DVD-r or CD-r. You're not using them to store personal made movies or music. Only copyrighted games. Even making a copy for personal backup is a relatively lame excuse because these are hard to damage. Lose, yes. Damage, not so much. If you lose it, it's your fault anyway.
        Zorched
      • So if I liked your car and made a similar one myself it's grand theft auto?

        And, again, I didn't say they were specifically made for use on copyrighted content. I said they were made to copy any content in that cartridge format, regardless of whether or not it is copyrighted, just like Xerox photocopiers are made to copy any sheet of paper, whatever is on it.
        AzuMao
      • RE: So If I liked your car and made a similar one

        @AzuMao<br>If you liked my car and made one like it, it would be fine as long as you aren't violating the rules of copyright, didn't steal the materials to make it and didn't attempt to sell it if it contained component designs that were patented by someone other than you. <br><br>In other words, If you liked my GMC truck and decided to copy it, yes, you'd probably be in trouble with GM.<br><br>That's the whole concept of Intellectual Property. If you create something original, be it a book or game, you have the right to that content exclusively. That's why the EULA of software says you have the right to own the cartridge it's on but the software contained on the cartridge is still owned by the maker of the software. They are basically lending it to you. Annoying? Yes. But how else do you make sure that people don't steal what you've worked so hard to create? Rely on people's sense of Justice?<br><br>You yourself have proven that's not possible, given the creative excuses and thinly veiled rationalizations that have flowed forth. <br><br>Do I support the concept of Fair Use? Yes. Especially with media that is easily destroyed or damaged. I'm afraid DS cartridges don't fit into that.<br><br>However, your "It's made to only copy what's on the cartridge" fails because of what's ON the cartridge. As I said, the ONLY thing that's on a DS cartridge is COPYRIGHTED material. That means that someone making a device to copy them is knowingly facilitating piracy, UNLESS these devices are used specifically for backups, which they KNOW they won't. What's on a piece of paper that a Xerox could copy? Anything, from a doodle of yours, to a meeting agenda, to a report in a company, to your girlfriend's lip prints, to an ink blot. All of those are open to copy by you under the law. Yes, it can be used to copy books, but that is not the "intended use" of the device.
        Zorched
      • RE: Nintendo sends the legal hounds after game pirates

        @PlayFair These cartridges don't COPY anything, end of story. They are READERS, designed to play back any information put on them via a PC Card reader/writer. There is no writing mfunctionality in the cards other than what is there to facilitate the writing of the save game data. Get a clue before you start an argument... you'll seem a whole lot cleverer than you currently do.
        LeeC
      • I didn't ask if I would be in trouble, I asked if it would be the same as..

        ..stealing your car, since you keep saying copying DS cartridges is the same as stealing them. I agree that if you copied something patented it would be patent infringement. I'm not arguing against that. I'm arguing against your repeated assertions that it's the same as theft.

        And yes, I know that medium can hold copyrighted content on it, just like paper can. So something that copies them might be used to copy copyrighted content, just like photocopiers can. And a gun can be used to murder someone. Etc. So what?
        AzuMao
    • RE: Nintendo sends the legal hounds after game pirates

      @LeeC

      <b> These cartridges don't COPY anything, end of story. They are READERS, designed to play back any information put on them via a PC Card reader/writer. There is no writing mfunctionality in the cards other than what is there to facilitate the writing of the save game data. Get a clue before you start an argument... you'll seem a whole lot cleverer than you currently do. </b>

      Great. Dude. Did you read my post? It was a response to Azumao's Xerox analogy. You're trying to get kicks by working on semantics. Don't try to overstate how clever you are until you understand context.
      PlayFair
  • RE: Nintendo sends the legal hounds after game pirates

    "The websites are owned by NXPGAME which sells game copiers that allow users to crack, download, play and distribute copies of Nintendo DS and DSi video games."

    Here we go again... why don't you leave the gaming topics to the experts and stick to the stuff you pretend to know. This is about the R4 (and similar cartridges) They DO NOT crack the games. There is NO COPYING mechanism built into the card... It is a READER, not a writer. There hasn't been a copying device in circulation since the ones we used to use AS OFFICIAL NINTENDO DEVELOPERS back on the GBA and Gameboy Colour.

    They were called a Flash-Linker and were used as development kits in a good percentage of genuine development studios, because of the prohibitive costs of the official Nintendo Dev kits. The only downside was that you couldn't master submission cartridges on them, so each studio had to have at least one official dev kit for that purpose.

    I don't know how anyone can be so ignorant of basic technical facts behind gaming matters, and still be employed. Do some research like us developers have to do, and just for once, you might come across as knowing what you are talking about. Until then, leave the gaming matters well alone... you're not qualified to discuss them.
    LeeC