For those who have never heard the R4 is a flash cart for use on Nintendo DS systems. The Cart can load home brew as well as pirated games. Do to that second ability Nintendo has been aggressively pursuing companies that create and distribute the device. Most of the makers and sellers reside in China and other countries who either don’t have copyright / patent laws or countries who’s current laws allow the sale of the devices. Well one of the online sellers of these devices works out of New York. NXPGAME of Queens, New York has been given several take down requests by Nintendo which NXPGAME complied with, but then they simply registered new domain names and continued to sell the device. Nintendo has gotten tired of the nice approach and has decided to sue NXPGAME.
Nintendo is wrong on one point. The devices themselves are not illegal to produce,sell, or own since you can use them to play homebrew, and making backup copies of software for personal use is allowed under US copyright law. What’s illegal is the companies that sell them generally tell you in their advertisements that you can use it for pirating games, and since the games have copy protection on them if the devices strip the DRM off they violate the DMCA. Selling the devices with the intent to break the DMCA and copyright law is technically what they have done wrong.
I don’t see the problem with using them for backup and homebrew as I’ve stated may times before, but I don’t condone the pirating either. There is a distinction that Nintendo does not want to make but must be made known. Too many companies are trying to strip away consumer rights by obfuscating legitimate practices (homebrew/backup) with the true illegal practices (pirating). And too many people are buying in to the propaganda. It has to stop before we allow our rights to be taken away.
Our Previous Coverage on R4 around the world can be found here.
Nintendo’s Press Release on the Subject is Below
REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– In the ongoing fight against video game piracy worldwide, Nintendo of America Inc. has filed a civil lawsuit against the owner of multiple websites that sell illegal video game copiers. Nintendo filed suit on May 11 in the Western District of Washington against the owner of NXPGAME of Queens, New York.
Nintendo investigated a website owned by NXPGAME and found that it was selling illegal video game copiers that enable the user to download, play and distribute illegal copies of Nintendo DS™ and Nintendo DSi™ video game software. After multiple letters and telephone calls from Nintendo’s legal counsel, the owner agreed to cease selling game copiers and closed his website. Shortly thereafter, the owner launched an identical business at a different website address, and redirected people who visited his old site to the new one to purchase illegal game copiers.
Despite the repeated attempts to get NXPGAME Inc. to cease its illegal activities, the company and its owner continue to operate multiple websites that sell illegal game copiers. Nintendo asserts that NXPGAME is willfully infringing on the company’s intellectual property rights. Additionally, one of the company’s websites uses Nintendo registered trademarks and violates Nintendo’s copyrights.
“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.”
Internet piracy hurts Nintendo, as well as the businesses of more than 1,400 video game-development companies that depend on legitimate sales of games for their survival.
“I love gaming and I spent years of hard work and a significant personal financial investment to make my video game dream a reality,” said Alex Neuse, CEO of Gaijin Games, the developer of the BIT.TRIP series of games available on the WiiWare™ service. “But I estimate that more than 70 percent of our games that are in the hands of the public have been copied illegally. Every download that is made illegally is another blow against new and original games. Put simply, if you enjoy a company’s games, paying for them helps to ensure that they will continue to make products you’ll like. Piracy especially hurts small independent developers who don’t command the sales figures/profits that the bigger companies do; and that ultimately hurts not only developers but all gamers.”
This lawsuit follows the 2009 Nintendo v. Chan case, in which a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles confirmed that game copiers violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and are deemed illegal in the United States. The U.S. District Court ruled that devices such as the R4 copier infringe on Nintendo’s intellectual property rights. In that case, the court ordered Chan and the three major websites that he operated to stop selling the illegal devices immediately.
Game copiers are designed to connect to the Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendo DSi hand-held systems and circumvent the technological protection measures embedded in the system. This infringes on Nintendo’s intellectual property rights. These game copiers are then used to copy and play illegal Nintendo game files offered unlawfully via the Internet.
Illegal copying of video game software is an international problem that continues to plague the video game industry. Companies such as Nintendo, various law-enforcement authorities and trade organizations like the Entertainment Software Association continue to take aggressive steps to prevent the proliferation of these devices on a global scale, and similar results are being achieved in many countries. 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.
To report game copiers, illegal Nintendo software or other piracy-related activities, please contact Nintendo at 1-800-255-3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Nintendo’s fight against piracy, visit http://ap.nintendo.com.
About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™ home console and Nintendo DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 3.4 billion video games and more than 565 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™ and Nintendo GameCube™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at www.nintendo.com.
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