Nintendo's war against Aussie piracy has escalated sharply in 2010 with the house of Mario successfully suing Queenslander James Burt after it was found he illegally distributed New Super Mario Bros. Wii a week before its worldwide release. Another recent victory saw Nintendo settle out of court with online store Gadget Gear to destroy all its R4 DS cartridge stock and agree to a A$620,000 payment plus Nintendo's court costs.
The latest salvo was fired today when Nintendo announced that the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service had recently intercepted and seized a shipment of pirated goods heading to Australia. The shipment contained counterfeit Wii Remotes, Nunchuks, and Wii games, though the bulk of the container was made up of R4 cards used to store downloaded Nintendo DS games. A spokesperson for Nintendo Australia told GameSpot AU that the haul would have represented an estimated A$1.5 million ($1.3m) of lost sales for the region.
GameSpot AU contacted Australian Customs seeking details on when the seizure was made and what, if any punishment the importers face, but had not received a response at time of print.
Console modifications, such as mod chips and R4 cards, are illegal under the Australian Copyright Act of 1968 because they breach the "circumvention device" provisions of the act.
[UPDATE] The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has told GameSpot AU that the seizure was made on January 29, 2010. A total of 150 items were taken aside under the Notice of Objection Scheme in the Trade Marks Act 1995 under the suspicion that they infringed on Nintendo's trademarks.
The importer of these goods has agreed to allow customs to detain and dispose of the goods. A spokesman for customs told GameSpot AU that “The decision to take legal action is made by the registered objector. The court will determine any penalties that would be imposed.” This leaves the ball in Nintendo's court as to whether or not it decides to proceed with legal action.