Nintendo stomps Aussie Mario pirate

Nintendo reaches A$1.5 million ($1.3 million) out-of-court settlement with New Super Mario Bros. Wii pirate; case could affect release timing in Australia of future Nintendo titles.

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New Super Mario Bros. Wii was a massive hit for Nintendo last year, with reports stating the reimagining of the classic platformer sold nearly 10.5 million units globally in its first two months of sale. The game seemed to be a popular one for people illegally downloading it, too, with Nintendo saying copies of the game were available on the Web as early as November 6, 2009, days before its official release.

Mario to get A$1.5 million from software pirate.

Now it seems Nintendo has nabbed a pirate and today reached a settlement against an individual in Australia for illegally copying and uploading New Super Mario Bros. Wii in November last year. Queenslander James Burt has been ordered to pay a damages bill to Nintendo of A$1.5 million ($1.3 million) and to cover the company's legal fees. According to Nintendo, this fee is to compensate the company for the loss of sales revenue caused by Burt's actions.

In a statement from Nintendo, the company said it used "sophisticated technological forensics to identify the individual responsible for illegally copying the file and making it available for further distribution". This led to police searching Burt's home on November 23 last year. Court documents also show Nintendo wanted any details and passwords found during the search relating to the Wii hack site www.yafaze.com. Visiting the site now only results in a message stating yafaze has shut down and that "the site and all of it's [sic] contents has been removed out of respect for Nintendo".

A Nintendo Australia spokesperson told GameSpot AU that apart from the loss of revenue caused by piracy of the game, the fact that an Australian was the first to illegally upload the game could jeopardise the release timings of future Nintendo titles. Typically, Australians have had to wait days and sometimes months after other regions for Nintendo games to be released locally. New Super Mario Bros. Wii was a rare occurrence where Australia received the game earlier than any other territory.

"Nintendo Australia is always pushing for games to be released here at the same time as the rest of the world, so we were pleased to get New Super Mario Bros. Wii before anyone else," the spokesperson said. "Unfortunately, due to the actions of this individual, future release dates may be affected for Australia, which is disappointing for us."

Discussion

91 comments
BlazikenTails64
BlazikenTails64

I mean...this might bring a bad reputation Aus. (In gaming ) At least I ain't a pirate, I just hope that people wont go to me and saw "She's An Australian. She's a pirate." Please pirates.....just be patient for games!

rodrigohbrito
rodrigohbrito

@frankblack789 If you read carefully what I wrote you'll see that in no moment I've tried to justify piracy. In no moment I said piracy is good, on the contrary: "Sure piracy is a problem" is on my text (and I believe you agree with me in this point). Piracy is just one of the thousands risks organizations face in a market and these risks are include in the product's final price (there are places where the piracy is way higher than here and we pay more for the same game). My point is that Miyamoto is not going to have to cancel his holidays because of this.

BlazikenTails64
BlazikenTails64

How sad. How very, very sad. For an Australian to do it, it may affect the nation. I don't wanna wait longer for games...it took ages for Starfy!

frankblack789
frankblack789

@ rodrigohbrito pirating is illegal & not subject to justification by you. if individuals had enough integrity to not pirate products, then perhaps those of us who are honest gamers & respect the efforts game developers put into their products would not have to pay the extra cost to cover your so-called "piracy factor".

rodrigohbrito
rodrigohbrito

As Nintendo didn't include the "piracy factor" in the price of their products! People pay for that as well! And no, really few people download and burn pirate games, and it's not going to blow the market over here. Sure piracy is a problem, but SURE there's someone else paying for that. Nintendo is doing they're whinger role in this crap play!

leeko_link
leeko_link

Pirates beware.... ummh yeah Nintendo is not playing around with you anymore.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Good. Pirates need to be stopped. They are robbing developers of money they have earned. I know that I'm going into the film business and I feel that if I spend a year or many years on a film, then I deserve to be compensated for the work I put into a project. People also need to realise that even though this article is about Nintendo, not everyone makes nearly as much money as Nintendo. While pirating things from the big developers, filmmakers, musicians doesn't hurt them too much, most people in the arts out there aren't the "big guys" and stealing from them DOES hurt them. People just need to realise that stealing media isn't just some little thing and that it DOES hurt the people who spend their time and money creating it.

Abecale
Abecale

Also, i love how yafaze.com. are protecting their ass, and as soon as they get one whiff of potential danger or lawsuit, they close the site down and run. Hahaha. If you cant do the time, dont do the crime.

Abecale
Abecale

Serves him right to be honest. He broke the law, he knew he was, and now he is getting justice. Nintendo owns the rights and if they lost that amount of money that was reported (people not buying the copy because they downloaded it from this guys upload), then its fair deuce.

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

LOL @ "the company said it used "sophisticated technological forensics to identify the individual responsible for illegally copying the file and making it available for further distribution" Sophisticated technological forensics, LMFAO.

maxgil2
maxgil2

Pretty much he's one of those ppl who thinks "Oh it won't happen to me, I won't get caught.." BAM gotcha..man we have lots of pirates here. If you're poor then be glad with what you have...what makes you think just because you're poor its ok to steal?

CadillacCowboy
CadillacCowboy

To all of those complaining this guy "didn't REALLY STEAL $3,000,000" - HIS actions and ONLY his actions (this guy had the ONLY legal copy of the game in the world, at the time he uploaded it!) were DIRECTLY responsible for Nintendo loosing up to $3,000,000! Furthermore, I GUARANTEE that if you all had a business (any type) and I did something that DIRECTLY caused you to loose up to $3,000,000 in profit, you'd have me in court TOMORROW, probably seeking a similar settlement! Yes his punishment was harsh, there's no denying it, but this guy was COMPLETELY aware of the potential consequences when he uploaded it (heck, they tell you when you load the game!) and has NO ONE to blame except himself! Is he financially ruined? Most likely, but again, he has NO ONE to blame but himself! Will Nintendo ever see this money? Unless this guy has some money behind him, I highly doubt it... Was this case a waste of time? I doubt it - it won't eliminate piracy, but it will certainly make a LOT of people think twice about uploading something from now on... And for the record, I do NOT have a lot of money, in fact I only JUST scrape into the "lower-middle-class" category! To the media companies, keep this up - like it or hate it, you'll NEVER eliminate piracy, but the more times you take individuals to court for vast sums of money like this, the more people will think twice about uploading pirate content!

Semione
Semione

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

somomom
somomom

This guy's life should be ruined. People need to realize the law is the LAW. You CAN get caught. By sueing him 1.5 mill, they are warning other pirates that consequences still exist. People shouldn't forget: What comes around, goes around, and with double the force.

shloobonya
shloobonya

They should lock him in jail for a while too, look what software piracy has done to PC gaming. A lot of companies simply don't make games for pc anymore just because their investment is blatently stolen, in many cases before the game even comes to market. Seems a lot of people think they are entitled to steal digital content, and act offended that this guy was punished. If you can't afford to buy a game at current retail prices, then you shouldn't have the privledge of playing the game. Death to all pirates, online cheats, and hackers!!

DAMSOG
DAMSOG

There is no excuse for what Mr Burt has done, Nintendo has every right to nail him to the wall and I hope they do. He needs to made an example of so people will think twice before doing such deeds in the future, his actions is what is destroying the gaming industry. Imagine your a employee of Nintendo and you worked bloody hard to produce that game, how would you feel to see your hours given away? Mr Burt knew exactly what he was doing when he uploaded the game therfore he was well aware of the penalties associated with such an action, perhaps they could send Mario around to beat him with a hammer because I think Nintendo have buckleys chance of getting the cash out of the little weasel!

Assassin1349
Assassin1349

"Queenslander James Burt has been ordered to pay a damages bill to Nintendo of A$1.5 million ($1.3 million) and to cover the company's legal fees. According to Nintendo, this fee is to compensate the company for the loss of sales revenue caused by Burt's actions." Perhaps if Nintendo was smart enough to threaten to sue him instead, he would have backed off and took the illegal material off the internet and all of these court fees could have been avoided. As for the lost of sales... Dude those people weren't going to buy it anyway. Does Nintendo honestly think that someone with a modded Wii planned on buying their games? And this guy might just make enough money to pay them off by the time he's dead. I don't support pirating but there's no need to ruin someones life over this.

mjax211
mjax211

Why is there any debate over this? We all know from the very annoying FBI and interpol warnings at the beginning of EVERY FILM EVER that its illegal to reproduce copyrighted material and share it. So, this guy did exactly that and got caught. Bummer for him. But I guess he should have been prepared for that. I mean, if I were to STEAL a game BEFORE its release and make it widely available on the internet I think I'd have to have a better plan than 'Don't get caught.' Don't feel sorry for stupid people kids. It makes the world a dumber place.

snooker8th
snooker8th

i hope he isn't just some uni student or someone who uploaded it as a 'hobby' .. where would any average young guy get $1.5million?

Pattonfiend67
Pattonfiend67

pirates sell media they did not pay for. this guy bought his game and shared it with everyone, he didn't make a dime off of it. in fact, nintendo got his money from buying the game, and then they charged him another $1.5 mil, lol... oh the irony, he had to pay twice for the same thing... and yet he still didn't make a cent...

fon1988
fon1988

Anyone who doesn't think Nintendo is justified for taking this action against this aussie is ignorant. Let some aussie steal from you and see if you don't take him to court and sue him.

fon1988
fon1988

Anyone who doesn't think Nintendo is justified for taking this action against this aussie is ignorant. Let some aussie steal from you and see if you don't take him to court and sue him.

EEVILUS
EEVILUS

fatpumba3 & Shinkada I completely agree with you.-

Shinkada
Shinkada

Good job, dood! Hopefully if this keeps up, Nintendo will stop releasing games here completely, which will stop me from having to hear about them as much. Almost forgot: Both the people commenting here and Nintendo's lawyers seem to have forgotten that THIS ONE MAN WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY PIRATED COPY OF THE GAME EVER. He may have deserved a fine but he didn't deserve to shoulder every dollar Nintendo /may/ have lost through piracy. The kid probably had a crap lawyer if he didn't point out that just because someone downloaded the game doesn't mean they WOULD have bought it otherwise. So much wrong with this case.

drivemuse
drivemuse

I hate Nintendo for doing this to this (admittedly guilty) dude, overkill Nintendo. Nintendo isn't special anymore, they're just corporate jerks.

sagameister3
sagameister3

Now if only they somehow got rid of the r4 lol.

Hellcat-
Hellcat-

YES NINTENDO! show us how nice and un greedy you are so we will feel shame if you pirate your games, and dont worry nintendo , you couldnt make me play your lazy facelifts you call games.

fatpumba3
fatpumba3

Seriously why is there so many Nintendo suck up comments here? It's like you guys are also pirates but afraid of getting caught so you say stuff like "Go Nintendo". Again I am not advocating piracy I am just saying anyone who says that they are glad Nintendo did this are rich people who have no idea what being poor or bankrupt feels like.

fatpumba3
fatpumba3

Good going Nintendo. You ruined a HUMAN BEING'S life over a game. Shame on you this will surely destroy his whole life. I am not advocating piracy I am just saying this was way too harsh. He probably should have got a $100,000 fine maximum.

EEVILUS
EEVILUS

The ease with which you can hack the Wii, has been one of the reasons why the console has sold so well, apart from casual players, certain games and price of console. Nintendo should work harder to make hardware not as vulnerable, even if it means a drop in sales. Certainly, Nintendo will not do...

JimBob2424
JimBob2424

Recalling Nintendo Australia's response to Gamespots feature on piracy (http://au.gamespot.com/features/6203923/p-2.html) last year this doesn't really come as much of a surprise. They're very old school in their approach to "controlling" their products. I think it's more of a shame than justice that this guy got caught. It's only going to encourage them to keep going for control rather than something more positive like incentives to get people to buy their products. Their comment at the end of this article goes a long way to backing that up.

CadillacCowboy
CadillacCowboy

Regardless of how you look at it, this guy effectively STOLE at least $3,000,000 ($60/game x 50,000 - Nintendo's estimate of the number of pirate downloads for this game) from a company full of people that worked hard to create their product - he should have AT LEAST two years of HARD jail-time! Rest assured, if I stole even half that amount from a bank, I'd be spending at least the next five years behind bars (ten years more likely), so why should it be different for this guy? What the industry needs to do, is introduce tougher penalties based on the Dollar value of lost revenue, with jail-time a realistic penalty... You start throwing pirates or those downloading pirate content in jail and I GUARANTEE you will see piracy decline (particularly if you can get other countries on-board) - you'll never COMPLETELY eliminate piracy, but you will certainly make a BIG, BIG difference.

smooth40
smooth40

@Draconous79 Nintendo charging $400 AU for a console with last gen technology, they are certainly profiting on every console they sell.

maxgil2
maxgil2

He got caught cause he was stupid so he's made an example. Why defend his stupidity? Bias towards Australia?.pfft...they have always been bias towards Australia..just check out the price of games we pay compare to ahem US..woop ti doo we get 1 game early where the rest of the other 100 games we get late.

nezardm
nezardm

How many BullS! comments i read here, looks like the corps. Are doing a really really good job brainwashing! IF HE DIDN'T DO IT SOMEONE ELSE WOULD HAVE! END OF STORY! All that talk that people who pirate games are poor and cant buy them is BULL! so is the thing about them making money on their hacks! they do it and share it for free with the internet community, simple as that. I dont see what nintendos point with this but ok, i think that the copy of any game is downloaded in millions every day in america,asia etc. Are you gonna chase them all? Ninty just shut up! your consoles are printing up enough! better turn around and help 3rd party developers then chasing ghosts!

Kitty_Fields
Kitty_Fields

Nintendo's "sophisticated technology" they used to track this guy down was not so sophisticated indeed. The idiot pirate posted a picture of himself holding his receipt from the store where he bought the game from to a particular website, along with a post where he boasted that he was the first one to pirate the game and upload it. Of course, he didn't use a proxy or anything, hence making him an easy target. What an idiot... he totally deserves this.

GCwasthebestsys
GCwasthebestsys

this is Nintendo trying make an example out of somebody and get media coverage for the issue at hand

lhscouchmonster
lhscouchmonster

Single out Australia because of one person? This can and does happen everywhere else in the world so why do this to Australia? Any game released first in NA will be first pirated there too. I feel like they said that to use as an excuse in the future. I highly doubt Nintendo would delay releases to punish one person who wont have enough cash to even buy the game to upload after that settlement money kicks in. and stores everywhere break the release dates so thats not the problem either

marioman87
marioman87

People who pirate media have no life.

FoppyOmega
FoppyOmega

@BibiMaghoo Does the same go for drug dealers?

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

Nintendo has to be really rich to do that. Considering they make billions in video games. Amazing.

mrklorox
mrklorox

Dunno why they'd single out Australia. Whoever gets the game first is gonna upload it first. If it was released in Dubai first, they would have uploaded it first. It's just how that stuff goes. Don't let Australia, the innocent bystander, get screwed over by the actions of ONE of its citizens.

toadman682000
toadman682000

Keep in mind that the reason they pursued this guy was that he was the ORIGINAL UPLOADER. He was the one they can reasonably say cost him millions of dollars.

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

I wish I could see this guys face when he was told he had to pay 1.5 mil. Now if only all pirates found the same fate. There needs to be an easy way to anonymously report people that pirate media.

user_93475765
user_93475765

Nintendo's been taking corporate villainy to a whole new level lately. Having grown up with the NES, I hardly recognize them as the same company anymore. They need to go under before they start hanging schoolchildren for sharing game cartridges. "Ridiculous" doesn't begin to describe this case.

phasor666
phasor666

omg as if it wasnt bad enough with game ratings and im wondering if us here in New Zealand will be punished for 1 mans faults aswell cause if we do thats bul s##t we never even got manhunt 2 way to violent and now we probably will be waiting for a game for months to find that we aint even gonna get it pretty lame, oh please dont delay heartgold and soulsilver or golden sun. Piracy is deffinatly going to increase now shot Ninty shot your own foot, yea bet that hurt!

ricardo-sene
ricardo-sene

@BibiMaghoo Why are you defending a person that's damaging the game's industry?

AceBalls
AceBalls

This isn't about him paying back $1.5m at all. He's just become another Kazzaa story target by the corporation to inflict a scare warning on everyone else. You really think this guy has that kind of money?