Nintendo wins $1m in damages from illegal flashcart sellers

Nintendo and 49 other Japanese publishers win $1m in damages from three companies selling DS flash cartridges in Tokyo.

A judge in a Japanese court case has ruled that three companies distributing illegal R4 flash cartridges for the Nintendo DS must pay Nintendo and dozens of other developers almost $1 million in damages.

Nintendo Japan announced that the three Tokyo-based resellers of the piracy-enabling R4 cartridges, Seafort Japan, Mediaforce, and Magical Company, are guilty of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act and must now pay ¥95,620,005 (approx $945,873/£635,774) in damages.

Nintendo and the 49 other plaintiffs make up almost all of Japan's major publishers, including Capcom, Namco Bandai, Konami, Square Enix, and D3.

The Japanese government ruled in November 2012 that, after years of attempting to block the devices from sale, all R4 devices are illegal in Japan.

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Discussion

506 comments
Mohjong
Mohjong

I realize this is also the solution to illegal street racing.  Instead of letting people buy cars and mod them to race on streets instead having racer licenses to race on tracks.  For every accident caused, sue them and the companies that mod the car, the companies that sold the parts....1 million dollar.

eati7
eati7

Well, they have to make their money somewhere...


Blaiyan
Blaiyan

Just annoying and frustrating. The court system clearly rewoards the highest bidder now.

genjuroT
genjuroT

Games are too bloody expensive not to pirate.

Retroboy85
Retroboy85

thing is, the cartridge itself is not breaking any laws.


it does allow the use of hombrew to be loaded from a sd card, but they are not shipping this device with games pre loaded onto a sd card.

the user is loading the software and games onto the sd card which it is them breaking the law, not the resellers.

but not surprising that nintendo won this case in japan, the country in which its government tells you what you can and cant do online.


if anything, nintendo should be the ones paying the publishers for damages, because its their system that runs this device and nintendo cant block it.

TransvormerSCol
TransvormerSCol

1million dollars for damages selling a lot of games illegal?

Wow, the Japanese guys are way more judicious than the Americans, when I listen to news where persons were indicated for "damage" of millions of dollars just for downloading illegal some music tracks, one or two movies or even some small games. Even when the "damage" was just done for the profit of one men, the damage of the situation here in this news seems to be more vast, since that companies even sold the games thousands of times illegal for money instead of letting it free of charge or something. So they got a lot of money for something they didn't even earn like to commit tax evasion or something like that. lol.

PupilsDilated
PupilsDilated

One million dollars is not much in the corporate world.

SpiderLuke
SpiderLuke

Now Disney will sue them for using the reject Star Wars droid, R4's, name.

Asymonte
Asymonte

These carts were great for playing backups ...... of other peoples' games.

shakensparco
shakensparco

lol I bought one of these in Bangkok for $8. However finding software to use it is not easy in the slightest. I just want to be able to have all my DS games in one place.

Bowser05
Bowser05

Thank goodness. Screw piracy.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

@genjuroT I wholeheartedly disagree. I am on a very meager salary and have a wife who doesn't work, she's a stay at home Mum... my wages cover my mortgage, other bills etc, and leave very little money to spend on anything but groceries... and yet still, if I see a game that's a must-have, I can buy it. Even if that means saving in most cases, or putting it on a credit card if I really must have it right away, then paying it off... but I manage. As do many of us who don't see ripping off the devs who make us these experiences as something which is morally acceptable.

shingui5
shingui5

@genjuroT entitlement at it's finest.

Video Games are an entertainment form, thus a luxury. It isn't a vital necessity of life, and people don't have a right to own them.

Can't afford a luxury; you shouldn't own it until you can. 

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

@Retroboy85 I agree, up to the part about Nintendo being liable. :)

It's just easier to sue the flashcart guys than it is to hunt down filesharers, unfortunately.

TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

@Retroboy85 not only does most of your post not even relate to this issue, the last bit is so blatantly ignorant you should be slapped in the fact for it

TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

@TransvormerSCol they didn't, the medium itself is not illegal, which is why they were only fined for creating unfair competition. The "problem" with law in these cases is that the enablers of piracy are usually legal in and of themselves. in this case however, they've found a legal means to at least get compensation for part of the problem 

shingui5
shingui5

@PupilsDilated it's not so much about money. It's about making the resale of  the R4 cards illicit, and thus making the company's actions illegal, and harming them and stopping their trade.

the money is just symbolic.  

SoulScribe
SoulScribe

@Bowser05 It doesn't stop the other flash cart brands. Piracy is like a shadow. The more light you cast on it the bigger it gets.

genjuroT
genjuroT

@SicklySunStorm just wrote 4 paragraphs just to say I mostly agree with you...lol. You should at least 'try' the game before you pay up to $60 for it.

Kevy1252
Kevy1252

@shingui5 life is to short, we should enjoy luxuries and entertainement as much as we can. get whatever you  want,however you want. That is how the capitalist world we live in works.

genjuroT
genjuroT

@shingui5 I guess I should just borrow it from my friends,rent them, or watch someone play it online. I'm just taking the opportunity while it's there. I actually want to know, how do you think I'm feeling entitled to games?

CarlitosWay
CarlitosWay

@TheGreatPhoenix His post is completely relevant, and his last comment has truth to it. The amount of piracy options available to the DS system is absurd. And its because Nintendo did a bad job of securing their product. 

Nobody is buying hacked DS's, so Nintendo doesnt lose money directly, as opposed to the actual game developers who are losing out on loses from illegal downloads. Fortunately, they were in the lawsuit as well. But again, if Nintendo didnt make it so easy, it wouldnt be a problem.

Retroboy85
Retroboy85

@TheGreatPhoenix @Retroboy85 looks like a fanboy to me.


how is it not relevant, the cartridge allows homebrew, theres loads of homebrew games out there.

but it also allows piracy, but like i said, the cartrdge does not ship with the piracy software or any games so its not breaking any law.

the user that loads the software and games onto the sd card are, and nintendo are the ones responsible for not having a update to block the cartridge

Bowser05
Bowser05

@SoulScribe @Bowser05 Ah, so does that mean we should just ignore the ones we can do something about then? If that is what you are trying to say, then that's pretty silly logic.

SirApathetic005
SirApathetic005

@SoulScribe I wish there wasn't truth to that, but unfortunately you're right. But it's like that for a lot of things.

Some good came out of this: they got some money they could probably use for either new games or to help get a game closer to release. Just ideas, and hopes and dreams lol.

genjuroT
genjuroT

@Loshead Not every game has a demo. Mispelling and bad punctuation is for kids too, btw. 

To your other comment; I'm also sure that's why there are so many kids in our prisons now(sarcasm), idiot.

btw I'm a 26 year old Iraq war vet. I take heavy offense to being called a child. I've never tried to be offensive on gamespot in the 10 years i've been a member, but in this case you pissed me off. Just letting you know why I'm calling you an idiot. Even then, I feel bad for saying it.

Kevy1252
Kevy1252

@chibi-acer and thats how corporations works. screwing us over before we get the chance to do the same thing, do you really think they care ? they just wanna make a buck and when they do something wrong they just write a  fat check to the government and make everything dissapear. laws are meant to be broken, espescially when you can afford to make your problems dissapear

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

@Kevy1252 "get whatever you  want,however you want"  When it breaks the law, that's how crime works.

genjuroT
genjuroT

@Loshead Believe me or not I don't give a shit. I'm telling you the truth.

Loshead
Loshead

@genjuroT @TheGreatPhoenix @shingui5 whatever your not gonna pirate the game and buy it genjurT you liar. your gonna pirate the game and keep it. Shingui5 is right. I buy my games, pirating is steeling. Thats what adults do.....child

genjuroT
genjuroT

@TheGreatPhoenix @shingui5 Oh, but on a side note; If I can afford a game and the game is good I'll buy the game after trying it first. I tried Don't starve for about a week and then decided to buy it because it was affordable for me and I liked it.

TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

@genjuroT @shingui5 I believe entitlement can very easily be described as taking something you don't own without qualm. regardless of justification, ease or severity

TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

@CarlitosWay @TheGreatPhoenix Blaming Nintendo for the piracy is ludicrous, are we going to blame governments for building the streets that drug merchants use to sell their goods? will we shut down the internet so it can never be used to violate the law again? Are we going to tell a family that has been robbed of all its possessions that they are responsible for getting robbed?

Retroboy85
Retroboy85

@Loshead @Retroboy85 @TheGreatPhoenix we know what users load onto it yes, but the key missing point that the greatwiitardedpheonix isnt getting.

it doesnt come with the software to pirate nor any roms.

the user is the one that loads the software/roms onto a sd card

nintendo know about this and did not block it, so theyre part to blame too.

i sell a cart to someone, if like me, for my child, its used to play homebrew (emulators) music and kids shows, it does not play DS roms.

this, i have not broken any laws, the roms maybe as i dont own 100% of the genesis carts (i own some tho), music is ripped from the cds and shows are off her milkshake dvds.

so i havent broken any laws.

thos that chose to run pirated ds roms have, but nintendo have allowed it to happen by not blocking it.

its that simple, if you know something like this is happening yet do nothing, your just as much to blame, not all users that buy the R4 use it to pirate, the company i bought it off, never sold me it with the software and roms so theyve not broken any law

TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

@CarlitosWay yes lets use my logic, as you cannot even seem to

"Lets use your logic then. So, because the designers of the R4 cards, who created for legitimate purposes, sold their product to customers who in tern started using it for illegal purposes, they should be held responsible?"

They are not being held responsible for piracy, read the article.

"If Nintendo creates a system that can easily be used to play pirated games and they SHOULDNT be held accountable, then by that understanding the designers lf R4 cards should not be penalized for other peoples actions."

laws are based on the actions an individual takes, not on everything someone can do to prevent it, a person who commits a crime, is responsible for that, whether or not someone attempted to stop him.

"You mention drugs and the government fighting. A while back, prohibition made alcohol illegal. Yhis DIRECTLY created the bootleggers and the mobs heavy influence in the battle against prohibition. Ao in turn, their making od something illegal (which was once legal) crrated said problem."

As this is in no way related to anything mentiond, I'm ignoring it.

"If a family moves to a real bad area, where crime, including robbery, assault, and murder happen, then they should take protective measures to not get affected. no security is full proof, but some is better than none. If yoy leave your door open eveey night (as Nintendo sid, metaphorically) then you are asking to get robbed."

this comes back to the earlier point, that a person is responsible for his own actions, taking someone else his belongings simply because its easy, is still a crime, and the ease of the crime is no valid reason to commit it.

killing someone in his sleep is not only easy, people will also not actively guard themselves against getting killed whilst asleep. does this excuse someone from murdering?

It is indeed true that Nintendo has made itself an easy target, yet that does not excuse the crime. It is also not the point of this trial, nor is this article.

CarlitosWay
CarlitosWay

Lets use your logic then. So, because the designers of the R4 cards, who created for legitimate purposes, sold their product to customers who in tern started using it for illegal purposes, they should be held responsible?

If Nintendo creates a system that can easily be used to play pirated games and they SHOULDNT be held accountable, then by that understanding the designers lf R4 cards should not be penalized for other peoples actions.

To dispure your other points:

You mention drugs and the government fighting. A while back, prohibition made alcohol illegal. Yhis DIRECTLY created the bootleggers and the mobs heavy influence in the battle against prohibition. Ao in turn, their making od something illegal (which was once legal) crrated said problem.

If a family moves to a real bad area, where crime, including robbery, assault, and murder happen, then they should take protective measures to not get affected. no security is full proof, but some is better than none. If yoy leave your door open eveey night (as Nintendo sid, metaphorically) then you are asking to get robbed.

TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

@Retroboy85 @TheGreatPhoenix 

You do realise that so far, your entire argument is based on simply reiterating yourself? you realise that you claim to point out a flaw, yet show nothing that's wrong with it? you realise that you still rely on calling me a fanboy on multiple occasions with the only justification that me claiming your arguments don't hold water means I'm defending them?

your and idiot

TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

@Retroboy85 your logic is so twisted, that your even missing his point

you, are insane.

Retroboy85
Retroboy85

@zyxahn @TheGreatPhoenix @Retroboy85 thats a perfect example.

guns dont kill people, people using them do

the cartridge didnt come with piracy, the user put it on kinda thing, that he isnt getting.

if it came with pirated roms and all its software to play them, then yes nintendo were right to sue them, but it never so theyre in the wrong.

nintendo should have blocked it, so theyre just as guilty for still releasing a system that COULD allow this cartridge that COULD run pirated games.

Retroboy85
Retroboy85

@TheGreatPhoenix @Retroboy85 listen to yourself, ill point another FLAW.

your saying if i dont guard myself properly you hope i get robbed.

but thats just it, nintendo hasnt gurded themselves, they knew this cartridge was out and did nothing to block it.

the cartridge itself does not cause piracy, its main use was to load homebrew, the fact is you nintendo loving fanboy... NINTENDO DID NOTHING TO BLOCK.

so it should be them that compensate devs for any lost sales, this is what they took the sellers of this cartridge to court over...


i refaire you as a fanboy, because, its simple logic that i am saying, but because im also stating nintendo are to blame, your acting your darn hardest to defend them, when the simple fact is, rather than sue a cartridge.... BLOCK IT, failing to do it, means theyre to blame aswel

TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

@Retroboy85 @TheGreatPhoenix

and you continue with the bloody miss-comparison

 1, you can blame them for not fighting crime, which is also their task, not for making a street, in this situation the forum for the crime.

2. you are referring to the reprimands of the users of the internet, as connecting to the internet is a personal action, not an action against the medium itself

3. if you believe that simply not protecting your property gives leave to people to rob you, I sincerely hope you get robbed on the street, you simply did not guard yourself properly. and your should not report that you have been robbed, after all, your logic seems to claim that he was justified in taking your stuff, as you were not able to prevent him from doing so

Your ignorance is staggering, and the fact that you urge others to think before replying without showing any sign that you've done so yourself is pitiful, and claiming that someone is a fan boy simply for disagreeing with you is childish at best.

you have my pity 

Retroboy85
Retroboy85

@TheGreatPhoenix OMG dude think for a second before you reply.


unfair competition, its a nice sugar coat - there is no competition if your not having to buy the games, cant be ar5ed to read your crock o sh1te examples to try defend.

usual wiitarded fanboy defense... with sh1t that has no relevance what so ever and makes even less sense o_O

1) you can infact blame the government/councils that do nothing if dealers are known in an area to sell drugs or manufacture them.

2) if your found to break your ISP T&C's for example filesharing illegal content... your ISP disconnect your service and they have what you call a 3 strike policy, if caught a number of times (mine is 3) you will be fined and disconnected permanently.

3) if you family member left its doors wide open and got robbed, then yes.

 comment 3 is the best one, lest use the door open as a security breach on the DS - thus been the flash cart.

nintendo did nothing to prevent or block... there brings us back and the circle is complete, the cart its self contains nothing that breaches any competition. it is the user that can do so, because nintendo have left the door open to do so.


TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

@Retroboy85 @TheGreatPhoenix fine I'll explain your error

- but like i said, the cartrdge does not ship with the piracy software or any games so its not breaking any law.-

Not relevant, as they have not been charged for being responsible for piracy, only creating unfair competition, and that is illegal in Japanese law. so they are breaking a law

Blaming Nintendo for the piracy is ludicrous, are we going to blame governments for building the streets that drug merchants use to sell their goods? will we shut down the internet so it can never be used to violate the law again? Are we going to tell a family that has been robbed of all its possessions that they are responsible for getting robbed?