Nintendo, 53 publishers taking R4 sellers to court

The R4 has been a pirate’s dream for many years, allowing gamers to essentially rip off the DS’ entire library and carry it around on one little cart. Sure, many people claim to buy an R4 to “back up” their existing game collection, but we all know what the things are really used for. Well, Nintendo’s sick of it, and has rallied fifty-three publishers to try and stop the things being sold.

Capcom recently announced it was backing Nintendo on new legal action, where four known sellers of the R4 Revolution will be tried under the Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Act. Nintendo pushed to make the sale of R4s illegal back in February, but nobody cared, and sales of the device continued. Now Nintendo’s going after the sellers themselves. 

We predict yet another mini-victory for publishers in a war that they will never win.

Capcom Co., Ltd. (Capcom) announced that along with Nintendo and other 53 software manufacturers who develop/sell video game software for play on the Nintendo DS (including Nintendo DSLite and Nintendo DSi) filed a lawsuit on October 5 in the Tokyo District Court against four companies, who had been importing/selling the “R4 Revolution for DS” (a typical model of a “game copying device”). The companies filed their action pursuant to the Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Act (2009 (WA) No. 35335) seeking an injunction to stop the distribution of the game copying devices, as well as seeking damage compensation.

Regarding the Game Copying Devices, the court ruled in favor of the companies to allow full recognition of their claims and to make it illegal to import and sell the Game Copying Devices in this February. However, import and sales of the Game Copying Devices showed no sign of disappearance from the market thereafter. We have been sending a warning to request the discontinuation to vendors who are continuously selling the Game Copying Devices after the court decision in February, or have been sending a warning to pay compensation for damages to vendors who were selling the Game Copying Devices in the past. However, since we observe many cases that the vendors ignore our warning or the vendors do not show any sincere response to our warning, we decided to take legal action at this time.

We are expecting the entire society including users to recognize that our company and other software manufactures have extremely sustained damages from proliferation of illegal instruments, such as the Game Copying Devices, and the computer industries have sustained serious damages because of those vendors, and we expect to influence the society to eliminate such illegal instruments from the market.

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James Stephanie Sterling
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