Nintendo has fired yet another volley in its war on video game piracy, this time against a Queens, New York-based seller of "illegal video game copiers." Nintendo has filed suit against the owner of NXPGAME, which presided over a website that sold "illegal video game copiers that enable the user to download, play and distribute illegal copies of Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi video game software." Nintendo alleges that the owner agreed to shut down the website after several calls and letters from Nintendo legal counsel, but proceeded to open another website selling the same products. Nintendo adds that the old site also redirected users to the new one.
Nintendo doesn't specify exactly what the "Illegal game copiers" in question are, though it does mention a 2009 court case in which the California Central District Court judged the infamous R4 flash cart to be in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and deemed them illegal in the United States. According to Nintendo, such devices "circumvent the technological protection measures" of the DS and DSi and thus infringe on the company's intellectual property rights.
Jodi Daugherty, senior director of Nintendo's anti-piracy effort, noted that using such devices "is illegal and it's wrong," adding, "Piracy is especially harmful to smaller developers." Alex Neuse, CEO of Gaijin Games (Bit.Trip Runner) states in the press release that he estimates that "more than 70 percent" of his company's games have been obtained illegally. "Put simply," said Neuse, "if you enjoy a company's games, paying for them helps to ensure that they will continue to make products you'll like."
The news follows a recent win for Nintendo in a similar Australian court case this past February. That case saw offenders pay in excess of $500,000. In the same month, Nintendo won another case against a man that leaked New Super Mario Bros. Wii onto the internet, ending in a fine of $1.5 million. Once again, would-be pirates, Nintendo is serious about this.