MUMBAI: In the ongoing fight against video game piracy worldwide, Nintendo of America Inc. has filed a civil lawsuit against the owner of multiple websites that sell illegal video game copiers.
Nintendo filed suit on 11 May11 in the Western District of Washington against the owner of NXPGAME of Queens, New York.
Nintendo investigated a website owned by NXPGAME and found that it was selling illegal video game copiers that enable the user to download, play and distribute illegal copies of Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi video game software. After multiple letters and telephone calls from Nintendo’s legal counsel, the owner agreed to cease selling game copiers and closed his website. Shortly thereafter, the owner launched an identical business at a different website address, and redirected people who visited his old site to the new one to purchase illegal game copiers.
Despite the repeated attempts to get NXPGAME Inc. to cease its illegal activities, the company and its owner continue to operate multiple websites that sell illegal game copiers. Nintendo asserts that NXPGAME is willfully infringing on the company’s intellectual property rights. Additionally, one of the company’s websites uses Nintendo registered trademarks and violates Nintendo’s copyrights.
“Using game copiers to play unauthorized downloaded games is illegal and it’s wrong. Piracy is especially harmful to smaller developers. When their creative works are stolen and copied illegally, some companies find it difficult to survive economically,” said Nintendo of America’s senior director of anti-piracy Jodi Daugherty.
This lawsuit follows the 2009 Nintendo v. Chan case, in which a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles confirmed that game copiers violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and are deemed illegal in the United States. The U.S. District Court ruled that devices such as the R4 copier infringe on Nintendo’s intellectual property rights. In that case, the court ordered Chan and the three major websites that he operated to stop selling the illegal devices immediately.
Game copiers are designed to connect to the Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendo DSi hand-held systems and circumvent the technological protection measures embedded in the system. This infringes on Nintendo’s intellectual property rights. These game copiers are then used to copy and play illegal Nintendo game files offered unlawfully via the Internet.
Since 2009, Nintendo has supported almost 1,500 legal actions (including customs seizures, law-enforcement actions and civil proceedings) in more than 20 countries that have resulted in the confiscation of more than 422,000 video game copiers.