Game pirates have felt the strong hand of the law after being prosecuted for selling equipment that facilitates game piracy on Nintendo consoles and the Paris court of appeals ruled against six companies for selling linkers, such as the R4. The distributors have been ordered to pay over 5.2 million euros (AU$7.32 million) in damages and fines to Nintendo with some pirates receiving suspended prison terms and the victory comes as part of Nintendo’s ever vigilant campaign against piracy, which has seen lawsuits everywhere from Australia to New York, with some cases leading to similar nationwide bans……………….
This month, France joins a growing list of countries taking a strong legal stance against video game piracy. The Paris’ Court of Appeals issued guilty verdicts on Sept. 26th against Divineo SARL, along with five other companies, for the importation, sale and distribution of game copier devices commonly referred to as linkers in France (in other countries, the devices may be called R4s or Magicom). The Court has imposed over 460,000 Euro in criminal fines, damages payable to Nintendo in excess of 4.8 million Euros and in some instances ordered suspended prison terms. The decision of the Court of Appeals of Paris (France’s second highest Court) represents a strong message to French companies dealing in these devices, that such activities are illegal and will not be tolerated. Those who are caught risk prison terms, face substantial fines and obligations to pay damages. This case arguably has involved some of the most prolific importers, distributors and sellers of these devices. Raids carried out in December 2007 and November 2008 across a number of locations in Paris, Marseille and Strasbourg resulted in the seizure of several thousand game copiers. Nintendo would like to thank everyone in the law enforcement and prosecution agencies involved in this case for their invaluable support. This decision now brings France in line with other European territories, including the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Italy and Belgium, based on decisions they already have rendered. It also is consistent with other court decisions that have been issued globally. “Nintendo supported this criminal action not only for the company’s sake, butfor the interests of its game developer partners who spend time and money legitimately developing software for Nintendo’s game platforms, and customers who expect the highest standards and integrity from products bearing the Nintendo name,” said Stephan Bole, Managing Director of Nintendo France.