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Nintendo Crucifies DS Pirate: 30 Months & $100,000


Nintendo’s campaign against piracy has scored another victory with a Nintendo DS pirate being handed a two and half year prison sentence and force to pay $100,000 in penalty, after he made a game available for free download.

The Kyoto district court heard that the defendant, a 38-year-old Osaka salaryman, distributed Nintendo DS software online, violating Nintendo’s copyright and trademarks.

Prosecutors sought a four and a half year prison sentence, ¥2,000,000 in fines, and a further ¥7,100,000 in confiscations. The judge granted all of their requests save the lengthy prison sentence, which he reduced to 2 and a half years.

The accused man made Rhythm Tengoku Gold freely available for download from his homepage, proclaiming “the age of DS software downloads,” as well as duplicating the game in China. The confiscations apparently stem from revenues he concealed in the course of other fraudulent activities, including selling counterfeit goods.

The judge was keen to hang the pirate high, lambasting him for his wicked assault on struggling console giant Nintendo, even if he did not consider the sort of sentence handed out to thieves and rapists appropriate:

“His criminal conduct tramples on the huge development costs of the copyright holders who develop this software. It is clear that he did great monetary harm to the rights holders.”

Via 47news.

Nintendo, based in Kyoto, seems to enjoy a favourable relationship with courts. Whether it can defeat piracy by technical means as well remains to be seen…

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