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Nintendo Wins Piracy Battle In Dutch Court

Nintendo Wins Piracy Battle In Dutch Court

July 21, 2010 | By Kris Graft

July 21, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Nintendo won a legal battle in the Netherlands as a court found 11 online retailers guilty of infringing on the game maker's intellectual property through sales of R4 cards and mod chips for DS and Wii.

Software pirates use R4 cards to store and access hundreds of illegally-obtained DS games on one cartridge. Mod chips installed in consoles also allow users to play pirated versions of video games.

"Nintendo protects its intellectual property rights globally and takes action to prevent the distribution of pirated software and devices that allow illegally downloaded software to be played," the company said in a Wednesday MCV report.

The retailers' defense was that Nintendo was practicing unfair competition by objecting to the sale of the products, but a Hague District Court denied the claim.

Nintendo is particularly active in its efforts to curb piracy. In May this year, the company filed a lawsuit against an R4 card seller in NXPGAME, an online retailer based in Queens, New York. In June, the company updated the Wii's firmware to disable pirated and "homebrew" content on the console.

Nintendo recently blamed R4 cards for a 50 percent drop in European DS software sales. The upcoming 3DS will incorporate more means to combat piracy, according to THQ, which is making games for the handheld.

Last year, Nintendo also spearheaded a DS piracy lawsuit against R4 sellers that included 53 other plaintiffs. Capcom called the cards "illegal instruments" that cause significant financial damage.

Nintendo's statement on the latest case added, "Nintendo takes this action not only for the companys sake, but in the interests of its partners who spend time and money legitimately developing software for Nintendo video game consoles and systems, and customers who expect the highest standards and integrity from products bearing the Nintendo name."

Japan's CESA trade organization claimed last month that portable console game piracy has cost the worldwide game industry $41.5 billion over five years.

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