Thursday, 11 March 2010 11:09

Nintendo seizes R4 cards at the border

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Nintendo Australia has intensified its efforts to stamp out video-game piracy on its popular DS hand-held systems, calling in the border guards to crack down on importation of the R4 cards.

Hot on the heels of the successful law case against the importation and sale of game copier cards (known popularly as R4 cards, though other brands and types are available), Nintendo Australia is now conducting drug-bust style raids on the importation of the device.

The R4 allows owners of the very popular series of Nintendo handheld DS devices to copy and download games. 

Nintendo has also been in the legal news of late when it settled out of court with the 24 year old Queensland man who uploaded a copy of New Super Mario Bros. Wii a week before the mega-selling software officially went on sale.

Nintendo has garnered a significant amount of scare-tactic value over and above the AU$1.5 million payout deal from that case, and is now baring its claws again with the revelation that it has teamed up with customs to crack open shipping containers of R4 cards.

Nintendo says: Nintendo confirms that the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service have seized game copiers (commonly referred to as R4 cards) and other counterfeit Nintendo products from an importer attempting to distribute the products in Australia. This is the first Australian customs seizure of game copiers of this type.

Video game piracy continues to be a serious problem in Australia. Nintendo attributes it to the availability of game copiers, the devices that circumvent the technical protection measures embedded in the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi systems that enable the play of illegal Nintendo software downloaded via the Internet. Game copiers infringe Nintendo's trademarks and copyright and breach the 'circumvention device' provisions of the Copyright Act.

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Nintendo has been working with the Australian enforcement authorities to curtail the spread of piracy for more than 10 years.

The seizure in Australia follows another recent significant Nintendo action. Earlier this month, Nintendo has taken successful action in the Federal Court in Australia against an importer and online seller of game copiers establishing that these actions are illegal and the consequences are real.

Nintendo is also taking action against distributors and sellers of game copiers and other infringing devices in many other countries around the world. In some countries, successful criminal proceedings have been brought against the manufacturers, suppliers and sellers of game copiers.

For further information regarding the recent Federal court civil action against the importer and online seller of game copiers please see our Media Release dated 22 February 2010 titled 'Nintendo Successfully Takes Action Against R4 Cards' which can be found at: http://www.nintendo.com.au/index.php?action=news&nid=79

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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