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Nintendo bags a pirate

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1 Nintendo bags a pirate on Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:20 pm

A guy in Brisbane, Australia somehow bought a copy of New Super Mario Bros. Wii a week before the actual release date and then decided to upload the game onto a filesharing network. Nintendo tracked him down and sued him for damages. You want to know just how much this ordinary 24 year old guy now has to pay Nintendo?

$1.5 million.

http://au.gamespot.com/news/6249964.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=topstory&tag=topstory;title

Even though I support cracking down on game piracy I can't help but feel that there just isn't any way this guy is going to pay off this debt before he dies, whether from suicide or old age. Who gets the debt then? His family?

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2 Re: Nintendo bags a pirate on Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:41 pm

I agree that it was dumb of him to illegally download the game and share it, however, I think the cost he has to pay is way overboard. They will easily be able to make that much back on their own without him having to pay. There's no need to charge him such a ridiculous amount.

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3 Re: Nintendo bags a pirate on Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:25 pm

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4 Re: Nintendo bags a pirate on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:42 pm

Thanks for the reminder, Pietja, but that doesn't really tell us what your views are on this issue. Yes, he did not actually steal the game but he did make it available for others to obtain for free and that makes him responsible. For all intents and purposes that does make him a thief.

The question really being asked here is whether the punishment fits the crime. Is it ethical for Nintendo, a massive highly successful corporation to force this one average guy to cough up $1.5 million for pirating a game that they sold 10 million copies of in the first 3 months anyway? Surely Nintendo knows that even if they are somehow going to get that much money out of this guy it will take decades for it to happen. In any case, this guy is now completely and totally destroyed.

However, I really am going to have to side with Nintendo on this one. If you invest a lot of time and money making a game you do not want somebody copying it and distributing it to others for free. Whether it's a small struggling new game company that really needs the sales or Nintendo for whom the loss of an estimated $1.5 million (how can they know for sure?) isn't even going to make a dent really is irrelevant. Successful companies get big and stay big because they fiercely defend their properties and investments. When a company is stable and successful then they're able to employ more people, which is really how capitalism works.

Also, whether the debt fell on a multimillionaire who can afford to eat this or (far more likely) some ordinary guy with (or possibly without) a menial day job already struggling in these economic times is also irrelevant. Responsibility to the responsible. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

An interesting aspect to this case is that that figure of $1.5 million was actually settled on out of court.

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5 Re: Nintendo bags a pirate on Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:59 am

I agree, publishing is considered a crime.

But not in my book.

I don't care about many laws wich I find opressive, uneffective and plainly stupid.

I consider law of intelectual property as dated, uneffective and opressive BECAUSE it's used on a worldwide scale WITHOUT considering local markets situation.
But for a corporation it's not important that a kid in... Ukraine, for exaple, want's to play. Let him play if he's paying the full retail price! 1USD is worth 8,12UAH (chrywna) wich means a new Wii game costs about 551UAH AND it's about 1/3 of average folk SALARY. No wonder why piracy is thriving back there as it was thriving in poland during eighties. Thanks to the internet the so-called "problem" dissapeared from the public eye as it dissapeared from the bazaars that were set up every sunday at Stadium of the Decade or Mokotowskie Fields in Warsaw. But the piracy is still thriving and WILL thrive thanks to the politics of big corporations that don't want to hear about the problem and prices of customs, wich are horrenderous (I order games from UK as they are about 20 to even 40 percent cheaper).
Actions like that, suing poor fellow for 1,5USD shows that this attitudes won't change. I don't know much about economic situation is Australia, but I guess it's not as bad as the mentioned Ukraine. Still, the game will sale. It will give more profit than the expenses used on making it. Thing is, makers will only take a bite out of it while suits will take a biggest chomp. And for dessert they gonna use this guy damages.

I'm sick about political correctness wich affects discussions about intellectual property making it nearly impossible. It forces "simple truths", black & white anwser sheets like the mentioned above "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime".
I always supported The Scene, p2p, Freenet, Usenet & Tor users. I always supported piracy when simple people are being looted of their money by corporate scums & govermental pricks. Building economy, allright, but not on high social expenses. People have the right for entertainment.
It appears that not everyone, by the standards of Nintendo and others alike wich are the real thieves. Hold - not thieves - bandits that have no shame with at least acting with finese.

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6 Re: Nintendo bags a pirate on Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:54 am

Ganthan wrote:Even though I support cracking down on game piracy I can't help but feel that there just isn't any way this guy is going to pay off this debt before he dies

That's the point. It sends a message that if he gets fined this much it'll be a constant reminder to him that he shouldn't have pirated the product in the first place, because he'll be hounded financial for it for the rest of his life.

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7 Re: Nintendo bags a pirate on Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:06 am

cenaris wrote:
Ganthan wrote:Even though I support cracking down on game piracy I can't help but feel that there just isn't any way this guy is going to pay off this debt before he dies

That's the point. It sends a message that if he gets fined this much it'll be a constant reminder to him that he shouldn't have pirated the product in the first place, because he'll be hounded financial for it for the rest of his life.

Much as I hate stupid people who pirate data, $1.5 million seems a little excessive on an average Joe from Brisbane.

Speaking of which, was his name Joe? I would laugh.

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8 Re: Nintendo bags a pirate Today at 11:41 pm

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