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game over for Nintendo games pirates

4 August 2010

Nintendo has scored a major victory against computer games pirates in a recent High Court case which found that “modchips” are illegal. The modchips in question fit into the cartridge slot of the Nintendo DS console and, by bypassing the console’s security systems, enabled gamers to play pirated games downloaded from the internet.

The defendants’ argument that the chips allowed users to play home-made games was rejected by the judge – the existence of a non-infringing use did not provide a defence.

The decision, which sets an industry precedent, will provide comfort to game and console manufacturers who have seen their sales suffer as a result of online piracy. More importantly, it will have some impact because Nintendo has tackled the technology that makes piracy possible, rather than fruitlessly pursuing individual downloaders.

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