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Nintendo Wins Piracy Case!!
Posted 20 June 2003 - 03:52 PM
The ruleing ordered Lik Sang to pay Nintendo $5 million (Hong Kong) or about $641,000 US dollars. Nintendo originally sought $20 million US Dollars from Lik Sang in 2001 and 2002.
The device at the heart of Nintendo's complaints would cost a consumer approximately $45.00 US dollars. The device would bypass the security features on a Nintendo Game Boy game and extract the software. The software would then be put onto cards and sold for use on Game Boy systems or the game could be uploaded to an internet site for unlimited download.
"This was an important case for Nintendo in battling Internet piracy at its source," Daugherty told Reuters in a phone interview from the United States. "We're continuing to take aggressive actions in China."
Both Nintendo and Microsoft have completely avoided the Chinese market due to piracy in that country. Nintendo estimates that they and their partners have lost approximately $650 million US dollars in the last year due to piracy. Nintendo also estimates that the entire industry has lost more that 3 billion due to products such as the one Lik Sang sold.
Posted 20 June 2003 - 04:44 PM
eg you can't ban a knife even if it can be used to stab someone in the face.
I don't blame Nintendo for protecting thier assets but I hope lik-sang stay alive because I've had good service from them in the past.
Posted 23 June 2003 - 10:31 PM
today lik sang head alex kampl released an open letter to the press, speaking about the company's impending appeal, and his views on the court's decision:
"I hope with the following information I am able to give you a little insight into the recent happenings and about the misleading press release of Nintendo.
Before the Nintendo press release was distributed, I have delivered a Notice of Appeal to Nintendo, as well as to the High Court of Hong Kong. I am not exactly sure why Nintendo's press department didn't mention a word about it.
The judgment was not a real trial yet, it was a Summary Judgment with a single judge. Usually such Summary Judgments are in case of bounced bank checks where no trial is needed and everything is straight forward.
With all due respect to the High Court of Hong Kong, but no Intellectual Property (IP) specialist was assigned to this case. Already at the first hearing the judge mentioned that it's a pity Hong Kong has no IP specialist anymore and that he finds the copyright law of Hong Kong very confusing. After some research, it looks like the judge is a specialist in maritime law. He made several comments during the hearings which seemed to observers like this was his first IP case ever.
The Summary Judgment itself was based on the Section 273 of the Hong Kong Copyright Ordinance about "circumventing a copy-protection". No copy-protection exists in the Gameboy or Gameboy Advance game cartridges. The judge didn't hear a specialist or at least an independent third-party expert opinion -- he took it for granted from the explanations by Nintendo that there is a copy-protection.
Furthermore, the judge found that "by analogy with drugs, it [the section 273] is not aimed at the drug addict but at the drug trafficker." I fail to understand his logic, as this would mean that the drug store selling the injection needles to drug addicts or maybe even the manufacturer of the container where the drug addict keeps the drug could be held liable.
After legal actions in the USA against Bung Enterprises in the late nineties (for selling and manufacturing videogame development and backup equipment) this was the second court judgment ever regarding products of this nature. Regarding information made available to me in the Court Room, the case against Bung and its US distributor Carl Industries Inc. was brought to an end in their disfavor by Bung not complying with Court Orders and not paying ordered penalties. The actual judgment was written by Nintendo representatives, without the judge properly going through the arguments. The legality or illegality of the products in question has therefore never been argued in a real trial anywhere in the world. A serious trial, with competent judges, is now definitely needed to settle the question once and for all. This is why I have decided to appeal.
I am not happy about the direction where this is heading, neither are supporters and legitimate users of the tools. Again, I have to stress once more, that the very same hardware under attack is used by thousands of hobbyist users and even professional developers for legitimate purposes. Very embarrassing for Nintendo -- even the publisher who made the original game used in court for demonstrating purpose bought hundreds and hundreds of Flash Cartridges from my company for beta testing. And so did numerous other top 10 publishers listed in the stock market.
The products I have sold are not circumventing any copy protections, same as a floppy disk drive and a 3.5" disk doesn't -- in fact there is no copy-protection existing, as is commonly known by the gaming industry.
I completely understand Nintendo's fight against piracy, but I believe they are aiming at the wrong targets. With Digital Media and the Internet nowadays, publishers will have to change their strategy. They just can't win the fight against progress without removing our primary rights: presumption of innocence and the right for backup. Nintendo doesn't need to prove you are a pirate anymore, it is assumed you all are if you have the technical means to copy."
whether lik sang will have any luck appealing the decision remains to be seen, but both companies are taking a very strong stance. things are going to get much uglier before they get better, it seems.
Posted 24 June 2003 - 12:11 AM
Thanks for the info ME!
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