Nintendo Files Piracy Suit Against Online Retailer, Discusses Effects of Piracy

Hardware and software maker Nintendo announced today that it has filed a civil lawsuit against the owner of NXPGAME, claiming that the unnamed individual is the "owner of multiple websites that sell illegal video game copiers."

These copiers "connect to the Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendo DSi hand-held systems and circumvent the technological protection measures embedded in the system" and infringe Nintendo's intellectual property rights, the company says.

Today's announcement included word that "Internet piracy hurts Nintendo, as well as the businesses of more than 1,400 video game-development companies that depend on legitimate sales of games for their survival" plus a strongly-worded statement from Alex Neuse, the CEO of independently owned BIT.TRIP series developer Gajin Games:

I love gaming and I spent years of hard work and a significant personal financial investment to make my video game dream a reality... But I estimate that more than 70 percent of our games that are in the hands of the public have been copied illegally. Every download that is made illegally is another blow against new and original games. Put simply, if you enjoy a company's games, paying for them helps to ensure that they will continue to make products you'll like. Piracy especially hurts small independent developers who don't command the sales figures/profits that the bigger companies do; and that ultimately hurts not only developers but all gamers.

In addition, Nintendo provided a summary of its history with NXPGAME:

Nintendo investigated a website owned by NXPGAME and found that it was selling illegal video game copiers that enable the user to download, play and distribute illegal copies of Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi video game software. After multiple letters and telephone calls from Nintendo's legal counsel, the owner agreed to cease selling game copiers and closed his website. Shortly thereafter, the owner launched an identical business at a different website address, and redirected people who visited his old site to the new one to purchase illegal game copiers.

Despite the repeated attempts to get NXPGAME Inc. to cease its illegal activities, the company and its owner continue to operate multiple websites that sell illegal game copiers. Nintendo asserts that NXPGAME is willfully infringing on the company's intellectual property rights. Additionally, one of the company's websites uses Nintendo registered trademarks and violates Nintendo's copyrights.

Nintendo has already revealed that its next portable system, currently known as the Nintendo 3DS, will include stronger anti-piracy measures than the Nintendo DS.