Nintendo Joins 54 Companies in DS Piracy Battle

Nintendo and 54 developers and publishers have filed suit in the Tokyo District Court to block the marketing, sales and importation of DS flash cart devices, which allow users to easily load pirated DS software onto flash media for play in Nintendo's handheld.

The devices—such as the R4 Revolution for DS and CycloDS Evolution, among others—are similar in form to standard Nintendo DS cartridges, while featuring a small slot for MicroSD cards which can be loaded with pirated DS games, homebrew software, utilities and other data.

In a statement reproduced by Kotaku, Nintendo said that the devices are "causing severe damage to our company and software makers, and this is something that we cannot possibly overlook."

The company added that the devices cause harm to the growth of the game industry as a whole, and that steps must be taken regarding the legality of flash cartridges. Other companies participating in the suit include Capcom, Square Enix, SNK, and Sega.

Though the suit carries legal weight only in Japan, it seems likely that Nintendo may eventually pursue a similar action in North America—such devices have proven quite popular in the territory, with the R4 and other devices for sale at numerous online retailers and in many independent game shops.

The UK-based Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association recently told MCV that it is considering legal action against merchants who sell the devices, stating that the R4 is an "infringement and an offense" against various copyright and patent acts.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 29, 2008 10:06 AM

    Lame, the DS has a pretty happening homebrew community that doesn't pirate anything.

    • reply
      July 29, 2008 10:13 AM

      That doesn't pirate anything? That's a little optimistic.

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      July 29, 2008 10:15 AM

      There is a small subset that doesn't homebrew for the sake of piracy (ScummVM comes to mind) but the majority use the cards for ROMs. Now, the thing here is that, unlike the VHS debacle, these carts have so little legitimate use that they really can't be refered to more beneficial than harmful.

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      July 29, 2008 10:23 AM

      I've seen tons of homebrew apps that aren't for pirating. Sure, people use the cards for ROMs, but I could use my computer for NES Roms too. BAN COMPUTERS!!

      • reply
        July 29, 2008 10:53 AM

        I guess you completely missed the point, Computers have other uses these hardly do.

    • reply
      July 29, 2008 10:37 AM

      Besides ScummVM, what kind of useful homebrew software is out there?

      I don't really think there is anything frivolous about this case. Those carts make it ridiculously easy to pirate games.

      • reply
        July 29, 2008 11:04 AM

        DS Reader
        Still Alive DS (game)
        AirScan (WiFi Finder)
        DS Organize
        DS Notes
        DS Weather Report
        MPEG4 Player
        NDS Mail
        DS Dictionary

        should I continue?

        I have an R4 without a single ROM on it. I find it very handy for reading eBooks and showing photos to friends when I don't have my camera with me. Then I just pop Mario Kart back in and I'm back to playing games. I really don't see what all the fuss is about.

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          July 29, 2008 11:14 AM

          By all means, continue.
          I'm not against the "homebrew scene", I just don't find any of those applications appealing. Well, besides Still Alive DS. BeatPad looks interesting, but the new korg-ds cart that is out looks much better (I know they aren't the same thing, but they have somewhat similar purposes).

          • reply
            July 29, 2008 11:31 AM

            Ah, well. If you don't find any of them interesting they couldn't be legitimate applications that are useful to anyone.

            Someone alert the developers. Ohvee doesn't find their applications interesting. Tell them to pack it in.

            • reply
              July 29, 2008 11:52 AM

              Well, that's not very contructive. I was just asking for some examples of good homebrew. The link below from gbatemp was a bit more informative.
              I probably should have been more specific in stating "homebrew games" as that is what I would be more interested in learning about.

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                July 29, 2008 12:32 PM

                That point I might concede. There's not a ton of great homebrew games. StillAliveDS, PocketPhysics (which, while fun, isn't really a "game") and Tower Defense clones are really about it. But there's a few in development that might be pretty playable in a few months. There's always Doom and Quake ports if you get nostalgic as well. I think that the game development time is probably a little more intimidating from a homebrew developer stand point than making a quick app that uses the DSs built in WiFi, but I think we'll see some pretty cool games as time goes on. If not, well, then we'll have all the Tetris clones we can possibly want, lol.

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                July 29, 2008 4:36 PM

                Several of those were good, legitimate pieces of software - Colors and DS Organize in particular are impressively well done.

    • reply
      July 29, 2008 10:45 AM

      I knew there would be somebody who would try to defend this stuff.

    • reply
      July 29, 2008 11:53 AM

      While true, it has a much larger community which pirates everything.

      • reply
        July 29, 2008 4:37 PM

        That's largely irrelevant, though. If it were, e wouldn't have DVD burners and VHS recorders.

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      July 29, 2008 9:28 PM

      i love how every pirate tool uses this argument as their defense. "oh this thing has a legit purpose." its bullshit. that shit is primarily used to pirate games....and the legitimate usage of it is only mentioned as an excuse to keep it alive for pirating.

      • reply
        July 29, 2008 10:28 PM

        Untrue; there are plenty of us out there that really do use it for homebrew rather than piracy.

      • reply
        July 30, 2008 6:19 AM

        Your mouth can be used to incite hate crimes. We should have your tongue permanently removed.

        • reply
          August 1, 2008 6:46 PM

          You are comparing a body part that everyone is born with to an unauthorized accessory for a video game system?

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