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Nintendo Asks For Government Help To Fight Piracy

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the send-more-cannon-and-parrot-poison dept.

Government 296

Nintendo, in its annual report to the USPTO, has requested help in dealing with piracy overseas, both from the US government and from several other countries in particular. China, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and Paraguay are listed as the greatest contributing nations to piracy of the company's products. Nintendo suggests, for example, that "Chinese customs officials must stop shipments of game copiers and other infringing products out of China, and China should work in the coming year to eliminate barriers to its enforcement laws," and that "the Spanish government implement laws protecting the creative copyright industry and enact laws against Internet piracy."

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296 comments

Whine whine whine (5, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996171)

Most of the people who copy games for their consoles get the console and the necessary devices for copying games just because they know they can copy the games if they get it all.

There is no guarantee those people would get the console and any games if they couldn't copy them.

I've got a chipped gamecube and a DS with flashcart and could kinda get all of the games for both systems but then all I do is play WC3 on my computer anyway ...

I'm just not that into console gaming, I don't even play the games when they are free ffs, why would I play them if I had to pay for them?

Atleast Nintendo makes money on the consoles to so they have got my support anyway.

Parents getting said devices for their kids which would indeed get a couple of probably crappy games may be another story though.

Re:Whine whine whine (2, Insightful)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996275)

AFAIK they also get a $$ amount per game sold as well, so every "lost sale" is lost income to them. Remember their primary goal is to benefit their shareholders, and that is what they are doing.

Re:Whine whine whine (4, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996373)

I know, but my actions don't result in lost sales since I don't even play the games when they are free, I would definitely not buy and play any games costing the amount of money they cost now.

Re:Whine whine whine (1, Redundant)

dyefade (735994) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996485)

I know, but my actions don't result in lost sales since I don't even play the games when they are free, I would definitely not buy and play any games costing the amount of money they cost now.

They're not blaming you specifically you know.

Re:Whine whine whine (4, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996489)

That is, pretty succinctly, the problem with calculating lost revenue by adding up all of the pirated copies...

Re:Whine whine whine (2, Informative)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996951)

That is, pretty succinctly, the problem with calculating lost revenue by adding up all of the pirated copies...

It's one of the problems. Another one is people who download large batches of stuff and sort out the crap later - if they had to pay up front they'd be putting some amount more effort into filtering out the crap beforehand.

Re:Whine whine whine (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997075)

Who says they'd be willing to pay, or would even consider buying a game if they were forced to pay to download batches of the crap and sort through it instead of feeling extorted?

This is the other crux of the argument.

Re:Whine whine whine (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997045)

While true, Working on reducing piracy would increase revenue to some degree, so therefore would increase their bottom line.

Re:Whine whine whine (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996377)

Yep, I know people who bought DS' only because they could buy a cart with a micro SD card in and copy games to it.

These are people who I know definitely wouldn't have got one if they had to pay an additional £20 for each game on top of £100 for the device itself. Piracy has been one of the reasons the DS has been so succesful.

As you say providing Nintendo makes money on the device itself then they've really got nothing to complain about and aren't really acting any better than the RIAA/MPAA trying to force their ideal laws on foreign nations. Even if they didn't make money on the device I'm inclined to say more fool them for pursuing such a silly business model.

The other point is it's not like they even seemed to try hard to prevent piracy. Their systems are some of the most easily hackable out there so if they don't even invest in anti-piracy measures like Sony and Microsoft do then why should they expect anyone to help them if they wont help themselves? At least pirating XBox 360 games means goodbye to your warranty, can't be done on live arcade games means saying goodbye to XBox live with your system forever too so Microsoft at least tried to solve the problem through technology than just whining to foreign governments to enforce stricter laws on their citizens.

Re:Whine whine whine (3, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996477)

Same for Xbox, it was a total failure until people could chip it and use the HDD for games vs the un-cracked Gamecube for instance.

Piracy is the reason Microsoft got into the console business at all.

And yes, guess it helped DS vs PSP somewhat to since PSP games could be up to 1.8 GB in size and 2 GB memory cards cost a lot of money back then.

And I also agree that if you don't make money from all the products you're doing something wrong. Somewhat unrelated I can get a new Xerox 6110 N printer for less money than the amount of toner it ships with ... So when you have run out of toner it makes just as much economical (and/or service) sense to trash the whole printer and buy a new one ..

It took a long time to crack the Gamecube, the DS uses some RSA signature or something such, and the DSi got an updated copyright protection, so I don't agree that they don't try to protect the content. And even if they didn't they shouldn't have to, people should respect their rights. But to claim losses because people violate their rights?

Re:Whine whine whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996657)

Nintendo isn't aggressive enough with the VeRO eBay program. Neither is Nokia, Namco and Apple. These companies know the counterfeits are on eBay, but don't appear to employ anyone willing to actually file reports. Tiffany and Louis Vuitton aren't aggressive enough either.

If you really want to get into the politics of it, the most aggressive companies are the ones that sell the cheapest products that get copied in China (eg as-seen-on-tv type of merchandise.) That's because they make no money on counterfeits.

With the NDS, strangely enough, Chinese companies like to make garbage copies of the iPhone, but haven't managed to make counterfeit copies of the NDS itself. They can however make as many counterfeit copies of games and buyers around the world don't know that they are counterfeit until they play the game.

The biggest scam out there is selling preowned pokemon cartridges. They are ALL fake. The ones that come preloaded with pokemon are the worst offenders.

The most effective method to cut off China, is to DMCA take-down every counterfeit item item off all the auction sites at once (good luck with that btw) and pinpoint the manufacturers and then shut them down.

I have never seen a single person actually use a copier for homebrew.

Re:Whine whine whine (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997385)

Tiffany and Louis Vuitton aren't aggressive enough either.

Now you are comparing apples and oranges.
Those that can afford a $1000.- handbag will get the Real Thing and wouldn't want to be caught dead with a fake.
These guys don't loose a cent due to all the counterfeit crap being sold to an entirely different demographic.

The sale of illegally copied games is a different matter, an amount of market is being lost by the genuine manufacturers.
Because it's rather impossible to fix this through technical or legal means they'll have to come up with a different solution, like charging a premium for the console but not much more than cost for the games.

Re:Whine whine whine (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996709)

As you say providing Nintendo makes money on the device itself

Thats the problem, they may not be making money on the device itself. Now I don't know what the profit margin or loss is for the DS, but in many cases, the makers lose money on the hardware, and make up for it with the licensing of the technology to the game makers.

So when you pirate those games, they do end up losing money. Like someone previously said, these are companies, while yes they provide a service or a product, they are in it to make money. In this case, I cannot fault them for trying to protect their own interests, but at the same time, many of the products they say are used for piracy, have legitimate uses as well. Backing up the games is a prime example.

The games cost a freaking fortune, and while that is the main reason I sold off my Wii. The swapping games in and out of the system can take its toll, pets, kids, etc, there are alot of ways to dmg a disk, I would rather play the backup disk and store the originals.

And I have not and will not purchase a new console (ps3 or 360), till the games come down to a more reasonable price.

What I would be curious to know is who has been dictating the prices of the games, is it collusion in the developer industry, since they all seem to be priced the same (on avg its what, $60 for a new release), or is Nintendo/Sony/MS dictating what the games sell for.

Re:Whine whine whine (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997287)

Nintendo makes a point of always profiting on hardware. They haven't lost money on a single Wii or DS console, and manufacturing cost reductions have not turned into price cuts at retail (they haven't needed to cut prices - they're still selling consoles faster than they can produce them.)

I don't think Nintendo has ever sold a console below break-even point.

Re:Whine whine whine (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996821)

Well you know, the XBOX extra warranty isn't available in most countries, nor xbox live for that matter.

Re:Whine whine whine (0, Redundant)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996989)

It's available in all countries where there is worthwhile profit to be made compared to the costs of distribution and localisation though so where piracy is going to happen and MS' anti-piracy technology is going to be worthless there's no real money to be made anyway for the most part.

Re:Whine whine whine (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997179)

It seems to me that Nintendo is mostly focusing on the countries that allow people to copy and sell the games for profit.

Re:Whine whine whine (1, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997285)

Listen - stop trying to justify why pirating is OK. It doesn't matter if game console makers earn $1 on the console or $1,000 - if you don't want to buy the games (for whatever your reasons may be) then don't play the games. Buying the console does not magically entitle you to get the games for free...btw the games cost MONEY to invent, code, manufacture. As a /. user, which means you at least have some insight into what programming is, you should know better. Some company spends thousands of hours, possibly millions of dollars so people can say "well why should i have to pay, i can pirate".

Also game consoles tend to be loss leaders (e.g. Ps3) so just buying a game console from a company, and never a game, hurts them directly and immediately.

http://www.vgchartz.com/forum/thread.php?id=56707&page=3 [vgchartz.com]

PS3 80 GB - Cost $485, Price $400, Loss $85. PS3 160 GB - Cost $520, Price $500, Loss $20. XBox360 Arcade - Cost $260, Price $200, Loss $60 ...

Nintendo doesn't want to take my money (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997405)

if you don't want to buy the games (for whatever your reasons may be) then don't play the games.

I want to buy the games, but Nintendo doesn't want to sell the games for any of several reasons. One is the No Export For You [tvtropes.org] mentality even if there's a fully translated prototype (Earthbound for NES) or even if it's been released in another anglophone market (Kuru Kuru Kururin for GBA; Pinocchio for Wii). Another is that games from a smaller developer can't get published unless the developer has already released another commercial title on Windows, and some developers aren't fans of the genres that Windows gamers have historically preferred. What is the alternative to piracy in this case?

Re:Whine whine whine (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997313)

These are people who I know definitely wouldn't have got one if they had to pay an additional £20 for each game on top of £100 for the device itself. Piracy has been one of the reasons the DS has been so succesful.

That is backwards ass stupid. It is poor justification and I dare you to go to a court of law, with pirated games and say "your honor, this is why i pirate games..." Most consoles are loss leaders.

http://www.vgchartz.com/forum/thread.php?id=56707&page=3 [vgchartz.com]

Re:Whine whine whine (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996519)

It could be that because you didn't pay for those games, you didn't value them as much as much as someone who forked over $$ for the game. Because of this, you didn't force yourself over the learning curve for that particular game and went back to one you were more familiar with.

It may not be the case for all people or for all games, but I've found that when I buy a game that's kinda old but really good really cheap (like Jak & Daxter for $5 used), I play it for a bit, like it a lot, but then put it down and never pick it back up after a new game comes out that I paid full price for. I never really thought about it before, but I played the hell out of it and gave it more of a chance because I know I paid more for it, as opposed to a pile of games I'm looking at right now that I got used relatively cheap, that were good but I know I'll never pick back up.

It may be because somewhere inside my head, I put a value on my free time?

Re:Whine whine whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996773)

yeah, right.

Bad stuff is still bad.

Re:Whine whine whine (2, Insightful)

bentcd (690786) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997005)

It may be because somewhere inside my head, I put a value on my free time?

From what I can tell it's common for humans to attach more value to something one pays a lot for than something one gets cheaply or for free, regardless of their actual comparative value or usefulness.

If I were forced at gunpoint to express my amateur speculation I would probably say that it seems like some sort of mental self defense to prevent ourselves from facing up to having dished out big $$$ for something that was less valuable to us than something else we got cheap. That is, we don't want to admit that we've been suckered and our subconscious does the only decent thing and effectively suppresses that idea.

Re:Whine whine whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997391)

I believe you are right on the spot. (sorry, I don't have any mod points today...)

Re:Whine whine whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997027)

I'm just not that into console gaming, I don't even play the games when they are free ffs, why would I play them if I had to pay for them?

I suspect Nintendo will not weep over the loss of your business.

I mean, I'm no marketing expert, but I don't think appealing to the "people who don't want to play any games" demographic is a big part of their commercial strategy.

Re:Whine whine whine (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997237)

There is no guarantee those people would get the console and any games if they couldn't copy them.
Atleast Nintendo makes money on the consoles to so they have got my support anyway.

Not really. Considering game consoles tend to be a loss-leader for manufacturers (ala X-box, PS3, not sure about nintendo) the manufacturers don't want you to JUST buy their console (even if you NEVER put a game into it so there is no piracy issue). You are not supporting them by buying the console only - you are hurting them.

Re:Whine whine whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997241)

when will the fucking private companies learn that the fucking government's job is not to protect their fucking IP properties.

Fuck you, Nintendo. (1, Troll)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996187)

Ithink I have enough of this. A toy company will make laws on my country? FUCK OFF NINTENDO!.

Re:Fuck you, Nintendo. (1)

QuietR10t (1125965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996249)

Ithink I have enough of this. A toy company will make laws on my country?

You mean, they're lobbying the government? I wonder in which country you live that seems to have successfully rid itself of lobbying.

Re:Fuck you, Nintendo. (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996361)

Yeah. Japan is lobbying China for help. Not gonna happen, what with China's not-entirely-friendly attitude towards Japan.

And they are lobbying Spain, to stop pirates. It's like we are back in 1700 ...

Re:Fuck you, Nintendo. (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997341)

They are not making a law they are asking the US to enforce current treaties with other countries. So the US has treaties with China about pirating, but China is not enforcing those laws, so the companies are asking the US to pressure China to enforce these. Considering China signed a treaty they are in the wrong for letting this stuff slip by.

So take a pill and help yourself to a cup of STFU.

Poor Nintendo (5, Insightful)

lbft (950835) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996211)

My heart goes out to Nintendo in these difficult times of record profits.

Re:Poor Nintendo (4, Insightful)

bentcd (690786) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997043)

My heart goes out to Nintendo in these difficult times of record profits.

We probably need to institute a rule along the lines of "if you can effectively lobby the govt to help you out then they won't because if you can afford to pull /that/ off effectively you must be doing quite well already".

Re:Poor Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997339)

Since when is pirating something because a company makes tons of money from it morally OK?

Nothing Worth Pirating (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996221)

I have a modded Wii and i have not found a single game in 6-8 months worth pirating.

Re:Nothing Worth Pirating (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996363)

I hope you modded it +5 Funny!

Piracy? What Piracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996239)

Nintendo, get a fucking life. Seriously, pirating is not costing video game companies much of anything, because not many people pirate new video games. Most of the "pirated" video games are games that can no longer be purchased and/or are out of print.

Re:Piracy? What Piracy? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996459)

Nintendo, get a fucking life. Seriously, pirating is not costing video game companies much of anything, because not many people pirate new video games. Most of the "pirated" video games are games that can no longer be purchased and/or are out of print.

You poor misguided wretch. That makes it even worse doesn't it? When people are busy playing old games there is less profit to be made from selling them new ones.

Re:Piracy? What Piracy? (4, Insightful)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996855)

Then the answer would seem to be to make new games that are actually more fun to play than the old ones. People wouldn't be playing the old ones if the new ones were that much more fun. I think the biggest problem with profit in the game industry right now is that nobody focuses on playability aka controls and game mechanics. The few companies that do for example blizzard make record profits whenever they release a game.

Re:Piracy? What Piracy? (1)

BarneyL (578636) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996619)

Could you name these "out of print" Wii games because I'm not aware of any that aren't still available.
The top four most downloaded Wii games at the pirate bay were all released in the last month, the fith is Mario Galaxy which certainly isn't out of print.

Re:Piracy? What Piracy? (1)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996693)

Wouldn't know, I still haven't gotten my kids the Wii Console due to A.) Nintendo artificial creation of a scarcity and B.) My unwillingness to camp a store.

Re:Piracy? What Piracy? (1)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996899)

The majority of games played on cracked wii consoles in my experience are NES SNES and Genesis games. Games created when it was about gameplay instead of about attaching basic controls to the newest graphics engine.

Re:Piracy? What Piracy? (5, Insightful)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996737)

I doubt Wii games are what the O.P. was talking about. I think he/she/it was talking about older systems.

For instance, how many people signed the online petition to have Nintendo translate Mother 3 and release it in the US? I believe well over 100,000 people signed it. Yet Nintendo refused to translate and release the game over here. So, fans of the series took matters into their own hands and translated the game themselves. If Nintendo would have released the game, they could have made a ton of money off of it, but instead, it is now being "pirated," instead.

Uhuh... (3, Funny)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996251)

...I bet China will get right on it!

Re:Uhuh... (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996325)

Yeah, just like Brazil will. Here there are people selling pirated games, software and movies in the streets of every little (or big) city.

Sometimes the cops come after them to arrest the material. Sometimes they come to buy it.

Re:Uhuh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997171)

sound's really familiar to a island on the carribean.... ironically i once met a cop that had a small hut and sold movies in the street.

Nintendo already makes enought money do they really need any more are they loosing that many money. i really really doubt it.

But..... (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996259)

.....if we piss off the Chinese by demanding they stop copying games or exporting copying hardware, they won't loan us 2000 billion in dollars. And then what will this poor, debtor nation do? No, no, we can't afford to make demands of the people giving us money to survive.

Re:But..... (1)

jimbudncl (1263912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996319)

Nah, they'll still loan us money. They'll just find something harder to detect than lead to put in our kids' toys.

Re:But..... (1)

jimbudncl (1263912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996335)

BTW, don't lick your mod chip before you insert it... they taste funny.

High Taxes increases Piracy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996307)

At least in brazil its the truth. Super Mario Galaxy, for example costs 46 dolars on amazon.com. If you try to buy it in brazil, it will cost 260 reais, which is about 120 dolars. Its costs 2.6 times more than if you were buying it on the US. Whats the reason for this? Taxes and filthy lucre. I dont know why it doesnt happen with computer games. Left 4 Dead for PC, for instance, costs 45 dolars on Amazon.com. If you buy it in brazil, it costs 99 reais, which is about 45 dolars. Thats why computer games piracy has decreased in brazil and console games piracy is still the same. Charge a fear price and everyone will buy the game. Charge a pornographic price and we will pirate it.

Re:High Taxes increases Piracy (3, Funny)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996889)

Charge a pornographic price and we will pirate it.

So anything $69 and up?

Re:High Taxes increases Piracy (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997483)

Another problem is the expectation that prices suitable for developed countries (US, Japan, EU), are still suitable for "less" developed countries, like Brazil, where the average income is below that of 1st World nations.

For these games to be as affordable in Brazil as in the US, they would have to cost less in Brazil than in the US. However as the parent AC points out, it is either the same of more.

Is anyone surprised that piracy is a bigger problem there?

They have the power... (1)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996329)

Why don't they wave their magic wand to make it all go away?

Indeed (1)

Schiphol (1168667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996349)

At least in Spain, where I live, it is not illegal to copy copyrighted material if it is for non-for-profit, personal use. More precisely, judges sistematically dismiss complaints by copyright owners in those cases.

Let us hope it remains so.

Not correct (2, Insightful)

Elementalor (551544) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996545)

No, you are not right. In Spain, where we both live it's illegal to copy software, even if it's non-for-profit.

But Spanish judges dismiss charges against people modifying their consoles or copying music or movies for personal use.

What Nintendo wants is to make illegal devices like R4/M3/WiiKey and blocking webpages that give access to pirated games (software).

Good luck with that, but I don't think it would be possible here.

Required Background Reading (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996371)

I suspect most people would be surprised by the sheer amount of piracy there is for games on Nintendo's platforms. So here's some background reading on the issue:

"In South Korea, many video game consumers exploit illegal copies of video games, including for the Nintendo DS. In 2007, 500,000 copies of DS games were sold, while the sales of the DS hardware units was 800,000." [wikipedia.org] Yes, you're reading that right; the attach rate for DS software in Korea was at one point less than 1.0, fewer pieces of software were sold than hardware devices, which is a tell-tale sign of use of piracy devices.

As for why that is, Gamesutra has a short but insightful article on the matter [gamasutra.com] . DS flash carts (what Nintendo is calling "game copiers") are cheap, and the South Korean people are turning to them in part as a solution to not being able to afford every game they want.

Nintendo's biggest fear here is that other countries end up like Korea, with rampant piracy and few legit customers. Nintendo does make a profit on hardware, but much of their profit is still on software. Furthermore their 3rd party game developers who don't make a profit on hardware would love to make a profit at all, and bad/no 3rd party support just makes Nintendo's hardware and software sales that much worse. I can't see why Korean piracy levels world-wide wouldn't kill the DS, or any other console for that matter. I understand Wii piracy through mod-chips is also pretty rampant in South Korea, although I do not know to what degree.

With that said I don't know why Nintendo is going to the US government about this. Certainly it's reasonable to ask the government to clamp down on this in the United States, and perhaps even apply some pressure on China where flash carts are made with relative impunity, but I don't see the point in listing the other countries. I don't see what stake the US government has on piracy in Spain, for example.

And I'll close this out by admitting I'm a pirate. I have an R4 flash cart with many games and exactly 2 legit games (1 of which came with the DS) when I could easily afford to be completely legit. I'm exactly the kind of person Nintendo is worried about. There are many more like me, I'm afraid.

Re:Required Background Reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996431)

what the fuck

Re:Required Background Reading (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996813)

Or maybe its a case of people buying the hardware and building their own homebrew and/or using them for hacking purposes like a very cheap IM program/web browser. Korea has a health number or smart tech savvy users so this cant be out of the realm of possibility either.

Re:Required Background Reading (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997491)

Just because a hardware unit was bought and no software was bought doesn't automatically mean software was pirated. I have a DS, but no software for it. Not even pirated. It was given to me as a gift, and it's been sitting in my drawer ever since - I can't think of a single reason I'd want a friggin' DS. I woulda sold it but my girlfriend was the one that bought it for me. lol

Besides, isn't the DS designed so that you don't really need to purchase software? Like, if you play multiplayer, only one person needs a copy of the game, right? So if you're only using it to play against your friends, there's no point in buying any games for it.

Spain's piracy problem? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996403)

Oh come on! What's he complaining about? Software is illegal to share in Spain as in any other civilized country. Media is something else, as the right of personal distribution without it being a lucrative activity is legal.
Also, Mod-Chips and the sort are illegal too, not that security agencies give a f*** about some teenagers buying them.
So what is it that you want Nintendo? A France like model of 3 strikes you're out enforcement? I think the government has (or at least should) more important worries, like almost a 4MM unemployeds.
So Nintendo, when you build a factory in Spain and some developers shops to help mitigate this problem, start whinnying about piracy.

Re:Spain's piracy problem? (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997401)

So what is it that you want Nintendo?

They want countries to enforce their laws and treaties. Pirating is illegal in China but the police turn a blind eye. So someone asking a country to enforce their laws is not out line. Maybe you don't agree with it because you want to own pirated games/movies/music w/o potential recourse, but then again a car thief doesn't want the police to enforce the laws either.

While I can see Nintendo's point, I wish they'd... (4, Interesting)

andi75 (84413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996427)

....see mine. I have two kids (2 & 4), sometimes I play Wii Music / Wii Fit / Wii Play (Fishing!) with the older. It's too troublesome to lock all stuff away all the time (and sometimes I just forget to remove the disk from the console), so I've already thought a few times about modding the console to be able to backup the games before the kids manage to destroy the disks accidently.

As it is, they won't replace my scratched disks, so I don't have so much simpathy for them.

Re:While I can see Nintendo's point, I wish they'd (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996593)

I've already thought a few times about modding the console to be able to backup the games before the kids manage to destroy the disks accidently.

What does your (in)ability to play personal legally backed up games have to do with industrial piracy?

What Nintendo is asking for is to stop the *for profit* piracy business. For example, specifically in Mexico (the scenario I know) where the sell of pirate Game/DVD/CD is rampant in public markets (say, Tepito or Pericoapa in Mexico DF, Mitra in Monterrey, etc).

OTOH what they are asking is completely unenforceable (at least in Mexico), because the few resources that government has are being used to fight other more important issues (e.g. drugs, for which the USA has the solution [i.e., decrease the demand you junks]).

Last but not least, Nintendo *has* the potential to reduce piracy in some of these countries (again, at least in Mexico) by setting game prices to a reasonable amount.

When they understand that selling a game for $40 in Mexico means taking about 10% of the MONTHLY* salary which a family uses to live, then they may see why is it that the majority of people can *not* afford their consoles.

Of course, I hear people saying "if they can not affording, just do not use it". But the problem is that these companies continue advertising their product to push it in a market outside their range.

* Considering that a monthly salary is around USD$400 (from average salaries in Mexico [profesiones.com.mx] ).

Re:While I can see Nintendo's point, I wish they'd (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996729)

I've already thought a few times about modding the console to be able to backup the games before the kids manage to destroy the disks accidently.

What does your (in)ability to play personal legally backed up games have to do with industrial piracy?

(Not the GP). It has EVERYTHING to do with it. The same chip that would let andi75 play backed up games so that it could be a $.35 DVD-R that gets the PBJ treatment instead of a $40 game, is the chip that allows people to play the industrially-pirated mass-bootlegged games from Mexico.

Nintendo wants to screw over andi75 for the sake of slowing down the Mexican pirates.

Re:While I can see Nintendo's point, I wish they'd (2, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996767)

because the few resources that government has are being used to fight other more important issues (e.g. drugs, for which the USA has the solution [i.e., decrease the demand you junks]).

Straying from the topic, but actually the solution is LEGALIZE LIGHT DRUGS (such as cannabis), so they can be produced and traded by honest, non-violent entrepreneurs, and certified for quality.

Re:While I can see Nintendo's point, I wish they'd (1)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996811)

Because Much like the music industry the single person(s) backing up legally bought games, is who they go after. Or some 13 y/o that downloaded GTA4 because mommy and daddy said no.

Personally I cant ever recall seeing in the paper, a story about a Mob or group of counterfeiters that is being sued for copying games and selling them.

I for one would like a refund for every single copy of a game or music that has ever been destroyed because I was made unable to make a backup of my legal copy.

Don't get me wrong I know full well that "Some" people pirate games for personal use. Typically these are the same people that would of never of paid cash for the game in the first place. So damages are kind of a joke.

Re:While I can see Nintendo's point, I wish they'd (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996663)

Exactly. These products are only infringing upon the DMCA which is vehemently against Fair Use.

You have the moral high ground, along with millions of other people. You purchased the game, gave Nintendo and other companies the money. Why on Earth don't you have the right to make Fair Use backup copies?

I think you do have the absolute right to make backup copies. Thank god for the talented people that can create products to bypass copyrights restrictions so that you don't have to pay these #$&#*#*$ 10 times for the same product.

Hmmmm, paying 10 times for the same product? Maybe that is a huge financial incentive to lobby governments for laws against the ability to make copies? Nahhhhh! Their motives must be more pure than that right?

Re:While I can see Nintendo's point, I wish they'd (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996735)

This is the only real sympathy I have with making copies. Children scratch the hell out of discs. Please go back to cartridges with the next consoles. I hear 8GB NAND flash (the same size of a dual layer DVD) is now about 40$

With the next consoles, please allow the cartridge to be copied to the console itself.

Re:While I can see Nintendo's point, I wish they'd (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997437)

Yea Nintendo is not coming after you are they? I am willing to bet if NES America knocked on your door with the police and a court order and you said "yes here are the copies, i burned them on my computer, here are the originals" you would be fine. You know the reason why they are complaining about the lack of law enforcement -- too many people are acquiring pirated copies and do not have the originals. Just scan the posts here on /. where people believe that as long as they bought they console they have done their due dilligence to support the company (they forget the consoles are typically loss leaders) and they are not entitled to pirated games.

Wrong Market Gentlemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996437)

So Nintendo was all about hardcore gamers.
Then it said "fuck you you guys are too critic of games so we will go for casuals that eat anything we crap (looking at you wii)"
Now casual gamers start buying however they buy at lower rate then a hardcore fan.
Now the hardcore fan prefers to pirate CASUAL games cause he gets tired of them after 5 mins.

Now nintendo whines... You harvest what you cultivated DEAL WITH IT!!!!

Spain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996439)

Well, some of the stuff they say is true, at least in Spain. All parents I know that bought a DS for their kids also got the flash cards, R4, M3, Cyclo... you name it. You can walk on any small videogames shop (big chain retailer stay out of it) and you'll find them for about 30 EUR including a 2 or 4GB SD card which is less than the price you pay for an original game. There are many sites with bittorrent or emule links so you can get pretty much any game out there. All of this is LEGAL: copying and sharing copyrighted material is legal as long as there is no profit involved. On the other hand you have to pay a fee on every CD, DVD, flash memory you buy as a compensation for your right to make a private copy so everyone sees downloading games and movies as something you have already paid for.

Re:Spain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996561)

You're wrong. Videogames, as software, is illegal, either you profit or don't. I'm not so sure about ModChips.

Games copying devices hurts Chinese too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996449)

I was in China recently and decided to look for a Civilization Revolution for Nintendo DS. While I found lots of Nintendo DS Lite systems on sale, I couldn't find anyone who had games for the systems. Eventually, I found one vendor who had a few games behind the counter. But he couldn't believe that I wanted to spend money on actual games. He kept pushing me to purchase a games copying device for a lot less.

Eventually he sold me a couple of games that looked interesting. But it seemed that he would be making more money if he had a nice selection of games, like the kind you can find in stores in the U.S., and if he actually tried selling them. The game copying device can only be sold once. New games come out all the time, so you can keep selling them as they come out.

I also noticed that the software and games that were available in China seemed primarily targeted at Westerners. Very little software is designed for the Chinese themselves.

Game copying devices, and piracy in general, hurts the Chinese. Their retailers run on razor-thin margins while content producers generally don't tailor content for the Chinese.

Re:Games copying devices hurts Chinese too (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996759)

But it seemed that he would be making more money if he had a nice selection of games, like the kind you can find in stores in the U.S., and if he actually tried selling them.

Game copying devices, and piracy in general, hurts the Chinese. Their retailers run on razor-thin margins while content producers generally don't tailor content for the Chinese.

Paragraph 2 also applies to paragraph 1. Games are the same way (moreso possibly than the grey-market copiers). You don't know he made more money on the games than the copiers. He might have been doing what gamestop does here: Pushing the used copies to "save you money" (heh heh).

So, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996453)

A new Nintendo DS game usually sells for $40 USD in the U.S. How much does it cost where you live?

tackling the big issues (2, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996481)

good to see government is being asked to tackle the big issues, like teenage girls pirating "Animal crossing".

How to stop copying.... (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996533)

Simple: Stop putting games on a media which can be copied in any home PC.

Make game CDs a bit bigger or something so they don't fit in a standard drive for recording.

PS: "Spain"? Oh, sure, Spain is a major international cause of lost profit. Not. Spain has a sensible law regarding copyright, that's all.

Re:How to stop copying.... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996553)

They did that. GC and DS both have media that can't be read in a normal PC.

It didn't stop piracy.

Re:How to stop copying.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996687)

Maybe because the games are so much expensive, and there is so many countries where their customers are badly undeserved?

They think that people can be made into buying expensive peace of s*** that can be easily broken and dealer will not replace it. Don't forget that Wii costs in many countries more than majority of residents can make in a month, and each game costs about 25-30% of that price.

They are just complaining that their way of making money is not perfect, and that people are not stupid. Sometimes You can call that illegal.

Re:How to stop copying.... (1)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996945)

Wii discs can't be read by a normal PC, either (well, not supposed to). And then there's every other cartridge-based console...

Re:It didn't stop piracy. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996971)

...they had custom media, sure, but they didn't make it expensive enough to clone/copy.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996569)

IÂm from Spain, a video game for Nintendo Wii cost here 55â (~70$).

I donÂt want to justify piracy with this one. But I would suggest them to try to lower the price in this country, and IÂm sure more people people will take to buy the game as an option.

I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996577)

they think they don't win enough money.

In several of those, BTW, piracy is not illegal. So FUCK YOU Nintendo.

This isn't so bad... really (1, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996589)

As a company that's having it's software copied and pirated of course they have to do something about it. However, unlike the RIAA, or MPAA, they aren't going after individuals but rather the large scale counterfeiters on a nation wide basis. Sure they could turn a blind eye to all claims of piracy, but at least in this case they're going about it the right way and not suing tons of people downloading hacks or copies of software. I'd say this is a check + for Nintendo with how they're handling this.

Good luck with that in Brazil! (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996623)

How can you fight piracy in a country where a Nintendo DS game costs more than US$100 a piece and salaries are much lower than in the USA and Europe for the same job?

Re:Good luck with that in Brazil! (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997493)

You gave two issues:
1) How do you fight piracy
2) Justification of costs

To answer your posts
1) Hope the police will enforce the laws they are supposed to enforce
2) If you can't afford it - don't buy it. Trust me, nobody will die if they can't play the DS...well maybe the 13 year old kid who wants to have what "ALL" of his friends have.

Other infringing products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996671)

Chinese customs officials must stop shipments of game copiers and other infringing products out of China, and China should work in the coming year to eliminate barriers to its enforcement laws

They better stop selling the Twilight Princess and any future games for which an exploit is discovered and while they are at it they might as well stop selling Wiis. The Wii itself is an infringing product with the mistakes they made which allowed people to hack the system.

stop physical devices and .. (1)

rednuhter (516649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996677)

so they stop physical devices and all that changes is that people choose to download PDFs(etc) and build there own.
In fact I see a good business opportunity "will build anything from PDF(etc), no questions asked, good rates".
reminds me of http://www.nealstephenson.com/diamond/ [nealstephenson.com]

USPTO, WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996683)

The office in question is the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. No patents involved, thank god.

Customs (2, Interesting)

number17 (952777) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996741)

"Chinese customs officials must stop shipments of game copiers and other infringing products out of China"

Why doesn't Nintendo go after customs of the importing countries? It's because on both sides of the import/export equation are a very small number of people who actually inspect what is going on. Why don't they get the piracy sniffing dogs out? That's right, they can barely handle the drug trade.

Either way they don't get paid (1)

Moose-Alini (666859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996753)

"Chinese customs officials must stop shipments of game copiers and other infringing products out of China" The problem is, all you need to copy games is a wii and an early edition of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Stop piracy by banning the legitimate product?

Region restrictions and crap like this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996775)

I have got a Wii and I'm very mad at Nintendo over their region restrictions. I cannot buy games even I want it. What options do you leave people? Some people will of course enhance their Wiis with Modchips. I can fully understand it. And then there different times for game releases. I can tell you and your licensing companies a big FUCK YOU. I hate to see US-versions on YouTube of people playing their games 11 months(!) before the release started in EU.

This is not the correct way to treat gamers, really! Get rid of regional restrictions or go down, I really wish you this, dear Nintendo.

I just want to add that I've only bought Nintendo consoles so far (5 platforms). But I will rethink my opinion about the company, if they don't change their bad attitude.

I assume this is not bi-directional? (3, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996997)

"We want [country A] to change their laws, so that if a person in [country A] breaks our [country B] laws , we can prosecute them."

If [country A] != America and [country B] = American then GOOD
If [country A] = America and [country B] = !American then BAD

Re:I assume this is not bi-directional? (1)

number17 (952777) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997231)

If [country A] = America and [country B] = !American then BAD

Will we ever see countries with massive amount of people such as China, India, and Indonesia turn world politics upside down? Can you imagine the payback for all the atrocities? I think that we should start making fair international laws so that this will never happen.

Thou Shalt Not Steal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997001)

It's amazing to me that in all the rhetoric, from both sides of the piracy debate, among seemingly educated people, that nobody emphasizes the most basic principal that taking something that does not belong to you is wrong. It matters not what country you're from, the price the company charges, old or new game, etc. If you take something without paying for it, your stealing, and breaking God's law.

Is stealing not an offense in the Koran? In Bhudism? In Hinduism?

Look, I donwload music, but I would never claim that it's my right to do so. One day I will answer for all of my actions here on earth, as will everyone. At least be honest about what you're doing.

Keep in mind that nobody EVER "gets away with it". Don't fear people that can take your money/house/life; fear Him who can take your soul.

dgower2/FuzzyLogic (so as to not post as AC - forgot my pw)

Let's get Nintendo help to fight Piracy.. NOT ! (1)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997029)

How in the world is Nintendo (a worldwide known manufacturer of Video game consoles) is going to fight Piracy (the Commandeering of ships at sea and the killing of the crews - and then asking for Million of $ to give the ship back).

And will someone tell me how running bootleg copies of games (a petty offense) relates to pirating (a capital crime) ?

Yer right matey ! let's send Nintendo to Somalia !

--Ivan

The USA is not your mom (2, Interesting)

szquirrel (140575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997147)

I can absolutely dig Nintendo's position on large-scale bootlegging, but isn't Nintendo a Japanese company? Let them ask their own country for help leaning on China. We already have enough people bitching about America acting like the world's policeman.

Seriously? Piracy? (4, Interesting)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26997185)

It seems to me that China is such a shithole, that it would be completely unethical to waste time dealing with piracy at this point. Let's stop slavery, let's stop human rights abuses, let's enforce workplace health and safety standards.

Moaning and whining about how a few people are getting games for free in a country like China is like complaining that Hitler stole your parking spot.

Ninendos game plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997301)

Nintendo takes a calculated risk with the "piracy" when they move manufacturing to China. Cheaper labor compared to low oversight causing a lot of bootleg material. Then, they pressure the governments (the tax payers) to foot the bill to enforce the IP laws to cut "the losses" they have from the cheap labor. They get the best of both worlds. Cheap labor and tax payer funded enforcement. Cisco does the same thing. EVERYONE in the world knows that the China government has little regard for IP. Normally, you would not do business with a government or manufactorer that screws you over but the tax payer enforcment makes it worth while to take the risk. If their games were made in another country that had more IP oversight, this would not be a problem.

I say FUCK you Nintendo, its your own damn fault for choosing a company in China to package your games. BTW, Cisco does the same exact thing. OMG!!! These "bootleg" gbics made from our supplier in China might by hacked and the US government is using them causing a security risk! Lets get the FBI to track these down and protect our income. How about this Cisco, stop using that cheap ass labor and supplier in China and stop using tax payers money to protect your income?

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_41/b4103038201037.htm [businessweek.com]

Obviously the security risk is FUD or they would pull out of China.

Globalism will save us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997325)

When will the Government raise taxes and fix this mess!

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