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UK Courts Rule Nintendo DS R4 Cards Illegal

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the homebrew-is-not-for-you dept.

Nintendo 254

CheShACat writes "A UK high court ruled today that R4 cards for the Nintendo DS are illegal, finding two vendors guilty of selling 'game copiers.' The ruling by Justice Floyd is quoted as saying, 'The economic effect on Nintendo of the trade in these devices is substantial as each accused device can store and play copies of many Nintendo DS games [...] The mere fact that the device can be used for a non-infringing purpose is not a defence.' No word in the article as to what law in particular they were found to have broken, nor of the penalty the vendors are facing, but this looks like bad news for all kinds of hardware mod, on any platform, that would enable homebrew users to bypass vendor locks." Nintendo won a related lawsuit in the Netherlands recently, in addition to the one in Australia earlier this year.

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Apply logic to other things... (4, Insightful)

Reilaos (1544173) | about 4 years ago | (#33062256)

My baseball bat is a murder weapon. The fact that I can use it to play baseball is not a defense.

Guns for hunting/murder.

Recording devices for reminders/spying.

Tacos for eating/poison delivery.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 4 years ago | (#33062420)

Or just apply it to a DVD-ROM, USB drive etc.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#33062630)

Just because my Logitech 5-button optical mouse (black) can be used as a controller for the cursor on my personal computer does not mean it cannot also be used to crush the ants that have invaded my bedroom because of all the Cheetos crumbs I dropped during last night's marathon session of Starcraft 2: Liberty (the RELOADED release*).

Thus, it must be regulated as an insecticide.

[*please note this post is for entertainment purposes only and should not be misconstrued as a description of reality, since I'd never play a pirated game since that would be wrong (SEED, YOU BASTARDS!)

Re:Apply logic to other things... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33063034)

during last night's marathon session of Starcraft 2: Liberty (the RELOADED release)

You know, you can say you pirate things because it's a civil matter. However if you out what you pirate, like in this case, the copyright holders can sue you. You have already admitted you pirated and seeded the newest Starcraft 2, so I have personally wrote to the copyright holders to let them know that and everyone should do the same.

The addresses to contact are

Blizzard: []
Activision: [] |en_US
BSA: []
FBI: []

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#33062426)

Likewise I am guilty of:
hacking because I own a computer,
blowing up the world trade center because I own a box cutter,
being a threat to national security because I am intelligent enough to see how utterly insane that ruling is,

Re:Apply logic to other things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062560)

And tomorrow you'll wake up in a dark room with a bag over your head.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

mykos (1627575) | about 4 years ago | (#33062472)

Maybe everyone in the UK should have their hands, feet, eyeballs, and vocal cords removed. Those can also be used to infringe on copyright.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33062474)

My copy machine, too: the mere fact it can be used for a non-infringing purpose is not a defense.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (2, Interesting)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#33062794)

I've been told by many "technicians" that if you attempt to copy currency, the machine will stop working and give a service code error. Mind you, these are my "friends" who I talk to out of work. I don't know how much to believe to be honest... maybe they just tell them that so they repeat it and discourage others from even scanning money? Who knows

Re:Apply logic to other things... (2, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 4 years ago | (#33062994)

only one way to be sure- scan a note and see. :D

Re:Apply logic to other things... (4, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 4 years ago | (#33063094)

Well, modern copy machines won't scan modern money, or anything with the EURion constellation [] , but I haven't heard of one that would stop working afterwards. That pattern of circles can come in handy if you want to make a convention badge or some such that can't be photocopied.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#33063150)

The machines, "on scanning currency will cease to function and display an error code specifying exactly that. It can be reset, but the technicians must report it." I don't know how much if any of that is BS, but MOST people aren't willing to find out... :P

Re:Apply logic to other things... (2, Interesting)

internewt (640704) | about 4 years ago | (#33063206)

There is a blackbox bit of software bundled with most (all?) proprietary scanning software that stops you scanning money, so what your copier-guy friend is saying is probably true. I found out about the software years ago when I first got a scanner, because to me it is obvious to try and casually copy money to see just how convincing (or not) it comes out.

I knew it would be crap quality - a 300dpi HP inkjet (a 595C, IIRC) on normal copier paper will never look good. It's just that the DRM jumped up and said no before I could even try and make a poor copy. Looking back, the computer turning around and saying no was a major thing for my attitude towards proprietary software. It has taken years to actually become even slightly RMS about things, but I have realised that I do not like my tools to tell me no, and so I try to not use tools that contain the ability to say no. I most definitely will not spend money on stuff that contains the ability to say no.

About the money though, the way the blackbox software works is it looks for a certain pattern of circles. I wonder if it would be possible to have this pattern on a shirt, hat, sign, whatever, to throw up a barrier to being photographed or monitored by CCTV? The UK's forward intelligence teams might have some real fun and games when it comes to cataloguing protesters if their software refuses to open the pictures the cameras have taken.

I have tried to track down an article to confirm what I am saying, but can't find jack-shit. Google's results really do just turn up commercial junk these days. Anyway, this picture [] does show the circles I am talking about, the dots all around the £20 in the top right.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | about 4 years ago | (#33062512)

as long as we're applying logic:

there are scientists who know how to make nuclear bombs!
Fred Phelps for president!

Re:Apply logic to other things... (2, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 years ago | (#33062520)

Heck, I'd say I -should- have a right to own things which are only really usable for illegal activities. If I want to use a crackpipe as a paperweight but never use it to smoke crack (and I, in fact would not use it to smoke crack), then I should be able to.

("should", not "do right now.")

Re:Apply logic to other things... (0, Redundant)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 4 years ago | (#33062580)

what about a 55 gallon drum of napalm?

or a couple of pounds of nuclear waste?

Yes, an R4 isn't as bad as either of these, but, where does it end?

Re:Apply logic to other things... (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 years ago | (#33062660)

Yes, an R4 isn't as bad as either of these, but, where does it end?

Where does common sense tell you it should end? Mine tells me it should end where waiting until I commit a crime with the thing would leave a lot of people in danger. A crack pipe and a piracy device, you can prosecute me after I use it illegally, the fact that it's harder to do that than try to prevent me from doing that doesn't matter. When talking about the ability to kill hundreds of people, that's another story.

Seeing as how I quite obviously wasn't proposing a sweeping new legal change, I was expressing an opinion flashdrives, I didn't think I needed to spell out specific exceptions.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 4 years ago | (#33063350)

Common sense is actually quite neither common nor sensible. []

I love my iTouch DS, but, let's be honest, it's used largely to pirate games. So, who's honestly surprised Nintendo didn't try to get it banned?

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

Ravn_Silvalar (1201173) | about 4 years ago | (#33063200)

The difference between this ruling and your application of it are illogical - because a person can quite easily use the R4 for non-infringing (non-damaging) ways, but napalm or nuclear waste can't. (At least I can't think of a way.)

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 4 years ago | (#33063302)

But largely, they -don't-.

The vast minority doesn't make what the vast majority does right.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062574)

Pens are illegal! They can be used to infringe on other's works.

The fact that they can be used for non-infringing purposes is not a defence

Re:Apply logic to other things... (0, Troll)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 years ago | (#33062700)

Guns for hunting/murder.

Hunting _IS_ murder ...

Re:Apply logic to other things... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062756)

So is eating meat. Should we start arresting anyone who eats fried chicken?

Re:Apply logic to other things... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062910)

So is eating meat. Should we start arresting anyone who eats fried chicken?

Well mostly that would be niggers.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 4 years ago | (#33063308)

Have you tasted KFC lately?

I think that's punishment enough.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (5, Funny)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 4 years ago | (#33063020)

meat is murder!
fish is rape!
bread is assault!
veggies are petty theft!

NO! (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | about 4 years ago | (#33063056)

No! It isn't! Your a retard for saying so.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (1)

brainboyz (114458) | about 4 years ago | (#33063140)

Only to PETA. Otherwise it's "sweet delicious murder" thank you very much.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062790)

If 99% of people used baseball bats for murder, then they would be outlawed as well.

The difference is that the R4 is overwhelmingly used for piracy, and the bas is overwhelmingly used for baseball.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33063158)

Given how much graffiti I see around here, I'd imagine that a sizable percentage of spray paint is used to commit vandalism. Yet I can still buy spray paint. Most cigarette papers in many places are used for pot, but those are still sold legally. Radar detectors are primarily used to evade prosecution for infractions, yet are legal in most of the U.S. And 100% of all VCRs and DVRs are used for copyright violations, which although exempted from prosecution by judicial rulings in the Betamax case, are still technically violations of the law, just (barely) protected violations. And so on. That argument doesn't hold water.

At least in the U.S., it has nothing to do with the percentage of people who use something for illegal activity and everything to do with a giant pro-copyright lobbying effort by major corporations that also happen to heavily fund the political campaigns of both major parties. I'd imagine that either the same is true in the U.K. or it's caused by the U.S. throwing its weight around. It's also probably safe to say that Nintendo shopped around for the right legislative district to file a suit in so that they would get the most bang for their buck.

It's not the first time Nintendo has been abusively anti-consumer rights, either. Remember Galoob v. Nintendo? They have a long history of abusing copyright to suit their ends. This is just another example.

Re:Apply logic to other things... (3, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#33062838)

Logic? That's only a device to circumvent a judge's arbitrary ruling, and thus prohibited by law.

Precedent set (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33062260)

>>>'The economic effect on Nintendo of the trade in these devices is substantial as each accused device can store and play copies of many Nintendo DS games [...] The mere fact that the device can be used for a non-infringing purpose is not a defence.'

And then a few weeks later, other UK judges outlawed the use of VHS tapes, DVD-Rs, and MP3 recorders, for the same reason that these blanks can be used to copy movies and songs.

Re:Precedent set (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062312)

Isn't the "Piracy Tax" that some countries have on blank media in place for that very reason?

Re:Precedent set (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 4 years ago | (#33062462)

Which is just the dumbest idea in the world, it justifies piracy.
    "Well I payed a tax for piracy so it's ok."

Re:Precedent set (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062690)

I agree with you. I just wanted to point out that this isn't exactly a new idea.

Re:Precedent set (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | about 4 years ago | (#33062936)

Which is just the dumbest idea in the world, it justifies piracy. "Well I payed a tax for piracy so it's ok."

That sounds verbatim of what a friend who lives in Canada said to me.

Re:Precedent set (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 4 years ago | (#33063004)

Not in the UK, no.

What about homebrew? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062266)

As a homebrew developer, I am particularly upset by this decision. You can use an R4 card for more than just piracy, you know.

Re:What about homebrew? (4, Informative)

twidarkling (1537077) | about 4 years ago | (#33062344)

The mere fact that the device can be used for a non-infringing purpose is not a defence

Right in the summary. They know, they just don't care.

Re:What about homebrew? (1)

Derekloffin (741455) | about 4 years ago | (#33062680)

Playing Devil's advocate... poorly mind you but I'll try... why would a non-infringing use be a defense? If we allow that any tool with a legal use should therefore be legal you can get to equal absurdities (that dirty bomb in my garage, I'm using it for a doorstop). We really can't look at this in binary good bad mode. Basically every device can put to neutral or good use, and bad use, so that you can potentially use it legitimately in itself isn't a real defense.

Re:What about homebrew? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | about 4 years ago | (#33062816)

because you can use something else as a doorstop. Can you use anything else to run homebrew?

Anyway, Auntie says that HMRC have siezed 165,000 of these things, that's a sizeable market. Hopefully pissing off that many ordinary consumers of Nintendo products (don't forget, all those people will have bought DSs) will hopefully hit them where it hurts.

Re:What about homebrew? (1)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#33062884)

You mean virtue.

Basically every device can BE VIRTUOUS or it's exact opposite, so that you can potentially use it legitimately in itself isn't a real defense.

Laws aren't smart or flexible enough to deal with virtue. For example, I just heard on the radio last night some dude who was arrested for "child endangerment." The reason: he saw a fight between 2 kids and broke it up. Was arrested and charged with that. His background: student body president while in HS, went to chico and graduated, went to be president of some school association and broke up a fight between his 2 students.

He asked: "Why is it that I am charged with child endangerment while those who were spectators or the others who recorded the fight weren't?" The council member said "we'll look into your case and review if any policy/rule/law wasn't followed appropriately. That's what happens when you have virtue in the legal system.

Re:What about homebrew? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 4 years ago | (#33063072)

I'd be interested in a link to that story. Sounds interesting.

Re:What about homebrew? (1)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#33063212) []

July 28, 2010 CITY HALL — Santa Monica officials have agreed to conduct an independent review of police actions during a four-month investigation into whether school board member Oscar de la Torre committed child endangerment in connection with an after school fist fight between two teenagers.


The incident that prompted the police department's investigation occurred March 16 in an alley about a block from Santa Monica High School and next to the Pico Youth & Family Center, the non-profit that de la Torre runs.

After learning that a fight was breaking out, de la Torre rushed to the scene of the fight.

Police said cell phone videos taken of the fight showed de la Torre failed to break up the fight, instead allowing it to "develop, continue, and escalate in its injury potential." Because of his role as executive director of the PYFC, police said he had an obligation to step in and break up the fight.

De la Torre said he spent about a minute assessing the situation and the crowd of about 40 students that had gathered before taking action.

Police based a large part of their case against de la Torre on a cell phone video they obtained from a bystander that appeared to show de la Torre stepping between the two fighters after 59 seconds, when the fight apparently stopped.

Though not shown in the video, de la Torre said he was able to get the two boys involved in the fight to shake hands after it ended.

Appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062276)

Not familiar with UK legal system -- is a "HIGH COURT" the highest court in the land? It's not really making piracy *more illegal* is it?

Re:Appeal (2, Insightful)

franki.macha (1444319) | about 4 years ago | (#33062444)

A High Court is not the highest court in the UK, that would be the Supreme Court, I believe, although I'm not a lawyer.

And I'm not sure what you mean by "It's not really making piracy *more illegal* is it?". Things can't really be more or less illegal, just more or less severely punished, but I don't think this ruling is about piracy as such, only things that could be used _for_ piracy.

Re:Appeal (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 4 years ago | (#33062648)

Up until last year the house of lords was the highest you could go.
(only just found out that that had changed.)

Re:Appeal (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | about 4 years ago | (#33062826)

the name and location have changed. The actual judges are the same. Basically, it was an enormously expensive re-branding exercise.

Stupid Courts (0, Flamebait)

b4upoo (166390) | about 4 years ago | (#33062336)

The idea that an item as legitimate uses is not a defense is as stupid as a ruling could get. I use a knife to cut my food. Knives are used in murders. Therefore knives must be held to be illegal even though they have legitimate uses.
                    This is about the most blatant form of corruption a court can display. It is a political posture. They are in effect saying that big business must have power over smaller businesses and individuals which is an absurd and evil conservative posture.
                    The remedy is to make and distribute these items in great excess making certain that piracy increases every time such a position is taken by the state.

Re: Stupid Courts (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33062416)

It gets better.

Now that the UK has banned guns, they are starting to go after knives.

They don't seem to be content with fighting knives, they want to go after kitchen knives too.

Re: Stupid Courts (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 4 years ago | (#33063162)

As I understand it, there's a movement to ban any knife with a point, to reduce stabbings. Because banning tool #1 meant that people intent on violence switched to tool #2, banning tool #2 is sure to work this time! (What's that definition of insanty again?)

It's at least hard to make a gun in your garage. But adding a point to a knife? Only the law will be pointless.

Re: Stupid Courts (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 4 years ago | (#33063196)

Next they'll come after pointed sticks.

Re: Stupid Courts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062552)

Actually it's about as anti-conservative as you can get. It is actually quite fascist. Corporations and government coming together to stamp out competition. Mussolini was big on that sort of thing.

To play the devil's advocate (5, Insightful)

Vahokif (1292866) | about 4 years ago | (#33062590)

You'd have a point if 99% of people used knives to murder and 1% used them to cook.

Re:To play the devil's advocate (1)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#33062950)

Mod parent up ^^

Seriously dude! It's like, how many AR15's are ACTUALLY used to kill people? Why can't I just have a fully automatic assault rifle??????????????????

Your first pony? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062356)

You want a pony? []

Jailbreaking (4, Interesting)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 4 years ago | (#33062366)

One big feature of jailbreaking iPhones is that you can install apps on your iPhone in a similar manner that you could install NDS games on an R4. Does this also mean that jailbreaking an iPhone is illegal there, too? It should be noted that a major feature of the R4s, and similar devices, was that you can run homebrew on your NDS, which I have. There's some decent homebrew (not that great of a selection, but still some good stuff) available, such as the (excellent) roguelike game POWDER [] .

DVD-ROM (2, Insightful)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 4 years ago | (#33062384)

So I guess this makes all optical drives illegal too then.

Well, they haven't, but they may as well do it.

So bye bye to (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062386)

VHS, Cd's, Dvd's, blu-ray, USb keys

After all -> "The mere fact that the device can be used for a non-infringing purpose is not a defence."

It's a bit unfortunate... (2, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | about 4 years ago | (#33062390)

...that rampant piracy has diminished the useful and legitimate purposes of these devices to such a degree that they must be criminalized. I grew up in an era where "homebrew" was the only type of gaming there was. One could say that it actually created the game industry.

But the game industry has grown up now into serious business, and while landing a couple of pasted-together white blocks onto a platform of larger white blocks used to be great fun, I don't think anybody wants to give up Mario 25 and Zelda 21 just yet.

Is that the price to be paid in a world where these devices are permitted to exist? A better question, perhaps, is do you want to take that chance?

Re:It's a bit unfortunate... (2, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | about 4 years ago | (#33062496)

Unfortunate indeed. I recently discovered the wonderful world of open source games. I find it to be a pleasant return to something akin to the days of homebrew gaming you mentioned. I'm not throwing away my consoles just yet, but it's great to be able to tinker and learn some stuff about game development in my spare time freely.

Re:It's a bit unfortunate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062510)

It's a false dichotomy that we can either have the freedom of homebrew, or the big companies can stay afloat to make new flashy commercial stuff.
Lots and lots of people buy video games, whether or not it's possible to get copies without paying.
The fact that you can copy all this stuff for free has not destroyed the game industry, and isn't likely to.

Re:It's a bit unfortunate... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#33062542)

Yup, I'm pretty sure we do. Regardless of one's feelings about piracy, positive or negative, it is an uncomfortable fact that any combination of law and technology sufficient to stamp out, or even seriously inconvenience, piracy will necessarily be downright authoritarian in power and scope, corrosive to privacy, and almost perfectly suited to the suppression of any other flavor of information, art, culture, speech, etc.

These are just architectural necessities of any anti-piracy system that isn't going to be a penny-ante joke. Whatever you think about piracy, they are quite arguably too high a price to pay.

So... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062396)

Goodbye DVD burners?

Aren't you tired? (-1, Flamebait)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 4 years ago | (#33062402)

I'm tired of simply listening to stories about modders getting in trouble with justice. People buy closed stuff and then spend money or time to crack it, and maybe brick it. Ummm. What about leaving that shiny things on the shelf and use your time for something more constructive?

Re:Aren't you tired? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062562)

Why don't you hurr durr about something more constructive?

Fuck you.

Re:Aren't you tired? (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#33062738)

"What about leaving that shiny things on the shelf and use your time for something more constructive?"

But want Shiny on MY terms! Can't vote with my wallet or won't HAVE shiny! Shiny = constructive. Mmmm....corporate cawk, so tasty.

Did I miss anything? :)

Re:Aren't you tired? (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | about 4 years ago | (#33063118)

This doesn't seem like flamebait. he actually has a point, however badly worded. hackers should start thinking about an open standard.
If there's a specific reason for this not to be a valid idea, let us know, but don't just call him flamebait.

Maybe they could settle these cases faster (4, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | about 4 years ago | (#33062438)

Plaintiffs and defendants should just fax the judge their financial records for the last year.
Whoever has the most money wins the case.
That way, we could save taxpayer money and the verdicts would invariably come out the same way as they would have through trial.

Re:Maybe they could settle these cases faster (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 4 years ago | (#33062530)

That's not very fair.
It should be like Top Trumps, where "most money" is just one of the stats.

Only the R4? (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | about 4 years ago | (#33062470)

What about the tons of other flash card carts for the DS? Why single out only the R4? I've had one in my DS for a few years now (bought one when they first came out) and it's still running strong. I've done all kinds of things with it too, ebooks, mp3, etc. Of course you can play pirated games but no one forces you to commit infringement and put pirated games on it. There's plenty of legal homebrew. So because the ability to use a device for piracy is the court going to make computers, DVD players, CD players, etc. illegal as well?

Just vote against it (1)

dragisha (788) | about 4 years ago | (#33062524)

With your wallet.

what do you get when you mix blue and yellow? (0, Offtopic)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | about 4 years ago | (#33062528)


Re:what do you get when you mix blue and yellow? (0, Offtopic)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33062608)

Additively or Subtractively?

To be fair (4, Insightful)

Vahokif (1292866) | about 4 years ago | (#33062556)

Do you seriously think most people buy R4s for homebrew? That's like saying most people use torrents to get Linux ISOs.

Re:To be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062634)

Nintendo's massive sales is precisely because you can run copied games on them with next to no effort. Had they been secure from day one, Nintendo would have had junk products not selling anywhere their past levels. They knew it, we know it. Now that they have the units sold, they want to tighten up and try to make money on their shovelware. It's always been like this. The computer or console that's the easiest to run copied software on *always* wins.

Re:To be fair (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062870)

Nintendo's massive sales is precisely because you can run copied games on them with next to no effort.

Citation so very, very much needed.

Or are you somehow assuming that the massive sales of the Wii to non-technical people, like the elderly with no gaming background, is because they suddenly and mysteriously got the desire and technical skill to install the Homebrew Channel, search out the few beta-quality original games for it, and tell their similarly non-technical non-gamer elderly friends about it?

If so, then you, my fellow anonymous comrade, are living one HELL of a delusion.

Re:To be fair (4, Insightful)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | about 4 years ago | (#33062674)

Will that be your response when this UK court also bans any software which uses BitTorrent?

After all, the fact that it has non-infringing uses is irrelevant, right?

Re:To be fair (1)

jacquelinew (946851) | about 4 years ago | (#33062682)

That *is* what I use torrents for, I doubt I'm the only one.

Re:To be fair (1)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#33063000)

I use bittorrent to download the latest bsd releases... :>

Re:To be fair (1)

grantek (979387) | about 4 years ago | (#33062856)

Regardless, they're the ONLY way to play homebrew on the DS. Nintendo would have a case if they allowed unsigned code.

An anecdote of one (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | about 4 years ago | (#33063040)

Actually, I bought an R4 for homebrew. There are a lot of simple games and applications like Colors! [] that easily make the cost worthwhile.

Re:To be fair (1, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 4 years ago | (#33063188)

It doesn't matter if 90% other people use bit-torrent to download ROMs, the latest crappy films or porn.
It doesn't matter if 90% other people use r4 cards for ROMs.

If I am doing no such thing you have no right to stop me going about my legal business just because you're too impotent to deal with those other guys without fucking around with what I have every right to do.

Illegal pen (0)

richardkelleher (1184251) | about 4 years ago | (#33062566)

Let's see, a pen can be used to write a note to be handed to a bank teller during a robbery. Therefore, the pen must be illegal. Works for me... :)

They wouldn't know what to make of me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062592)

They really wouldn't. I have a Nintendo DS with a rewritable cartridge and I keep it loaded down with games. I have retails too, but they never leave a locked footlocker with the rest of my stuff to make sure they aren't lost or destroyed by my nieces and nephews.

I take the DS and that cartridge with me every time I fly or go on long trips. I would much rather just restart the system and choose another game off a list than have to deal with lugging around a miniature carrying case of about 20 games on an already cramped flight where there is a good chance I am going to be stuck paying extra for added baggage or having to lug it around 2 or 3 layovers. I take it over to my friends or families house so my nieces and nephews can play the games they like and I don't have to worry about them losing them or breaking them trying to put them in backwards as they never have to take it out of the machine, now if I could only get them keep keep their hands cleaner when they are using the touch screen and I will be set.

They stop me, sure they get a cartridge removed from the streets but they also would lose out on a lot of lost sales as I do not buy anything unless I can copy it to save to original. I had my old X-Box modded, as with my PSX and PS2.

Re:They wouldn't know what to make of me. (1)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#33063106)

Oh AC, I wish I knew who you were! We're very alike, you and I!

Growing up, I loved music - still do. I am old enough to remember 8 tracks, but never bought one. Scratching on a record player, that even had a cassette player that RECORDED! Eventually, when I came of age to work and spend foolishly all of my money on music, I still have a case logic case full of 'original' CDs. Yes, that's over 200 Compact Audio Discs that cost over $20. The most expensive was my Grover Washing Jr. Mister Magic album that has 4 tracks. Yes, 4 tracks and over $30 (it was very hard to find, you see, there was no inet at that time like we know it today).

Loving music, as much as I did/do, I've been playing musical instruments a long time. One of them a guitar. So on one afternoon after school, during my mini rock concert for my neighbors, my Metallica Master of Puppets CD cracked in half after my set. What was I to do? Go and buy another $20 CD? I still dealt with tapes, but preferred CDs. Buying another CD was out of the question because money was now diverted to my car. Napster was starting to get into the news, but I wasn't in my 'computer age' yet, so my 486 wasn't up to do much for me.

The fair question of why do I have to buy something I already own came into existence then. When music companies say that you don't own the music, you license it on a per disc/tape/media basis. So 2 CDs are 2 licenses, not one, thus they don't owe you jack.

So now my collection sits cozy in its safe case, never worrying about heat in a car, pressure in a bag, strangers dirty fingers or even sand from the beach. This is the only way to fly!

*cough cough* (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062598)

Seriously, how many people out of say 100 are buying an R4 card with the intention of homebrew coding only... WAKE UP.

99% of buyers just want to steal games, nothing else. Yes, yes, dangerous precedent an' all that but in this case i agree with the courts!


Re:*cough cough* (1)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#33063130)


... and we need to get rid of those pesky ipods! They're a way for people to steal music SO EASILY! Just look at them! They're 'ease of use' make it easy to load pirated music. They're 'trendy styling' puts this powerful ability in a lot of peoples hands! The only thing that keeps people from stealing food from our mouths is they're honesty, and honestly, we know they aren't all that honest, honest!

Re:*cough cough* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33063234)

Homebrew is only one of the few advantages of having slot1 loader - you can also take all your games with you on one cartridge that you never have to remove from your DS (hell, you could even glue it in!), you can switch games effortlessly without having to search for each game cart. You can backup your game saves, and restore them easily. You can also use it to playback media and read ebooks (at least in text format anyway).

Of course, on the slightly less-than-legal side: You can try a game before you buy it. You can play multiplayer with friends without having to buy a second copy of the same game...

Sue Nintendo for copying it's own games (1)

dalhamir (1423303) | about 4 years ago | (#33062686)

Seems to me that a lot of the hardware used by Nintendo to make legal games could also in theory be used to make illegal games. Therefore that hardware is illegal!

Be honest, 99% is for piracy... (2, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | about 4 years ago | (#33062710)

I actually have an R4RS that I bought a couple years back for homebrew development/hacking (but, in the end, the wifi wasn't good enough), but to be perfectly honest, the market for these really is 99%+ for piracy.

Its not that they don't care about noninfringing usage, the court just realized that the noninfringing usage is almost irrelevantly small.

Thanks, Nintendo! (4, Interesting)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about 4 years ago | (#33062748)

I had a CycloDS for my DS, but your DSi's firmware blocked it from working. This page reminded me to look, and sure enough, I can now buy a nice Acekard 2i [] for like $15 [] and/or a Supercrad DStwo [] for about $35 [] that does things your console should do natively (such as GBA and SNES emulation), both of which use the same 16 GB Micro SDHC card that my CycloDS uses, all of which will work with my nice Nintendo DSiXL.

Of course, since I own physical copies of all the games I put on my flash cart, it's all ethically sound, if not legally unassailable. Fortunately for me, I am much more concerned with living ethically, if not legally, especially when in regards to stupid, anti-consumer laws like the ones that would outlaw this sort of thing. Although Nintendo might be screwed even in that case, because "Jailbreaking" a mobile device [] is now legal in the US. Since my DS is a mobile device, and the Acekard / DStwo are methods of "jailbreaking," -- i.e., running unapproved software -- well, seems to me the much loved DMCA that Nintendo would no doubt use to shut these things down in the US... wouldn't actually shut them down.

So thank you, Nintendo. Thank you for reminding me to look for a DSi compatible flash cart, and reminding me I need to do my part to support small development studios like the Supercard and Acekard teams.

Are we talking supply or possession? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33062888)

I dont want to get stopped in the street on suspicions of owning an R4

(remembers when copyright was a civil matter)

The ruling is you cannot bypass copy protection (2, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 years ago | (#33062904)

Those of you silly enough to argue that living is infringement failed to read further into the article that says that bypassing a copy protection device is illegal. Even if the bypassing device has legitimate uses.

Sound familiar? It's like the DMCA, though the DMCA was updated earlier this week with a ruling that said that no longer applied for fair use (which still blocks space shifting, but allows the formerly illegal mashups from DVDs and Blu-Rays, short clips etc.).

So jailbreaking is still illegal in the UK, you cannot pick DRM locks, and you cannot bypass copy protections that may be present for whatever reason.

Curiously Enough (1)

Sylak (1611137) | about 4 years ago | (#33063098)

I just sent my DSi in for a warranty repair and left my iTouch2 Card in it... thankfully it was returned with no hassle (along with the offending microSD card) I'm a bit surprised at that, considering they could have sent a letter saying they confiscated "a device for piracy."

There goes a market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33063152)

Okay, I guess I must be in that oddball 1% that owns an R4 but doesn't have a single pirated game.

I am working on a DS homebrew game, and the R4 is how I test it on my ancient DS Lite.

I was entertaining thoughts of self-publishing my game and selling it by purchasing R4s, copying my game onto a micro-SD memory card, and selling the (R4+microSD+game).

Looks like I don't have a market in the UK anymore. :-(

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33063324)

Its a good step against piracy!

Funny, really ... (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33063342)

UK High Court

The mere fact that the device can be used for a non-infringing purpose is not a defence.

US Supreme Court in Sony vs. Universal [] :

On the question of whether Sony could be described as "contributing" to copyright infringement, the Court stated:

[There must be] a balance between a copyright holder's legitimate demand for effective - not merely symbolic - protection of the statutory monopoly, and the rights of others freely to engage in substantially unrelated areas of commerce. Accordingly, the sale of copying equipment, like the sale of other articles of commerce, does not constitute contributory infringement if the product is widely used for legitimate, unobjectionable purposes. Indeed, it need merely be capable of substantial noninfringing uses....

It's interesting that the two courts took diametrically opposed positions on this subject. Of course, Congress pretty well neutered that decision with a succession of purchased laws culminating in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, but that was one case where the Supremes ultimately got it right.

And then, after all the hate and discontent they raised over the advent of the VCR, the movie industry went on to rake in billions selling VHS movies on writeable media played back on the previously-vilified Video Cassette Recorder. Money they would never have seen had the hardware companies not been free to develop and market something new. That was not a surprising attitude, though: the content cartels have always been about maintaining the status quo, and can't quite seem to wrap their heads around the fact that change can make money. But that would require them to actually think, and maybe do a little innovating of their own. But history has demonstrated conclusively that they don't know how to do that.

Anyone remember Jack Valenti's impassioned monologue about how the VCR would "destroy the industry"? Yeah. He was spot on with that one, wasn't he. This is also the guy who said, "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." Right on, Jack. Point is, these are people who don't have anything on their minds but control, control and more control. It's not even about the money, it's about control. They've controlled matters so well, in fact, that I won't purchase a game console. I don't like who I'd have to thank for it, and I don't like their business models, and I don't like the fact that the machine isn't really mine. You want to lease the box to me, that would be different. But they don't: they want me to pay cold hard cash for the illusion of ownership (ha, kind of like buying a house, when you think about it.)

Fact is, the content industries are mostly led by short-sighted fools. At some point, their stockholders are going to have to rise up and slay them, because they're throwing money away by not going with the flow, by not learning from history and their own mistakes, by being greedy to the point of sociopathy.
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