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Nintendo's Lawsuits Aided by Fans

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  • by SauroNlord (707570) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:21AM (#10795584)
    the corporation is loyal to their customers and treats them fairly---fan's will do their best to have everyone else support them legally. I know I do buy the CD's and games of my favourite artists/titles regardless. I had warcraft3 beta, then the release as it hit the shelves....but I still bought it.
  • by Paska (801395) * on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:21AM (#10795585) Homepage
    Glad to see someone doing something about it, back when I was in high school I used to sell pirated Playstation games to my friends. I was busted by the principle when a mother found her son playing a copied porn game, none the less it was traced back to me. Sony were informed, but did that care? Nope. Life went on for me, and I continued to rip of Sony many hundreds of dollars per week at the ripe age of 14. My point is now that I am 20 years old and mature, I wish Nintendo/Sony would crack down on priates a little more, as the quality in games in my opinion has dropped a lot since the introduction of CD recorders.
  • by irving47 (73147) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:23AM (#10795590) Homepage
    I tried one at a mall about six months ago. The thing was junk. Super Mario Brothers was playing about 10% too fast.... Anyone else seen that?

  • by stratjakt (596332) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:26AM (#10795605) Journal
    This isn't about gamecube piracy, this is about these cheesy import deals that look like N64 controllers, and plug directly into your AV jacks (like all those Atari deals), and have a bunch of old nintendo games built in.

    They sell 'em everywhere, go to any flea market and you can find them. They're as flimsily built as you can imagine. There's a light gun too, for Duck Hunt.

    I believe they just have an image of the old 100-in-one NES bootleg from the olden days.

    Anyways, they're no doubt illegal. But we're talking about Kid Icarus and Duck Hunt, not Metroid Prime and Resident Evil Zero.
  • by subsonic (173806) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:26AM (#10795606) Journal
    Well, if you look at their history, while they essentially resurrected the video games market, they also severely limited the game developers. In fact, it is this behavior that eventually led to their own fall.
    Indeed, Nintendo had a grip on home consoles in the 80s that would make Microsoft weep. Granted a grasp that was finally loosened by numerous law suits.
    A more loyal fanbase? certainly, but only at the cost of so many million more PS2s and Xboxes.
  • by Tethys_was_taken (813654) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:30AM (#10795627) Homepage

    I remember that when the HL2 source code was leaked, Gabe Newell (VALVe founder) sent out a request to the HL community [halflife2.net]. It worked. Pretty soon, they managed to get a few leads and tracked down the guy who initially distributed it. Best part was, all this happened over IRC rooms when some guy started boasting about his exploits.

    This is setting a very positive trend, IMO. (Besides showing that IRC is not *just* the home of the pirates and the script kiddies :) It shows that the community will back a game publisher/developer who gives them quality stuff, and is willing to pull down shitty publishers like EA.

    Anyway... long story short, this is Very Good(TM). I hope this continues

  • Rewards (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dadjaka (827325) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:30AM (#10795629)
    Are they offering rewards? I can see a large industry for dobbers...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:46AM (#10795695)
    *cough* *cough*

    i see this 'enforcement' as yet again an abuse of copyright law. copyright is there to promote the public interest. nintendo's interest has long since passed on these games in their original NES form. what this 'knockoff' company has done is take something that nintendo has made plenty of profits on during the day, and added a key innovation (small controller, cute packaging, gimmick, whatever) where there is a new spark. the 'pirates' are really the innovaters here, nintendos old 8 bit games should have long since passed into the public domain.

    don't be so quick to defend copyrights in this case because its about a video game and not a music company
  • Go Nintendo! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nossie (753694) * <IanHarvie@GINSBE ... t.Net minus poet> on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:55AM (#10795745)
    I think any company should have a right to enforce their own IP. I'd even support the RIAA/MPAA if they cracked down on marketstalls or websites profiteering from the distribution. Sadly they also abuse their consumers, and I think thats going too far.

    Nintendo is doing nothing less than protecting its rights, and in a far more amicable way than some of the other corporations. Sure the emulation scene has been blasted by lawyers over the years. Although, considering they are still making a profit from the old games (classic handhelds etc) do you really blame them?

    Systems to support this would be the Classic NES and snes converstions to the GBA

    *** (I'm not suggesting constant remakes and re-releases is right either here btw ) ***

    People are slating that guy in the link because he was miffed at recieving a counterfit product. I have to say I support him 100% for taking it back.

    WE ALL know counterfit copies exist, some of us are even quite prepared to buy them *knowing* they are fake/stolen but not wanting to pay full price. It's a totally different story when a shop tries to sell such products and pretend they are legit.

    how would you like to buy a $60,000 Rolex to find a quartz movement inside? OR a an athlon64 4000 to find its an overclocked 3800?

    I think then, you might not be so jeering when it was you that had the wrong end of the stick.

  • Re:Piracy in China (Score:5, Interesting)

    by taxevader (612422) on Friday November 12, 2004 @02:06AM (#10795793)
    Umm.. I call bullshit. I have been living (and gaming) in China for 3 years, and have yet to see the product you mention above. A knock-off GC??? The hardware is so proprietary it would cost them more to make a pirated version than to sell the official one, which sells here for just a bit more than the RRP overseas (1200 RMB). If they modded an original and put it in a pretty clear case I could understand. But as far as hardware goes, the only pirated consoles available are the 8-bit NES preloaded with hundreds of games. Maybe you could post some pics of the machine you claimed to have seen? It would send shockwaves through the hacking scene, because it seems not even the hardcore hackers have ever seen one of your fabled consoles.

  • by dlundh (158421) on Friday November 12, 2004 @02:28AM (#10795855) Homepage
    I can see why you posted anonymously.

    Nintendo still sells the NES games repackaged for the GBA/GBA SP today and includes the games as extras in GameCube games such as Animal Crossing. Looks to me like not only is there public interest in these old gems, Nintendo seems to be pretty interested in them as well.

    And yes, GBA/GBA SP is smaller than this "key innovation".
  • by garbletext (669861) on Friday November 12, 2004 @02:36AM (#10795883)
    The only way to do that is to produce exact copies of the original CD or DVD, but such copies are a rarity on the P2P networks.

    I disagree. Exact DVD copies are all over Emule and Bittorrent. Check out Suprnova [suprnova.org]. Right now there are two dvd iso torrents on the front page, and countless more on the movies page. It's becoming feasable to send uncompressed DVDs around the internet. Granted this cannot be done with movies that are newly out, but it's pretty scary fron the movie industry's viewpoint that even a casual pirate can reproduce exactly what they're selling - for free.
  • Why I reported them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 12, 2004 @02:39AM (#10795890)
    I was one of the "400 loyal fans"... ... except I'm not really a loyal fan. They lost me to the dark side (Sega) after their stubborness over CDs. Sure, I like their games, but I haven't really been a Nintendo fan since the SNES.

    There are a few reasons I reported them. First, some of those games aren't abandonware. Nintendo is actively re-releasing them for the Gameboy Advance. Second, they're competing unfairly with Nintendo. The kiosk I reported was just outside an Electionics Boutique, and I suspect a fair number of parents that were asked for a Nintendo system for Christmas saw this as a deal, and got that instead of a real system. Third, they're unfairly profiting from Nintendo's IP. They were selling these devices for nearly $70! And finally, they were extremely pushy, and used high-pressure sales tactics on anyone who passed by their kiosk.

    I think emulators are perfectly legal, and trading old ROMs doesn't really hurt their bottom line, but this was wholesale abuse of their IP.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 12, 2004 @02:44AM (#10795908)
    At a mall kisok in Orlando a few months ago some guy tried to sell me one of these machines, he started out at 75 bucks, and it came with about 200 games he said(which i'm guess was similar to a multicart where about 160 are the same danm thing and only a few orignials) now while i thought it was cool after seeing Galaga he let me snoop around at the other games, which included shrek(a mario bros hack which was just mario all green), smurfs(a mario bros hack which was just mario all blue), superspider man(again a mario bros hack where mario is in a spider man costume, etc) these were terrible, awful 3rd grade remakes of classic games of course they had the original liscensed games too. But over all these things were complete crap and when i told the guy that he said well what about 50 dollars then? Danm I should look up the location right now and email NOA, nahh they never released the realistic zelda for gc so im still pissed. But anyway I'd hate to be a snitch its the worst but these things aren't good for anyone even kids.
  • by rock_climbing_guy (630276) on Friday November 12, 2004 @02:56AM (#10795956) Journal
    I can say for sure I've seen these things for sale at kiosks at the malls in Lubbock, TX and Midland, TX. I'm surprised to be just now hearing that Nintendo is sueing them.

    The particular one I've seen for sale is called "Power Player." It boasts of an image of the lighsaber duel from "The Phantom Menace." Quick, someone call George Lucas.

    So then, what other rip-offs of Nintendo games are out there?

  • by Chatsubo (807023) on Friday November 12, 2004 @03:18AM (#10796008)
    There is a company in South Africa selling educational "computers"... Labeled the "IntelliGameStation" (just makes you sick, doesn't it?). And it's basically a NES in a little tower case, that comes with some custom educational software in the traditional NES cartridge. I think they throw in one of those "X in 1" game carts as well.

    I've always wondered if this is legal, and whether they license the tech from nintendo. From your post, it doesn't seem to be above board. Which I find surprising, seeing as they run infomercials on national TV.
  • Re: Wrong mistake... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by blahplusplus (757119) on Friday November 12, 2004 @03:58AM (#10796107)
    It was never about Xbox or PS2, Playstation 1 took all the former Nintendo developers and you can bet if nintendo had released a CD based console in the PS1 era sony would have never gained dominance. Note how many Nintendo sequels were done for the playstation 1 and you will see why the PS2 succeed, most hardcore PS2 owners own a GC as well I would imagine.
  • by Galvatron (115029) on Friday November 12, 2004 @03:58AM (#10796108)
    "Most Favored Nation" trade status is also known as "normal" trade status, and only a select few countries are not in this category. The fact that China has this status is only remarkable because they are a nominally Communist country.
  • by mongbot (671347) on Friday November 12, 2004 @05:27AM (#10796373)
    Sorry, you're wrong about CDs. It's rare that someone can discern the difference between a well-encoded 192kbps MP3 and the original CD version. If you doubt me, I challenge you to take a blind hearing test. And many networks have lossless compressed audio files, such as FLAC.

    The real reason people don't blow the whistle on music sharing is because CDs are overpriced due to the RIAA oligopoly.
  • Not piracy but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skeletonliar (741852) on Friday November 12, 2004 @07:10AM (#10796642)
    One thing I have always wondered about is my local Software Etc.'s policy of selling games (usually GBA games) after they cross out the "NOT FOR RESALE" mark on the label with a sharpie. First of all, where do these games come from in the first place? Bundles? Demo units? Secondly, while I doubt that little mark is legally binding, you figure Nintendo would try and put a stop to it if they found out. Having gone through all the trouble of printing special labels and all.
  • by tuxedobob (582913) * <tuxedobob AT mac DOT com> on Friday November 12, 2004 @07:21AM (#10796667)
    I called today (with my own report), and the guy I talked to said they'd also been getting calls from people who had bought them and wanted some support.

    It seems not all the ROMs are complete. Some give up after a certain level, so you can't finish the game. As a result, Nintendo is getting calls.

    Considering it costs money to keep people on the phones, and they're getting calls for something that isn't actually theirs, yeah, I can see how they'd be losing money on these things even if they weren't rereleasing some of the games.
  • Re: Wrong mistake... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Luigi30 (656867) on Friday November 12, 2004 @07:52AM (#10796734)
    The PS1 *WAS* going to be a Nintendo console. It was a Sony-developed add-on for the SNES. When SEGA's CD system failed, Nintendo rethought it and told Sony they didn't want it anymore. Sony had to do something with this CD-based system, so they turned it into a standalone console and released it.
  • by TheCarp (96830) * <sjc&carpanet,net> on Friday November 12, 2004 @11:23AM (#10797846) Homepage
    The thing that gets me, ive seen these and almost bought one. Now I wish I had.

    Counterfit or not, it was a great idea! A nintendo the size of a controller that had all those old games loaded on it. Good product, its really too bad that the legitimate companies like nintendo didn't come up with the idea themselves. It would be a great way to give people a product that they would think is really cool and buy (there would be no issue here if nobody was buying them, the counterfiters would just go out of buisness on their own).

    So instead of using their old products to make a little more cash by giving people a cool new toy, they spend money going after the people who are doing it.

    -Steve
  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:29PM (#10799492)
    Yes, they are all garbage, but I personally haven't seen any that run noticeably off from the genuine article.

    I wonder if the systems might be running in PAL mode internally, but hacked to output an NTSC-compatible signal. Running a system designed for 50Hz at 60Hz would result in the games being 20% too fast.

    Another legally notable thing about many of the designs is that the lightguns they come with are VERY realistic looking, and almost certainly qualify as illegal imitation firearms in several states.
  • by michaelzhao (801080) on Friday November 12, 2004 @09:40PM (#10804315)
    I am Chinese. Every year I go back to China, I pick up GBA Games for 2 Dollars American. It's not the fact that the Chinese government doesn't do anything. It's more of the fact that intellectual property rights are not developed in China. Also, many Chinese people have a mindset that the American companies are exploiting Chinese resources and manpower so what the workers make rightly belong to them anyways. So many DVD's and GBA games are pirated under that circumstance. Fighting piracy isn't anything new, but it might take longer than previously thought to win this battle in developing third world countries such as China. The way to win this battle, is to make sure these developing countries have a means of passing and enforcing intellectual property rights.

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