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Nintendo Asks For Government Help To Fight Piracy 296

Posted by Soulskill
from the send-more-cannon-and-parrot-poison dept.
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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Nintendo Asks For Government Help To Fight Piracy

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  • Whine whine whine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @07:58AM (#26996171) Homepage

    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.

  • Poor Nintendo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lbft (950835) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @08:02AM (#26996211) Homepage

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

  • by powerspike (729889) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @08:13AM (#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.
  • by Xest (935314) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @08:29AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2009 @08:32AM (#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.

  • by omeomi (675045) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @08:43AM (#26996489) Homepage
    That is, pretty succinctly, the problem with calculating lost revenue by adding up all of the pirated copies...
  • Not correct (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Elementalor (551544) <baraja@FREEBSDgmail.com minus bsd> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @08:50AM (#26996545) Homepage

    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.

  • by mc1138 (718275) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @08:58AM (#26996589) Homepage
    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.
  • by Logical Zebra (1423045) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @09:12AM (#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.

  • 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.

  • by Lostlander (1219708) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @09:23AM (#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.
  • by VShael (62735) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @09:40AM (#26996997) Journal

    "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

  • by bentcd (690786) <bcd@pvv.org> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @09:40AM (#26997005) Homepage

    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:Poor Nintendo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bentcd (690786) <bcd@pvv.org> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @09:43AM (#26997043) Homepage

    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".

  • by furby076 (1461805) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @10:08AM (#26997285) Homepage
    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 ...

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @10:17AM (#26997405) Homepage Journal

    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?

  • by furby076 (1461805) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @10:41AM (#26997751) Homepage

    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 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?

    The alternative is to not play the game or hope the manufacturer will release it to PCs. If they don't want to produce a certain game on the console for your market you can write your letter of complaint, you can get a petition and you can then boycot Nintendo console products in the future. By pirating you are not only preventing Nintendo from getting their cut of the profit you are preventing the game maker from getting their cut of the profit - and the game maker may not have been the one to make the decision...and even if they did - it is THEIR decision. If they decide not to sell to a certain market YOU do not have the right to say "F off, I'm goin to pirate it". No matter the reason - high prices, no availability, your refusal to pay a company because you are too cheap - you do not have the right to take something that does not belong to you and these games do not belong to you.

    Answer me this - will you die? Will you fall ill? Will it really hurt you (other then the painful longing that comes from losing your true love) if you don't get to play that game?

    Answer me this - Other then "zomg i won't pay high prices" or "I actually own the game but it broke so now I am getting another one" (which is extremely rare) how are you justifying people acquiring pirated games that ARE readily available to them at their local game shop or online store?

  • by furby076 (1461805) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @11:02AM (#26998085) Homepage

    Playing a game for free that can't even be bought in your country will not cause the games industry to die, so get over it.

    It doesn't matter how it affects their product - they, for whatever reason, are refusing to do business with you and guess what they are entitled refuse it. This does not give you a right to go in and steal their product. Let me give you an example. So how about you get over it.

  • Piracy *is* OK (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chris Acheson (263308) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @11:20AM (#26998333) Homepage

    Piracy is morally neutral, neither good nor bad. The intellectual monopoly faction has utterly failed to produce a single solid argument for the alleged immorality of piracy. Their appeals to property rights consistently ignore the factors that justify rights to actual property in the first place.

    Lay off the moral posturing. Consequentialist arguments are all you've got, and even those are pretty weak.

  • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @01:02PM (#26999773) Homepage

    Eventually, though, in the TPB case someone mentioned that pirates actually buy MORE movies than non-pirates.

    Would they still buy more if they wasn't pirates? Would that result in more sales? Maybe. All we know is that non-pirates buy less movies.

    That CD sales fail isn't that weird, I want different music and I want it cheap. People just have a fixed budget for entertainment, if there is something else you rather prefer than CDs (say DVDs or Internet access), people get that instead.

    The music industry need to offer a better product if they want to get peoples money.

    Though, I'm only interested in supporting the actual artists/actors/scene builders/... and not everyone around that.

  • by amoeba1911 (978485) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @01:12PM (#26999937) Homepage
    I paid $129 for a Nintendo DS ONLY because of R4DS card. I totally agree with what Aliquis is saying. Without the said card, Nintendo wouldn't get a single penny from me and I wouldn't even think about getting the stupid system. Over the years I bought several DS's in various colors, and encouraged friends and family to get them as well, and I even bought some DS games for my friend as a gift. So, how was the R4DS card bad for their business? It's bad enough they're wasting billions of dollars trying to keep people from copying stuff, but their growing obsession with piracy is starting to cost them big. I know their bread and butter is the console sales, but come on now.
    What really grinds my gears about the whole piracy thing is all anti-piracy scams try to make it seem like piracy is costing them hell of a lot more than what it really is costing them... for example: the business software alliance says piracy costs business software makers about $30 billion annually, in reality, the pimply teenager in high school who downloaded pirated copy of Maya and Photoshop wasn't going to buy a copy in the first place, nor does he have the funds to do so. The true cost of piracy is:
    1. money obtained in exchange for products illegally (this is what piracy REALLY is)
    2. the money companies waste trying (unsuccessfully) to overcome piracy by making their products unusable

    Let's face the facts, not every bum has money to buy crap, and it doesn't cost anyone a dime if they copy it. Nintendo and all others should stop going after card makers, and start going after people who pirate their stuff for profit. I look on Craigslist and I find a dozen people trying to pawn off these "lots of games for DS on a single cartridge" for a fraction of the actual cost of the games. Those people really are stealing Nintendo's revenue, they are the real pirates, but yet Nintendo's not doing didly squat about them, instead Nintendo is too busy going after people who they should instead be thanking.

    Crazy mixed up world we live in and thanks for reading my 2 cents if you made it this far.
  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:01PM (#27000809) Homepage Journal

    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.

    That's easy for you to say now because you're playing what you want to play and not paying for it. Since you're getting what you want for free, you're assigning a corresponding value to the experience of playing the games. If you were actually forced to either pay up or stop playing - after a while you might start to think that dropping $20-$40 here and there for a game or two is worth it, after all.

    Or it's possible that you'd just stop playing games... But I think the former scenario is more common.

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