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UK Courts Rule Nintendo DS R4 Cards Illegal 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the homebrew-is-not-for-you dept.
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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UK Courts Rule Nintendo DS R4 Cards Illegal

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  • Jailbreaking (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:50PM (#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 [zincland.com].

  • Re: Stupid Courts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:54PM (#33062416) Homepage

    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.

  • Thanks, Nintendo! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by _KiTA_ (241027) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:18PM (#33062748) Homepage

    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 [gbatemp.net] for like $15 [shoptemp.com] and/or a Supercrad DStwo [gbatemp.net] for about $35 [shoptemp.com] 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 [cnet.com] 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.

  • 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
  • by Anonymous Cowpat (788193) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:23PM (#33062816) Journal

    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:To be fair (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:27PM (#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.

  • by internewt (640704) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:52PM (#33063206) Journal

    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 [banknotenews.com] does show the circles I am talking about, the dots all around the £20 in the top right.

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