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Nintendo Sues Korean Sites Over Copyright Violations 46

The Korean Times is reporting that the Korean branch of Nintendo has filed suit against several websites over copyright issues. The suits come just nine months after Nintendo first opened up the Korean market (officially) with the introduction of the Nintendo DS. From the article: "'They infringed on our copyright by posting Nintendo's game titles through the Internet without our permission,' a Nintendo spokesperson said. 'The legal action was taken against only some sites and users this time but we will take further measures if such a violation continues to take place.' She declined to comment on how many sites and people are involved in the piracy suit. The legal action came after Mineo Koda, the Japanese chief executive of Nintendo Korea, had expressed concern about the lingering problem of piracy in South Korea that he said would pose a challenge to his company's business here."
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Nintendo Sues Korean Sites Over Copyright Violations

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  • Are we talking about sites offering old NES ROMS for download, or some sites offering newer titles? Nintendo has been known to go after people for posting ROMS to old defunct games before.
    • Does it particularly matter?
      • Legally speaking, no. However, there is a big difference between 1) trying to stop people from distributing your latest software and 2) trying to stop people from distributing ROM images to games that are no longer available for purchase.
        • > Legally speaking, no.

          And legally speaking, that's all that really matters. Not to mention, as someone else pointed out, Nintendo distributes old games on the Wii now, so Nintendo has a current financial interest in protecting their older games.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            And not legally speaking...

            One of the most common rationales for downloading ROMs or Songs was that the copyright owner did not provide a legal method, or provided the content but at an absurd price (Like $7/song for no DRM). With the introduction of these titles onto the Wii, that is no longer justification.

            Certainly people may feel that $5 for an old NES game is more than it is worth, but it is definately not an absurd price when you consider that unlike music, which often is little more effort than runn
            • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Monday September 17, 2007 @03:40PM (#20641521) Homepage
              I purchase old NES titles all the time now...but prior to them coming out with this service, I downloaded and played ROMs like crazy.

              That being said...why hasn't Nintendo released a system (perhaps they could even do this with a firmware update to the Wii?) in which you could buy "packs" of old NES, SNES, and N64 games on CD? I mean think about it...charge 30 dollars, put 6-10 games on each CD, and presto: they suddenly have hundreds upon hundreds of titles they can resell (or sell for the first time). I know they would get plenty of business from me if they had officially created and supported re-releases of old games...just on a more "complete library" level. Or hell, release the entire library of each system on a DVD or two and charge a 100-150 for it...I would be willing to bet quite a lot that they would sell them by the truckload.

              They are just now getting to see what they can earn off their older stuff...if you were to tell me I could buy a system created and built by Nintendo that had the ability to play NES, SNES, and N64 games, and then proceed to release the ENTIRE LIBRARY of those three systems on a retail level again...hell yes people would buy it.

              It sure would beat the hell out of spending exorbitant amounts of money on Ebay for those hard to find titles....AND they would be making more money on complete, ready to play titles.

              Virtual Console is nice, don't get me wrong...but I sure hope it's only their first step. They are sitting on a veritable gold mine and would be missing out on a lot of cash if they didn't do something more...substantial.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by xenocide2 ( 231786 )
                I imagine there's a balancing act involved here. I don't buy enterprise bandwidth or press CDs, but I can imagine it being just as cheap or cheaper to offer downloads as it is to press CDs. Certainly, after you consider the cost in warehousing and retailer's cuts, it seems reasonable to assume that it's cheaper. I imagine it's also a pathway to test selling downloads, in hopes of improving bargaining with retailers. Not to mention you can release games in VC when they're ready, and have recieved ESRB rating
                • I would think that the NES games would be exempt from the ESRB, even if re-released today, as they were created before the ratings were in effect.
                  • I don't think you understand how that works. There is no "exempt", since it isn't a federal law to be rated. And even if there was (and there never will be, even movies are not rated because of any law...) what matters is when something is distributed, NOT when it was made.

                  • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
                    Nintendo puts all VC games through the rating systems of the countries involved. Since those systems release lists of what they rated how that's often used as an early indicator for what's coming out soon.
                • There's also the problem with dealing with licensees. Nintendo isn't just selling their games over VC -- they're also selling Capcoms, Activision's, Sega's....each of them probably signed a deal to allow their games to be re-distributed for various rates, and you'll notice certain games such as the original TMNT break from the mould and cost more than the normal rates. Imagine trying to work out a deal for each of 150 games, all of which will probably want some up front money, plus a percentage of the pro
              • Why sell the whole library for $150 when you can sell each individual game (with many hundreds of selections) for $5-$10 a piece?
            • They make it available. The fact that people don't want to pay for it doesn't justify the decision to pirate it at all. The remedy for not wanting to pay a set price is to not buy the item.
            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              converting an old piece of software to run w/o serious bugs on new hardware does require some work.

              Nintendulator and Nestopia seem to run newly discovered and newly developed [nesdev.com] NES programs flawlessly, and given the amount of documentation that Nintendo still has about the NES, most of the work was done when Nintendo produced the acNES emulator for GameCube as part of the development of Animal Crossing. Most of the work is in recoding the game to be seizure-regulation-compliant (for example Link's death animation in Zelda II was changed [wikipedia.org]) and getting an ESRB rating (for NES games that did not appear in ACP

          • by visualight ( 468005 ) on Monday September 17, 2007 @03:34PM (#20641459) Homepage
            "Legally speaking" is never all that matters.
        • Ah, but with the Wii they've untapped that market. They now sell their old games, not all but a lot. So, they have a leg to stand on. Sites like that potentially take away from current sales.
    • Judging from what I read, and I had to read it a couple times, it seems that they are going after ROMS that range from older NES titles to newer ones. (Possibly the DS itself.)

      I agree that while downloading ROMS in terms of ethics was okay when the owner does not make a viable way to purchase the program, I feel that the owners of these ROMS are starting to understand that there is a good market for this. (Hence the Wii VC.), however I would point out that the article is poorly written, and that is why we a
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Applekid ( 993327 )

        Thus the ethical reason to allow 'piracy' for older games is lost, and therefore piracy of this kind should not be tolerated.

        I'd buy that reasoning if Nintendo was committed to releasing ALL games and exactly as they were. Tecmo Bowl, Waverace 64, and others have gotten the revisionism bug in them to avoid legal responsibilities of certain trademarks.

        They've made it clear that it's still the original publishing company's responsibility to port them for VC, so don't expect to see, say, Joe and Mac or Arcana or Super Dodgeball. Other companies that are still around already make huge profits doing remakes on other platforms so don'

        • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
          Nintendo can't go after distributors of third party games anyway so those don't matter. For Nintendo to be able to take action the sites have to distribute Nintendo games and those are fairly likely to get a VC release.

          Besides, I have a copy of the original Zelda in cartridge form whose battery has long been dead. Why should I pay another $5 to play the game when I already have a license to run it?

          License? Did your cart come with an EULA or something? Last I checked you buy the copy and that's it, no licens
        • Besides, I have a copy of the original Zelda in cartridge form whose battery has long been dead.
          You can replace the battery. >ou can even send it to Nintendo to do it. (But it will probably cost more than just buying it on VC. That to me shows just how reasonable the prices for the games are here)
  • In around 1 hour, apparently no one cares. Not trying to be a troll, but it sure is empty in here.
  • So what's the big deal here?
  • Nintendo Korea said that it filed a suit with the Supreme Prosecutors' Office in Seoul against an unidentified number of users who it claims uploaded copied Nintendo software on peer-to-peer file-sharing or Webhard sites. It is the first time for Nintendo to bring to court a copyright infringement case in South Korea.

    My only question is, where are the links?

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.