Author Topic: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement  (Read 11692 times)

Offline MadeManG74

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Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« on: February 10, 2010, 03:39:14 am »


Quote
A Queensland man who has to pay Nintendo $1.5 million in a piracy case is little more than a shy gamer who uploaded his copy of a new game on to the internet only to prove a point to friends, his father said.

But Nintendo maintains James Burt deliberately distributed the game illegally online in order to gain acceptance with a game hacking group.


Burt, 24, a part-time freight worker who still lives at home with his parents in Sinnamon Park, will be forced to pay Nintendo $1.5 million after an out-of-court settlement was struck to compensate the company for a claimed loss of sales revenue.

Burt uploaded a game file from the Nintendo Wii game New Super Mario Bros on to the internet on November 6 last year, a week before its official release in Australia.

A large Australian retailer had sold him the game early by mistake.

Nintendo Australia managing director Rose Lappin claimed thousands of people accessed the game illegally after Burt uploaded the file and that his actions created "a major cost to us and the industry".

But Nintendo itself announced recently that the game in question was among the fastest selling of all time. The game earned about $20 million in revenue in just seven weeks.

New Super Mario Bros was among the first Wii titles to launch in Australia before the rest of the world, and Nintendo said Burt's actions could mean that early releases for Australia would not happen in future.

Burt, who must also pay Nintendo's legal bill of $100,000, has been forbidden by Nintendo from commenting on the settlement.

But his father, Richard, said in a phone interview that his son was far from a commercial pirate.

He said his son was a fanatical gamer who owned every console released since he was a teenager and worked part-time at a freight handling company.

"As a parent I can tell you that he's a very quiet lad, he's a fanatical computer game player - to his detriment," he said.

"It was peer pressure on the internet forums and the blog sites that led him to do a very very silly thing to prove that he'd actually managed to purchase a game before its release date."

He said his son now realised the extent of his actions but did not foresee the consequences at the time.

"It was certainly [done] with no malice or intent to make money - he actually bought the game legitimately from a major retailer," he said.

He added that the game file his son uploaded to the internet did not, on its own, allow people to play the game.

"Somebody hacked it from the internet once James had put it there and made it work," he said.


Nintendo rejected Richard's claims that his son made an innocent mistake, saying James deliberately sought out members of the game hacking community and released the pirated files to them in order to gain acceptance.

Nintendo said forensic investigations had revealed the file was downloaded 50,000 times over a five day period, but it conceded that James did not earn any money from the act.

"Nintendo obtained evidence during its investigations that James Burt knew by uploading a copy of the game to a known hacking website that the security measures would be overcome by members of this community to allow the game to be hacked and ultimately downloaded," the company said.

Despite Nintendo's claims that Burt's actions cost it revenue warranting a $1.5 million damages fine, the company announced on January 27 that more than 200,000 units of New Super Mario Bros were sold in Australia in only seven weeks.

It said the game was the only title on any format to sell 200,000 units this quickly.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/game ... -nrlr.html

While I understand they want to crack down on Piracy, they have ruined this guy's life. I wonder if he would have been better off going to court rather than making a settlement.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »

Offline George

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 03:43:32 am »
1.5 million? That pays New Super Mario Wii's budget 5x over.  :mrgreen:

Nintendo, in my honest opinion, is in the wrong here. Yes, the guy copied something he bought on a PC. Alright, cool. He uploaded it in torrent and shared it but he did not steal a truck full of copies of the game and go into a store and give it a free copy to anyone that was going to pay for their copy.

Lets be honest, its hard to know how many of the people  that downloaded were going to actually buy it, but didn't due to it being online.

Its like RIAA suing me for burning over 2,000 cds for my friends, isn't that the same thing basically?

Should he be punished? Yes. But should he pay 1.5 million dollars? Fuck no.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »

Offline Monkeroony

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 06:59:06 am »
How will he even pay for this?

I don't get why he would load the file online to show off. Would it make him seem cooler, could he not have posted a photo of himself with the game.

I agree that he should be fined but a more realistic amount, if I got a £5000 fine it wouldn't ruin my life but it would teach me a valuable lesson for example.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »

Offline Aki-at

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2010, 07:27:06 am »
Looks like Nintendo want to make a particular example out of someone, instead of just demanding all that money from him to me. Don't think they realistically believe he can pay up.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »

Offline Barry the Nomad

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2010, 08:55:45 am »
"Somebody hacked it from the internet once James had put it there and made it work," made me think of "the internet is a series of tubes"

But yeah, poor kid. I'm glad this never happened to me. And if it was Sega that was going after me, I'd be crushed.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »

Offline Happy Cat

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2010, 10:17:57 am »
Quote from: "George"
Should he be punished? Yes. But should he pay 1.5 million dollars? Fuck no.
Agreed, I can't believe all the people that actually think his life should be ruined over this  :P
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »

Offline Orta

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2010, 02:42:00 pm »
Fuck Nintendo. That is my motto. Especially when the company develops games that have mandatory additional "hardware" in order to prevent "piracy". See Wii Sports Bullshit and Wii MotionBullshit for reference.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »

Offline MadeManG74

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 05:12:59 pm »
Quote from: "Aki-at"
Looks like Nintendo want to make a particular example out of someone, instead of just demanding all that money from him to me. Don't think they realistically believe he can pay up.

I don't know how he's supposed to pay either, seems like they'll have to take a percentage out of his pay until he's like... 80 years old or something. As you said, this is probably a big publicity push, but they might have to reduce the settlement or something.

Not quite sure how settlements are changed/handled, since it's an out of court decision.

Also I find it funny that now he may need to save money by pirating video games instead of buying them.
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Offline Sega Uranus

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 08:27:12 pm »
Nintendo sure has some mighty powerful lawyers. I have no idea how he could be charged this much for that.

Nintendo pretty much owns him now. Poor guy.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »

Offline Sega Uranus

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 07:13:40 pm »
Actually, here is a very interesting read, a Kotaku staff writer posted this:

Quote
It's been the biggest human interest story of the week down here, but as the circus draws on, something doesn't feel quite right about it. See, the $1.5 million dollar fine wasn't handed down by a judge. Burt settled out of court with Nintendo on this. Would a 24 year-old man who works part-time at a freight company and lives with his parents really shake hands on a settlement that sees him willingly ruin the rest of his financial life? Then spend the week becoming a temporary "celebrity" as his name is publicly dragged through the mud as a criminal?

I don't think so.

Consider this, then, as a potential scenario: Burt isn't going to owe Nintendo a cent. Or, at least, won't owe them anywhere near $1.5 million. As the publisher is so fond of public displays of aggression against game pirates, I think they settled out of court, slapped a gag order on him, let the media parade him around for a week showing how sorry he was and how hard Nintendo has cracked down on a single, lonely "pirate", and will then let him be, his punishment served, Nintendo's point, well and truly made.

Or am I just looking at this a little too closely?

What do you all think?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »

Offline MadeManG74

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 07:21:00 pm »
I agree there is something odd about it. I think we noted in this thread that it was an out of court settlement, not a judge's ruling.
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Offline Old_School

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2010, 11:46:32 am »
Quote from: "Aki-at"
Looks like Nintendo want to make a particular example out of someone, instead of just demanding all that money from him to me. Don't think they realistically believe he can pay up.

  Exactly. He'll never be able to pay that and Nintendo knows it. They probably agreed to let him off on a much smaller fine and publically flaunt the "1.6 million" figure to scare off other, would-be pirates. That would also explain why Nintendo forbids him from saying anything about the dispute.
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Offline Snowcat

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2010, 03:30:07 pm »
I saw this guy on the news this morning, I was very shocked... I laughed when the guys said 1.6 mil... I thought he had messed up :/ this takes the piss... it won't stop people pirating... it just makes Nintendo look like dicks.
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Offline MadeManG74

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Re: Pirate pays Nintendo $1.6 Million Settlement
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2010, 04:50:57 pm »
Quote from: "Old_School"
Quote from: "Aki-at"
Looks like Nintendo want to make a particular example out of someone, instead of just demanding all that money from him to me. Don't think they realistically believe he can pay up.

  Exactly. He'll never be able to pay that and Nintendo knows it. They probably agreed to let him off on a much smaller fine and publically flaunt the "1.6 million" figure to scare off other, would-be pirates. That would also explain why Nintendo forbids him from saying anything about the dispute.

I think it's more like giving a 75 Year old a life sentance. They obviously won't serve the full amount, but they still get the sentance.

This guy will probably have to give up 10% of his pay for the rest of his life or something like that. He might never get to the full amount, but he still gets the punishment.

IF it's all kosher.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Guest »