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Nintendo just won a big case against 3DS piracy

by Eric Frederiksen | March 8, 2017March 8, 2017 1:30 pm PST

Nintendo’s not too keen on piracy.  The company has been to court just about everywhere they can go to court to fight against those who would circumvent the copy-protection they so carefully implement. The latest case took the company to Canada and now they’ve walked away victorious.

The company went to court against Go Cyber Shopping and its founder Jeramie King, accusing him of illegally selling 3DS flashcarts, modchips, and other gear to help play unauthorized games on Nintendo handhelds. GCS argued that the 3DS’ support for homebrew games made it acceptable to sell that gear. Nintendo was able to demonstrate, though, that the gear GCS was selling focuses much more on bootlegged games.

GCS will have to pay about $9.5 million US in damages and will have to issue an apology on its website as well.

This is a big deal (in Canada)

According to Canadian legal expert Michael Geist, this decision is the first major anti-circumvention copyright ruling in Canada. The nation established its anti-circumvention laws in 2012. The laws have been used primarily to go after copying copyrighted content, but this case establishes that they can be used to go after circumvention as well.

Geist calls the law “one of the most restrictive and potentially punitive digital lock rules in the world,” which is assisted by the court’s broad interpretation of the law and narrow interpretation of exceptions.

This is a big win for Nintendo, but listening to Geist makes it sound like the law itself needs some reworking to better balance between consumer rights and corporate desires.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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