Japan's Supreme Court Lets Nintendo's Anti-Piracy/Backup Lawsuit Victory Stand

posted on 2016-01-21 02:00 EST
Nintendo, 49 other firms were awarded 95 million yen in damages in 2013

Nintendo announced via press release on Tuesday that it has cemented its legal victory against importers of majikon flash cartridges on January 12, after the Supreme Court of Japan denied the defendants' appeal to a higher court. Nintendo noted in its press release that it is a "landmark decision for the game industry."

Nintendo and 49 other companies filed the lawsuit against flash cartridge importers in 2009 through the Regional Court of Tokyo. The court awarded Nintendo and the 49 companies damages in July 2013. Some of the defendants appealed to Japan's Intellectual Property High Court in 2014, but the court struck down the appeal in June of that year. The defendants then appealed to the Supreme Court, but the Third Petty Bench of the Supreme Court also rejected the appeal on January 12.

The Tokyo High Court awarded Nintendo and 49 other companies 95,625,000 yen (about US$817,702 by today's conversion rate) in damages in the ruling in July 2013.

Flash cartidges, or majikon (magic computer) as they are called in Japan, allow users to use home-made software for a device such as the Nintendo 3DS, but they also allow users to play pirated software by loading previously extracted and downloaded game data onto the cartridge.

Japan revised its Unfair Competition Prevention Act in December 2011, making the sale of devices that circumvent technological security measures, such as majikon, a criminal act with penal provision of up to 10 years in jail, or a fine of up to 10 million yen (about US$85,475). The first arrest for majikon sales took place in 2012.

[Via Hachima Kikō]

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