Nintendo is suing an online retailer that carries R4 chips and other devices that enable users to pirate DS software.
The target of the suit is Queens, New York-based NXPGAME, which Nintendo says owns several websites that sell illegal copying devices. Nintendo had been investigating the company, and when it asked it to stop selling the device, NXPGAME complied -- only to launch an "identical business at a different website address" to sell the devices, Nintendo alleges.
Former customers were redirected to the new site to purchase the devices, says the suit. Nintendo asserts it's tried to get the retailer to cease selling them numerous times, and now accuses it of "willfully infringing on the company’s intellectual property rights."
Nintendo also claims that one of the retailer's websites violates Nintendo's copyrights by using its registered trademarks.
A U.S. District Court ruled in 2009 that devices such as R4 chips violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and are thus illegal. In that case, the operator of websites selling the devices was ordered to stop selling them immediately.
"Using game copiers to play unauthorized downloaded games is illegal and it’s wrong," says Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America’s senior director of Anti-Piracy.
"Piracy is especially harmful to smaller developers," she says -- as part of the lawsuit announcement, Bit.Trip developer Gaijin Games CEO Alex Neuse estimated that more than 70 percent of Gaijin's games reached audiences illegally.
"When their creative works are stolen and copied illegally, some companies find it difficult to survive economically," says Daugherty.