The homebrew software community isn't sufficient to justify the piracy capabilities of the notorious R4 card, said London's High Court, which ruled that devices used to copy DS games are illegal in the UK.
It's a victory for Nintendo, which has been actively pursuing legal action against purveyors of R4 cards and mod chips; just last week, the company won a case in Dutch court
against 11 online retailers found guilty of infringing on the game maker's intellectual property.
In this case, the defendant was Wai Dat Chan and his company, gadget importer Playables Ltd, but the ruling means it is no longer legal to import, sell or advertise the devices in the UK at all, thanks to the High Court precedent established in the case. Nintendo says it has seized over 100,000 game copying devices in the UK alone since 2009.
Software pirates use R4 cards to store and access hundreds of illegally-obtained DS games on one cartridge. Retailers have used numerous arguments, from the legitimacy of the homebrew community
(whose hobbyist software requires an R4 or similar device for storage), to anti-competition grounds, but Nintendo has been consistently successful in its aims to quash piracy on the DS by stopping R4 retailers.
"Nintendo promotes and fosters game development and creativity, and strongly supports the game developers who legitimately create new and innovative applications," said Nintendo in a statement. "Nintendo initiates these actions not only on its own behalf, but also on behalf of over 1,400 video game-development companies that depend on legitimate sales of games for their survival."