Aussie Owes Nintendo a Million Bucks for Pirating One Game

New Super Mario Bros Wii... not so wee.

Posted by Staff
Aussie Owes Nintendo a Million Bucks for Pirating One Game
James Burt, 24 of Queensland in Australia is possibly regretting copying and then uploading New Super Mario Bros Wii. It's going to cost him $1.5 Australian dollars.

The 850,000 equivalent will be paid by Burt of Sinnamon Park in Queensland following an out-of-court settlement to compensate the company for the loss of sales revenue, says the SMH.

Burt made the ill-judged move last year, making the game available via download, a week before its official release in November.

The case, brought under the Australian Copyright Act, also entitled the authorities to access Burt's passwords, for social networking sites, his email and any other websites he used.

He's also due to pay Ninty's legal cost (AU$100,000).

Nintendo's Australia MD Rose Lappin was quick to make the most of the case, stating, "It wasn't just an Australian issue, it was a global issue. There was thousands and thousands of downloads, at a major cost to us and the industry really.

"It's not just about us. It's about retailers and if they can't sell the games then they have to bear the costs associated with that."


realvictory 9 Feb 2010 13:34
This is the reason why piracy isn't totally bad for software creators - if people weren't going to buy your game, you don't usually make money - however, if they download it, you can sue them.

It's illegal because it's not their data to copy, not because it's preventing the sale of a piece of software.

However, if they admit this, they'll end up with less compensation, so, although I'm sick of hearing it told in this way, I don't think this lie will stop for a long time. It's the same old thing - I don't see a problem with fighting piracy, that's the software creator's right - but lying about it in order to exaggerate the harmfulness of the intent is definitely wrong.

In reality, I suppose it's simply a battle between the software users and the software creators. On one hand, having a product a lot of people want to try, but only providing it by paying a cost higher than the user considers worth the risk (in case they don't like the game after paying), is encouraging piracy. On the other hand, paying nothing for the software is illegal...
Just Commenting On Stupidity 9 Feb 2010 13:55
realvictory, I understand why you may think what you are saying makes sense, but the real matter has nothing to do with cost of software. It is merely an issue of customers and criminals. No matter what industry you are in, when you put labor into making a product or providing a service YOU, and only you, have the right to put a price on that good. Saying that the price may be to high for some consumers is a non-starter.

Based on your logic, it would make sense for most people to steal a vehicle from a dealership's lot because "... a lot of people want to try" the vehicle, but they don't feel the price is right. I know you will make some silly argument about how the car cost something to produce and the software is a file that can be merely copied, or that you aren't harming anyone by downloading because most likely no one would have bought it anyways. That will never make it acceptable. If a dealership left all their cars outside with keys on the visor it would still be morally wrong to take a vehicle as it is not yours to take.

As for the argument that software should be cheaper, I can never understand how someone can make that claim. Go look at a company that gets proprietary software built for themselves and see what it costs. It can and usually is astronomical! Pricing on games, especially quality games only is low due to the enormous amount of people buying them.

In closing, just remember that when you download a game, you are taking something someone poured a good portion of their life into designing and building. Nintendo may be the company that owns it, but that company, and all companies for that matter, are made up of many everyday people doing their job.
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Stupidity Breeds Stupidity. 9 Feb 2010 14:21
Just Commenting On Stupidity: Comparing copying software to stealing a car from a dealership is a silly argument. First of all these dealerships have a try before you buy policy, you can "test drive" the vehicle before buying. Maybe you can come up with some other silly argument to compare piracy to...

As for piracy itself, i tend to agree with the first poster , a No Sale is NOT a lost sale. I myself wait till certain games are reduced in price before buying, in some cases i just download them and if they are crap they never get bought, that is a No Sale for said company. I wouldnt consider myself a pirate, i would consider a pirate someone copying games and making money from those copied games, selling them to joe public for a profit, THOSE are the people that REALLY hurt the gaming industry.
Just Commenting On Stupidity 9 Feb 2010 14:45
The dealership comparison is valid. It is a product. As for try before you buy, not all dealerships do. Go try and test drive any major super car. Not going to happen. The fact of the matter is no matter how you try to spin this, it is still infringing on the rights of the creator by taking a copy of a game and uploading it for illegal downloads.

You want a different comparison? Fine. What about someone recording a motivational conference or a how to conference and uploading it to the web when they were told it is not allowed? What if the person performing expected to record it also and sell copies? Can you honestly say that by uploading your copy you are harming no one? Again you have stolen someone else's product.

Also, it is the products producer's right to decide if they want to allow you a demo or a trial. You have no rights to any product until you enter into an agreement with the creator by either buying or utilizing a trial or demo they do offer.

People keep losing sight of the simple point in this situation; the company who created the product does not want it uploaded or copied. They have rights under the law and they are being infringed. Why even argue whether it is a no sale or lost sale? It does not change the fact that a download of a game is theft unless explicitly allowed by the creator and owner of the copyrights.

You close by claiming people who make money by pirating are the people hurting the industry. I don't even care about the industry! I care that you are trying to make an argument that what you do does not hurt anyone so it must be ok. That is so morally bankrupt it is difficult to even start discussing it. The game, the music, the film, the artwork, the book, the whatever, was created by real people. They did this for many reasons, but most definitely they expect to be reimbursed for it. In order to create their next product, compensation is required.
PreciousRoi 9 Feb 2010 15:44
5/12're both (Stupid and Stupid) misguided and wrong.

First, the games industry does greatly exaggerate its losses due to piracy when given the slightest opportunity. This is wrong, akin to insurance fraud if they're doing it under oath, and this, coupled with the tired old "simple theft" analogy, turns off people who would otherwise see things from the gaming industry's point of view in many cases.

Second, the car dealership-type, simple theft analogy doesn't hold. The reasons why are many and varied, but all types of Intellectual Property theft fall under different model than theft of Physical Property, and as long as misguided individuals continue to use physical theft analogies in their arguments, many people, both learned and unlearned will utterly dismiss such arguments as demonstrably invalid, and ignore everything else you have to say, because its just so damn easy to refute that bit. I'm not sure what a valid analogy is, but if you can't make your case without a nice analogy to hit someone over the head with (or allow yourself to get distracted defending said analogy instead of presenting some VALID points), you aren't trying very hard.

Third, this guy, the Australian, didn't merely download a game. He ripped it (made a digital copy) and uploaded this copy to the Internet, allegedly allowing thousands of other people to download it. Now, what he did was very wrong, and he rightfully owes Nintendo a lot of money. He made the choice to be the guy who uploaded it...he didn't have to, someone else (perhaps someone clever enough to obfuscate themselves effectively, or Nicholas Cage) surely would have if he didn't, but he wanted to be "the guy", for whatever Internet cachet it was worth, and now he is "the guy" who got sued by Nintendo. If I may further abuse your car dealership analogy, this guy kept taking cars out on unauthorized test drives and leaving the car parked on the street with the keys in and a big sign on it saying "Steal Me!". If they had any honor whatsoever the people driving around in the stolen cars would help a brother out, but we'll see how that works out for him....

*takes analogy out back with a .44 and puts it out of its misery*
Ergo 9 Feb 2010 18:20

Theft is theft is theft--have I made my argument clear enough for you? And I didn't even need an analogy to make it. But in case that isn't clear enough:

Someone else made it with their own resources, has decided to not give it away for free, and , if you then decide to avail yourself of it without paying, you are taking it w/o compensating them. This is simple theft, no matter how much you want to spin the alleged (please explicate that) differences between 'hard' and 'soft' goods and regardless of how much the publishers are allegedly exaggerating their losses, i.e. Go directly to jail, do not pass go, and most certainly do not collect your illicit software.

The only people for whom this isn't black and white are those raised in our current, debased, culture where such laughable arguments are sustained--not by the force of logic--but by an entitlement mentality that will twist and distort the plain meaning of words to arrive at any justification for legalized theft--take your pathetic evasions and shop them somewhere where your vapid scribblings hold even an iota of 'truth'.
PreciousRoi 9 Feb 2010 22:37
And what I'm trying to explain to you is not "Software Piracy is OK!", despite your attempts to twist what I said into such. In point of fact, I said the guy should have to pay Nintendo a lot of money and explained why. Just because you're using a lousy analogy and I call you on it, you place me in diametrical opposition to your position?

In fact I agree wholeheadedly with your assessment of the mentality and tendencies in the current culture. But your hypersimplistic, draconian argument falls on deaf ears to almost everyone for just that reason. By presenting such an "obviously wrong" argument as your ultimate statment of self-evident truth, you hand anyone who has the inclination such a pathetically easy excuse to dismiss you out of hand. And as you say, the current culture would like nothing more than to be able to consume as much Intellectual Property as it can stuff into a DVD Binder, External Hard Drive, or Thumb Drive for nothing and be told its OK. So if you want to be a completely ineffectual crank, please, by all means, continue to repeat "THEFT IS THEFT!" at the top of your lungs, until you're blue in the face. Alternatively, you could travel back in time and present your argument to people who don't live in our current culture. I honestly couldn't care less.
ergo wrote:
The only people who don't agree with me are all alive(, unfortunately.)
Thats just bad luck, that is. Mebbe you might want to find a more effective tactic before several generations become indoctrinated into the "entitlement culture" of which you speak.

Its like the War On Drugs here in the US, kids hear all this bullshit they know is not even remotely true, from people who are supposed to be experts, they figure its all bullshit and end up Heroin addicts, or dead from overdose. People hear these (lol @ allegedly...see if you can't even be honest about that, how can you expect anyone to take you seriously about anything else) hyperinflated claims of loss, and they not only know they're exaggerated, but any company losing that much money is perceived as "too big to feel sorry for". But I suppose pointing that out, obviously means I hate large corporations and think stealing from them is OK. People think kittens are cute. (Obviously I must be in the pay of pro-feline special interests. (Actually not true, though LOLCATS is a secret feline plot, I have no involvement, allergies)) Many people don't like going to the dentist (Burn the ANTI-DENTITE!) Some people in the US say Obama is a Socialist. (My god, he must be Sarah Palin in drag!)
deleted 10 Feb 2010 08:57
this fine equates to over 24,000 copies of New SUper Mario Bros, so maybe he would of been better buying 24,000 copies and giving them away to everyone who visits his choice of Torrent Site. or maybe he could of give them away with every test drive of a Toyota!
Tamikaze 10 Feb 2010 10:44
Christ, you guys seriously have too much time on your hands..
PreciousRoi 10 Feb 2010 16:42
Heh, this new story out confirms my suspicion of his motives, and should provide an object lesson.

There are likely thousands of people out there who did exactly the same thing this guy did, but aren't being sued by Nintendo. This guy was early (I have no idea how many copies there were floating around and when, but if this guy had one of the first, he was sticking his head up like a nail), and worst of all, he was worried about taking credit for it. He probably got an "Atta Boy!" and some "I Love You, Man!"s...but will these people be willing to pony up and help him now?

Congratulations Dude, you might have been the first to upload that game to the Internet, You Win!
deleted 10 Feb 2010 19:06
personally i would of sold my early copy to a scene, that way id of made some cash and got to everyone online through other means, oh and not been sued by Ninty, but then im not a pirate and also i couldnt care less.
PreciousRoi 11 Feb 2010 03:00
Me, I would have played the game through, then made sure to spoil everything even slightly interesting to the people who denied my having a pre-release copy out of spite.

That or mebbe sold it to some fanboy for big bucks. No wait, first one, then the other, this kid had it some weeks in advance right? Couple days of hardcore play ought to do for the well as providing my bona fides for the second. Yeah, that's the ticket!
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