Nintendo applauds first criminal arrest in Japan for selling DS flashcarts

The company says authorities will criminally prosecute an individual for selling a device that plays copied games on the DS

Japanese game maker Nintendo applauded the first arrest of and criminal charges against a Japanese individual for selling devices that allow illegal copies of games to be played on its DS handheld console.

The company said the arrest on Wednesday was the first under a law that was revised in December 2011, for selling "majicon" devices, short for "magic computer," and known as "flashcarts" in English. The devices, widely available for the DS and other devices, are cartridges with rewriteable memory that can easily be flashed with illegal game files downloaded online, as well as features to use game cheats and evade copy protection software.

Japan's Unfair Competition Prevention Act was revised to make importing or selling the devices a criminal offense. Previously offenders were only issued warnings, or companies like Nintendo could pursue civil action against them.

The individual is a 39-year-old man from Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo, who is accused of selling flashcarts for the Nintendo DS online three times between Feb. 14 and March 9 for ¥7,200 (US$91) each, according to Japan's Association of Copyright for Computer Software. The group also said it was the first time an individual had been charged for selling them under the revised law.

The cartridges used by Nintendo's DS and other game consoles have long presented a physical barrier to gamers who want to play illegally copied games, because a flashcart or other device that mimics a cartridge is required. But the company said in April it will begin to sell mainstream titles digitally, potentially removing that hurdle for hackers.

Nintendo said a separate individual has already been found guilty under the new version of the law, for modifying Wii consoles in Fukuoka Prefecture on Japan's southern Kyushu island.

In 2009, the Kyoto-based company along with 54 software makers won an injunction from the Tokyo District Court blocking the import and sale of the "RS Revolution for DS," a popular flashcart. At the time Nintendo vowed to strengthen its efforts to eliminate the devices.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?