The Australian Federal Court has ordered a local man to pay AU$1.5 million to Nintendo in compensation. The court found that the gentleman had illegally copied, uploaded and distributed the first game file of New Super Mario Bros. Wii in November 2009, a week before its official release in Australia.
“Sophisticated technological forensics” were used to identify the individual responsible for the upload, and two weeks after the game hit the web, the police were at his door with a Federal Court search order. Three months later, and he’s slugged with quite the bill, which will make up the loss of sales revenue suffered by Nintendo following the game’s leak.
In an official statement, it’s explained that:
“Nintendo guards its intellectual property rights in order to protect the interests of its valued consumers, its own interests, as well as the interests of game development companies. Nintendo will pursue those who attempt to jeopardise our industry by using all means available to it under the law.”
And it’s not a new innovation, either. Nintendo have been actively battling piracy for 20 years now, recognising that illegal copying and distribution create a “significant threat” to their business (not to mention that of the 1,400 development studios working with them).
They explain that, simply, the amount of consoles and games that they sell (or do not sell) is reflected in the amount of resources that “Nintendo, its licensees, developers and publishers” have on-hand to create and market new video games. That means – you steal a game, they won’t make any more for you. (…and they also won’t give you a job.)
“This legal proceeding was commenced to protect the creative rights and innovation of game developers, and to combat the growing international problem of Internet piracy. Under Australian law, copying and distributing games without the permission of the copyright holder is a breach of the Copyright Act.”
If you’d like to know more about whether or not this means the publisher will release more games in Australia anywhere near the global street date, wait and see.