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French court flips, bans Nintendo DS game copiers

updated 04:45 pm EDT, Wed October 5, 2011

Court hits 6 firms with fines in excess of $7M

A French appeal court has found six companies guilty of importing, distributing, and selling Nintendo DS game copying flash cartridges. The action overturns a ruling made two years ago by a lower French court. The court has imposed criminal fines of over 460,000 ($606,300 USD) and damages in excess of 4.8 million ($6.4 USD).

The origins of the case date back to December 2007 when, as a result of a complaint made by Nintendo, raids were carried out in Paris, Marseille and Strasbourg, and several thousand of the game copiers were seized. A second raid was conducted in November 2008. Nintendo had alleged that the cartridges, known as "linkers" in France, or R4s in the US, were being used to circumvent copy protection and allow pirated copies of Nintendo DS games.

In December, 2009, a judge in a Parisian court dismissed Nintendo's lawsuit, ruling that that owners of the DS console have the right to develop their own software much as a license holder of Windows might. Nintendo appealed that decision, and ultimately last week, France's second highest court, The Paris Court of Appeals, reversed that decision.

In addition to the fines, the court also ordered suspended prison sentences. [via Engadget]

by MacNN Staff



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