Spanish Court: Cracking Utility Improves DS Functionality

A Spanish judge has tossed out a criminal complaint filed by Nintendo against a seller of memory cards that allowed users to crack their Nintendo DS handhelds.

Movilquick Group was the target of the complaint, and a seller of devices (pictured) designed to “allow the use of multimedia and homebrew files,” on a DS, though the company noted that it is “against piracy” and does not support the use of commercial software in conjunction with their devices.

The judge ruled that while purchasers could use the devices for piracy, they could also use them to further advance the operational capability of their DS (translation follows): “Ultimately what occurs is a manipulation of hardware to extend its utility, allowing users to use with both legitimate and illegitimate purposes, but not only illegitimate.”

A question further raised by the judge was whether or not Nintendo is the only company that can provide additional functionality to its devices (translation follows):

…this leads to another question that is if Nintendo has an absolute right as the only manufacturer to create accessories or, other manufacturers can produce and offer accessories for Nintendo consoles provided copies of attachments are not originally created by Nintendo and therefore protected by industrial property rights. That question goes beyond the criminal and should be terminated by the Civil Court…

|Via TechDirt|

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  1. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    I have absolutely no problem with the devices themselves, as there is legitimate uses.  The problem I have is when people who use them for piracy whine when a manufacturer updates their system, making the piracy invalid, such as updating your Wii messing up your Homebrew.  What I like most about people who whine about that is that apparently they can’t read, as you’re warned about the likelihood of your HBC getting screwed up before you agree to download the damned thing.

    He was dead when I got here.

  2. 0
    Ratros says:

    *sigh*  Sadly true. 

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  3. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Activist judges (on both sides) have ruined the laws we already have.  What we need are non-activist judges that will look at a law on the merits, versus what their preconceived notions about it suggest it should mean.

    He was dead when I got here.

  4. 0
    Adamas Draconis says:

    Agreed, or taking a game with an insane difficulty curve and making it so you could actually get somewhere in it.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  5. 0
    kagirinai says:

    It’s nice to see some reason in regards to the reality of working with digital media. The world is slowly coming around to the fact that digital stuff doesn’t work like physical stuff, and trying to make it conform to a physical model is fruitless and futile.

    Nintendo’s been struggling against hacking and emulation pretty much since they got in to the hardware game — I wonder if they’ll be one of the first to find a better way and change, or if (more likely) they’ll let themselves be pounded by holding on to an old model well after it’s stopped being useful.

  6. 0
    Adrian Lopez says:

    This reminds me of the days when US copyright policy wasn’t completely broken. Not too long ago American corts would have agreed, but nowdays the DMCA is enough to prevent the sale of this device in the United States.

  7. 0
    Freyar says:

    I’m sorry, Judge. Logic isn’t permitted when it comes to the digital age and copyright law.

    —- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

  8. 0
    Arcanagos says:

    Anyone remember the old GameShark/GameGenie days?  That’s what my mind goes to every time I see an article detailing controversy over cracking utilities/mod chips/anything similar.  If I remember correctly, Nintendo and Sega had about the same reaction to those as most console makers are having to these.

    "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson’ll justify it in the end." – nightwng2000

  9. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Here is some fantastic reading for you.

    In this blog post, I discuss the SCOTUS Betamax ruling and how its findings apply to mod chips. The short version is exactly what this Spanish Judge said.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  10. 0
    killatia says:

    “Ultimately what occurs is a manipulation of hardware to extend its utility, allowing users to use with both legitimate and illegitimate purposes, but not only illegitimate.”

    The problem I have here is that people are gonna use these devices for illegal usage 90% of the time, I know a few people doing that right now.

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