Price of Piracy for AU Man: $1.5M

An Australian man charged with pirating Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros.Wii has reached a settlement and will be fined $1.5 million AU (approximately $1.31 million U.S.).

GameSpot gives the accused pirate’s name as James Burt of Queensland. What had to be particularly galling to Nintendo about this case was that the game in question was released Down Under in advance of other territories, a departure from general release timing that usually sees later releases for new games in Australia.

Subsequently a Nintendo spokesperson indicated that Australia could see a delay in releases, saying, “Unfortunately, due to the actions of this individual, future release dates may be affected for Australia, which is disappointing for us.”

In an official statement on GoNintendo, Nintendo said that the game was first made available for illegal download on November 6, 2009, a week before it was released in Australia.

Nintendo was able to nab Burt by using “sophisticated technological forensics to identify the individual responsible for illegally copying the file and making it available for further distribution.” They received a court order to search Burt’s home on November 23, 2009, which led to “the seizure of property from those premises in order to gain further evidence against the individual.”

In viewing court documents from the case, GameSpot  additionally noticed that Nintendo was poking around for any information Burt may have had on the Wii hack website, which now appears shuttered, offering a message that “the site and all of it’s (sic) content has been removed out of respect for Nintendo.” The message added, “Yafaze will never return.”

Thanks Andrew and iheartassassinmaids!

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  1. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Peoples brains turn off when digital disobedience(IE most cases of infringement)  is brought up.

    Copy rights need to be overhauled to reflect us all actually being in the modern age not 100 years ago when all distribution was based on making money off it…. fair use needs to be expanded to allow free distribution(no donations,no ads, no outside money) unless its as big as a retail site(find the biggest well known site and the smallest well know site with traffic equal or greater). Also all copy circumvention(but hacking into severs) needs to be protected as fair use, the properly patented device/properly used copy righted code is not and can not be illicit in any way, shape or form….


    What dose this mean?  It means to protect profit by allowing people un vague fair use of copy circumvention and simply talking about things in the modern age, waiting 200+ years to post about something to be sure its copy right has ended is quit silly.Lets protect the ability to make money on the IP and not every single instance of the IP in whole or part.


    In other words if you have ads on your site and you are making anything on it you can not legally freely distrbute anything, take the profit goal out of it for the avrage distributor and they will go away.

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people!

  2. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I have always defined infringement as either personal monetary gain of copyrighted material, or a falsified claim to ownership of copyrighted material.

    So, to answer your question, yes you can, and you must also make sure to give credit to the rightful owner(s) for making the stuff.

    In other words, any money that IS made on it (intentional or otherwise) should be sent to Zippy as he is the guy who made it. Furthermore, you must say somewhere in the material "this material is copyrighted to Zippy D.S.M. Lee" since he is the guy who made it.


    "A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

  3. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    No zippy, you are just once again showing you have the IQ of a glass of water.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  4. 0
    Ratros says:

    The first lesson I learned in gaming:  Don’t fuck with Nintendo.


    But seriously, I’m having mixed thoughts on this, mainly because of the large fine that was imposed on the individual.  Do they have a method to which they found the price?

    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!"

  5. 0
    starsrift says:

    I’m not interested in defending this man in any way.

    Is a 1.5mil AU$ price tag really appropriate? Does Nintendo really have a chance to collect? Not to try to pry into Mr. Burt’s finances, but a fair amount of what the hell goes here. The fact that it’s a settlement seems to imply that he can afford the price tag. . . So what’s a millionaire doing, pirating games?

    This article raises so many questions.

  6. 0
    Dejiko says:

    Exactly what I thought when I read this article. hopefully more companies will start getting smart and decide to go for the source instead of random nobodies.

    Also, the amount they are looking for from him pales in comparison to what record companies ask for.

  7. 0
    mogbert says:

    The MAFIAA needs to learn a thing or two from Nintendo on this. These are the people that SHOULD be gone after. This is the fourth article I’ve read on this story, and each one has different slants. Some think it is a jerk move by Nintendo and a disproportionate amount. I see that this is where the problem starts. If someone downloads a song, and they leave it in their upload directory, and other people can still get it from them, did they actually contribute to the distribution of the song? Would there even be one less person downloading the song if they had removed it after downloading it?


    However, if you go after the first person who ripped it and uploaded it, you attack the problem at it’s source. The amount is huge, but this is a person who uploaded the first copy. All duplicates of his copy can be traced back to his action. The number of times that file has been downloaded, and not just from his computer, is a direct effect of his action, and he should be held responsible for it. More companies need to go after the first uploader rather then one of a cloud of downloaders who should be held responible for only their copy.

  8. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I don’t get it. Are they laughing at Burt or are they laughing at their own legal department?


    "A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

  9. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Meanwhile meanwhile, all has done is changed its name and web address, bet on it.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  10. 0
    Monte says:

      “Unfortunately, due to the actions of this individual, future release dates may be affected for Australia, which is disappointing for us.”

    well that’s a load of bullshit… if i recall, with the scant few exceptions like super mario bros wii, nintendo has often been extremely late with releases for no damn reason. Really they’re just trying to use piracy as a scapegoat to retroactively explain the poor release sceduale in australia. 

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