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 Yafaze.com, 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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