High-fives all around at Nintendo HQ today, as the High Court has ruled that importing, advertising or selling R4 cartridges in the UK is now illegal.
R4 cards can be used to download and play illegally ripped versions of Nintendo DS games from ROM sites on the web. While some argue that the cards have a legitimate use in the homebrew community, allowing budding coders and developers a platform to test their work on, the court found the card’s widespread application for piracy too damaging to ignore.
The news follows a similar court ruling in the Netherlands just a week ago.
While the homebrewing community will be up in arms, many agree with the High Court ruling. Not least of all do ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association ) who released this statement following the news:
“We are delighted with today’s decision to make the advertisement, importation and sale of R4 copier cards illegal. The ELSPA Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Unit was central in bringing the defendants to the attention of law enforcement authorities. I am grateful to them and our partners at Nintendo and Trading Standards in securing this significant judgement,” said Michael Rawlinson, Director General of ELSPA. “Intellectual property theft is an important issue for the videogames industry, and this judgement will assist the IP Crime Unit team in actively pursuing and stopping other individuals who deal in R4 cards.”
So where do you stand? Is it wrong to deny the innocent tinkerers the right to develop and practise their coding skills on the DS with the cards, not to mention opening up the hardware beyond limitations imposed upon it by Nintendo. Or do you consider the whole homebrew scene too small a community to defend those who use the cards for fairly widespread piracy?
Leave your feelings in the poll below.
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