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Australian fined $1.6m for uploading New Super Mario Bros Wii

BlogAn Australian named James Burt illegally uploaded New Super Mario Bros. Wii to the internet on November 6 2009, 6 days before the November 12 release date. The Federal Court of Australia case settled outside of court for Burt to pay Nintendo $1.5m (AUD) in damages as well as $100,000 in court costs.

According to Mr Burt's MySpace site, he is 24 years old and has worked as a manager at games retailer Electronics Boutique in a store in Brisbane since 2004.

If the above professional journalism is true, this would help explain how James managed to get a copy early. I'm not entirely sure if there is much of a point fining an individual 1.6 million dollars given that your average store manager doesn't have that kind of money just lying around. Still if the federal court deems this appropriate that's what he's stuck with.

Let that be a lesson to all of you; crime doesn't pay.

Source: The Australian.

Edit: according to a national news article on TV this evening it appears the man simply purchased the game somewhere that broke the street date. He wanted to prove it to his mates so he uploaded it. I'm sure you can all work out the rest.

  • Posted by Alex
  • http://videogam.in/s1728

Australian fined $1.6m for uploading Super Mario Bros Wii

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  1. Well, someone had to be made an example of. Good luck trying to pay 1.5 million bucks to Nintendo. Its just going to be one big debt stuck with him for the rest of his life.

    The poor guy is never going to look at a Mario game the same way again.

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  2. Poor guy? Sorry, but I have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever for people that steal and/or enable others to steal.

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  3. Come on, Shelly. It's a victimless crime. It's not nearly as bad as stealing your neighbor's newspaper or parking in your coworker's designated parking spot.

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  4. Excuse me, do I know you?

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  5. Apparently the guy will continue to play the title regardless of the life changing financial burden.

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  6. I'm not sure how I feel about this. If I knew understood how it works to be permanently in debt for the remainder of one's natural life I think I could better understand this. Clearly the fellow needs to be fined and/or receive minor jail time. But whenever such fines are doled out for isolated cases it seems unnecessary.

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  7. Well, but the thing is, they can't possibly catch everybody that's doing this. So rather than bust their asses trying to find out as many as possible, and dole out lesser punishments, they'll find one guy and lay the hammer down so that everyone else thinks 'that could have been me'. Its the only truly effective way of stamping out any of this.

    Also as far as 'minor jail time' or whatever, he uploaded a game that retails for $50 still (in most places). Think of how many people would have downloaded something like that in the first day alone.

    I don't know how long it was up before they caught it, but I don't have any trouble at all believing that the amount of people who downloaded it, especially once you factor in the people that those people then distributed it to, was in excess of the 1.5 mil they fined him. People need to realize just how much they hurt this industry when just one person thinks 'it doesn't really matter if I download this, because I'm just one guy'.

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  8. @Mr_Domino Oh come on Shelly.

    Nine out of ten people that download pirated materials had no intention of buying it in the first place. You can't count every download as lost revenue, it's foolish and misleading. Potential revenue is more accurate, but potentiality is not damaging; it just points out the failures and missed opportunities of the producer. I've already mentioned it here, but maybe if Nintendo made a better effort to put out a better product, less people would be stealing it and more people would be buying it.

    Personally, I'd steal the shit out of NSMBW. However, I already bought Super Mario Galaxy II because I'm convinced it'll be a great product.

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  9. But the thing is, if you don't want to spend the money on a product, then your choice is to not have the product, not "I think they're charging too much, so I'll steal it", or "I don't really want this, so I'll steal it". I'm sorry, but I see no possible way to justify theft. Call me whatever names you like, kick me off the damn site, but there is nothing in the world that pisses me off more than this.

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  10. I don't think it's "I don't really want this, so I'll steal it"; that's pretty illogical and irrational, don't you think? People don't steal for lack of rationality, they steal because they're poor, lazy, disrespectful, spiteful, a degenerate...

    At any rate, I still submit that you're being too protective of a massive corporation's money, though I'm sure Satoru Iwata and his yacht fund appreciate your zeal.

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  11. Damn Iwata and all his yachts! I just see Nintendo as one big faceless corporation who release the damn Nintendo DS every 2 years with minor improvements (assholes) for more cash! I couldn't care less about their stupid money troubles.

    Seriously though guys, there's a article on kotaku which has some interesting ideas about how Nintendo of Australia 'really' dealt with this:

    http://kotaku.com/5468379/somethings-not-quite-right-about-nintendos-aussie-pirate

    I think their on to something.

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  12. Yeah I kept meaning to link that article. I thought about it a bit before that article and wondered why you'd agree to a $1.6m settlement instead of a couple of years in jail. (I assume you wouldn't get like 20 years for this of course!)

    Also:

    It is an offence for a person to manufacture, sell, hire, distribute or offer for sale or hire, infringing (pirate) copies of films, in any format, or to have in his/her possession for the purpose of sale or hire a film in any format.

    The maximum criminal penalties for individuals under the Copyright Act can be as high as $60,500 and up to five years imprisonment.

    Source: Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft

    I know this is for films and not games, but $60,500 seems a tad smaller than $1.6m.

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  13. @Matt Exactly. Lets get one thing out of the way here. Much like Apple, Nintendo has a successful business model in play, and to those oblivious to it, won't see that (and let's be honest, are potentially primary targets) Nintendo work their hardware "innovations" into the audience by incremental experimentation. i.e. consumer = guinea pig. The DS was a disruptive experiment and it paid off. Nintendo absorbed all those results and injected it into the Wii with more disruptive elements. Nintendo will incrementally push and push and absorb all consumer reception so they can add it to their repertoire of both incremental and decremental concepts/goals/agendas. They don't care about us, and much like a curious scientist, they will relentlessly experiment on our product fetishes until they've sucked us completely dry (eliminate current business model for a new unprecedented one).

    For this, they are heartless and faceless - excuse the french - cunts. So yea, when it comes to THEM defending their own software from piracy, I find that to be complete and utter horse shit. Who is it really affecting here? and who are the conglomerate thieves forcing their products to have exclusive peripherals in order to access them? That's like saying "you can have the keys, but you'll need this much money to have the car" what's the point? Sure they bundle them with the games that need them, but when a game like Wii Fit costs about half the price of Xbox 360, which would cost one third of that to actually MAKE it, you've gotta ask yourself who's CONCEALING information from the consumer when they buy their products.

    Top that off with the fact that it probably took 3 months to graphically design the game and it being the second best selling video game in history, it really seems quite bothersome that Nintendo is now potentially putting up smokes and mirrors through the media to instill fear into people minds on pirating NINTENDO BRANDED SOFTWARE tm. Fuck them, who do they think they are? If you removed law from this equation, you'd be basically looking at electroshock therapy through financial capitalism. No shit. IWATA SAYS! "Hey download our shit and we will fuck you hard, so you better buy our shit where we'll see fit how much it costs to obtain, fuck you, we print our own monies, keep buying you pieces of shit, I can't get over how sweet this new yacht looks, suck it chumps" laughs .

    Having said all that, yes people are degenerate and will take what ever they feel like without a care for the consequences. But Nintendo has the power to protect themselves, so to me, this (if it isn't indeed, a hoax/scheme) is fucking atrocious. No one benefits from this, not even the smaller guys in the video game industry. It only benefits one single bloated entity, and one that doesn't need any salvation from piracy. You wanna know what hurts the industry with piracy? People who download games from guys like Platinum Games, Wayforward Technologies, Starbreeze Studios, Camelot Software Planning etc, guys that would benefit from as much sales as possible, some of which only matter for a week on the store shelf before the shipment cycle ends and then BAM, bargain bins and second hand trade to keep the IP recognized, which again, has been known to prove absolutely nothing in terms of "success". Meanwhile Nintendo, the company who wouldn't flick a dime towards third party software developers (to you know, support their artistic causes and give a rich extensive software library) are more concerned about one fickle individual (of whom I actually KNEW) who has no chance of redeeming himself financially. That money could support many other great things, but alas, this boy must be TAUGHT a lesson! What a joke.

    I'll pay my way no matter what but this kind of crap is not helping anyone, except for the enforcer at hand. In the end, everybody else looses.

    Ultimately, the less money we spend on the games we love, the less reasons to call it art........and to think that people would spend more money on cigarettes and alcohol.......what a world we live in eh?

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  14. Mmmm... cigarettes, booze, and videogames, these are a few of my favorite things.

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  15. Damn right. I love those things!......excluding cigies, but I can replace that with my addiction for expresso coffee

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