To you and I, pirates are adorable fellers who say "Arrr!" and come equipped with parrots on their shoulders, but not to Nintendo. To Nintendo, pirates are criminals who plunder the bottom line like so much bullion from the Spanish Armada.
That's why yesterday, at Nintendo's request, the Hong Kong High Court intervened to help stop a global distribution operation involving game copying devices and modification chips ("mod chips") that violate copyrights and trademarks in the Nintendo DS and Wii systems.
During a three-day period, Nintendo representatives seized more than 10,000 game copying devices and mod chips. The game copying devices connect to the Nintendo DS and are used to copy and play game files offered unlawfully via the Internet. The mod chips allow the play of pirated Wii discs or illegal copies of Nintendo games downloaded from the Internet.
"Piracy affects the entire video game industry, from large companies to independent developers," says Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America's senior director for anti-piracy. "It can destroy years of hard work by a team of very talented software developers, who strive to create games consumers enjoy playing. Copying the developers' work and spreading the game files globally is blatant stealing."
"Also, the pirates do not make people walk the plank and they do not wear puffy shirts. These are myths," Daugherty did not add.