Much to Nintendo‘s delight, a recent press release stated that after an amendment last year to the Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Act, the nation made its first arrest for the sale of video game devices that enable piracy. The 39 year old man, living in Saitama, was arrested for selling devices that allowed pirated games to be played on the Nintendo DS for 7,200 yen (approx. $91). The man was arrested on Wednesday by police from Aichi Prefecture’s department.
Known in Japan as majikon, devices like the R4 in the previous case allow users to get around copyright protections on handheld game systems like the popular DS, from Nintendo. In an additional statement, Nintendo said they hope this action will lead to the disappearance of such devices from the market. Prior to December of last year, majikon were easily available on the internet and in Japan’s electronics districts. While selling them was recognized as illegal in Japan, there were no defined criminal penalties, so nothing was done to put a stop to the act. However, the revision to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act made late last year enforced penalties to the sale of devices that were used to get around copyright protections.
While Nintendo didn’t comment about any specifics of the arrest, they gave their appreciation to the Aichi Prefectural Police Department, and praised that the sales of majikon devices were also being banned in countries like South Korea, Taiwan, the U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany. Unrelated to the majikon case, another man was also arrested in Fukuoka for violating Japanese copyright laws, as well as the revised Unfair Competition Prevention Act. He was selling modified Nintendo Wii consoles that allowed copied games to be played from a hard drive.