Nintendo says thank you after hacker Gary Bowser is given 40-month sentence

midian182

Posts: 7,895   +82
Staff member
What just happened? The long-running saga of unfortunately-named Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser has come to an end with a 40-month prison sentence. The Team Xecuter member, who isn't related to Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser or the Mario antagonist, was charged with two piracy-related federal felonies, for which Nintendo has publicly thanked authorities.

Bowser had been a member of the Team Xecuter hacking group—the DOJ called him a “prominent leader”—that had been creating and selling Nintendo hacking devices since at least 2013. The tools allowed buyers to circumvent security measures, enabling them to play illegal ROMs on consoles/handhelds such as the Switch, 3DS, and Nintendo Wii.

Bowser was arrested in 2020 along with fellow Team Xecuter member Max Louarn on 11 felony counts of piracy. In April last year, Nintendo of America launched a lawsuit against Bowser, asking for $2,500 for each trafficked device and $150,000 for each copyright violation. He initially denied the charges but changed his plea to guilty a few months later and was ordered to pay Nintendo $4.5 million.

Bowser was also facing a civil suit from Nintendo. Given that he had already pleaded guilty to the criminal case, he ended up settling with the company in December for $10 million. In court documents, Bowser said he was paid $1,000 a month to market and distribute the hacking devices to retailers.

The US government’s prosecution argued that Team Xecuter’s actions resulted in $65 million in losses for Nintendo and asked for five years imprisonment for Bowser. His defense said he was the “least culpable” of the three arrested members and asked for 19 months, which would have seen him spend 3 months in prison given his time served. The US District Court for the Western District of Washington sentenced him to 40 months.

The DOJ also charged the other Team Xecuter members, Louarn (of France) and Yuanning Chen (of China), but neither are in custody.

Nintendo gave the following statement in response to the sentence.

Nintendo appreciates the hard work and tireless efforts of federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to curb illegal activities on a global scale that cause serious harm to Nintendo and the video game industry. In particular, Nintendo would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) of the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs for their significant contribution and assistance.

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R00sT3R

Posts: 631   +1,857
"Team Xecuter’s actions resulted in $65 million in losses for Nintendo "

What was the size of Nintendo's cash pile the last time it was reported, $10-12bn, so probably close to $15bn in 2022.

..Lets not pretend this was about a sum of money Nintendo earns in interest on that cash pile each month, shall we.
 
"Serious harm"

The money they potentially "lost" (which is hard to argue; something being pirated does not guarantee it would've been bought otherwise) is like a tiny drop in an ocean.

Of course, those activities were illegal but this comes across like Nintendo pretending to be close to dying when they probably already made many times what they "lost" in the meantime.
 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 217   +174
"Serious harm"

The money they potentially "lost" (which is hard to argue; something being pirated does not guarantee it would've been bought otherwise) is like a tiny drop in an ocean.

Of course, those activities were illegal but this comes across like Nintendo pretending to be close to dying when they probably already made many times what they "lost" in the meantime.
yeah, it's really just to send a message. I think their most egregious recent act is removing their music from Youtube though
 

psycros

Posts: 4,148   +5,783
Only individuals can experience "serious harm" and corporations are NOT individuals no matter what the corrupt legal system says.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
I support Nintendo on this. People should have the right to protect their property. It doesn’t matter if the amount of lost sales wouldn’t affect their bank balance. It’s the principle. You have to be a pretty scummy human being to be ok with what Bowser did.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,446   +2,416
"Serious harm"

The money they potentially "lost" (which is hard to argue; something being pirated does not guarantee it would've been bought otherwise) is like a tiny drop in an ocean.
Of course, which is part of the reason they settled on only $14M.

$1 means a lot less to Nintendo compared to an individual, but that $1 gets distributed to a lot more people in comparison. A drop in the ocean to us isn't a drop in the ocean to a major company.
 

Ben1978

Posts: 146   +105
I support Nintendo on this. People should have the right to protect their property. It doesn’t matter if the amount of lost sales wouldn’t affect their bank balance. It’s the principle. You have to be a pretty scummy human being to be ok with what Bowser did.
Your definition of scummy is rather different to most people's I feel. He did something wrong, but the punishment far exceeds the crime.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 409   +332
Is all work you do given away for free? just asking.

No, but given the cost of these mod chips, the added control must be desired by a good portion of the player base.

Whether you use that control to pirate games on the thing is entirely up to you

Even though quesationably legal roms have become quite common for many people, this still doesn't stop a well-thought-out classic gaming bundle / classic console from selling - when its difficult to play emulated console ganes multiplayer over tjhe internet, then Nintendo still gets the Switch Online sale (even if you have hardware to let you back-up all your game saves, and you run the occasional local emulator.)

Most people would rather play by the rules (but if the system is broken, then you're going to have a bunch of hackers like on the Switch - get used to it.)
 
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3volv3d

Posts: 424   +220
Hate piracy BS.

Nintendo probably made a killing when 90% of people saw that their was ROM mods from team executer and bought Nintendo consoles with the sole purpose of running homebrew and emus.

I modded my Wii within a month probably.
My PSP was modded within 24 hours.
Xbox original, bought from eBay with a team ex chip.

The lies of loss are what keep these companies being able to pull this crap and win.

Disappointed Nintendo. Disappointed.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,027   +723
@ Nintendo,
Way to go. You made yourselves look like tyrants, bullies AND jerks all at the same time. You realize of course that you can't hit every hacker in the world. They all can hit you and you've likely pissed off a fair number of them. Let that sink in next time you consider how harsh to be when going after hackers..

You sent a message, most certainly. But you also painted a big bullseye on your collective foreheads. Congratulations, you've taken "monkeys flinging poo" to the next level.. Good luck with that.
 

Tams80

Posts: 102   +71
@ Nintendo,
Way to go. You made yourselves look like tyrants, bullies AND jerks all at the same time. You realize of course that you can't hit every hacker in the world. They all can hit you and you've likely pissed off a fair number of them. Let that sink in next time you consider how harsh to be when going after hackers..

You sent a message, most certainly. But you also painted a big bullseye on your collective foreheads. Congratulations, you've taken "monkeys flinging poo" to the next level.. Good luck with that.

I mean, the purpose was to send out the message that if you get court it's not going to end well for you. They never intended to stop all hacking and piracy.
 
100 million Switches sold and they are acting like a few thousand jailbroken Switches are hurting them.
I’m proud to own a jailbroken Switch. Nintendo still owes me for all the garbage NES games they sold me with the Nintendo Seal Of Approval in the late 80’s early 90’s.
 

waclark

Posts: 348   +236
"Team Xecuter’s actions resulted in $65 million in losses for Nintendo "

What was the size of Nintendo's cash pile the last time it was reported, $10-12bn, so probably close to $15bn in 2022.

..Lets not pretend this was about a sum of money Nintendo earns in interest on that cash pile each month, shall we.
Does that justify the theft? If someone stole $100 from me, I'd want it back. Can I afford to lose $100, yes, I can. But I don't think I should have to. And, in this case, Nintendo needs to defend it's copyrights or theft of IP because if they don't, then they won't have much of a case in court when it's revealed they never cared enough to protect it.
 

waclark

Posts: 348   +236
Only individuals can experience "serious harm" and corporations are NOT individuals no matter what the corrupt legal system says.
Individuals "own" that corporation. You know, the stockholders. So individuals were harmed because that is $65M that could have been distributed to them, not to some thief.
 

waclark

Posts: 348   +236
Your definition of scummy is rather different to most people's I feel. He did something wrong, but the punishment far exceeds the crime.
40 months for $65M in theft? That doesn't sound all that bad. What's the standard for days per dollar? Hell, I have a family member who stole less than $10K from a bank and got 3 years in a Fed Pen.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,027   +723
I mean, the purpose was to send out the message that if you get court it's not going to end well for you. They never intended to stop all hacking and piracy.
But instead they've made a fair portion of the hacking community angry at them. Nintendo needed to take the high ground, shut the offender down and prevent them from restarting. Instead they screwed the guy over with prison time and imposed a debt he'll never recover from.

Yeah THAT was a brilliant move...
/s
 
When I was 11 I made a really simple fan website about my favorite game Chrono Trigger. I sent Nintendo of America an E-mail about getting media for it. They replied with a legal cease and desist letter.
They haven't changed a bit in 20+ years, they only care about their bottom line and complete control of "their" products.
 

0dium

Posts: 313   +373
65M lost but take out of that sum the amount of consoles were sold just because of the possibility to jailbreak them.