Nintendo wanted to send a message with hacker's prison sentence

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,332   +163
Staff member
Bottom line: Nintendo scored a legal victory earlier this year against a hacker that played a role in costing the Japanese gaming giant an estimated $65 million in losses over the course of several years. Gary Bowser was ultimately sentenced to 40 months in prison and ordered to pay millions in fines for his role as a top member of Team Xecuter. Based on newly released transcripts from Bowser's sentencing, it seems as though Nintendo wanted to make an example of Bowser and send a warning to the piracy community.

In a newly released transcript from the sentencing obtained by Axios, Nintendo lawyer Ajay Singh described it as a "very significant moment" for the company.

"It's the purchase of video games that sustains Nintendo and the Nintendo ecosystem, and it is the games that make the people smile," Singh said. "It's for that reason that we do all we can to prevent games on Nintendo systems from being stolen."

Nintendo's attorney also touched on the ethics of cheating, which he said the group's hacks enabled. "Parents should not be forced to explain to their children why people cheat and why sometimes games are not fair, just because one person wants an unfair advantage."

During the hearing, US District Judge Robert Lasnik asked Singh what else could be done to convince people that there is no glory in hacking and piracy. "There would be a large benefit to further education of the public," Singh said.

Speaking to the sentence, the judge said, "I think there is a role to be played here in terms of a message." He added that in normal times, he would have handed down the full 60-month penalty officials were seeking.

Bowser didn't seem all that convinced that prison time would do much to curb the issue. In remarks to the judge, he said there was so much money to be made from piracy that prison time was insignificant.

Image credit: Claudio Luiz Castro, Ryan Quintal

Permalink to story.

 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 751   +642
You steal from me, and I'm going to do everything in my power to see that you get the maximum punishment allowed, and I would expect nothing less for me if I stole something of yours.

N64 Supermario's Bowser character was stolen from the guy they just locked up

We can steal "YOUR" life character, then lock you up when you try to profit from "our" theft of "your" life / character / story / etc etc etc

LoL

irony....ever heard of it?
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 1,069   +881
"Nintendo's attorney also touched on the ethics of cheating."

Well what about ethics of GREED from big companies? Maybe they should look in their own mirror.
Aww poor NINTENDO is only making Billions profit. They should be thankful to still be in business making kiddie garbage that is rehashed over and over.
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,218   +1,144
The problem is Nintendo zealously pursue even it's non-selling games in the same vein as the latest released games. It doesn't allow MOD community. It doesn't allow porting of it's old games.

This will of course, breed more hackers to f-k Nintendo.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 2,722   +2,951
TechSpot Elite
N64 Supermario's Bowser character was stolen from the guy they just locked up

We can steal "YOUR" life character, then lock you up when you try to profit from "our" theft of "your" life / character / story / etc etc etc
LoL

irony....ever heard of it?
Of course. Not that your rant had anything to do with my post, so I will simplify.
If you take something that doesn't belong to you without permission, you are a filthy thief.
Don't confuse charity and volunteer work with business. You won't win. LOL.
 

Reinette Tineker

Posts: 32   +38
"It's the purchase of video games that sustains Nintendo and the Nintendo ecosystem, and it is the games that make the people smile," ...
-Ha-ha-ha! Your engine/motive is greed. Your engine/motive is greed. Your engine/motive is greed. Piracy would be unnecessary if games had a lower price. The most stingy and evil company Shittendo.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,165   +810
@Nintendo
The only message you're sending is that you're ruthless. What's next, suing people who download ROMs? Ask the RIAA & MPAA how that worked out. If you're trying to make yourselves look like the enemy of the people, you're doing a bangup job. Well done..
 
These responses are amusing and stereotypical in this "generation of entitlement". Bowser is the front of one of the largest piracy/theft organizations with a $65 million cost to video game companies. What should the penalty be?

Bowser himself, states that the prison time is insignificant. You talk about greed and he has been making millions of dollars at the expense of others. He does need to repay $4.5 million though.
 

Max225719

Posts: 10   +11
I'm confused, didn't he just bypass the security on the console to allow pirated games? Not actually pirate a few million copies of games? Or is he now responsible for everyone who pirated games because he made the device to bypass the security? If hes responsible does it mean that I can legally pirate Nintendo games and hes to blame? Kinda lost here. I get what he did but thats like blaming a gun manufacture for all the killings.
 

hwertz

Posts: 170   +96
Not that I'm in favor of the commercial, full-profit piracy (I am however in favor of being able to hack and crack my own devices as I see fit, and this is in fact a right.)

So congratulations Nintendo, on sending the message that you are a bunch of nasty ***** and nobody should do business with you. Good job, join the RIAA and MPAA on the side of infamy.
 

hwertz

Posts: 170   +96
Not that I'm in favor of the commercial, full-profit piracy (I am however in favor of being able to hack and crack my own devices as I see fit, and this is in fact a right.)

So congratulations Nintendo, on sending the message that you are a bunch of nasty ***** and nobody should do business with you. Good job, join the RIAA and MPAA on the side of infamy.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,819   +1,885
N64 Supermario's Bowser character was stolen from the guy they just locked up...

Irony....ever heard of it?
I've heard not only of irony, but of dissimulation, mendacity, and bald-faced lying as well. The Bowser character was in no way based upon or taken from from this man's name. Do you honestly believe it supports your case to invent facts?

There actually is a case to be made in "Bowser's" defense here. There is a fine line I believe between engaging in IP theft, and selling devices that allow others to engage in that theft. Burglary is illegal, and should be. But should selling a lockpick be as well? It verges quite close upon banning information itself ... which is a slippery slope indeed.
 

alchemist83

Posts: 98   +50
I've heard not only of irony, but of dissimulation, mendacity, and bald-faced lying as well. The Bowser character was in no way based upon or taken from from this man's name. Do you honestly believe it supports your case to invent facts?

There actually is a case to be made in "Bowser's" defense here. There is a fine line I believe between engaging in IP theft, and selling devices that allow others to engage in that theft. Burglary is illegal, and should be. But should selling a lockpick be as well? It verges quite close upon banning information itself ... which is a slippery slope indeed.
Finally - some sense! Thank you
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,165   +810
These responses are amusing and stereotypical in this "generation of entitlement". Bowser is the front of one of the largest piracy/theft organizations with a $65 million cost to video game companies. What should the penalty be?
Not nearly as amusing as your own comment. $65million is a pathetically ridiculous claim at the very best.