It's not smart to pirate videogames, kids, unless you want to become an anti-millionaire.
On the positive side, James Burt, a 24-year-old from Sinnamon Park, Queensland, was able to settle his dispute with Nintendo after he was caught uploading Super Mario Bros. Wii to the internet a week ahead of its official release. On the negative side, Burt will now have to pay Nintendo $1.5 million.
Nintendo was not joking when it said it was going to step up the fight against piracy. The company applied for a search order which forced Burt to give Nintendo access to not only all of his computers, disks, and electronic storage devices, but his social networking site accounts, email accounts, and websites as well.
Nintendo said it traced Burt with "sophisticated technological forensics" and that it will "pursue those who attempt to jeopardize our industry by using all means available to it under the law." To Nintendo Australia managing director Rose Lappin, the situation "wasn't just an Australian issue, it was a global issue. There was thousands and thousands of downloads, at a major cost to us and the industry really."
This settlement was reached out-of-court, making me wonder just how screwed Burt would have been if a court had brought down an official judgment. For a 24-year-old man to have to foot a $1.5 million check, in addition to Nintendo's $100,000 legal bill, well that's just absolutely insane. To all you dirty, stinky pirates out there, it doesn't look like now is the time to mess with Nintendo.