The console developers start the war against piracyNintendo has filed a "Special 301" report to the U.S Trade Representative (USTR), following the same action done by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), highlighting the issues of software piracy. Nintendo has asked the USTR to encourage specific world governments to fight more aggressively against the game piracy - a reality that made Nintendo lose $975 million in 2007.
The company has problems specifically in some parts of the world - China, Korea, Brazil, Hong Kong, Paraguay, and Mexico being named as places where the levels of piracy are very high. This decision made by Nintendo follows all the reports regarding the chips (among which the famous R4) that encourage piracy - they are not illegal, but they do lead to illegal acts. It remains to see, however, if strict measures will be made.
"The unprecedented momentum enjoyed by Nintendo DS and Wii makes Nintendo an attractive target for counterfeiters," said Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America's senior director of anti-piracy. "We estimate that in 2007, Nintendo, together with its publishers and developers, suffered nearly $975 million USD worldwide in lost sales as a result of piracy. Nintendo will continue to work with governments around the world to aggressively curtail this illegal activity."
The "Special 301" highlights Korea as the primary area of illegal game distribution and China as the primary source of pirated DS and Wii consoles. Also, the company sees Latin America as "a heaven for piracy". The situation there is a complex one, with escalating violence against police conducting anti-piracy raids. Nintendo calls for "significant changes" to law enforcement regimes in the countries involved.
Nintendo also recommends a stronger legislation in all these countries, as well as more severe punishments for the pirates. As an example of how poor the systems are at the moment, the company says that, working with Chinese authorities, seized more than 1 million fake Nintendo products during the past year, but not one counterfeiter has been prosecuted.