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Infringement settlement agreed between Nintendo and video game website

Written by Mark Reed on 15 November 2018

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A couple from Arizona have hung up their sword in a battle with gaming giants Nintendo and agreed a whopping $12.2 million settlement agreement.

This copyright and trade mark infringement case was finally agreed in the US District Court of Arizona as a full and final resolution agreement. It is understood that Nintendo filed its complaint against a husband and wife that own and run a video game website company. Jacob and Cristian Mathias apparently ‘reproduced, distributed and displayed a staggering number of unauthorised copies of Nintendo video games on its website platform as well as displaying the famous Nintendo sign that is a registered trade mark among others.

Specifically, the famous games in the Super Mario World were all offered through the website including character and even audio recording which were all used throughout this site. This ensued a complaint by Nintendo for copyright infringement, initially wanting to be awarded $150,000 worth of damages for each and every infringement on top of as sum of $2m for every trade mark that was infringed.

The decision was finally made on Friday to award Nintendo damages. It was stated that “Defendants acknowledge and accept that their conduct in connection with the websites constitutes direct and indirect copyright and trademark infringement and causes Nintendo irreparable injury for which remedies available at law are inadequate to compensate Nintendo.”

This is a perfect example of online piracy being cracked down on by the state. It is also worth noting that the use of works owned by another, especially through an online platform does not afford protection from the owner of that site on the grounds that they are simply the vessel for those who infringe of works to make a decision to download. In years gone by, there have been difficulty in squashing the source of the infringement within the Copyright Design Patent Act 1988. Instead attempting to go after the individuals that act as conducting third-party or indirect copyright infringement which still amounted to a win for the owner. The new EU copyright directive is certainly going to shock online pirates when they all have summons or legal notices of an intention to sue from copyright owners such as what Nintendo have done in Arizona.

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