News Article

Counterfeit Nintendo Games Seller Faces Jail Term

Posted by Orla Madden

Made a small fortune pirating software

Justin Success Brooks has been charged with selling counterfeit Nintendo games according to the Croydon Guardian.

The 41 year-old's middle name proved to be innacurate as he was caught in an investigation supervised by Nintendo and the UK Interactive Entertainment association (UKIE). The two groups purchased games from suspect online outlets which eventually led them to Brooks.

He's been accused with selling thousands of counterfeit Wii, DS and DSi Nintendo games from 2009 and 2011, and made himself an estimated £600,000 (over $962,000). He is also being charged with seven counts of fraud, including "two counts of fraudulent trading, two counts of supplying an article to use in fraud, two counts of unauthorized possession of goods bearing a trademark and one count of unauthorized use of a trademark."

Brooks has pleaded guilty to all charges, and currently awaits sentencing, which is to occur on November 9.

[via croydonguardian.co.uk]

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User Comments (60)

MAB

#3

MAB said:

More like Justin 'Nintendo just lay the smacketh down' Brooks ;)

Otto-Soq

#4

Otto-Soq said:

Fair incomes = Fair prices. Fair prices = less pirating. Human greed is to blame.

KneehighPark

#5

KneehighPark said:

I hang out at a used game store a lot, and you have no idea how many bootleg GBA Pokemon games come through there. It's really ridiculous.

Nice to see Nintendo coming out on top here.

OorWullie

#8

OorWullie said:

I live in Thailand and there is a huge 7 floor electrical mall selling everything electrical you can think of.Fake Iphone 5's next to legit 1's,DVD stores with legal and pirated copies in original boxes and even telling you what percentage the quality of picture is.On the 5th floor there is several game shops each with a legit section and a fake section along with several stalls to take your Wii,DS or 3DS to be hacked.Its not just some shady mall either,its really nice inside,has restaurants,supermarket and even a Starbucks.There is several of these stores all across Thailand.Mental!

dirtyplastic

#9

dirtyplastic said:

Did the bloke kill or even hurt anyone? victim less crime if you ask me, If Nintendo choose to charge £39.99 for a download version of a game, the consumer will vote with there feet and get a cheaper version, even if that means getting a slightly dodgy copy.

OorWullie

#10

OorWullie said:

@dirtyplastic I'm with you on that 1 but I'm pretty sure he didn't pay any taxes on that 600 grand so I think HMRC will be wanting a word with him.

TheRealThanos

#13

TheRealThanos said:

Must have been quite an operation. As far as I know only a soft- or hard modded Wii can play copies, so to be able to burn or produce counterfeit games that work on a regular Wii, he would have had to use some serious equipment...

DarkNinja9

#15

DarkNinja9 said:

lol glad this guy got caught now if only the rest of those annoying ppl who made rip off nintendo games get the same result as this guy and nice name he has btw xD

meppi

#16

meppi said:

He deserves anything he'll get in the upcoming ruling if you ask me.
No compassion for scammers like this.

Barbiegurl777

#17

Barbiegurl777 said:

It's about time these guy's got thrown in jail already.

Like the old saying:

Do the crime gotta do the time.

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

Marakuto

#18

Marakuto said:

I've seen a lot of small market shops sell bootleg Nintendo gba and gb games in the past, even now it still happens, but they're swift until caught out.

CM30

#19

CM30 said:

Anyone saying that lower prices would have fixed this, read the Croyden Post article that's linked. He was either selling multi game carts or flash cards, you can't legitly sell games for less than that (and no, Nintendo can't sell games for less than a dollar/pound each). He's just a thief trying to profit off Nintendo's hard work, and deserves all he gets.

Unca_LzStaff

#22

Unca_Lz said:

@dirtyplastic Say what you want, but this is a luxury item, not a necessity. No one HAS to pay for any game because they don't need it. That said, it's still illegal to copy games like this and sell them. How would you like it if someone stole your brilliant idea and profited from it without your permission?

True_Hero

#23

True_Hero said:

Wait, so you're saying that lower prices would have fixed this? Not a chance. Even if prices were lowered, there would still be people out there who would try to make a quick buck by creating pirated copies and selling them for even less. Also, Nintendo and the stores that sell their games are trying to make a profit off the hardware, so yes they will not priced at their exact value.

Wheels2050

#27

Wheels2050 said:

Interesting - I didn't think Wii games really got pirated to any extent.

Glad they got him though. It's annoying as hell trying to make sure you don't buy bootleg DS games online. One less person selling them makes things (slightly) better.

allav866

#28

allav866 said:

I wonder how many times in his life he said, "Success is my middle name... literally!"

Marks

#29

Marks said:

I'm glad they got one counterfeiter out of business.
Next up, North Korea.

LittleKing

#30

LittleKing said:

@Mr_LztheBleh Indeed. Of course, it's worse than an idea, because thousands of hours of work by dozens of people go into making the game; the programmers, the musicians, the artists, etc. It's many ideas forming a product after a lot of work.

This is not a commodity you need to live. If you don't want to purchase it legally, don't purchase it at all. Of course, some would argue that if you're too poor to buy it (such that you could never obtain it legally, even if you wanted to) you aren't really stealing since Nintendo/devs would never get any money from you in the first place, and you aren't physically taking anything from them. The problem is the people who CAN afford to purchase the games, and maybe would've bought some, if they couldn't go to a guy like him and steal them all.

theblackdragonAdmin

#31

theblackdragon said:

@dirtyplastic: When I buy a game over the internet, I want for it to be official, and I'm willing to pay full price for that. these counterfeiters present their games as authentic and don't care whether it'll actually run on your system or not, they don't care that you just forked over your hard-earned money expecting the real deal and you've given them a cheap Chinese knockoff with a booklet full of spelling errors and a worn-down battery that won't let you save your game. idk what kind of sentencing he'll receive, but I hope they get all this guy's ill-gotten gains and continue the trend of shutting down counterfeiters around the world.

ogo79

#35

ogo79 said:

@dirtyplastic
i dont know about you but if i paid 500$ for an nes game it better be real.
"The 41 year-old's middle name proved to be innacurate" nice...

sinalefa

#36

sinalefa said:

TBD has a good point. Not necessarily people buy pirated games knowing that they are bootlegs, but some persons will be given a pirated copy thinking they are getting a new, original game at a great price. So the bootlegger is cheating on both Nintendo and his customers.

Technically, a game is not necessary to live, but PR and advertising make sure to create that need for people. I have seen persons that can live off rice and beans for days just to afford a pair of tennis shoes or an Iphone, and if they could they would forsake eating altogether.

shinesprite

#38

shinesprite said:

I once made the mistake of purchasing fake copies of Mario Kart DS and New Super Mario Bros. off of Ebay.

Download play (playing wirelessly against a local friend without the game) didn't work for both carts, and more often than not, finishing a GP Cup (in Mario Kart DS) would corrupt the save file and make the game crash. If I wanted to have another race, I'd have to leave the card in the freezer for 5 minutes and then shake it before re-inserting it into the system.

All in all, the price was too good to be true, and I learned my lesson: buy official games and be weary of obscure dealers. ;)

Neram

#40

Neram said:

$962,000? So uh.. what do I have to do to get started on pir... JOKING! But seriously, that's a lot of money basically stolen from people who rightfully deserved it. It's good to see this guy get served some cold hard justice, if I were making games and someone else was making profit off of my creative works, I'd want them severely punished. Good job Nintendo and.. UKIE!

Wheels2050

#41

Wheels2050 said:

@dirtyplastic: Really? I'm yet to hear of copies of Wii games working on stock Wiis. It's made me quite comfortable buying Wii games online since I've always thought there is no chance of finding out down the track that I've got a copy.

I'd like to know if that's not the case.

Zombie_Barioth

#43

Zombie_Barioth said:

Glad to see the pirate scene taken down a peg, Its an unnecessary annoyance having to worry about buying bootleg products. Thats why I shop on Amazon but I still gotta be careful about things like SD cards.

The only argument I could see is like @Metabble_King said if you probably couldn't afford the legit version in the first place. Like back around 2005-2006 from what I heard import prices for SA were 300% so it was either pay $200-$300 a pop for games or buy bootleg copies.

Kage_88

#44

Kage_88 said:

Good.

Anyone who tries to justify this type of behaviour is a bloody idiot. If you don't like the big bad videogame corporations, then just don't buy their products.

Stealing from them makes you just as bad.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#45

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

I believe that video games in general are too expensive but I have zero sympathy for this criminal. He's an idiot and deserves what he gets. If video games were a lot cheaper, who knows, there maybe less of this sh*t, but it would still exist. Also, many ppl don't know, money made out of "smaller" crimes like more often than not goes to fund more serious and even shocking crime (ask Amnesty Intn'l, UNICEF) so don't get all "so what" about this eh. ;)

dirtyplastic

#49

dirtyplastic said:

@deeda
@usagi-san
Nope your wrong, it is illegal to put a cd into itunes, but everybody does it, so is this as bad? and how many times have you borrowed a cd from a friend and put it into your itunes? (everybody has!) so whats the difference with getting a copied game?

theblackdragonAdmin

#50

theblackdragon said:

@dirtyplastic: this is an entirely different situation; this person was selling counterfeit games and putting them out into the marketplace as legit titles for the unsuspecting masses to purchase. to put it into your hypothetical situation, it would be like you purchasing a CD, ripping it to iTunes, burning copies, printing out nice legit-looking labels for them and then selling the copies you've made over the internet. Yes, it's fraudulent and illegal. No, I don't have any sympathy for this person.

Zombie_Barioth

#51

Zombie_Barioth said:

@dirtyplastic Actually it is legal as long as you actually purchased the CD. You may have a point with downloading a borrowed CD but thats not so different from them just giving away the CD (chances are they still have the MP3s). But does that mean lending or giving away things should be illegal?

In this case someone is (knowingly or not) buying a bootleg product and the profit is going to the pirate rather than the company who not only owns the rights, but put the blood, sweat, and tears into making it.

scrubbyscum999

#52

scrubbyscum999 said:

Stealing other people's work and selling it as your own is wrong, period. I like how everyone is talking about fair prices, Nintendo is the most price friendly out of the big three. They can't sell their games for 50 cents. People would pirate anyway even if it was cheap.

shinesprite

#55

shinesprite said:

@The_Other_M I'm not quite sure. I think it might have been that the card got warm and I was so fed up with blowing on the useless thing that I thought "let's try this" and then it worked.

On a side note, I pulled out my aforementioned NSMB cart last night, only to find that the center of it had swollen like a battery gone bad, and my save game reformatted. :(

sinalefa

#56

sinalefa said:

@Trainer_DJ

Maybe on hardware but not on software. Nintendo went years without having a discount line until they put Nintendo Selects, and then that is limited to only a bunch of titles and it is Wii only. Games like Pokémon Diamond never lower their price, even if they are years old and have had successors.

I have paid full price for most of my first party wii and 3ds games, while I have seldom paid full price for any of my first party PS3 games.

Zombie_Barioth

#58

Zombie_Barioth said:

I have to agree with @Sinalefa on this one. Sony has had their greatest hits line since the PS1 days, where as Nintendo rarely used the player's choice and Nintendo selects lines.

They say its because they sell the games for what they think they're worth and low prices devalue the product. That may be partly true but loses its credibility over time. It slowly becomes an excuse to keep prices high knowing people will buy it anyway, its business but that doesn't make it any less greedy.

Araknie

#59

Araknie said:

I don't like the excuses that i'm reading in the comments.

There's clearly someone here that buys Nintendo games this way, and this is really sad.

russellohh

#60

russellohh said:

@CouchPotato Sorry, not even a little bit correct there. Steam sells games like Borderlands brand new for $7 every month, yet people still download and torrent everything. Emusic.com sells Lady Gaga and the Beatles for 35 cents a song, but people still torrent and download music 3 to 1. The "fair price" has nothing to do with it. Piracy continues to increase, even though the cost of games decrease. Remember when Donkey Kong 64 was $70? Or Chrono Trigger SNES was $85 at Gamestop? Now I can get Chrono Trigger DS new for $14 from Amazon and Nintendo.

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