News Article

Aussie Pirate Sued For Illegally Sharing New Super Mario Bros. Gets Ganon Statue From Nintendo

Posted by Damien McFerran

"I do still love Nintendo even after being sued"

Those of you with especially good memories may recall the story of Australian gamer James Burt, who was successfully sued by Nintendo in 2010 to the tune of $1.5M AUD (around $1.3M USD, or £839K) for illegally copying New Super Mario Bros. Wii and making it available for download on the web.

It would appear that Nintendo is prepared to let bygones be bygones, and has apparently sent Burt a very exclusive gift: a limited edition Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Ganon statue which is not available in Australia.

Posting a photo of himself on Reddit to prove his claim, Burt also said:

James Burt from Australia here, just saying I think it's ironic that out of everyone in Australia they could have chosen, I get given a Ganon statue for being a good customer of Nintendo.

This was the same statue given out in the UK for Wind Waker HD pre-orders, however was not here in Aus. I was told I was chosen from Nintendo and received it today. I'm very grateful they chose me, don't get me wrong and I do still love Nintendo even after being sued.

UPDATE: I was given a phone call from my local EBGames saying Nintendo chose me and to come pick it up. No actual reason for winning and EBGames had no info on it just that I won. No papers came with it just the figure in a Nintendo brown box.

It's nice to know that time does indeed heal all wounds.

[via gonintendo.com]

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User Comments (96)

Mk_II

#1

Mk_II said:

It's a trap! Ganon will come alive at the stroke of midnight and wreak havoc

Pichubby

#3

Pichubby said:

um, that is a bit odd. and obvisly, it is illegal to upload nintendo games. y did he do it? seems sort of stupid.

Nintenjoe64

#4

Nintenjoe64 said:

Nintendo should send Ganon statues to Apple and Google! They love a bit of Mario piracy

edhe

#5

edhe said:

The statue is actually a tiny sophisticated robot that will come to life and garrote him in his sleep.

McGruber

#7

McGruber said:

Strangest story ever . Someone at Nintendo has a really wicked sense of humor lol

ueI

#8

ueI said:

Excuse me, I'm off to provoke a lawsuit of my own from Nintendo.

ultraraichu

#20

ultraraichu said:

Hidden meaning: we are giving you this Ganon statue because he is the incarnation of pure evil, greed, and power. Let that be a reminder for you. :P

Fazermint

#24

Fazermint said:

He had to pay all that money for uploading ONE GAME? Imagine if they caught one of the REAL uploaders.

Mr_Nose

#25

Mr_Nose said:

Major disappointment.

I read the headline and thought, surely this piece is about MAB?

FishieFish

#30

FishieFish said:

Well Wind Waker Ganondorf doesn't really like pirates anyway, especially ones named Tetra and Link..

Moorpheel

#31

Moorpheel said:

He's a camera. And comes loaded with mortal gas that gets remotely released with the press of a button.

SunnyShores

#33

SunnyShores said:

It just goes to show that unlike most companies nintendo still has a soul. They showed him that although he did something stupid they still appreciate him as a customer. we feel the love nintendo......but hopefully not the lawsuits. it was a simple matter of tough love.

ReigningSemtex

#36

ReigningSemtex said:

Really? Kind of find this hard to believe but then Nintendo are pretty creative it probably is the genius mind of ninty trolling him.

TruenoGT

#38

TruenoGT said:

I never pirated NSMB, can I have a cool Nintendo collectible? A 64DD would be great! THX Nintendo! :)

Hyperstar96

#40

Hyperstar96 said:

@linktothepichu There are so many things I could say to that, I'll just make a list:

  • NSMBW isn't an online game.
  • It's impossible for Nintendo to differentiate between a pirated and non-pirated copy of an ISO (or WBFS, etc.), meaning there would be zero risk to playing online as long as you're playing on an actual Wii.
  • The argument that "people would be ignorant to play illegal Wii games online", even if it were true, has absolutely nothing to do with your initial question of why someone would illegally upload a Wii game for others to download.
strongest_link

#41

strongest_link said:

Seems like he was asking to be sued bye Nintendo. Not really sure why he ended up with the Ganondorf figure, but whatever.

SanderEvers

#43

SanderEvers said:

Well, a sending a statue of a game with "good" pirates (with Tetra/Zelda being the leader of the pirates) to a pirate is actually karma :p

SetupDisk

#44

SetupDisk said:

While I don't believe it will kill him, maybe it was sent as a reminder to behave himself?

ChessboardMan

#46

ChessboardMan said:

Part of me wonders if it was just awarded to whoever just spent the most on Nintendo products, and whatever system they used to work out it, included his lawsuit fine by accident.

shaneoh

#47

shaneoh said:

Well he deserves something back for his hard work. Now he can be one of the few of us Australians to have the statue.

JellySplat

#48

JellySplat said:

There is NOTHING I want MORE than that statue! (Curse you limited edition bonus items, curse you)

Gioku

#49

Gioku said:

I wish I had $1.3M to just throw around like this guy apparently has... 0_o

kitsunetails8

#50

kitsunetails8 said:

No it's a message from Nintendo that they are going to seal him in the Master Sword... (if I remember correctly)

Kaze_Memaryu

#51

Kaze_Memaryu said:

They were probably like: "Remember that ONE internet pirate we got? Let's show him we're not mad anymore. Bridge under the water, y'know! Sooooo... how 'bout we send him something really cool to convince other pirates to turn themselves in? And then we'll send them cool stuff, too!"

wombatkidd

#52

wombatkidd said:

@Gioku I doubt he has to pay it back as a lump sum. They probably just garnish his wages for a small amount every month without expecting to ever get it all. That's how these things usually work.

ToastyYogurt

#54

ToastyYogurt said:

I see this as a reward to him for being a good boy and not continuing to do naughty things. Some people continue to do bad things even if they do get caught, because they assume that they can not get caught if they attempt it.

Pichubby

#55

Pichubby said:

@Hyperstar96 The only reason I have bad grammar is that often I have 2 minutes to look at an article during breaks at work, so I don't bother myself with such things. Also, now that I think about it, most people wouldn't care if it was illegal, if it was free and easy to get.

Pichubby

#60

Pichubby said:

@shaneoh He was pirating, and he was fined. How is that hard work? Imagine being fined for speeding, and when you pay it off, being rewarded for "Hard work". Mind you, few speeding tickets would be over a million $, but the point remains...

shaneoh

#61

shaneoh said:

He has contributed to the preservation of gaming history. Whereas speeding is putting lives at risk. Two completely different scenarios

MAB

#62

MAB said:

Untitled

@Mr_Nose Well I am a Aussie Pirate but I was a bit tied up at the time to really care about that other guy...Besides, I already won a limited edition 3DS from Nintendo anyway so NURRR!

goonow

#63

goonow said:

I dont understand how he could even pay nintendo 1.2 mil. Was he super rich, cause that would be worst than a school loan and how many people pay that off lol

WiiLovePeace

#65

WiiLovePeace said:

Hahahaha this is probably a message from Nintendo, telling him that he'll have to deal with Ganon if he pirates again haha... & it's probably got a camera inside ;)

If only he hadn't have uploaded a picture of his receipt... He never would've been found haha.

MadAdam81

#66

MadAdam81 said:

@linktothepichu because he doesn't care about the law and that uploading it for others would stop 10,000s or 100,000's of sales, depending how popular his illegal copy was.

MadAdam81

#67

MadAdam81 said:

@shaneoh Theft and distributing 1,000,000's of stolen goods (even though only about 10% of those would have been sales if they couldn't get it for free) even though he made no profit from each is no small crime. If it was physical copies that were stolen, he would have gone to jail as well.
While this sort of thing won't harm people physically, it can still cost people's jobs, it can mean the value of Nintendo stock isn't as high as it would have been otherwise, it can mean Nintendo won't have as much money to invest on their next game.
If it were an indy company, it could stop a much larger percentage of sales and could end a company when a $1m game provides $700k revenue instead of $1.4m.

SebCroc

#68

SebCroc said:

Such a shame these awesome statues are never available here in Australia :/

shaneoh

#69

shaneoh said:

@SebCroc
That's why I ordered from the UK. It's a decent sized piece

1 pirate download /= 1 lost sale. By that logic millions of sales have been lost because people have download a heap of SNES roms that are never ever going to be re-released as a VC title or in any other way. Should we let them dwindle in quantity as cartridges fail only to reach the point where no copy in any format exists anywhere in the world? Think of all the arts and writings that have been lost to time, good or bad, (Shakespeare's lost plays anyone?). That is why I appreciate what this man has done, he is preserving a small portion of our art.

No point trying to change my mind about this.

ToniK

#71

ToniK said:

@goonow He will never be able to pay it back. With a sum like that the interest alone is more than a normal person can pay. Probably his finances will keep him poor the rest of his life so one statue is pretty cold actually.

andreoni79

#72

andreoni79 said:

How many Stars/Coins does he have on his account after paying Nintendo 1.3M dollars? That statue is not enough! Give him some stickers too!!!

Monkeh

#73

Monkeh said:

Not like there aren't thousands of other Nintendo fans who actually deserve it...

andreoni79

#76

andreoni79 said:

@linktothepichu The european nintendo club is usually full of useless things: stickers, shoelaces, bloc-notes... You need to register at least 4 games to order one of those, while they "sell" the statue at € 5 (WWHD CE is here €65, regular €60...). Strange, isn't it?

Pichubby

#77

Pichubby said:

@andreoni79 Really? Wow. Even worse then Americas Club Nintendo. Oh, and be careful you use proper grammar, because certain trolls don't like it. They think it's "wrong".

andreoni79

#80

andreoni79 said:

@linktothepichu Where's my mistake? Help please! :)
edit: I founded it. Well, I didn't know the other meaning of "sticker", but no italian-english dictionary has that reference! It must be US only...

unrandomsam

#81

unrandomsam said:

@ToniK He never will pay it. More likely he will pay none of it. (There is a gagging order about the terms. More likely he agreed to say it was that much as a marketing thing.) It is gigantic compared to what people actually going to court have received.

Pichubby

#82

Pichubby said:

@andreoni79 Um, I ment just the missing capital letters at your sentences beginings. No other english word means stickers other than the word. Don't worry. Sorry I was such a worrywart (;

MadAdam81

#87

MadAdam81 said:

@shaneoh 1 illegal download is definitely never one lost sale, but in this case, considering how easy it was to get this and how many sites & torrents you could get it, my guess would be at least 10,000 lost sales would have been a minimum due to the insane amount of illegal downloads there was.

shaneoh

#88

shaneoh said:

Not really, those that downloaded it did so without any intentions of buying it, as you said, it was easy to purchase. Supposing it wasn't uploaded to the internet, those who would have downloaded it wouldn't have necessarily bought it at any point due to financial issues, stock availability, region issues or any other number of reasons. The way I see it, it's as if you were only allowed to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, not everyone is going to be able or want to do that, so they go and look at an "illegal" print of it. It may not be exactly the same experience but at least they got to experience it in some manner. It doesn't matter how new the piece would have been, they were going to see the painting or not, but seeing the picture may just encourage them to go see it for real if they're able.

theBluntKnight

#89

theBluntKnight said:

I kinda think that aussie pirate is a bit of a jerk for ripping NSMB and uploading it when Nintendo decided to release it here a week before other western countries. I'm not some anti piracy purist, but to pirate it as soon as it's released is a little distasteful. Games cost money to make and the biggest returns are made in those first few weeks of a games release so from that point of view the big N was right to sue the pants off him. Also I doubt Nintendo will do nice things for Australia now that this guy has reinforced the island of convicts stereotype. Anyway it was nice of Nintendo to show him that they still value him as a customer and I think it was a subtle reminder that if he tries that poopoo again they know where to find him.
Please watch the language — TBD

shaneoh

#90

shaneoh said:

There would be no point in penalizing Australia for this, or at least any further, we're already slugged twice the price for a new game, as well as a terrible Nintendo of Australia (no contact email for god's sake). Otherwise they may as well penalize America for all the stuff they get and upload before the rest of the western world. From what I can recall NSMB Wii was a much anticipated game, that it was uploaded so soon is not unexpected.

Don't mind the stereotype, there is a certain irony to it.

Henmii

#92

Henmii said:

So, if you screw Nintendo you actually get something?! I really don't get why I am still supporting them!!

Starwolf_UK

#93

Starwolf_UK said:

Maybe Nintendo wanted him to upload the statue...

In case anyone reads this is the far future. The guy didn't just uploaded New Super Mario Bros Wii...he did it weeks before release date. How it started/got caught was he ended up posting on a message board (Nintendo claimed expert forensics but anyone looking from the outside knew) about his purchase and fell under peer pressure to upload it to a select few (who then decided anyone could have it).

I don't know if the retailer he bought it from got into trouble. When a Candain retailer broke the street date for Pokemon X/Y (again, purchasers posted the store they bought it from) they were fined for every sold copy and due to selling so many were forced to shut down.

Henmii

#94

Henmii said:

I guess he already sold it for big money via Ebay! After all he isn't a real fan!!

shaneoh

#95

shaneoh said:

Don't see why he isn't a real fan, he's still buying Nintendo products despite being sued

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