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Amazon, eBay Now Prohibiting R4 Sales

| 22 May 2009 19:12
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Nintendo made significant headway in its crusade against the sale of DS flashcarts like the R4 when it revealed today that eBay and Amazon are now prohibiting sales of all flashcart devices.

While Nintendo's still a long ways away from getting the United States to declare the R4 DS flashcart illegal like they now are in Japan, the company is making big strides in its quest to get these devices, which allow DS users to play homebrew games as well as pirate retail ones, banned from the American marketplace. Recently, the company announced that it has convinced eBay and Amazon to prohibit sales of the R4 and similar products.

"Nintendo is pleased with the co-operation it has received from both eBay and Amazon to prevent the sales of game copying devices," Nintendo of America's head of anti-piracy Jodie Daughtery told MCV.

While independent retailers pledged to cease sales last year, Amazon and eBay continued to allow them until now. Not that Amazon was selling these things directly: sales were taking place in the Amazon Marketplace, where third-party businesses can hock their wares on Amazon with the site taking a commission.

"We have a 'notice and take down' process at Amazon," Amazon UK games director Chris Poad explained. "So where a third party believes that their IP has been infringed, they can highlight it and we can take it down. This is what happened in the case of the R4."

eBay, meanwhile, maintained that it prohibits sellers from listing any "hardware or software that allows people to make unauthorized copies of copyrighted games," and are removing any listings for flashcarts.

Of course anyone who's got a little bit of knowledge about how to navigate the back alleys of the internet or lives close to a store that just doesn't care what Nintendo thinks can still find a flashcart, but with independent retailers already committed to banning sales and now two major and easily accessible online retailers stepping in line with Nintendo, it just got a bit harder to buy an R4 in the US.

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