Nintendo Seeks U.S. Assistance in Anti-Piracy Efforts

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Following a similar filing by the ESA, Nintendo has submitted its own request for assistance against piracy through a “Special 301” process with the U.S. Trade Representative.

Nintendo asked the Trade Representative to encourage other governments to take a stronger stance against software piracy, which it claims cost the gaming giant nearly $1 billion in lost revenue in 2007 alone. The filing stated that China is still the primary manufacturer of pirated Wii and DS games, while Korea has become the number one internet distributor of illegal software. Paraguay and Hong Kong were singled out as major international distribution points for illegal products, while Brazil and Mexico are “saturated” with pirated Nintendo software despite the company’s aggressive efforts in those countries.

“The unprecedented momentum enjoyed by Nintendo DS and Wii make Nintendo an attractive target for counterfeiters,” said Jodi Daugherty, senior director of anti-piracy at Nintendo of America. “We estimate that in 2007, Nintendo, together with its publishers and developers, suffered nearly $975 million 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 Office of the United States Trade Representative publishes an annual Special 301 Report as part of its ongoing effort to “examine in detail the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights” in countries around the world. Countries which the USTR feels do not sufficiently support or enforce intellectual property laws can be placed into “special categories” of various priorities including Priority Foreign Country, Section 306 Monitoring, Priority Watch List or Watch List. 43 nations were listed in these categories in the 2007 Special 301 report, including Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Canada.

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