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Posts with tag elspa

ELSPA wants pirates stranded without R4


Otherwise known as the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association (an organization working within the British games industry), the ELSPA isn't happy about the abundance of R4 flash carts in the hands of DS owners. Nor is it happy about the availability of these little devices, which -- homebrew applications aside -- people are using to play pirated DS ROMS. If you want an R4, it's easy to buy one from Amazon, eBay, or a wealth of independent online retailers.

According to the ELSPA, "The supply of these items is an infringement and an offence under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Trade Marks Act 1994." So, how did they get onto shelves in the first place? Clearly the yawn-inducing law behind it all is more complex than simply "they are illegal," otherwise the shops wouldn't still be selling them. Which they are.

Long story short, it's a mess of regulations and red tape, and we've heard it all before. It's hardly a crystal-clear situation where legal teams "will take action where and when appropriate." If a blanket ban of selling flash carts suddenly falls over England, and police start breaking down doors of R4 traders, we'll let you know. Until then, get out there and buy some good games, and use any external device responsibly.

UK raid uncovers DS carts loaded with $12K of pirated software



In a raid executed last Sunday, 85,000 "discs" of pirated software and other counterfeit goods were seized at an East Yorkshire market. One notable bit of contraband brought in by the haul was a pile of carts marked Volume 9 DS Games, each cart loaded with £6,000 ($11,859) of DS games according to the Entertainment Leisure And Software Publishers' Association's team of "forensics experts."

The ELSPA reports that the Volume 9 DS Games carts have been circulating for the past month and contain approximately 200 commercial releases, which explains where the £6,000 estimate sprung from (£30 x 200). We did the math -- well, actually, our calculators did the math -- and you would have to mow about 593 lawns to raise enough money to purchase that many games. That is, of course, assuming you're not one of our smart (and handsome) readers who follow our regular posts on video game bargains.

We know a few of you out there are pirates -- you make sure to rub it in our face whenever we lament about overpriced new releases and expensive imports. Have you bootlegged anything close to £6,000 of commercial DS games? Have you packed all those black-market ROMs into one cart to create your own Volume 9 DS Games collection? And how did you end up spending the money that should've gone to the people who worked hard to create the products you filched?

ELSPA: Not all of us are pirates after all

Apparently the outrageous claim from the ELSPA's Intellectual Property Crime Unit manager, John Hillier, that 90% of North American DS owners are pirates, was outrageous to him as well. A spokesperson for the organization told GamesIndustry.biz that the quote attributed to him in the incendiary Sunday Post article was inaccurate or even fabricated.

According to the spokesperson, "[John] didn't quote The Sunday Post on any figures whatsoever." The spokesperson asserted that the Sunday Post conflated quotes from Hillier about R4 sales in the UK with an article from Singapore about DS piracy in that country (hence the 90% quote, which is still likely to be ridiculous). The specific article isn't named, but we believe it's this one. It's amazing that a quote about the UK plus an article about Singapore somehow generated a statistic about North America. But who cares about facts when you're busy alarming the public?

90% of DS owners are pirates? Not bloody likely!

In a recent chat with Scotland's The Sunday Post, John Hillier of the ELSPA (Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) warns retailers that the R4, a popular DS flashcart capable of running pirated and unauthorized software, could ruin businesses and the gaming industry. In the scaremongering piece, Mr. Hiller throws out an unsourced statistic: "In America it's thought 90 per cent of Nintendo DS users are playing pirated games because of R4s."

90%? Considering the near-ubiquity of the handheld and its expanded casual audience, we highly doubt that even 9% of DS owners in the US have a flashcart of any sort, let alone know of their existence. Though we don't consider ourselves supporters of piracy, stating a false figure like that as fact just to rally people to his cause is unconscionable.

In a way, we kind of wish the R4 was that popular, but not for any illegal reasons -- it would likely result in more homebrew projects and a much larger homebrew audience. Mr. Hillier will hear none of that, though: "The R4 has shifted balance of power in the piracy industry to the consumer -- and that is hugely worrying. That's why we intend to stop trade in these chips wherever we can."

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