Kojote recently came across the article “Nintendo und der Kampf gegen das R4-Schwarzkopiermodul” published at http://www.golem.de/0908/69440.html

The rough translation means something like “Nintendo fights against the R4 piracy module”, where the author Peter Steinlechner mentions, that Nintendo has hired severall people in Germany and UK to go after R4 & co sales. The Nintendo DS software industry suffers from weak sales so the only conclusion is, that “pirates” are responsible for it.

Neil Boyd, previously hired at Warner Bros., already tried to fight movie/music piracy – now he has been hired by Nintendo, to go after people who sell R4 and similar cards.

This should be reached within four steps:

1) Legal possibilities
2) Customer intelligence
3) New technologies (copy protection) &
4) Political regulations

In particular it’s understandable why Nintendo has to be harsh, after all they need to defend their business and also protect their publisher partners. The development of software titles costs a lot of money, but piracy is not really a new problem.

Undiscussable fact is, that flashcards are usually used to play pirated games. Homebrew and piracy have been always close brothers, both software types need “modifications” or “add-on hardware” to be executed, most of the time.

Homebrew and piracy are sitting in the same boat, while Nintendo tries to sink the pirates, they will sink homebrew the same way. Not everyone who owns a flashcard is a bad pirate, but the majority probably is. Up to today, Nintendo refuses to supply hobby coders with a legal way to enjoy their console. There always will be freaks who like to exploit hardware and to do their own non mainstream thing.

The solution might be just, that all the major suppliers of consoles and handhels allow their customer to do with their hardware whatever they want, as they legally paid for it too. This concept works perfect on the GP2x or the GP2x Wiz, so it’s not just an imaginary dream.

Even if you look back into the GP32 days, there was almost no piracy and the homebrew community even tried to blackmark such people without mercy. Homebrewers are against piracy of any kind and might be Nintendo’s long arm, if they would be just getting support for their very own lifestyle.