Nintendo calls on US to kill piracy

Nintendo calls on US to kill piracy

Console maker claims $1bn in lost sales worldwide

Nintendo of America has asked the US Trade Representative to put pressure on specific governments around the world to take a more aggressive stand on games piracy.

The console giant listed countries such as China, Korea, Brazil, Hong Kong, Paraguay and Mexico in its appeal.

Nintendo filed its comments under a 'Special 301' process which allows the public to underscore specific areas of concern for the US Trade Representative.

"While China remains the primary source of pirated Nintendo DS and Wii games, Korea has emerged as the leader in distributing illegal game files via the internet," Nintendo said in a statement.

"Brazil and Mexico remain saturated with counterfeit Nintendo software, despite aggressive anti-piracy action by Nintendo."

The company said that Paraguay and Hong Kong also serve as major trans-shipment points for the global distribution of illegal goods.

Jodi Daugherty, senior director of Nintendo of America's anti-piracy unit, claimed that the success of the DS and Wii consoles makes Nintendo an attractive target for counterfeiters.

"We estimate that in 2007 Nintendo and its publishers and developers suffered nearly $975m worldwide in lost sales as a result of piracy," said Daugherty.

"Nintendo will continue to work with governments around the world to aggressively curtail this illegal activity."

Nintendo recommended implementing stronger laws in all countries to cut back on the circumvention of security measures. However, the company offered specific advice for some countries.

"China must pursue criminal prosecutions against people involved in large-scale piracy operations," said Nintendo's filing to the US Trade Representative.

The company said that, although it had worked with Chinese authorities and seized more than one million fake Nintendo products during the past year, not one counterfeiter has been prosecuted.

Nintendo also said that it supports the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, but suggested that it must be ratified immediately to address service providers which profit from the uploading and downloading of illegal Nintendo content.

"Korea is an important market for Nintendo, and internet piracy is seriously affecting the growth of the videogame industry in the country," the filing said.

Nintendo also said that Latin America remains a haven for piracy. "Evidence supporting this claim includes escalated violence in Mexico against police conducting anti-piracy raids, extraordinarily high tariffs and taxes placed on the sale of authentic videogames in Brazil and widespread corruption in Paraguay," the filing said.