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Nintendo and EA back down on Yahoo! suit

Now set to work with the company instead of against them

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Gaming giants Nintendo and Electronic Arts have dropped a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit against Yahoo, and instead have pledged to work with the company to stamp out piracy in its online auctions. The trio intend to use Yahoo's proprietary filter technology to block the sale and advertisement of pirated games on Yahoo's auctions and classified sections. The lawsuit was originally kicked off in March of 2000, and Sega of America were then a very vocal part of the proceedings as well. The original claim was that Yahoo had refused to remove auctions that promoted the sale of pirated software, despite having the technology to do so adequately installed. Not only did the three companies claim Yahoo was liable for this, but that they made money from it thanks to the charges it levies on auctioneers and its advertising banners. From 1999 to 2000, the amount of pirated or illegally obtained software being sold on auction sites rose from 60% to 90% according to the Software and Information Industry Association in the USA. Copyright violation suits are big money-spinners these days. The whole Napster debacle is based on pretty much the same idea. So why have Nintendo and Electronic Arts backed down? Presumably the knowledge that Nintendo and EA consumers will no longer have access to such goods on Yahoo is more important to them than a big fine. If any money did change hands, we don't know about it. The Register reports that the original suit asked for an injunction against the sales, damages of $100,000 per copyright violation, and $2,500 for each sale of the hardware devices. Perhaps Yahoo simply can't afford that any more. Elsewhere and on a similar note, is reporting that Police have arrested two software counterfeiters in the West Midlands, seizing some £67,000 worth of software.

Source - press release

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