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Nintendo clamps down on sales of R4

Encourages gamers to grass up sellers.

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

Nintendo has outlined to Eurogamer a worldwide effort to clamp down on sales of illegal Wii and DS game copiers such as the infamous R4.

The push starts at home, in Japan, where a civil action has been filed against a quartet of companies selling the crafty copiers. Nintendo demands that import and sale of the devices must stop immediately and damages be paid.

The Mario-maker is doing this to help partners "who spend time and money legitimately developing software" for the Wii and DS, not just itself.

Nintendo needs your help, too: "It's getting increasingly difficult to track down R4 sellers as day by day they get more ingenious, flourishing online and complicating matters," wrote the company in a statement (translated by Kotaku). The result: asking Japanese people to fill out an anonymous form should they encounter a naughty seller, pin-pointing their location, URL or even sharing their names.

Here in Europe, Nintendo told us the push is equally hard, with 300 actions "supported" across 16 countries since 2008. That drive, incidentally, netted 200,000 contraband copiers.

Countries under scrutiny include Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and New Zealand, plus Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, the UK and the US. Nintendo is working with Chinese police to "pursue" the (presumably moving) factories responsible for making the "infringing devices".

Nintendo is also hard at work here in the UK, working with the Queen to train front-line customs and police to spot and confiscate the copiers.

"ELSPA is coordinating the seizure of tens of thousands of devices; 285 auction sites (Amazon & eBay) offering game copiers have been terminated; 81,889 notices have been sent by our Internet monitoring vendor terminating illegal DS and Wii software; and over 85,500 illegal game copiers have been seized. Earlier this year, Camden Trading Standards and the Metropolitan Police raided a business in London, seizing over 50,000 game copiers in just one raid," Nintendo told us.

So watch out: Mario's about.

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