EU court says Nintendo can’t stop users from hacking its consoles

In a shocking end to a long court case, an EU court rules that Nintendo can not stop users from hacking their hardware.

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admiralvic1634d ago

I'm not surprised. Europe seems to have better consumer protection laws than the US.

Yi-Long1634d ago

I hope one of these days region-protection gets banned as well.

Plus I feel it should be stated clearly on the cover of every movie, game, book, whatever, the information if it's censored, cut, missing an original audiotrack or the original voices, whatever.

For example, so many asian movies get released in the west which are butchered by the western producers. You might have read a positive review about a Korean movie, or a Hong Kong movie, you go to the shop and pick that movie up, come home, and discover it's got 25 minutes missing plus they replaced the original soundtrack with some random hip-hop or whatever. It's just ridiculous.

admiralvic1634d ago

I agree region protection should die, though we're already starting to see that. I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo only does it because of how they code their OS and or something related to this. I know the Wii had different OS's for different regions (U, E, J, K are the ones I know of) and installing the wrong upgrade could screw it up (semi-brick).

While that would be nice, it would be weird looking at Yakuza 4 and seeing a big sticker saying "This version does not feature hostesses". Sometimes these choices are made for a logical reason and a lot of people ignore what the box says (see any parent that has bought an M rated game for their child). Not to mention, sometimes the stupidest things are put on the box.

To give you an idea, my Japanese imported PS3 / Vita games always note they're "FOR JAPAN ONLY". These always make me laugh, since I've only seen them in English and they're sometimes the only English on the box art. It almost feels like someone in Japan wants to make sure that I am aware that I shouldn't have that game in my hand. Also, I'll upload a picture of it if anyone else wants to laugh.

nohopeinc1634d ago

Actually in the US you can do whatever you please to your console. It belongs to you, you can circumvent DRM, set up homebrew, doesn't matter. In I want to say like 2011 the SC stated that the buyer owns the hardware not the manufacture, period. I will edit this later when I track down the source. It was after that kid I think his name was Kenny, got beat up in court by Sony, settled out of court and agreed to never again reverse engineer Sony products.

OldDude1633d ago

They killed Kenny! You bastards!!!

MatrixxGT1633d ago

I was thinking the apple vs jailbreak community. Maybe that was a precursor to this kenny vs sony trial.

nohopeinc1633d ago

George Hotz was his name.

The DMCA stipulates you cannot modify the software. The hardware belongs to you, as such you can do as you please to hardware. Modifying the software or hardware with the intent to circumvent DRM is also illegal. In the end you own the product as long as nobody can prove your intent was to circumvent piracy do what you want with your stuff. The ToS is in the box not on the outside, so it's irrelevant.

donnieboy1634d ago

Oh my god so much LOL!!

wonderfulmonkeyman1634d ago (Edited 1634d ago )

Okay, so the EU is fine with consumers hacking the Wii U.
But what does this mean for cases where these same users may try to use their hacked consoles to illegally download free games that shouldn't otherwise be on their consoles?
Isn't that a dangerous consequence of saying "go ahead and hack away", or am I missing something?

ZeekQuattro1634d ago

Not surprising now that I think about it. The PSP still sells very well over there mainly because it is a hackers paradise. With laws like this I can certainly see why.

Dasteru1634d ago

Alot can be learned by actually reading the article.

pompombrum1634d ago

Well the case was actually about something that allows Wii U owners to play region free games. I don't know if that piece of hardware also means it can play illegally downloaded games but I can't say I have much sympathy as all consoles should be region free these days.. especially when you're Nintendo and have a long history of making EU gamers wait months for games to make it's way over here.

KonsoruMasuta1634d ago

The article states that Nintendo can step in if illegal games are involved.

pompombrum1634d ago

So basically Nintendo took these guys to court just because they were so dead set against people having access to region free games? Wow, that's really sad to hear. There are loads of gamers all over the world who import Japanese only games to play, why would Nintendo want to punish them?

admiralvic1634d ago

"So basically Nintendo took these guys to court just because they were so dead set against people having access to region free games? Wow, that's really sad to hear. "

I think you misunderstand. Typically region free and piracy go hand and hand, since they involve a lot of the same pieces. From what I've come to understand, region free is achieved by "tricking" the system into thinking you put in the correct region of game. This is usually done by "injecting" the correct region code during the read process (where the system figures out what the game is) and the system will boot the game because it "passed" all the test. Now heres the important part, depending on how the region free is achieved, one of two things will happen.

1) The method also happens to trick the system into thinking your back up is a legitimate disc.
2) However these hackers achieve region free could be figured out by more malicious hackers, whom will try to take the code to the next level to enable the ability to play backups.

Nintendo doesn't want anything out there that could rock their boat, so they will fight something harmless if they think it can lead to something harmful, which makes a lot of sense.

wonderfulmonkeyman1634d ago

@ Admiral
You've earned a bubble up for that explanation; I wasn't aware of that before now.

Baka-akaB1634d ago (Edited 1634d ago )

It's their damn fault if region breaking can often lead to piracy . Not everyone will have the strongest moral value and fiber , and even more so when already pissed and feeling vindicated by having to go the extra miles , to play games they purchased or wanna purchase .

So yes , of course , some disgruntled fans will say "you know what ? i've already purchased some card or modchip , might as well just give them the finger and pirate the games" .

Some will not , but those temptations would be fully removed with a region free system . The only excuse left would be homebrews

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1634d ago
kalkano1634d ago

I'm glad they got it right. Don't you dare try to tell me what to do with my property.

ChickeyCantor1633d ago

The software however is not your property. That's mainly the problem.

kalkano1633d ago

Whatever copy of the software that I buy, is my property. Not the CODE, but the executable.

What I mean is, if I want to hack my region-locked console to play games from other regions, you can't stop me. If I want to download games that I haven't purchased...well, that's stealing, and is a completely separate issue from this.

ChickeyCantor1633d ago (Edited 1633d ago )

You are manipulating the code to do those things. Which in their term of use IS illegal.

While EU law says you can do whatever you like with the hardware, the booklet clearly states that term of use is that you use it as is.

Do whatever you want, I'm not judging nor stopping you from doing anything. But contracts and laws aren't that black and white.

kalkano1633d ago

But, that's the point. Terms of use DO NOT override LAWS. If they write "we may murder you, if we choose" in the terms of service, that doesn't mean they won't be thrown in prison for it.

ChickeyCantor1633d ago

That's like saying contracts don't override laws. Of course they don't. But it's an AGREEMENT. You use their product on their conditions and terms. And if you break these rules the company has every right to pursue you.
Whether they win or not is a different story.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1633d ago
OldDude1633d ago

Region locking is to protect the publishers of games. Companies like Activision and EA pay for the publishing rights in individual markets. They don't want to compete for the sale of the same game in another region with another publisher.

kalkano1633d ago (Edited 1633d ago )

Why would I want to play a game from another region, if the game is released here? I only play games from other regions, if that game isn't released here. So, there's no one to compete with.

The only time it would come into play is, for example, if a Japanese-speaking gamer, living in the U.S., imported from Japan, because they don't speak English. That's a RARE case...

OldDude1627d ago

People buy games from other regions all the time. Maybe they release earlier in Japan or the other way around for instance. Maybe a game has a publisher in another country but is trying to pick up a publisher in the US for instance. The publisher will want region locking for fear of losing sales to the 1st publisher.