Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2014 position: 22

Nintendo v P C Box: European court considers technological protection measures for copyright for the first time

Nintendo structures its games and consoles (DS and Wii) so that they recognise each other by exchanging encrypted information in order to unlock the consoles and allow the games to be played. According to Nintendo, the purpose of this is to prevent the use of the consoles to play unauthorised copies of protected games. However, third parties argue that its real purpose is to increase sales of Nintendo’s own games.

P C Box makes mod chips and games copiers that enable people to play unauthorised games (neither made nor licensed by Nintendo) on Nintendo devices by circumventing Nintendo’s trusted platform modules (TPMs).

Nintendo applied for an injunction to stop the sale of P C Box’s devices in Italy. The Milan District Court made a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling to clarify the scope of the relevant provision (Article 6) of the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC)…

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