Nintendo Pursues Nokia on Piracy

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Nintendo is cracking down on piracy of its major intellectual properties in a big way, with its new ‘piracy tsar’ set to investigate copyright infringement on mobile platforms.

The Independent is reporting that Nintendo’s legal team has been instructed to investigate the manner in which smartphones have been made able to emulate older consoles and whether or not this constitutes a breach of Nintendo’s rights as copyright holder.

Emulation has gone from rife to a background concern when it comes to the desktop, but there’s a burgeoning market for emulated content on smartphones. Given the growing power of mobile devices this kind of move was pretty much inevitable, and it’s something that companies like Apple have been keeping as far from its App Store as possible, one of the great victories of the infamous App Store approval process.

Now though, Nintendo is getting directly into the legal questions surrounding emulation on certain devices, with Nokia most likely to come under fire. Nokia posted to its own blog a video of its N900 smartphone playing some of Nintendo’s games, a situation Nintendo clearly disapproves of.

Of course, the worst part of all this news is that Nokia isn’t really in a position where it can afford to fight a long, drawn out legal fight, unlike Nintendo. Nintendo’s massive success with its Wii home console and DS handheld mean that it’s got plenty of money for litigation, where Nokia has seen its profits spiralling over the course of the last year or so.

We’ll be curious to see just how Nokia responds, though for the moment it seems it should be well covered, having said in its blog post that emulators will require roms that will require permissions from publishers to use in emulation.

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