Bowser Settles Nintendo Switch Hacking Lawsuit For $10 Million, Could Still Score Jail TIme
Bowser was allegedly the customer contact for a game piracy group known as Team Xecuter. Said group has been active for many years selling so-called "circumvention devices" that allow users to play what they would likely call "game backups"—also known as ROM dumps--that arefrequently traded in pirate circles as an easy way to share copies of console video games and circumvent DRM copyright protection by Nintendo and many other game publishers.
Clearly the US court where Bowser was being tried didn't see much merit in the "backups" argument, though. After Bowser's guilty plea in the criminal case, it seems he's also come to a settlement with Nintendo in that company's civil case against him. Under the terms of the filed agreement [PDF], he'll pay Nintendo some $10 million and then hand over any online registries and domain names associated with Team Xecuter to the Japanese game company. The agreement also prevents him from ever "directly or indirectly" infringing Nintendo's copyrights, whatever an "indirect infringement" would be.
The civil case is separate from the criminal case that the federal government has already brought against him, and it's in that legal track that his guilty plea was filed. Penalties in that case have yet to be decided, but he could still face up to ten years in federal prison. Seems a bit harsh for a 51 year old computer guy, to us, but we suppose that's what happens when you defraud (supposedly for millions of dollars) a company as litigious with its copyright defense as Nintendo. The big N is notorious for going after anyone who attempts to do anything with its IP, even if said activity potentially falls under legal fair use protections.