Jet Set Willy
Now even emulators might be illegal. Nintendo have patended handheld emulation - so this is probably going to affect more than just Nintendo emulators. I wonder if Emulator Zone will receive a cease and desist?
VIA FEDERAL EXPRESS & EMAIL ([email protected])
March 11, 2004
Mr. Kyle Poole
d/b/a Crimson Fire Entertainment
90 James Street
New Hamburg ON N3A2B3
Re: Firestorm gbaZ - Unauthorized Game Boy® Advance emulator
Dear Mr. Poole:
We are extremely concerned about the Firestorm gbaZ emulator that is currently offered for pre-order at your web site crimsonfire.com.
Nintendo is a leader in the video game industry. Nintendo's success is based on its pioneering efforts in the field of video game technology; its substantial effort, imagination, and resources in developing high quality video game software, hardware systems and accessories; and its record of vigorously protecting its intellectual property against infringement.
Nintendo is the owner and/or exclusive licensee of extensive intellectual property rights in its proprietary video game technology and software. Such rights include, without limitation, patent rights and copyrights in its Game Boy® family of video game systems and technology related thereto, as well as copyrights and trademarks in the video games for such systems. All of the software for Nintendo's proprietary video game systems is distributed in a tangible medium, sold through retail outlets. None of the games are distributed in digital versions on the Internet. Any such distribution, or promotion of any such distribution, is illegal.
Nintendo has recently been granted U.S. Patent No. 6,672,963 (issued January 6, 2004) which relates to software emulation of a handheld video game system, such as the Game Boy® Advance system, on a different system. A copy of this patent is enclosed for your reference. You should be aware that, under U.S. law, if you proceed to release an infringing emulator in violation of a Nintendo patent, Nintendo may be entitled to treble damages for willful infringement.
In addition, in an effort to protect its valuable intellectual property rights, Nintendo incorporates security features in its video game software and hardware systems to ensure that the software and hardware (and the proprietary content therein) are only accessed and used by authorized persons.
A review of the your web site indicates that you have announced you plan to distribute the Firestorm gbaZ emulator, which purports to allow users to play Game Boy®, Game Boy® Color, and Game Boy® Advance video game software on the Tapwave Zodiac platform. Further, your web site encourages users to download thousands of copyrighted works published by Nintendo and its video game licensees exclusively for the proprietary Nintendo systems. Indeed, the front page of your website states:
" 1600 GBA games
1200 GBC games
600 GB games
1 great emulator"
Both the emulator and the 3,400 infringing versions of games you advertise are not authorized by Nintendo. Your website also states that "You must own a physical copy to legally play the ROMs." This statement is not correct and operates as a further inducement to users to buy the Firestorm gbaZ emulator to play illegal copies of Nintendo video games. The very limited archival copy exception to copyright laws is set forth in 17 U.S.C. §117(a)(2), which specifies that the owner of a computer program can make a copy "for archival purposes only." Even if it were otherwise permitted, which it is not, playing a copy of a Nintendo game on the Zodiac system is not "archiving". Moreover, §117(a)(2) does not allow the owner of a game to make a copy of a game ROM that someone else possesses, or to post a copy on the Internet for distribution. Therefore, whether you have an authentic game or not, it is illegal to copy a Nintendo game from a cartridge or to download and play a Nintendo ROM from the Internet.
Nintendo reserves all rights and remedies with respect to your products and activities, including any rights that are not listed above but that may also be implicated by such products or activities.
We look forward to receiving immediate confirmation that you and Crimson Fire Entertainment: 1) will not promote, market, use or distribute the Firestorm gbaZ; and 2) will not pursue any activities relating to an emulator or ROMs for any Nintendo video game system.
Very truly yours,
NINTENDO OF AMERICA INC.
Nintendo of America Inc.
4820 150th Avenue NE
Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 861-2876
Fax: (425) 882-3585
Email: [email protected]