Japan arrests Majikon video game piracy suspect

R4 screenshot
Image caption Despite multiple sales bans Chinese firms still market Majikon adapters on the internet

Authorities in Japan have arrested a suspected video games pirate in the first case of its kind, according to Nintendo.

An amendment to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, introduced in December, made it a crime to sell devices that circumvent security controls.

The games company said the case involved the sale of kit designed to work with its DS handheld console.

It said it hoped the case would discourage other illegal vendors.

Nintendo says police in the central Aichi region made the arrest.

The case involves the sale of Majikon - adapters which accept memory cards containing software.

When plugged into a console's cartridge slot the machine activates a special interface which then allows the user to select which program to run off a SD memory card.

Pirate plug-in

Majikon manufacturers claim the equipment is designed to allow gamers to run home-made software.

However, they have been widely used to play pirated games downloaded from the internet and copied onto the SD cards.

Although Japan outlawed the devices years ago, those found selling them did not face criminal sanctions until the end of last year. As a result trade in the kit continued.

Japan is not the only country to target the equipment.

The UK's High Court banned the adapters in 2010. They were being sold in the UK as R4 cartridges.

Nintendo says there have been similar rulings in South Korea, Taiwan, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.

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