Nintendo vs. PC BOX


Nintendo is trying to prevent the use of illegal copies of videogames by installing recognition systems on its consoles and by putting encrypted codes on the physical housing systems of games. Said technological security system does not allow users to access any digital content but the ones provided by Nintendo.

The company PC BOX markets original Nintendo consoles equipped with an additional software that is able to deactivate the Nintendo technological security system.

The European Court of Justice, with a ruling of 23 January 2014, observes that videogames are composed by graphics and sound elements, which give them a creative value. Accordingly, their authors are authorized to apply adequate security protection systems, such as effective “technological measures” (recognition systems and encrypted codes), to protect copyright holders against acts which require their authorization. The ECJ also underlines that such measures must respect the principle of proportionality: surely creative contents and authors need to be protected, but without prohibiting the marketing of alternative devices which have a commercial purpose different than the circumvention of technological protection for unlawful purposes.

It is accordingly for the National Judge, the Milan District Court, to evaluate if the principle of proportionality applied by Nintendo is consistent with the principles established by the European Court of Justice, and, in particular, if there are other effective protection measures that could cause less interference with the activity of third parties while still providing protection to the authors.

 
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