Nintendo Co. Ltd v PC Box SRL and 9Net [C-355/12]

Nintendo Co. Ltd (widely known as a games console company) appeared at The European Court of Justice, represented by Martin Howe QC, against PC Box SRL for supplying devices which allowed Nintendo console users to play pirate copies of video games.

Nintendo argued that PC Box had breached their copyright by allowing gamers to play pirate copies of games on the Nintendo devices.

The defense argued that its devices could allow gamers to play non-infringing games such as ‘homebrew’ which were created by developers who are not licensed by Nintendo.

The European Court ruled that a video game falls under Directive 2001/29 as it is not only a computer program but also includes other creative elements. In addition, it is the national court who should examine the evidence of the actual use of the impugned devices to see just how often they are used to allow unauthorized copies of Nintendo-licensed games to be played.

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