UK Police Arrest Man Over ‘Nintendo Switch’ Modding, Warn Game Pirates

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City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) arrested an alleged Nintendo Switch modder this month. The man was suspected of infringing Nintendo's copyrights but got off with a caution. At the same time, PIPCU warned those who are considering buying modded consoles or download pirated games.

As one of the most iconic game manufacturers in the world, Nintendo has been fighting piracy for many years.

Most action is taken by the company’s in-house anti-piracy division or through trade groups such as the ESA.

However, this month the City of London Police also offered a helping hand.

The dedicated Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) arrested a 43-year-old man at a residence in Lowestoft, accusing him of being a prominent ‘modder’ of Nintendo Switch consoles.

“PIPCU officers arrested and cautioned a 43 year old man at an address on Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft in relation to copyright offenses. Hard drives, microchips and computer equipment were seized at the same address,” PIPCU announced.

The police note that “modders” are criminals. However, in this case, the suspect was cautioned and no further action was taken.

According to PIPCU, piracy is not a victimless crime. Not only are the games companies impacted directly, but people who sell modded consoles are at risk as well.

Some games may not work on modded consoles, PIPCU warns, and downloading pirated files is a risky endeavor as well, since people may run into malware and viruses.

“If you’re looking to buy a Nintendo console as a Christmas gift, make sure you know who you are buying from, otherwise you could get more than you bargained for,” PIPCU’s Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt says.

“If you buy a gaming console that gives illegal access to pirated content, you could be exposed to malware and identity crime,” he adds, urging consumers to “Play safe” and “play fair.”

The announcement specifically mentions Christmas, which is a popular time of year for the video game industry. As such, Nintendo will be happy with the police assistance.

That said, Nintendo itself is also taking action against “modders.” Earlier this month the company filed a lawsuit against alleged sellers of modded consoles and pirated games in the US. This case remains pending.


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