Game over for Mario pirate

Posted by Emma Woollacott

An Australian man has agreed to pay Nintendo a whopping $1.3 million for illegally uploading New Super Mario Bros for the Wii to the internet, six days before its release.

"The legal proceeding resulted in a settlement in which the individual will pay to Nintendo the sum of AUS$1.5 million dollars by way of damages to compensate Nintendo for the loss of sales revenue caused by the individual's actions," said Nintendo in a statement.

The man, named by the Australian press as 24-year-old James Burt, bought the game when it was accidentally placed on shop shelves ahead of the official release date last November.

After it was placed on the internet, says Nintendo, it was downloaded thousands of times.

Nintendo used forensic investigators to find the source of the illegal downloads. Police eventually tracked Burt down to his home in Brisbane, where they seized data and property.

It's not clear whether Burt has any way of actually paying the fine and the $100,000 legal costs to Nintendo that he was also ordered to pay.

The case could affect the future release dates of Nintendo games in Australia - which already lag the US and Japan by about six months.