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A man in Japan has been arrested after he was caught selling modified versions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The 27-year-old was selling data from the game so his customers would be able to play with an "ultimate" version of Nintendo's 2017 adventure. He was directly violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, was passed two years ago, which is why he could be apprehended.
According to Dexerto, and originally reported by the Broadcasting System of Niigata, Ichimin Sho was selling data for Nintendo's game that would either give the player the best stats and items or be custom built to the player's liking. He was making quite a hefty amount from providing this service to players and apparently made upwards of 10 million yen, or $90k USD.
Breath of the Wild has a sequel in the works that we can't wait to get our hands on...
Sho admitted to selling this data to customers, according to the original report, earning 10 million yen over the course of a year and a half, dating back to December 2019. He wasn't just trading in Zelda files, either, but other Nintendo titles. The police also made a statement, basically asking people to not engage with the individuals who are selling these sorts of products as it is a clear violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.
According to METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), the Unfair Competition Prevention Act "regulates infringement of trade secrets, unfair usage of a well-known sign, misleading representation regarding the place of origin, imitation of the configuration of a third party's product, etc." It's part of intellectual property law, and it's no surprise that it's within the interests of the police or Nintendo in keeping something like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild untarnished by these hacks. It's a huge property, and while it's a game that's been modded aplenty, this arrest sends a clear message not to profit from this kind of activity.
Nintendo is particularly stringent with its handling of intellectual property - it's currently in court trying to prevent a ROM site ever seeing the light of day after a $50 dollar fee was late.
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