Man arrested in Japan for selling hacked Shiny Pokemon

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While it's common to hear about the police or Nintendo itself going after hackers selling modified consoles, it's a bit more out of the ordinary for them to target someone hacking game files. In Japan, and as of a fairly recent law passing in 2019, editing video game save files is an illegal act, which is why a 23-year-old was arrested for doing so. The man had been "illegally" modifying his save data in order to obtain rare Shiny Pokemon, and then selling them. He managed to make over 1.15 million yen, or around $10,000 dollars by selling shinies to customers, being finally caught after he sold a Shiny Sobble to someone for $41 dollars. Arrested in Nagoya City, Japan, the suspect admitted his guilt, claiming he had been editing save files and profiting from it since November 2020.

:arrow: Source: Asahi News - Translation Courtesy of Serebii
 

FAST6191

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I hate Nintendo with a burning passion, but even I know that they aren't in the wrong for taking legal actions against someone who profited from their property that they have a right to protect. This isn't like fan games where they stomp on them out of hate. This is a very reasonable situation to take legal action against and if people can't see it, then I question their morality. You don't steal and profit off of someone else's work. You don't advertise hacked material that others can mistakenly obtain and endanger themselves with. You can deflect it on Nintendo all you want, but at the end of the day, the person shouldn't be doing shady things like that to begin with.

Actions can be taken. Ban them from the service, if it is against terms of tat selling platform then fair enough take that too.
I don't see the basis for taking legal action under any generally sensible/agreed upon notions of lawmaking. Where is the stealing from someone else's work? I don't see a pirated game involved in this (or at least not any charges so far discussed), don't see assets reused in something else. Profit not a thing you can do? Since when?
As far as having a government go arrest them and charge them with a crime aiming towards a fine or potentially jail... way beyond the pale. The "victims" in this are basically non existent, the damages similarly non existent. If no harm has been done then does rather cause doubt on censuring someone with the law.

Equally as covered above fan games are not done out of hate. They are done out of legal requirement -- see trademark genericide ( https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/...-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet ). Indeed Nintendo quite famously had a variation on the theme https://www.cbr.com/nintendo-vs-universal-lawsuit-donkey-kong/
 

MochaMilk

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Actions can be taken. Ban them from the service, if it is against terms of tat selling platform then fair enough take that too.
I don't see the basis for taking legal action under any generally sensible/agreed upon notions of lawmaking. Where is the stealing from someone else's work? I don't see a pirated game involved in this (or at least not any charges so far discussed), don't see assets reused in something else. Profit not a thing you can do? Since when?
As far as having a government go arrest them and charge them with a crime aiming towards a fine or potentially jail... way beyond the pale. The "victims" in this are basically non existent, the damages similarly non existent. If no harm has been done then does rather cause doubt on censuring someone with the law.

Equally as covered above fan games are not done out of hate. They are done out of legal requirement -- see trademark genericide ( https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/...-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet ). Indeed Nintendo quite famously had a variation on the theme https://www.cbr.com/nintendo-vs-universal-lawsuit-donkey-kong/
I think you're quite aware of the wrongdoings of the suspect in question, but are unwilling to accept the consequences he faced. It's over the top, I know, but that's how it goes. If people don't like it, then don't give them a reason to target you. I never said I supported the actions taken, but I do think it's a fair move and I can understand why they'd do it. Seems like Nintendo has really been hankering down on protecting their properties lately. People shouldn't be surprised of this really.
 

FAST6191

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I think you're quite aware of the wrongdoings of the suspect in question, but are unwilling to accept the consequences he faced. It's over the top, I know, but that's how it goes. If people don't like it, then don't give them a reason to target you. I never said I supported the actions taken, but I do think it's a fair move and I can understand why they'd do it. Seems like Nintendo has really been hankering down on protecting their properties lately. People shouldn't be surprised of this really.

Distributing hacked pokemon. Sure ban them from the game, their device (account and even person too if they want) from the service as well.

As far as any kind of wrongdoing that ought to see the law involved... not even close and I find it completely absurd that anybody would or would even support a law saying as such.
 
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MochaMilk

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Distributing hacked pokemon. Sure ban them from the game, their device (account and even person too if they want) from the service as well.

As far as any kind of wrongdoing that ought to see the law involved... not even close and I find it completely absurd that anybody would or would even support a law saying as such.
They probably are aware that banning people over and over isn't going to fix the problem. They've used people as examples before, so maybe that's what is going on here. Once again, you misunderstand. I don't support this law they've enforced. I think it's too extreme.
 

vaugerbird

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I don't think I'm adding anything to the overall conversation, but why did they seize a pair of tweezers? I kinda understand the PC and the phones, but why tweezers? The only thing I could guess is if he was hardmodding, but if that was the case, why wouldn't they seize every electronic related tool? Maybe I'm reading too much into this.
 

MetoMeto

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Pokemon and arest dont go together...
Will Nintendo focus more on making games instead of aresting and suing. Are these gaming companies retarded, honestly?
 

FAST6191

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I don't think I'm adding anything to the overall conversation, but why did they seize a pair of tweezers? I kinda understand the PC and the phones, but why tweezers? The only thing I could guess is if he was hardmodding, but if that was the case, why wouldn't they seize every electronic related tool? Maybe I'm reading too much into this.
Maybe they are gunshy after
http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Team_Twiizers

Pokemon and arest dont go together...
Not even the first time discussions on this site for pokemon related things
https://gbatemp.net/threads/russian...ce-for-playing-pokemon-go-in-a-church.470334/
 

MetoMeto

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Hayato213

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pokemons are so cute children oriented creatures, and games are so innocent...and than you hear the word "arested" in the same sentence...yeah....nah....

It is just not pokemon though any sort of modding in video game over there in Japan is illegal, regardless if it softmod or hard mod.
 

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The actual law literally does make it illegal to mess with saves if they are protected.

I finally took a look at the official english translation.

What it pretty much does is apply their equivalent of the DMCA to game saves, which until the amendment in 2018 were not covered.

Note that getting said modified saves from outside of japan doesn't dodge the law, as it specifically includes importing.

This arrest was one of the things that the law was amended specifically to allow jailing for.

It also catches save exploits used for softmodding/execution of unsigned code. Soundhax is still MAYBE not blocked by it because the sound player program is intended to read user supplied sound files. For the same reason free dvd boot is not directly prohibited by the new change, because a user supplied burned dvd movie is intended to be processed by the console's dvd player. But the law still gets you, because you are using it to run unsigned code, which bypasses the restriction that tries to prevent you from doing it.

The 2018 changes were intended to, and do, close loopholes that were in active use. People were saying "it's just a save game, those aren't copyrighted, they don't count, you can't touch me" and it was working before the change.

Note. what counts as a protected save is very broad. A save being inside a cart counts, because no interface is given to access it directly. a save file on a PC doesn't automatically count, though if cryptographic signing or checksums are involved, then it DOES count. The general rule for modifying a PC save is that if you can make arbitrary changes with a hex editor, and have the file still be accepted if the format is valid, there is no technological measure preventing it, and you can do it legally. Validating the structure of the save file in itself doesn't count either. But if there is any attempt to specifically detect the file being changed and prevent it from being loaded, then it counts.

If a game reads a graphic file and use it for a texture and you can simply replace it and the game loads the changed texture, that's fine for an installed PC game, because there is no technological measure preventing it. Drop in a different model? Just fine, as long as the game will accept it. PC game mods that are intended to be possible are fine. Even if not specifically intended, if there's nothing really stopping you from it besides getting the format of the file right, it's fine.

A clarifying example is the original DOS DOOM game. Even before PWADs existed, the game accepts any valid iwad that conforms to the structure expected. So you are allowed to make your own. iD software added pwad support, to make modding more convenient, but it was not originally intended when the game was made. There is no technological measure protecting the iwad file. The unregistered version, however was designed to only take the iwad it comes with, to stop people from getting the whole game without paying. This version DOES have a technological measure protecting the iwad. Pwads that run with the shareware iwad are fine. But making say an iwad that effectively converted the shareware version into the registered version would be possible to prosecute under the law.

The guy got in trouble because his actions were provable. If you just do it for yourself, it's very hard to actually get proof, and prosecution is thus difficult.

It is unlikely that the law will be used to prosecute anyone against the spirit of the law. Prosecuting someone for modding their single player Skyrim is not within the spirit of the law. This use of the law was definitely within it's spirit.
 
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