Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nintendo Gets Tough on Love Hotels's Renting Games

Another piece of bad news for leisure hotels in Japan which are already under pressure from changes in regulations

A lot of hotel offer free rental of Wii, Nintendo and PS3 game consoles and games; but it looks like Nintendo is trying to stamp with out; with a love hotel in Kobe being raided by the Police for suspicion of breaking the Copyright Laws by hiring Nintendo games to customers

神戸新聞|事件・事故|宿泊客に家庭用ゲーム機貸し出し 神戸のホテル

Back when the Wii and the PS3 were first released, select love hotels would proudly promote that they had the latest, cutting-edge game hardware — as well as that trusty old standby, the PS2, a love hotel perennial favorite.

The consoles are typically either located in the room or can be ordered via room service, often with a surcharge for games.

Now, a hotel in Kobe called "Swing" is under investigation for renting games like Mario Kart Wii and Resident Evil 5 to guests, a violation of Japanese copyright law. In Japan, renting video games and consoles is generally not permitted. According to the Japanese reports, the hotel in question is a "camouflage love hotel", meaning that it looks a bit classier than your typical love hotel, but functions in much the same way, renting rooms by the hour. The hotel, however, does say it accepts families and vacationers as well.

Last fall, five individuals rented games at Swing, prompting a crackdown from the cops. The hotel, however, offers consoles for guests' enjoyment free of charge.

This all falls into the gray area of Japanese law,

Another English article also coves the topic -

Some interesting points are made in this article -

Japanese gamers apparently face arrest if they lend their games to friends – police recently executed a search warrant based on the unauthorised lending of 5 games, charging the lender with copyright infringement.

Police raided a Kobe hotel after discovering they had freely provided Wii and PS3 consoles and games to guests, confiscating games and consoles as evidence.

The hotel, “Swing,” is accused of lending the games to at least 5 customers during 2010. In an unusual application of copyright law, police are charging the hotel with copyright violation, specifically the “screening” the games to guests without permission from the copyright holder.

Police are also investigating whether they were secretly operating a love hotel, another very serious crime.

Commercial game rental itself is illegal in Japan, but as freely lending a game to another party may constitute “unauthorised display,” gamers are also wondering if they face arrest for merely lending games to each other.

In particular, this rather draconian interpretation of the law suggests that virtually the entirety of Japan’s manga cafe industry is in fact illegal, as they likely do not seek permission from every copyright holder of the products they lend to customers on their premises.

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