Australian TV news show A Current Affair recently covered the story of the man slapped with a $1.5 million dollar AU fine for pirating Super Mario Bros.Wii.
A reticent James Burt (pictured) himself appears in the piece, saying that the fine will have a “devastating affect” on his life. The 24-year old added, “It’s so easy to get carried away and take part in things you may not agree with.”
Burt admitted that what he did was “very stupid,” and something he would have to “work through for the rest of his life.” Interestingly, a broken street date may have helped contribute to Burt’s eventually piracy, as he stated that he found the game in a retail store over a week before it was to be officially released. Recounting to online friends that he already possessed the game led them to demand proof, which in turn led Burt to make the fateful decision to upload the game to the Internet.
The reporter engages a bit of hyperbole in the report, saying that the decision to upload the game by Burt led to “billions of gamers around the globe” receiving the game free of charge. Immediately following the reporter’s use of “billions,” a Nintendo spokesperson appears and pegs the number of downloads at around 50,000, which still equals a significant loss of revenue for the publisher.
The report uses a $1.6 million dollar figure as what Burt owes, which combines the $1.5 million dollar fine and $100,000 in court costs he must reimburse to Nintendo.
Burt had a few words of wisdom for others in the gaming community, saying “Don’t do what I did.”