Devices such as the R4 and Magicom, which allow players to use SD cards with Nintendo devices to play homebrew games, development versions of commercial titles and downloaded commercial ROMs, have been a thorn in Nintendo's side for some time. While there's arguably little for the company to worry about in the homebrew market, the fact that these devices also enable the use of pirated ROM images has proven to be something of a concern. As such, Nintendo has been taking strong legal action in an attempt to defend its copyrights -- with the result being that the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium and, this month, France have banned the sale of these storage and copying devices.

Nintendo originally took French firm Divineo to court for the production of game copying devices in 2009, but lost the case. That decision has now, however, been reversed by the Paris Court of Appeals.

The French case has imposed over ?460,000 in criminal fines on some prolific importers, distributors and sellers of the devices (including Divineo and five other companies) across Paris, Marseille and Strasbourg. Several thousand devices were seized by law enforcement in raids in December 2007 and November 2008, and the perpetrators have this month been ordered to pay over ?4.8 million in damages to Nintendo. Some suspects have also been given suspended prison sentences.

"Nintendo supported this criminal action not only for the company's sake, but for the interests of its game developer partners who spend time and money legitimately developing software for Nintendo's game platforms, and customers who expect the highest standards and integrity from products bearing the Nintendo name," said Stephan Bole, managing director of Nintendo France.

Nintendo is taking a firm stance on piracy and the devices which enable it. You can find out more about its campaign at the official website -- which features the sternest Mario you'll ever see.

This article originally appeared on as Sale of Game Copying Devices Ruled Illegal in France, Nintendo Praises Decision