Jailed Hacker Released: Continues to Owe Millions to Nintendo for Illegal ROMs!

Hayley Williams

Gary Bowser, member of the hacking group Team-Xecuter, was convicted for creating and selling circumvention devices enabling users to play illegal ROMs on consoles, including Switch and 3DS. In February 2022, he was sentenced to 40 months in prison and $14.5 million in damages, of which $10 million is considered the priority payment to Nintendo. In an interview with Nick Moses, Bowser claimed he has paid $175 of the damages to date and must continue to pay Nintendo 25-30% of his monthly income for the rest of his life. Bowser was released from federal prison in late March and is now located at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, awaiting final processing before returning to Canada.

Given that Bowser is 53 years old, he is unlikely to fully repay the $14.5 million in damages and suggests he will be paying Nintendo for the rest of his life. Bowser’s case highlights the message that piracy is taken seriously by Nintendo and that circumventing digital rights management (DRM) technology comes with severe financial consequences.


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