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Windows 'openness' hailed in Nintendo game defeat

Bizarro-World judge calls it

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Updated It's a Bizarro-World indeed when Microsoft is held up by a judge in Europe as a paragon of openness, but that's apparently what happened in a law suit brought by Nintendo.

The games console and software maker has lost its case against Divineo Group in a Paris suit to block the sale of Nintendo DS Flash cartridges in France.

The judge dismissing Nintendo's case is reported to have said that by blocking non-Nintendo carts, the company is purposely locking out developers from their consoles.

Maxconsole, a site run by Max Louran of Divineo, wrote the judge said Nintendo: "Should be more like Windows where ANYONE can develop any application if they wish to."

The ruling has been seized upon as a victory for those building homebrew games or who install non-Nintendo games on systems via the Flash carts, and were worried that Nintendo's lawyers would come after them. The carts allow non-Nintendo games to be run on systems like the popular DS. The carts do this because they bypass Nintendo's DRM.

Maxconsole wrote: "Nintendo is deemed to be 'illegally' protecting their system by locking users out. Therefore, developers should not actually require separate development kits and should just be able to develop applications as they wish on retail versions of Nintendo's consoles."

A Nintendo spokesperson told The Reg: "We are reviewing the judgment and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

It would seem Europe is shaping up to be hostile territory for Nintendo on this topic. A court in Spain last month dismissed the company's case against Grupo Movilquick over alternative cartridges for Nintendo DS devices.

Techdirt and Publico.es reported that although the judge found the cartridges circumvented Nintendo's DRM and could be used for pirating games and playing games downloaded from the internet, they also extended the devices by adding functionality not offered by Nintendo. ®

This article has been updated to include comment from Nintendo.

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