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NINTENDO OF AMERICA APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF COPYRIGHT FELONY LEGISLATION

 NINTENDO OF AMERICA APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF COPYRIGHT FELONY LEGISLATION
 WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo of America Inc. today praised the U.S. Congress for passing legislation to make software piracy and other forms of copyright infringement a felony. The bill, S. 893, introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and supported by Rep. William Hughes (D-N.J.), will be sent to President George Bush for signature in the near future.
 Nintendo worked closely with more than 60 other companies in the video game industry to increase the penalties for serious violations of copyright law.
 Under the measure passed by the House and Senate, anyone who, within a 180-day period, willfully infringes ten or more copyrights and reproduces or distributes copies having a retail value of $2,500, can be fined up to $250,000 and sentenced to prison for up to five years. A second offense would mean a prison sentence of up to ten years.
 "Nintendo expresses deep appreciation to the Congress for recognizing that piracy is a serious problem for our industry," said Lynn E. Hvalsoe, Nintendo of America's general counsel.
 Nintendo and the U.S. companies that develop Nintendo-licensed video games and license film and character rights have been victimized by the piracy of millions of video game cartridges, and have been unable under current law to deter infringers.
 "If counterfeiting continues unchecked, thousands of U.S. jobs in the video game industry will be jeopardized," continued Hvalsoe. "We believe that felony sanctions will provide a strong deterrent and an effective tool for prosecutors and copyright owners."
 Nintendo of America Inc. sells personal, home and arcade video games in the United States. The Redmond, Wash.-based company is headquarters for the marketing operations in the Western Hemisphere.
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 /CONTACT: Lynn E. Hvalsoe, 206-882-2040, James L. Bikoff, 202-775-7151, or Donald F. Massey, 202-828-8805, all for Nintendo of America/ CO: Nintendo of America ST: District of Columbia IN: CPR SU:


PS -- NY084 -- 8581 10/09/92 18:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 9, 1992
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