On July 8, a Chinese man living in Japan was arrested for selling modded files of Zelda on the internet.
According to the Broadcast System of Nigata, 27-year-old Ichimin Sho was arrested for selling data from Zelda software. As reported by Dexerto, he listed the illegal data on an auction site in April. From rare items to beyond-max player stats, the hacker promised to offer customized services tailored to users’ requests. He described the service as “the ultimate save data,” charging 3,500 yen ($32 USD).
During the detainment, he confessed that he has sold over “10 million yen” worth of save files, which is approximately $90,814 in USD.
Deputy Director Okazawa of the Cybercrime Countermeasures Division of the Niigata Prefectural Police commented, “Modification of saved data should not be done in violation.” He then asked people not to exacerbate the violation by purchasing the data.
Japan recently seems to be rather active when it comes to data violations. For instance, in February, a Pokemon Sword & Shield fan selling modified Shiny Pokemon was sent to jail for violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Law in Japan. The same law was applied when Nintendo issued copyright infringement over GO-Karting Company.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., there is no single principal data protection legislation; rather, hundreds of laws enacted on both the federal and state levels that serve to protect private data. This could be one of the reasons why U.S. games suffer from rampant data violation more.