The United States has recommended that a district court impose a sentencing of five years, as well as more than $4.5 million in fines against Bowser. Not that Bowser, but a hacker by the name of Gary Bowser. This sentence was handed down for his role in a copyright-circumvention scheme to let the Nintendo Switch play unauthorized or stolen games.
Bowser had previously pled guilty to conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and trafficking in circumvention devices back in late 2021. He was a member of a group called Xecuter, which has devices that allow players to gain illegal access to games on the Nintendo Switch with similar devices circumventing the 3DS. When Bowser pleaded guilty, he agreed to pay the $4.5 million fine, but the US has viewed him as having played an “essential” role in Xecuter’s operations (along with interactions with customers), so it’s seeking an actual jail sentence.
“These factors weight strongly in favor of a lengthy term of incarceration,” as read from a sentencing memorandum–its obvious the court wants the seriousness of this crime to be known. “Given Team Xecuter’s notoriety, this case will be used nationally as a benchmark for sentences in other major piracy and technology circumvention cases. Crimes like those committed by Mr. Bowser and his cohorts are a serious threat to video gaming users’ experiences.”