In a pretty interesting turn of events, legal action has been sought against Nintendo for breach of European consumer rights. The same had been notified by Norway to Germany, and consequently, Germany took the matter to court. After a year of proceedings, the trial has reportedly begun.

As Norwegian Site Press Fire reports, Nintendo will be defending the case against the VZBV (German consumer rights enforcer, backed by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection) is the plaintiff. Two interesting takeaways are the fact that that the trial is done behind closed doors and journalists can’t access any material related to proceedings, and, a verdict is expected before Christmas, or at most, in January. Here is a brief rundown of the events leading to the case, and the recent developments (thanks to Reddit user Fawesum):-

Summary:

  • According to the Norwegian gaming website PressFire.no, who has been in contact with the court, the trial started today. Nintendo is defending, the VZBV (German consumer rights enforcer, backed by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection) is the plaintiff.

  • The trial is done behind closed doors and the press is not permitted information about the case.

  • The trial is happening in the Frankfurt court.

  • A verdict is expected before christmas, but at the latest early January.

  • According to the article, which has an interview with the Norwegian Consumer Council, further escalation to the EU courts are on the table, pending the outcome here. This to get an updated definition of what “performance has begun” actually means for digital purchases.

Some other points for those that hasn’t followed the case:

  • Norway is a part of the European Economic Community, which means they share many EU laws.

  • PressFire.no and Norway’s Consumer Rights Council tested the eShop for consumer unfriendly practices and found Nintendo does not allow cancellation of pre-orders at all, even before the game is released, which is in violation of Norwegian and EU law.

  • Nintendo in their reply say they don’t agree with the council, and that they aren’t breaking any laws. They say that, because you can pre-load the game instantly after pre-ordering, the “performance has begun” (which is the wording of the law), and the sales contract is fulfilled.

  • The Council however, says you can’t claim “performance has begun” until the game is playable, even though you’ve pre-loaded it.

  • Nintendo was promptly reported to the Norwegian authorities, who formally made an “enforcement request” to Germany, as Nintendo of Europe is based there. Germany promptly dragged Nintendo to court to make them abide by the laws.

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