The Internet is filled with websites that host ROMs for Nintendo consoles. These ROMs are used by people all over the world in emulators. Many of these are unauthorized copies and Nintendo have begun to take legal action against the websites that host these ROMs.
Earlier this week, Nintendo sued two such websites: LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co. The lawsuit is based off copyright and trademark infringement claims. According to a report by TorrentFreak, the official complaint by Nintendo reads,
“The LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites are among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated video games. Through the LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites, Defendants reproduce, distribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games, all without Nintendo’s permission. Defendants are not casual gamers but are instead sophisticated parties with extensive knowledge of Nintendo’s intellectual property and the video game industry more generally.”
As of July 22nd, LoveRETRO has been taken offline and LoveROMS has removed all Nintendo titles. “Loveretro has effectively been shut down until further notice. Thanks for your patronage to date and we hope to get this figured out.”
The lawsuit was filed on July 19th in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The reason Nintendo is targeting these two sites in particular is that they see them as professional operations making profits. Nintendo’s lawsuit requests compensation for statutory damages of $150,000 per game infringement and up to $2,000,000 for each trademark infringement. With this in mind, the websites could potentially owe Nintendo up to $100 million as they host over 140 copyrighted titles. Obviously, Nintendo does not expect financial compensation with a figures that high, the purpose of this lawsuit is most likely just to close down the websites.
Nintendo is requesting injunctions ordering the close down of the sites. The company also wants the site owner Jacob Mathias to reveal the source of the unauthorized ROMs.