Nintendo Orders ROM Site to Delete all Games after Winning Court Case

The owner could face five years in prison if he fails to comply

by David Coulson
Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Earlier this year, Nintendo won a court case against the illegal ROM site ROMUniverse, suing the website for $2.1 million. Nintendo first began legal proceedings in 2019 against the site, with their lawyers calling the site “brazen and mass-scale infringement.” New court documents now reveal that the judge has ordered ROMUniverse to delete its ROMs or face further legal consequences.

Following Nintendo’s win, RomUniverse’s owner Matthew Storman agreed to pay the $2.1 million in damages in $50 monthly instalments, I hope they aren’t relying on that money because it would take him approximately 3,500 years to pay the damages. After failing to make his first payment, Nintendo filed a permanent injunction against Storman as they feared he could be put the site back online.

The court documents reveal that they order Storman to “permanently destroy all unauthorized Nintendo games or other unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s intellectual property including movies, books, and music.” Matthew Storman has until August 17th to comply with the order, and until August 20th to verify he has done so. If he chooses not to he could face perjury charges, which carries up to a five-year prison sentence in the United States.

In recent years we have seen Nintendo begin to go after ROM websites, with many others taking pre-emptive action to remove ROMs from their website. Popular ROM website EmuParadise removed all of its ROMs and ISOs from the site in 2018 stating that “It’s not worth it for us to risk potentially disastrous consequences.” It will be interesting to see what the result of this court case has on other ROM sites, whether they will look to get out of harm’s way by removing the site before Nintendo targets them, or whether they will challenge them. Nintendo is notoriously bad at preserving games, giving players little option when it comes to playing classic games, hopefully, one day Nintendo will begin selling retro titles on the Nintendo Switch‘s Eshop, I fancy playing Ocarina of Time again for the 1,000th time.