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[Update] Nintendo Suing ROM Sites For Copyright Infringement

by Jordan Peters

Arizona company could be liable for massive financial damage, says Nintendo.

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Emulators have been incredibly popular in the retro gaming community for quite some time, and with different software that allows gamers to go back and revisit classic games a number of sites have come to be go-to destinations for the ROM files that contain games.  In many cases, these games are no longer available anywhere else.

Well Nintendo has filed a federal complaint against two popular ROM sites.  Operated out of his Arizona LLC, the owner of Mathias Designs runs LoveROMS & LoveRetro — two websites which allow anyone to download files for free.

These domains may not be around for long

In the complaint, Nintendo calls the sites an “open and notorious” online destination for pirated software.  They claim that the sites display, reproduce, and distribute a number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo IP.

Nintendo is not only looking to get the websites shut down, but is also looking for statutory damages of $150K per game and $2,000,000 for each infringement of Nintendo’s trademark.  The websites in question are still online for the time being and it’s unclear whether Mathias Designs will look to fight the lawsuit.

Nintendo isn’t the only older platform that the ROM sites host content for.  Alongside numerous retro Nintendo consoles, the sites advertise games from older Sega consoles like the Dreamcast and Genesis, as well as games from older PlayStation platforms like the PS2, PSP, and others.

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Both sites were created in 2013 and see millions of visitors each month.

Nintendo and piracy news has been prevalent of late and retro games seem like they should be the last thing on the company’s mind.  A hardware exploit on the Nintendo Switch console has exposed millions of consoles to a hack that can be done with a paperclip which allows for pirated software of new releases.  It seemingly also opened the door to game hacks, which recently popped up in their popular online shooter, Splatoon 2.

[Update]  The two sites that Nintendo levied the lawsuit against have now gone offline.

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