Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the owner of two large ROM-distributing websites. The damages could lead up to $100 million and an injunction in order to gain control over the domain names.
Another casualty via Nintendo’s legal team.
According to a news article first reported by TorrentFreak, Nintendo has sued two ROM sites for ‘mass’ copyright infringement. Both sites are supposedly the property of Jacob Mathias and his Arizona company Mathias Designs LLC. One of the two websites, ‘Loveretro,’ is now offline as a result. The other, ‘LoveROMS,’ is still up, but has removed all of their Nintendo titles.
The lawsuit claims the sites are a commercial infringement, not a fan site or expression of fandom:
Defendants have conducted their online piracy business in willful disregard of Nintendo’s rights. 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. Defendants know or should know that Nintendo owns the copyrights and registered trademarks for thousands of video games, related copyrighted works, and images that appear on Defendants’ illicit websites.
Of course, those aware of Nintendo’s legal history might raise an eyebrow to this. Nintendo has been known to send out their legal team against various fan projects, as well. These projects include, but aren’t limited to:
- Pokémon Uranium, a Pokémon fan game that uses fan-created Pokémon in a brand new area.
- AM2R, a modernized remake of Metroid 2 for the PC.
- Pokémon Prism, another Pokemon fan game that uses modern and new Pokémon systems with a Game Boy Color aesthetic.
- Breath of the NES: A fan reimagining of Breath of the Wild using the NES Legend of Zelda graphics.
- A mod for Super Mario 64 ROMs that allows online multiplayer with different characters.
According to TorrentFreak, the damages could go up to $100 million. It’s more likely that Nintendo just wants the sites shut down via an injunction.
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