Nintendo Files Suit Against ROM Websites


If you love ROMs, Nintendo may not be in love with you. On July 19th, Nintendo filed suit in the Arizona federal court against Jacob Mathias and Mathias Designs for copyright infringement. The dispute arises from the websites and, both of which held hundreds of Nintendo game ROMS for download.

Nintendo takes a hardline stance against ROMS. Nintendo’s corporate website states the company does not abide by the ‘Second Copy’ rule and the company views the download of ROMs as an illegal act. Overall, Nintendo views the emulator market as a threat to the entire video game industry.

The legal documents, obtained by, describe the two websites as “among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated video games.” Nintendo also claimed the websites violated several Nintendo trademarks by using their Nintendo, NintendoDS, Gameboy, and Gameboy Advance logos.

Nintendo is seeking damages for Copyright Infringement, Trademark Infringement, and Unfair Competition in the amount of $150,000 for each infringement of Nintendo copyrighted work and $2,000,000 for each instance of trademark infringement. The suit claims both sites see up to 15 million visitors per month, so the damages sought could add up to a ludicrous amount. Nintendo is also seeking ownership of the domain name of any website which Mathias controls that infringes on Nintendo’s property rights.

Since the suit was filed, has removed its Nintendo ROMs and has shut down completely. This lawsuit will certainly have a chilling effect on the availability of Nintendo ROMs but no one can say for how long.

What is your opinion of ROMs? Do you disagree with Nintendo and think they are legal so long as you hold the physical game? Do websites such as and promote retro gaming or do they damage the video game industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

We will bring you updates on this story as it develops.

Published by Michael Trosper

Michael is a licensed attorney in Montana. He's been a gamer since he was young when his dad purchased him a Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog for his birthday. He's kept his finger on the pulse of the gaming industry ever since. When he isn't practicing law or traveling the world, he can be found exploring open world RPG's or playing team based shooters on Xbox or PC.