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 LoveROMS.com and LoveRetro.co, 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 torrentfreak.com, 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, LoveROMS.com has removed its Nintendo ROMs and LoveRetro.co 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 LoveROMS.com and LoveRetro.co 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.