Nintendo filed a lawsuit against RomUniverse, one of the last big emulation websites offering Nintendo ROMs both free and paid. Nintendo is suing them for $150,000 per infringing Nintendo game offered on the site and up to $2 million for each trademark infringement.
According to RomUniverse’s search library they have over 6840 Nintendo entries on the site, which would mean that the copyright infringements alone could total more than $1 billion in damages.
TorrentFreak is reporting that Nintendo specifically targeted RomUniverse and owner Matthew Storman because it was one of the sites that defiantly continued to offer up Nintendo ROMs while other sites like ISO Zone either closed up shop or forfeited their library of ROMs following Nintendo’s settlement against LoveROMs for $12 million back in 2018.
In the complaint, Nintendo of America argued…
“The Website is among the most visited and notorious online hubs for pirated Nintendo video games. Through the Website, Defendants reproduce, distribute, monetize, and offer for download thousands of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games. This includes games for nearly every video game system Nintendo has ever produced including hundreds of games for its recently released Nintendo Switch. According to the Website, as of the date of filing this Complaint, hundreds of thousands of copies of Nintendo games have been illegally downloaded through the Website including nearly 300,000 downloads of copies of pirated Nintendo Switch games and more than 500,000 copies of pirated Nintendo 3DS games.”
The site offers limited amounts of free ROMs but requires a $30 membership for unlimited downloads. TorrentFreak notes that RomUniverse has more than 375,000 registered members.
The site did respond to TorrentFreak’s inquiry, with the administrator saying that they haven’t received any notices from Nintendo and haven’t been instructed to take down anything. However, if you visit the site they’re already attempting to stockpile funds to fight Nintendo in court, asking for donations for legal fees.
Nintendo isn’t just seeking exorbitant fees in trademark violations and infringement, they’re also asking the courts to force Storman to turn over the ownership of RomUniverse to them, and to have the site shut down for good.
It’s basically a clear cut case of Nintendo attempting to exterminate the presence of the site from the web.
(Thanks for the news tip Kevin Backalive)
(Main image courtesy of NDY)