Nintendo has had a notorious wrap for not allowing anyone to mess with their intellectual properties, even if it is fan driven. In a harsh move, Nintendo has filed lawsuits against some of the most popular ROM sites, LoveROMs and LoveRETRO due to mass copyright infringement.
Both of these websites have, in the past, hosted a countless number of ROMs for all different systems. Through these ROMs, people can enjoy games from their childhood, or from an era before their time. Emulation has been around for what seems like ages, and while many companies are not thrilled about this practice, they have not taken serious action against these websites, that is, until now.
Both of the affected ROM sites, while not exclusively hosting Nintendo ROMs, have still hosted hundreds of ROMs from the company. In response, Nintendo has brought both websites to court, citing copyright and trademark infringements, and have demanded “statutory damages of $150,000 per infringing Nintendo game and up to $2,000,000 for each trademark infringement.” When all of this is added up, both websites are looking to pay over $100 million in damages, which is seemingly impossible from these arguably hobby sites.
In addition, Nintendo stated the following in their lawsuit:
The LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites are among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated video games. Through the LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites, Defendants reproduce, distribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games, all without Nintendo’s permission. 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.
Furthermore, both LoveROMs and LoveRETRO are already starting to feel the harsh sting of Nintendo’s strict copyright infringement beliefs. As of now, LoveRETRO is no longer online, and while LoveROMs is still online, all Nintendo related titles have been removed. LoveROMs has made a small statement, promising to keep its community updated as they move forward, but things have been dark for LoveRETRO.
We will keep you posted as updates come to light relating to the situation.