Nintendo Sues ROM Site Into Oblivion

Illustration for article titled Nintendo Sues ROM Site Into Oblivion
Image: Nintendo

Back in 2019, we wrote about Nintendo’s efforts to shut down the website RomUniverse, which was hosting and even selling premium access to pirated copies of Nintendo games. That case is now over, the site is gone, and Nintendo has been awarded $2.1 million in damages.

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As Torrentfreak reports, RomUniverse’s Matthew Storman actually decided to try to fight Nintendo in court, and what’s more, to do so without an attorney. That did not go well for Storman, where his defence—based around “disputing that he uploaded any files to said website”—was swiftly picked apart by Nintendo’s actual lawyers, who were able to point to Storman’s own sworn deposition where he admitted to...uploading ROM files to his site.

RomUniverse as it appeared in 2019, hosting not just Nintendo ROMs but also pirated movies and books.
RomUniverse as it appeared in 2019, hosting not just Nintendo ROMs but also pirated movies and books.
Screenshot: Kotaku

While Nintendo originally sought damages of $90,000 for each of the 49 games discovered on the website, the judge awarded the company $35,000 for each, saying that since Storman had already shut down the website and was currently unemployed, that figure was sufficient. Nintendo was also awarded a single sum of $400,000 for statutory trademark damages.

It’s important to note here that Storman wasn’t simply hosting pirated copies of Nintendo games, he was also selling premium access to them, where $30 could get users faster access to ROM files. During the last year of RomUniverse’s operation, Storman says he earned between $30,000-$36,000 from these payments.

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Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

DISCUSSION

Badprenup11
Badprenup

As much as I support keeping old games alive via emulation, especially for games that we all know are never going to see a rerelease, everything this guy in particular did seemed to be stupid decisions.