On July 19, Nintendo filed suit in an Arizona Federal Court against the operator of two popular retro gaming sites, which had been hosting ROMS of some of the company’s most famous games.

The suit alleges that the two sites, LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co‚ÄĒboth owned and operated by Jacob Mathias‚ÄĒare ‚Äúbuilt almost entirely on the brazen and mass-scale infringement of Nintendo‚Äôs intellectual property rights.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúIn addition to Nintendo‚Äôs video games‚ÄĚ, the suit says, ‚ÄúDefendants reproduce, distribute, and publicly perform a vast library of Nintendo‚Äôs other copyrighted works on and through the LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites, including the proprietary BIOS software for several of Nintendo‚Äôs video game systems and thousands of Nintendo‚Äôs copyrighted musical works and audio recordings.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúDefendants also make extensive use of Nintendo‚Äôs registered trademarks, including the Nintendo logo and the most recognizable Nintendo video game characters, to encourage visitors to download and play unauthorized copies of Nintendo‚Äôs copyrighted works.‚ÄĚ

As you can see below, Mathias’ sites made no effort to conceal the fact they were using Nintendo’s property. Everything from company logos to box art to console branding was employed so that people knew exactly what they were playing when they visited the sites.

Advertisement

A screengrab of a Nintendo game appearing on Loveroms.com
Image: Case 2:18-cv-02282-SPL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA

Nintendo claims in the suit that Loveroms ‚Äúreceives 17 million visitors each month‚ÄĚ, and that ‚ÄúSuch visitors are drawn to the website by the widespread availability of free, unauthorized copies of Nintendo‚Äôs video games and other highly valuable intellectual property.‚ÄĚ

The company is asking the court to award ‚Äú$150,000 for the infringement of each Nintendo copyrighted work‚ÄĚ, and ‚Äúup to $2,000,000 for the infringement of each Nintendo trademark.‚ÄĚ

Advertisement

With well over 100 games having been playable on the sites, that adds up to a lot of money.

Since the suit was filed last week, Loveretro has been taken completely offline (above), while Loveroms posted on its Facebook site yesterday that ‚ÄúAll Nintendo titles have been removed from the site‚ÄĚ.

Advertisement

UPDATE: Nintendo has made a short statement on the case, telling Kotaku:

This is a civil case involving multiple websites that host and promote legacy game ROMs for free and direct download. The sites include hundreds of pirated copies of Nintendo games for multiple Nintendo platforms. The most popular downloads on the website are Nintendo’s first-party titles that have reportedly been downloaded more than 60 million times. The case also involves the unauthorized use and promotion of Nintendo’s registered trademarks and copyrights.

Advertisement

Via TorrentFreak