Nintendo ROM Site Owner To Pay $12 Million For Game Piracy

Nintendo 'wins' £9.3m from ROM-hosting sites for

A settlement has been reached between the publisher and the owners of two Nintendo ROM emulator websites, to the amount of $12 million. LoveROMs and LoveRETRO were sister sites operated by a husband and wife, Jacob and Cristian Mathias, and Nintendo was seeking millions in damages for their distribution of Nintendo IP.

But following the lawsuit, both sites effectively went down.

"Plaintiff is hereby awarded judgment against all Defendants, jointly and severally, in the amount of $12,230,000", the judgement reads. "Through the websites, the defendants reproduce, distribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo's video games, all without Nintendo's permission". LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co acknowledges that it caused harm to Nintendo, its partners, and customers by offering infringing copies of Nintendo games and has agreed to cease all such activities. To access legitimate Nintendo games online, please visit http://www.nintendo.com for information about the Nintendo Game Store. The suit was filed for counts of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and unfair competition.

Nintendo described the pair as "sophisticated" pirates, and dismissed the notion that they were casual fans looking to preserve video game history. Nearly immediately, those sites were taken down as Nintendo sought damages that could have potentially totaled as much as $100 million.

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At the time Nintendo sued Mathias, the company was asking he pay $150,000 for each pirated game, and another $2 million for the infringement of each Nintendo trademark.

The LoveROMs home page directed users to a search bar to find and download retro games on computers or Android devices.

This lawsuit has had a ripple effect within the ROM world, seeing many sites close down out of fear that the video game maker will come after them next.

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