Nintendo of America filed lawsuit this week against two ROM sites that are supposedly operated by the same company: LoveROMs and LoveRETRO.co. [Thanks, Torrentfreak!]
Both sites are allegedly owned by Jacob Mathias and Mathias Designs, L.L.C., and Nintendo claims they are “among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated video games.”
“Defendants reproduce, redistribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games, all without Nintendo permission.” Nintendo also states that the defendant’s websites have become enormously popular, reaching 17 million visitors each month, because of the illegal distribution of such ROMs, such that the sites reap “substantial ill-gotten gains”, and damage Nintendo and threaten “irreparable injury”.
Nintendo’s lawsuit also covers the “extensive” use of Nintendo properties on the websites, which are allegedly used to encourage visitors into downloading the illegal ROMs. The sites also illegally distribute the proprietary BIOS software for various Nintendo consoles.
“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”, notes Nintendo. They request the takedown of both sites, as well as damages of $150,000 per Nintendo game infringement, as well as up to $2,000,000 for each copyright infringement.
The domain names are also requested to be handed over to Nintendo, and the operators are to reveal the sources of the ROMs.
Since the filing of the lawsuit, LoveRETRO has been taken offline, being shut down until further notice. Meanwhile, LoveROMs has removed all Nintendo titles from the site.