Nintendo of America is taking legal action against two popular websites, LoveROM.com and LoveRETRO.co, that specialize in the online distribution of video game ROMs and emulations. Specifically, the sites in question allow visitors to download or emulate thousands of video games. Nintendo’s titles provide a large bulk of the sites’ inventory and are among the most popular games available therein. The lawsuit filing claims that Nintendo’s games have been downloaded a total of 60 million times without authorization.
The lawsuit sees Nintendo suing for three counts of copyright violation; copyright infringement, unfair competition, and trademark infringement. The iconic gaming company is seeking damages of up to £2 million for each of its trademarks displayed and up to $150,000 per copyrighted property infringed.
The filing refers to the creators of the websites as “sophisticated parties” exercising a “willful disregard” for Nintendo’s properties. It reads:
“Defendants have conducted their online piracy business in willful disregard of Nintendo’s rights. 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.”
Nintendo is also seeking the permanent dismantling of both LoveROM.com and LoveRETRO.co. The websites, allegedly run by Jacob Mathias and Mathias designs LLC, saw up to 17 million monthly users before recently being taken offline. At this moment, LoveROM.com has been entirely removed, whereas LoveRETRO.co is showing this page:
Many of Nintendo’s older titles featured on these sites are still in heavy circulation through a number of the company’s marketing models including their online eShop and their amazingly popular miniaturized retro consoles; NES Classic Edition and SNES Classic Edition (along with their Japanese counterparts). Moreover, you can’t blame any company for not wanting to go toe-to-toe with Nintendo’s legal team, given their successful track record.
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