Nintendo wins $12 million from ROM site LoveRoms
Nintendo has finally settled a lawsuit filed against two ROM sites this past July. The owners of LoveRoms and LoveRETRO have settled with Nintendo for US $12 million.
Nintendo sued the websites for trademark and copyright infringement. The sites hosted ROMs of Nintendo games and distributed them to the public. Jacob Mathias and his wife, the operators of the websites, settled with Nintendo to prevent a long and costly court process. Still, the judge overseeing the case, Jennifer Zipps, awarded Nintendo $12,230,000. It’s highly unlikely that Mathias and his wife have these kinds of funds, so there will probably be a private agreement between the two parties to pay a lower sum in penalties.
In actuality, Nintendo may have pushed the judge to award a high amount as a deterrent to other ROM distributors and websites. Nintendo is known for somewhat draconian tactics when it comes to protecting its IPs, especially when ROMs are concerned. Considering Nintendo has offered access to many of its retro titles through commercial avenues like the Wii Virtual Shop and the NES Classic, the company is well within its rights to seek damages against people and organizations that distribute Nintendo games without proper licensure.
This ruling will surely scare off even more ROM sites and distributors. Soon after Nintendo began the lawsuit against LoveRoms and LoveRETRO this past summer, Emuparadise (widely considered to be one of the best ROM sites) took down all of its Nintendo ROMs and has since kept them off the site.