Nintendo Thwomps LoveROMs and LoveRetro with Multimillion Dollar Infringement Lawsuits

Big N has let its legal team loose on the ROM websites seeking an estimated $100 million or more in damages.

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Anyone who follows gaming news knows just how protective Nintendo can be over its own intellectual property. Videos get pulled from YouTube all the time for featuring likenesses of Nintendo characters or music, and the company has been particularly aggressive when dealing with hackers and pirates. Unfortunately, the hard lesson hasn't been learned by everyone, and now Nintendo is bringing the full force of its legal team against emulation websites LoveROMs and LoveRetro seeking up to $100 million in damages.

According to a report from Games Industry.biz, Nintendo of America has filed a lawsuit against Jacob Mathias and Mathias Designs LLC, the alleged operators of LoveROMs and LoveRETRO, citing multiple counts of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and unfair competition. The official word is that the two websites are "among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated video games," and that their repositories provide access to "a vast library of unauthorized copies of video games" that ultimately "infringes and threatens irreparable injury to Nintendo's intellectual property rights."

Nintendo is reportedly seeking damages up to $150,000 for each individual infringement of its copyrighted games, and upwards of $2 million for each trademark infringement. We can't say just how many of Nintendo's games were featured on the websites, but most players could put two and two together to understand that the total dollar figure for damages could be enormous. TorrentFreak, the outlet that originally uncovered the story, estimates that damages could get as high as $100 million, though it's possible the figure could go even higher than that.

Naturally, Nintendo wants more than just damages — it wants the sites in question taken down and ownership of the domain names "transferred to the platform holder." On that front, they've essentially already succeeded — LoveRETRO is now offline, and all Nintendo titles have since been pulled from LoveROM. For now, we'll just have to wait to see how the rest of the litigation plays out.

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From The Chatty
    • reply
      July 23, 2018 12:46 PM

      BUT BUT BUT... PRESERVATION!

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        July 23, 2018 12:54 PM

        IT'S NOT THE SAME AS DOWNLOADING TV SHOWS

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        July 23, 2018 1:10 PM

        So what's your suggestion on how we do preserve these titles? Because Nintendo only had 20 or so games on the NES classic, and the emulation job there is way worse than on open source PC and Android emulators.

        As far As I can tell, ROM sites have been the only way for many old games to be experienced by new players

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          July 23, 2018 1:25 PM

          it isn't your job or problem to preserve someone else's IP.

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            July 23, 2018 1:59 PM

            As a person who cares about good video games and their preservation, it is. Eventually I and everyone at Nintendo will be dead, but the games can live on.

    • reply
      July 23, 2018 12:55 PM

      Excellent.

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      July 23, 2018 12:59 PM

      I'm more surprised that Nintendo waited this long to do the ol' takedown. They used to be way more responsive and proactive back in the 90s.

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        July 23, 2018 6:41 PM

        Yeah, this is actually pretty clear cut...I mean Nintendo has a tradition of some really weird interpretations of IP and copyright law as I remember (views that don't really match the actual law at times...I'm not sure if they still contend that all emulation of their hardware (not roms, but emulation...the obvious exception being when they do it) is illegal or not...I'm pretty sure they used to which was not a correct interpretation of anything afaik (so long as you aren't using actual Nintendo code to emulate it wouldn't be illegal afaik)). There was also the time they sued Blockbuster claiming rentals were illegal.

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          July 23, 2018 6:42 PM

          I meant to say Nintendo has a tradition of weird interpretations of IP and copyright...but this is pretty run of the mill stuff so yeah I'm surprised they didn't go after them sooner in a way (though it is basically a game of whack-a-mole).

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      July 23, 2018 1:04 PM

      I've used LoveRoms a lot so that's a bummer. But this is like playing whack a mole for Nintendo

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      July 23, 2018 1:10 PM

      Both of these sites were hosted in Arizona so they kinda had it coming.

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        July 23, 2018 1:19 PM

        That's victim blaming, dude

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          July 23, 2018 1:31 PM

          Is it, really? Are you suggesting that anyone who knows how to build a website and chooses to host it in the United States does not understand the ramifications of what they are doing, hosting stuff like this?

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            July 23, 2018 1:44 PM

            Slow down, turbo. As much as I'd love to take this to the next level, I thought I was clearly making a bad taste joke. Sorry.