The Arizona-based couple behind ROM site LoveROMs have lost a major case with Nintendo, with damages running over $12 million (around £9.5 million) for hosting pirated ROMs of Nintendo games.
Jacod and Cristian Mathias admitted to copyright and trademark infringement for LoveROMs and LoveRetro, which were live until Nintendo challenged them in July of this year. The websites were pulled when Nintendo threatened legal action, and now pays host to the following apology statement:
Our website, LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co, previously offered and performed unauthorised copies of Nintendo games, in violation of Nintendo’s copyrights and trademarks. 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 www.nintendo.com for information about the Nintendo Game Store.
The size of damages is certainly going to be partially to act as a deterrent for others running ROM sites – whether or not they will actually end up paying that amount (which seems unlikely) is another thing – and indeed a number of these disappeared earlier this year when Nintendo went after them.