Nintendo Files Lawsuits Against 2 ROM Sites
posted on by Karen Ressler
Nintendo of America filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Mathias Designs, LLC and husband and wife Jacob Mathias and Cristian Mathias for running the ROM sites LoveROMs.com and LoveRETRO.co. Both sites have since been shut down.
The suit was filed for counts of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and unfair competition. According to Nintendo's complaint, the sites have reproduced and distributed "thousands of games" owned by Nintendo, as well as Nintendo's music, audio, and video game system software. Nintendo also accused the defendants of using registered Nintendo trademarks, including logos and characters.
Nintendo is seeking up to US$150,000 for the infringement of each of its copyrighted works and up to US$2,000,000 for each trademark. The court document lists 142 copyrights and 40 trademarks that the sites allegedly infringed upon, so the potential total is more than US$101 million, not including Nintendo's other demands for attorney's fees.
Nintendo is also seeking to identify the sites' suppliers, take custody of all unauthorized copies of its works, and to take control of the www.LoveROMS.com and www.LoveRETRO.co domain names.
The LoveROMs home page directed users to a search bar to find and download retro games on computers or Android devices. The site's library included games for Nintendo devices as well as other consoles, such as PlayStation and Atari.
Unauthorized ROMS (read-only memory files) distributed online are copies of software that can be played on computers or phones through the use of an emulator that mimics a video game console.
The LoveRETRO website similarly directed users to a library of games, but they could be played online through an emulator.
According to the complaint, Mathias Designs was incorporated in Arizona on February 17, 2016 with Jacob Mathias as the sole manager and employee, though Jacob Mathias had posted a video in 2010 directing users to LoveROMs. Nintendo's complaint also notes that LoveROMs had 17 million visitors each month.
Update: The original lawsuit was filed on July 19 against only Jacob Mathias and Mathias Designs, LLC. ANN has reported the case with three defendants because an updated complaint filed on July 26 added Cristian Mathias as a defendant.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history