Nintendo sues paid ROM site ROM Universe

weatMod

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https://torrentfreak.com/nintendo-sues-romuniverse-for-mass-copyright-infringement/

Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the alleged operator of the popular pirate site RomUniverse. The game company accuses the site of brazen and mass-scale copyright infringement of its games and hopes to shut it down. RomUniverse, which also offers pirated ebooks and movies, sells paid memberships to those who want unlimited downloads.

romuniverselogo.png

Last year Nintendo made headlines worldwide when it filed a lawsuit against the popular ROM sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co.

The legal action effectively shut the sites down with many other platorms voluntarily following suit.

Not all game pirate sites were shaken up by the legal action though. RomUniverse, a site that’s been around for a decade, saw its visitor numbers rise and announced that it would continue to offer Nintendo ROMs.

Fast forward a year and Nintendo is now taking RomUniverse to court. In a complaint filed at a federal court in California, the Japanese gaming giant accuses the site’s alleged operator, Matthew Storman, of “brazen” and “mass-scale” copyright and trademark infringement.

“The Website is among the most visited and notorious online hubs for pirated Nintendo video games. Through the Website, Defendants reproduce, distribute, monetize, and offer for download thousands of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games,” the complaint reads.

Nintendo states that the site, which has 375,000 members, offers downloads for nearly every video game system it has ever produced.

The complaint specifically notes that “hundreds of thousands of copies” have been illegally downloaded through RomUniverse, including nearly 300,000 copies of pirated Nintendo Switch games and more than 500,000 copies of pirated Nintendo 3DS games.

Users of the site can download one file per week for free. Those who want more have to sign up for a paid membership. After an “upgrade” of $30, members are allowed to download as many files as they want. This includes games, but also ebooks and the latest Hollywood movies.

romuniverse.png

As said before, RomUniverse wasn’t impressed by the legal threats Nintendo issued against other sites last year. This didn’t go unnoticed to the game publisher, which specifically mentions the operator’s defiance in its complaint.

“In 2018, around the time that Nintendo successfully enforced its intellectual property rights against other infringing ROM websites, defendant Storman bragged that his Website would continue to offer Nintendo ROMs,” Nintendo writes.

Through the lawsuit, which also lists a count of unfair competition, Nintendo hopes to shut RomUniverse down. The company also requests statutory damages of $150,000 per infringing Nintendo game and up to $2,000,000 for each trademark infringement.

This means that, with dozens of copyrighted titles and trademarks on the record, theoretical damages are well over $100 million.

Finally, Nintendo further asks for a permanent injunction ordering the site and its operator(s) to stop their infringing activities while handing over their domain names to the game publisher.

Update: RomAdmin from RomUniverse informed us that he hasn’t received anything from Nintendo, no recent takedown notices either. The site does respond to takedown notices.

“We’ve always immediately taken down questionable material, per their take down notices,” RomAdmin told TorrentFreak.

 
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ThoD

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I've noticed that nintendo goes on these lawsuit crusades in concentrated timeframes.
Yep, it's usually right before the holiday shopping season. Makes sense.
What doesn't make sense is how 99% of said games that are available aren't even sold in any way, shape or form by Nintendo anymore, as they refuse to do the whole "Virtual Console" thing properly and allow ALL games ever released to be played as VC titles, not like 30 or so a YEAR when it's close to 54000 titles (all Nintendo retro titles that still have valid copyrights for redistribution, counting all retro Nintendo games in general goes WAY above that)...
 

cyn

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a PAID rom site? that's just asking to get every company's legal team's eyes locked right onto you.

hope they get taken down, the same people looking for roms aren't the people who are gonna pay for a specific site.
 

ThoD

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ONLY good thing about this site was that you could find certain games that weren't available anywhere else like certain Japan-only or lesser-known NDS titles... Although since I have them backed up now, site could just go ahead and shut down for all I care:P
 

NoNAND

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Serves them right. Being a ROM site on its own poses such risks, but providing paid ROMs? Pfft that doesn't make sense to me. Why should I buy the game on a sketchy website as a "ROM" while I can opt for the digital download version on Nintendo's official store at any given time.
 
D

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yeah, definitely rooting for nintendo on this one, paid roms is a dumb concept if you're considering that it's not the owners/developers/publishers of the game selling them

paid roms themselves are fine if they're in the form of virtual console or a commercial emulator like the one sega has on steam, just... not pirated roms

whoever thought this was a good idea before making it go live should've gotten sacked long ago
 

Mythical

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ONLY good thing about this site was that you could find certain games that weren't available anywhere else like certain Japan-only or lesser-known NDS titles... Although since I have them backed up now, site could just go ahead and shut down for all I care:P
any hidden gems I should know about?
and yeah pretty stupid, because this just is asking for it. I mean what else would you expect
 
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