Back in July, Nintendo filed a lawsuit against the owners of two popular ROM sites: LoveROMs.com and LoveRETRO.co. Almost immediately, those sites were taken down as Nintendo sought damages that could have potentially totaled as much as $100 million. The two parties in the lawsuit have reached a settlement, and though Nintendo won’t be taking home as much as it was originally seeking, it’s still receiving a not-insignificant amount of money.
According to the terms of the settlement reached by Nintendo and the married couple who owned LoveROMs and LoveRETRO, Nintendo is owed $12.23 million for this bout of copyright infringement. Nintendo has also been granted a permanent injunction against the couple, which means that they have to hand over the two domain names and whatever infringing ROMs and emulators they have.
While that’s a huge amount of money that the owners of a couple of ROM sites probably don’t have on hand, TorrentFreak points out that they may not have to pay all of it. Instead, Nintendo and the couple may have struck a private agreement to pay significantly less, with that $12 million figure just there to scare off any other ROM sites that may be offering Nintendo games or emulators.
Still, even if Jacob Mathias and if wife (the owners of LoveROMs and LoveRETRO) don’t have to pay that full $12 million, they’re probably suffering some kind of hit to their bank account. After all, they admitted in the settlement that they had both directly and indirectly infringed various Nintendo copyrights and trademarks, so it seems unlikely that they won’t have to pay anything.
Though most gamers seem to consider ROMs and emulators to be something of a gray area when it comes to software piracy, Nintendo has expressed a hard line against them many times in the past. This lawsuit, therefore, didn’t come as much of a surprise when we first heard about it back in July, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. Will other ROM sites remove their Nintendo games entirely to avoid similar lawsuits? Time will tell, so stay tuned.