Two hugely popular ROMs websites have been taken offline by their owner, LoveROMs and LoveRETRO, are the target of a recent lawsuit by Nintendo (a pdf of which is hosted at TorrentFreak). There’s a ton of information included within the 27-page document, but here’s an explanation of why these sites in particular have been chosen, out of all the similar sites that exist.
“The LoveROMs website alone receives 17 million visitors each month. Such visitors are drawn to the website by the widespread availability of free, unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games and other highly valuable intellectual property. The resulting popularity of Defendants’ LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites has allowed Defendants to reap substantial ill-gotten gains, including through donations and the sale of advertising on the LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites.”
Nintendo requests statutory damages of $150,000 per infringing Nintendo game and up to $2,000,000 for each trademark infringement. This combined with the number of infringements, sets the overall cost of the lawsuit of over $100,000,000.
Both sites are believed to be operated by Jacob Mathias and his Arizona company Mathias Designs LLC. They offer access to a wide variety of ROMs, including many Nintendo games.
Almost immediately, LoveROMs posted an announcement that they were pulling any and all Nintendo IP from the site. The other site named, LoveRETRO, is now down entirely. With a simple message: “Loveretro has effectively been shut down until further notice. Thanks for your patronage to date and we hope to get this figured out.”