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Nintendo sues two ROM-hosting sites for ‘brazen’ IP infringement

JAPANESE GAMING COMPANY Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against two ROM-hosting sites for “brazen and mass-scale infringement of Nintendo’s intellectual property rites.”

LoveROMs and LoveRETRO, which Nintendo claims have over 17 million visitors each month, are allegedly owned by Jacob Mathias and Mathias Designs, L.L.C, and are “among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated video games.”

“Through the LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites, Defendants reproduce, distribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games, all without Nintendo’s permission,” Nintendo’s lawsuit, seen by TorrentFreak, alleges.

“This includes thousands of games developed for nearly every video game system Nintendo has ever produced.”

While some such sites may be hobby projects ran by casual gamers, Nintendo sees these two sites as professional operations that profit from using its intellectual property.

“Defendants have conducted their online piracy business in willful disregard of Nintendo’s rights. Defendants are not casual gamers but are instead sophisticated parties with extensive knowledge of Nintendo’s intellectual property and the video game industry more generally,” the lawsuit continues.

“Defendants know or should know that Nintendo owns the copyrights and registered trademarks for thousands of video games, related copyrighted works, and images that appear on Defendants’ illicit websites.”

In response to Ninty’s legal action, LoveROMS has removed all Nintendo games, while LoveRETRO “has effectively been shut down until further notice.”

However, Nintendo is also seeking statutory damages of $150,000 for each Nintendo game hosted on the sites and up to $2,000,000 for each trademark infringement. This means that, with more than 140 copyrighted titles and 40 trademarks on the record, damages could go up to $100m.

Seperately, TorrentFreak reports that Nintendo has also taken action also taken action against a popular Game Boy Advance emulator that was hosted on GitHub, offering JavaScript-powered versions of titles including Advance Wars, Dragon Ball Z, Super Mario Advance, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, and Legend of Zelda. µ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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