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Nintendo Wins $12 Million in Court Case Against Husband and Wife Who Ran ROM Sites - VGChartz
Nintendo Wins $12 Million in Court Case Against Husband and Wife Who Ran ROM Sites

Nintendo Wins $12 Million in Court Case Against Husband and Wife Who Ran ROM Sites - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 December 2018 / 2,545 Views

Nintendo of America took Arizona couple, Jacob and Cristian Mathias, to court for operating ROM sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRetro.co. The couple admitted to copyright and trademark infringement and have been ordered to pay Nintendo $12.23 million. 


The websites were registered under Mathias Designs and offered pirated versions of many Nintendo games such as Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong Country, Pokémon Yellow and Super Mario World.

Both websites were taken offline when Nintendo threatened legal action. 

LoveROMS.com has the following statement on the website:

Apology to Nintendo

Our website, LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co, previously offered and performed unauthorized copies of Nintendo games, in violation of Nintendo’s copyrights and trademarks. LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co acknowledges that it caused harm to Nintendo, its partners, and customers by offering infringing copies of Nintendo games and has agreed to cease all such activities. To access legitimate Nintendo games online, please visit www.nintendo.com for information about the Nintendo Game Store.

Thanks Eurogamer.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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28 Comments

Ljink96 (on 13 November 2018)

lol, how is this greedy? It's within their right. You break the law, you pay. You're profiting off a company's IP. IT's not greed as much as it is following protocol. What did we expect them to do, sue for a buck? This is a serious offense.


think-man (on 13 November 2018)

Good, I hope to see more lawsuits in the future. Though 12 million is only pennies in comparison to the value of pirated video games over the years.


  • -6
Shiken (on 13 November 2018)

@Errorist

Do you have any idea the amount of ad revenue this site got? The fact that they AGREED to pay 12 mil should speak volumes to that point.

They were profiting off of Nintendo IPs, wether or not they were free to download is irrelevant.


  • +2
shikamaru317 (on 13 November 2018)

I think you way overestimate ad revenue, there is no way that this couple has $12m, they probably barely made enough to keep the bills paid. They likely only agreed to it to avoid jail time, and plan to file for bankruptcy to avoid paying the $12m.


  • +1
Shiken (on 13 November 2018)

Bankruptcy will not eliminate a court judgement. If that is indeed their plan, they have gravely miscalculated.


  • +2
ResilientFighter (on 13 November 2018)

I will never understand people defending the rich and powerful when they are not close to that themselves. This site getting closed and a 100 grand fine should have been enough but nintendo is greedy and cruel apparently. Ad rev is no where close to a million on that site.


  • 0
think-man (on 14 November 2018)

@ResilientFighter do the crime, take the punishment.


  • 0
ResilientFighter (on 14 November 2018)

i know man but 12 million is crazy they could never pay that before death lol if nintendo wants to make people fear doing this kind of site they should have just sued for the amount equal to what profit they made off the site.


  • +1
Ganoncrotch (on 14 November 2018)

that first site I've had reports from people that ended up with Malware on their laptop and tablet after getting some roms from there, so not only were they getting traffic to their site by offering Nintendo IP for free but also they allowed ads and such to run on their site which had malicious code on it.

I'm just saying.... if you read this story and think "that poor couple were just spreading love online" you have severely romanticised two people who ran a piracy site who didn't have issues with accepting money for IPs they didn't own and getting ad revenue from companies who installed malware on their visitors PC's.

Also there is a reason the Fine is so high, Nintendo might never see a cent of it from those people, but now when someone considers setting up a similar site online they might think about this lawsuit and think twice about their idea for offering up companies IP especially Nintendos games. I would think of this case as more making a point "don't steal our shit"


  • +1
ResilientFighter (on 14 November 2018)

i understand that, it makes sense. however 12 million is impossible and makes them look bloodthirsty. Jail time or a fine equal to what they were paid by spam ad companies would be enough to make a point to other rom cites. on this website there are many that have downloaded roms so its not like people are evil for that, just poor or there is no other way to get those old 80s 90s games.


  • +1
Ganoncrotch (on 14 November 2018)

While ebay exists the argument of "there is no other way to get those games" holds absolutely no water.

Also someone in these comments were talking about how kids of the 80s/90s have no way to play the games from when they were a kid... again ebay exists, also if you cared so much about games you had as a kid.... you wouldn't have traded them to your mates for a mars bar 15 years ago, as someone who has only ever gotten rid of / sold 2 games in my 35 years of being alive, I can play the games from my childhood.... because I bothered to keep them, if people didn't bother enough to keep them they aren't some how magically entitled to that software they traded or gave away decades ago. Live, Learn, that's what this site owner just did.


  • -2
poroporo (on 13 November 2018)

Battered Nintendo logo looks kinda weird.


KLAMarine (on 13 November 2018)

It looks battered.


  • +3
Mnementh (on 13 November 2018)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBqYrmbDBgs


Cerebralbore101 (on 14 November 2018)

Next up, any site that shares illegal ROMS of Switch games.


Podings (on 13 November 2018)

Seems a little excessive. Though it's not like these people didn't know that it was against the law. And even if they didn't, you'd have to pay for any material damage you'd have caused without knowing the legal impact. To all the people saying Nintendo are "greedy", we don't actually know what their demands were, and whether amount of 12-million was set my Nintendo or the jury and/or judge.


No9tro (on 13 November 2018)

Well maybe people wouldn't need to pirate the games that they want if you would just release them on the Switch Nintendo!!!


Errorist76 (on 13 November 2018)

This saddens me deeply.


Azzanation (on 14 November 2018)

Good. Besides the ignorant people thinking this is nothing but greedy Nintendo, go buy a Nintendo product and stop being greedy yourselves.


Comments below voting threshold

BraLoD (on 13 November 2018)

Closing the site? Fair enough. Charging millions of dollars out of it? Complete and pure greed.


JWeinCom (on 13 November 2018)

If they just close the site, it or another one like it'll pop up two seconds later. The idea is to have a consequence severe enough to discourage people.


  • +2
Immersiveunreality (on 13 November 2018)

For all those years people have been taken their IP,s without paying so i do think greed is an unjustified nametag to put on this practice, the owners of those site and even when being a lot less wealthy than Nintendo can be more deserving of that nametag when they used someone else's work to make money.


  • +2
tripenfall (on 14 November 2018)

So people should be able to deliberately break the law with no consequences?


  • 0
GaoGaiGarV (on 13 November 2018)

lol i would just reopen the site. If your life gets completely destroyed by these absurd amounts of money then you havn't anything to lose anymore anyway.


  • -10
ResilientFighter (on 13 November 2018)

Greedy company!! I like their exclusive titles but despise their higher ups.


  • -12
  • -9
Cerebralbore101 (on 14 November 2018)

The Wii Virtual Console is still up and running until at least next year. So they did put all their games up for people to buy.


  • +4