Nintendo hits ROM websites with lawsuits

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Nintendo has launched a lawsuit against a company which operates two websites selling ROMs of old Nintendo games.

The lawsuit was filed against the sites LoveROMs and LoveRETRO; already, the latter site has been taken down, and all Nintendo files have been removed from LoveROMs’ directory. In the legal action, launched in Arizona, Nintendo’s representatives said: “The LoveROMs and LoveRETRO websites 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. This includes thousands of games developed for nearly every video game system Nintendo has ever produced.”

In the lawsuit, Nintendo took pains to portray the sites as commercial operations, rather than retro enthusiasts running a service for like-minded gamers: “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. 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.” 

Companies like Nintendo risk coming across as bullies when launching legal action against sites concentrating on games for defunct consoles, which are seen as catering for retro enthusiasts. But the company cannot be blamed for defending its intellectual property rights.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.