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Nintendo wins $2.1 million in lawsuit against ROM site

Posted on May 31, 2021 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

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You may recall that, back in 2019, Nintendo filed a lawsuit against ROM website RomUniverse. The case has now concluded with a judge ruling in the company’s favor.

Nintendo said that the situation involving RomUniverse was “a straightforward video game piracy case”. The company explained that for over a decade, the site was “populated the website with pirated copies of thousands of different Nintendo games and distributed hundreds of thousands of copies of those pirated games.” RomUniverse also sold paid premium accounts, allowing users to download an unlimited amount of titles.

Matthew Storman, who hosted the site, defended himself in court and denied that RomUniverse provided pirated ROMs. He also said that he himself never uploaded any games.

US District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall settled the matter by largely siding with Nintendo and accepting trademark infringement claims. In addition to Nintendo providing sufficient evidence regarding copyright infringement, Storman admitted in a previous deposition that he uploaded content to the site.

Judge Marshall said:

“Defendant filed a declaration in opposition to the Motion wherein he declares that he ‘denies and disputes that he uploaded any files to said website and at no time did he verify the content of said ROM file’, which is directly contradictory to his sworn deposition testimony wherein he testified that he uploaded the ROM files onto his website. Furthermore, Defendant testified at his deposition that his website ‘indicated’ that copies of Nintendo’s copyrighted video games were available for download on the website.”

While Nintendo was seeking over $15 million in copyright and trademark infringement damages, Storman will be paying significantly less. The judge ruled that $35,000 statutory damages for each of the 49 copyrighted works is enough, which comes to $1.7 million. Nintendo was looking for $90,000 per work. Additionally, although the company had also requested $400,000 for each of the 29 trademarks, it will instead receive $400,000 for all combined. The total comes to $2,115,000 for Storman.

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