Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Against ROM Website

The latest in a string of lawsuits against ROM-hosting websites, Nintendo has won a multi-million dollar lawsuit against RomUniverse. This result comes after the suit was filed back in 2019, with Nintendo seeking damages for mass-scale copyright infringement and federal trademark infringement.

The Los Angeles owner and operator of the now-defunct RomUniverse has been charged $2.1 million by a federal court in California. While the hosting of the ROMs was a charge enough on its own, it was exacerbated by RomUniverse’s profiting from the infringement through offering paid premium accounts that would allow users to download as many games as they wanted.

Despite the charges, RomUniverse stayed open up until as recently as last summer, when the operator agreed to shut the site down after discussions with Nintendo’s legal team. He also attempted to defend himself against the allegations in court, stating the site wasn’t breaking the law and asking for the case to be dismissed, but was unsuccessful.

Nintendo initially requested $90,000 per work for each of the 49 counts of copyright infringements. However, the court ruled at $35,000, totalling to a mere $1.7 million.

Similarly, the total for trademark infringements was ruled as $400,000, whereas Nintendo originally asked for $400,000 in statutory damages for each of the 28 counterfeit marks.

All in all, this sees a ruling of $2,115,000 in damages, as opposed to the more than $15 million from Nintendo’s original motion. The court also decided against issuing a permanent injunction, citing Nintendo as having suffered from no irreparable harm and were at no future threat with the site having been closed down.

TorrentFreak has been covering the case in some detail, as well as providing a copy of the court order made viewable online.

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