Nintendo is suing an Arizona man for allegedly pirating thousands of company games through two ROM websites.
Last week, the video game maker filed a lawsuit against Jacob Mathias and his company for operating LoveROMs.com and LoveRETRO.co. According to Nintendo, both sites offered digital — but unauthorized — copies of popular games from the company’s NES, SNES and Game Boy consoles and more.
“Defendants are not casual gamers but are instead sophisticated parties with extensive knowledge of Nintendo’s intellectual property and the video game industry,” the lawsuit claims.
To make a profit from the piracy, Mathias allegedly asked for donations and sold online advertising space on both ROM websites. LoveROMs.com itself received about 17 million monthly visitors, according to Nintendo.
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After the lawsuit was filed, LoveRETRO.co went offline. The site now has a notice saying it has been effectively shut down. LoveROMs.com, on the other hand, remains online, but has taken down all Nintendo titles.
Nintendo is suing Mathias as the videogame maker has been selling a miniaturized version of its classic NES console. The company has also made old NES games available through its Nintendo Virtual Console service, which works on the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS.
It isn’t clear why Nintendo only decided to sue Mathias now. According to the gaming giant, Mathias posted a video on his personal YouTube page back in 2010 promoting LoveROMs.com.
So far, Nintendo hasn’t publicly commented on the legal action. But the company is suing for damages, which the lawsuit claims can reach $150,000 for each pirated game, and up to $2 million for the infringement of each Nintendo trademark used in the websites’ advertising.
Mathias declined to comment on the lawsuit.