Japanese videogame giant Nintendo has launched proceedings against website RomUniverse, an online source of unauthorized videogame ROMs, including for many popular Nintendo games. ROM files are essentially illegal copies of games, which can be played on modified game consoles or PCs.
US subsidiary Nintendo of America is claiming damages for trademark and copyright infringement, stating that it expects to receive $2 million per trademark infringement and $150,000 for each instance of copyright violation. Nintendo claims that RomUniverse has provided over 800,000 ROM downloads of recent Nintendo games to subscribers of the site, which number over 375,000 and who are said to pay $30 per annum for access to the site, giving them access to “an unlimited number of pirated games”. According to Nintendo, RomUniverse currently hosts some 3,200 Nintendo ROMs.
The move follows last year’s settlement between Nintendo and the Arizona-based owners of websites LoveRETRO and LoveROMS, a settlement worth over $12 million.
Earlier this September, in the UK, Nintendo successfully argued for an injunction compelling a number of UK ISPs (namely Virgin Media, BT, Sky, TalkTalk and EE) to block access to four websites supplying copy-protection circumventing technology for Nintendo’s popular Switch console.