Arizona couple Jacob Matthias and Cristian Matthias have been ordered to pay over $12 million to Nintendo for running the pirated ROM sites, LoveROMS.com and LoveRetro.co. The couple admitted to copyright and trademark infringement, and allegedly settled on the lofty judgement rather than risk losing more in a suit Nintendo brought forth in July.
Many have speculated that the high figure is meant to deter other sites from offering pirated ROMs, and indeed many other sites have shutdown following Nintendo’s legal action.
Loveroms once offered pirated ROMs of games like Pokémon Yellow, Donkey Kong Country, and Mario Kart 64. The site has since shutdown and now only offers a simple message titled, “Apology to Nintendo.”
The ruling is a major coup for Nintendo who will take ownership of the sites, and receive all Nintendo games and hardware still in the couple’s possession. The ruling also included a permanent injunction ensuring that the couple will not infringe on Nintendo’s copyrighted material ever again.
This lawsuit and subsequent ruling shows Nintendo means business when it comes to its copyrighted material. We wouldn’t be surprised to see other pirated ROM sites shutting down as a result.