Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Mathias et al.
United States District Court for the District of Arizona
Case No. 2:18-cv-02282-SPL
Final Judgement issued November 9, 2018
On November 9, 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona issued a Final Judgement in Nintendo of America v. Mathias et al., aka, “the Nintendo ROM case.” The defendants are a married couple who operated the websites LoveROMs.com and LoveRETRO.co. The two sites allowed users to download ROMs for classic Nintendo games. Nintendo filed a lawsuit against the defendants back in July, claiming the sites infringed upon their copyrights and trademarks. At the time we speculated about the possible legal defenses that defendants might raise if the case went to trial. Click here to read our previous coverage. Instead of going to trial, the two parties entered into an agreement which stipulated the court would issue a final judgment and grant a permanent injunction against the defendants. The court awarded Nintendo $12,230,000 and ordered the defendants to cease distributing any more Nintendo ROMs. The defendants now have 30 days to transfer their ROM websites, every Nintendo video game, and every video game system emulator in their control to Nintendo. Nintendo will pay for destroying the infringing products. One of the stipulations in the judgment is the defendants waive their rights to appeal, which means this is the end of this case. The conclusion of this case does not answer any legal questions surrounding ROMs or emulation, but it does act as a deterrent to anyone else distributing Nintendo ROMs. If Nintendo decides to sue any other ROM sites, we will provide coverage. The monetary award is interesting. Either the defendants made a TON of money from their sites, or its a deferred payment acting as a carrot for them to never do something like this again. If anyone knows, please let US know!