Nintendo, in a move that escalates its fight against piracy, has filed a lawsuit against LoveROMs and LoveRETRO, two of the more popular websites for hosting ROMs of old Nintendo console games.
Nintendo appears to have a renewed focus on protecting its intellectual property, after reports claimed that hackers have broken into the Nintendo Switch. The company's latest legal action, however, concerns classic Nintendo games and the consoles where they were released.
Nintendo Piracy Lawsuit Filed Against LoveROMs, LoveRETRO
Nintendo has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the alleged operator of LoveROMs and LoveRETRO, which are among the most notorious websites for pirated games. The lawsuit also includes the usage of other trademarked property on the websites, such as Nintendo's logos.
The websites are major online sources for ROMs, which are read-only memory files that serve as copies of games from cartridges and CDs. They are used with an emulator and allow people to play games without owning them.
Video game companies do not profit from these pirated games, and Nintendo has apparently had enough with LoveROMs and LoveRETRO. The two websites host ROMs of games for classic Nintendo consoles such as the NES and SNES, both of which are back in the market in the form of the NES Classic Edition and the SNES Classic Edition.
Nintendo's lawsuit claims that LoveROMs and LoveRETRO are owned by the same person, Jacob Mathias, and his Arizona-based company, Mathias Designs LLC. Nintendo is seeking $150,000 per game and up to $2 million for every instance of trademark infringement. In total, Nintendo may be awarded damages up to $100 million.
LoveRETRO has been shut down, with no news on whether it will return. LoveROMs, meanwhile, is still up and running, but there are no more Nintendo games on the website.
Nintendo Switch Piracy
The Nintendo ROM lawsuit follows Nintendo's actions against Nintendo Switch piracy.
Hackers have recently been able to run Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, and Game Boy Advance emulators on the Nintendo Switch. The rise of the hybrid console's homebrew community, however, comes with the risk that the way to play Nintendo Switch pirated games will soon be cracked.
Nintendo has released new Nintendo Switch units that come with hardware patches to better protect them against hackers, who are exploring the hybrid console's Nvidia Tegra X1 chips. The new batch of Nintendo Switch consoles reportedly have upgraded security codes, though it remains to be seen whether that will curb the Nintendo Switch hacking scene.