Courts ordered an Arizona couple to pay Nintendo $12.23 million for running two websites that hosted pirated ROMs of classic video games, including those belonging to Nintendo.
Jacob and Cristian Mathias owned both LoveROMs.com and LoveRetro.co which used to host several classic video game ROMs. Both sites were shut down in July after Nintendo filed a lawsuit against the owners for infringing copyright. The couple stood to pay up to $2million per trademark infringement.
While both sites were taken down then, TorrentFreak is reporting that Nintendo won $12 million from the couple, a sum that will likely serve as a deterrent to other sites offering similar ROMs and games.
Furthermore LoveROMs.com now hosts an apology to Nintendo on its website. The message reads:
"Our website, LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co, previously offered and performed unauthorised copies of Nintendo games, in violation of Nintendo's copyrights and trademarks. LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co acknowledges that it caused harm to Nintendo, its partners, and customers by offering infringing copies of Nintendo games and has agreed to cease all such activities. To access legitimate Nintendo games online, please visit www.nintendo.com for information about the Nintendo Game Store."
The Mathiases might be able to settle for a lower sum in a private arrangement as in some previous cases. And Nintendo could take the Mathias' admission of wrong-doing, public apology, and the official fine amount to prevent other ROM sites from doing the same. It's already been reported that other sites have gone down or have been taken offline since the announcement of the lawsuit in July.