Nintendo could claim up to $100m in damages for copyright and trademark infringement by two Arizona-based websites, which offered a multitude of ROMS of Nintendo titles. Nintendo have reportedly already filed a lawsuit earlier in the week at the federal court in the US.
$150,000 per infringement is requested by Nintendo, as well as up to $2,000,000 for every single trademark infringement. This could technically equate to a potential $100m damages bill for the websites. This accounts for over 140 copyrighted titles and 40 trademarks that have been identified and put on record in regards to infringements.
Nintendo stated within the complaint that the websites are “among the most open and notorious online hubs for pirated games”. They went on to explain that the “Defendants reproduce, distribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games, all without Nintendo’s permission.”
Nintendo are especially concerned that the websites have a sophisticated knowledge of Nintendo IP’s and the gaming industry in general, with the two websites in question believed to be generating a profit from Nintendo’s library of titles.
From July 22, both websites have responded to the legal action in the form of one shutting its entire website down, and the other removing all Nintendo titles. Nintendo ultimately want to have both website domains handed over to them, along with the sources of the ROMS being revealed.
“Defendants reproduce, distribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s games, all without Nintendo’s permission.”
GitHub have already removed the titles, with Nintendo concerned that the availability of the ROMS through the repository was in violation of the law, a copyright infringement and a breach of GitHub’s own Terms of Service.
Whether sites offering ROMS are attempting to make profit, or are offering games for free, Nintendo hasn’t taken to kindly to it and it seems likely that they will continue to pursue offerings across the internet which provide software of their IP for free.