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Nintendo files copyright lawsuit against ROM website

In the latest in a line of copyright disputes, Nintendo has filed a complaint against ROM website RomUniverse, seeking $150,000 for each copyright infringement and up to $2 million for violations of its trademarks.

Filing the lawsuit on September 10th, 2019, Nintendo of America purports the pirated games display “counterfeit copies of Nintendo’s trademarks” when they’re launched on the emulator programs, as well as infringing the copyright of the individual games themselves.

“Defendant Matthew Storman and persons of unknown identity own and operate the website www.romuniverse.com built largely on brazen and mass-scale infringement of Nintendo’s intellectual property rights,” the filing alleges (thanks, Polygon). “The Website is among the most visited and notorious online hubs for pirated Nintendo video games. Through the website, Defendants reproduce, distribute, monetise, and offer for download thousands of unauthorised copies of Nintendo’s video games. This includes games for nearly every video game system Nintendo has ever produced including hundreds of games for its recently released Nintendo Switch. 

“As of the date of filing this complaint, hundreds of thousands of copies of Nintendo games have been illegally downloaded through the website including nearly 300,000 downloads of copies of pirated Nintendo Switch games and more than 500,000 copies of pirated Nintendo 3DS games.”

“Defendants are directly profiting and have profited from their exploitation of Nintendo’s intellectual property through donations, paid memberships, and advertising on the website,” added the complaint.

In other Nintendo news, the company recently unveiled a new Nintendo Switch peripheral that can be used as a fitness tool. The announcement, which came during last week’s Nintendo Direct presentation, depicts two devices: a strap and a bendable hoop. By placing a Joy-Con in each device, players can seemingly use the equipment in a myriad of high and low impact physical activities, such as running, aerobics, and yoga.

As yet there are no more details, but Nintendo promises more information later today on September 12th, 2019, at which time we may find out the name of the peripheral and the games compatible with the new tech. Of course, this isn’t the first time Nintendo has tried to improve global fitness. Part of the Wii’s appeal was its motion-controlled fitness games, including the smash-hit Wii Fit, which led to a consumer rush and stock issues when it first released in 2008.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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