Nintendo's ROM Site War Continues With Huge Lawsuit Against Site Despite Not Sending DMCA Notices

from the nintendon't dept

Roughly a year ago, Nintendo launched a war between itself and ROM sites. Despite the insanely profitable NES Classic retro-console, the company decided that ROM sites, which until recently almost single-handedly preserved a great deal of console gaming history, need to be slayed. Nintendo extracted huge settlements out of some of the sites, which led to most others shutting down voluntarily. While this was probably always Nintendo's strategy, some sites decided to stare down the company's legal threats and continue on.

One of those sites was RomUniverse, which not only refused to shut down, but essentially boasted that it wasn't scared of Nintendo's legal attack dogs and would continue on. That stance is about to be put to the test, however, as Nintendo has filed a copyright lawsuit seeking enormous damages against the site.

In a complaint filed at a federal court in California, the Japanese gaming giant accuses the site’s alleged operator, Matthew Storman, of “brazen” and “mass-scale” copyright and trademark infringement.

“The Website is among the most visited and notorious online hubs for pirated Nintendo video games. Through the Website, Defendants reproduce, distribute, monetize, and offer for download thousands of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games,” the complaint reads.

Nintendo states that the site, which has 375,000 members, offers downloads for nearly every video game system it has ever produced.

Now, to be clear, there is nuance to our stance here. Does this constitute copyright infringement of Nintendo's property? Hell yes. Can Nintendo sue over this on solid legal grounds? Of course! Should it do so? Well, that's a more complicated question. You have to wonder just exactly what Nintendo is going to get out of all of these lawsuits. Yes, it may succeed in shutting down this and other sites. But does that mean those that use ROM sites are suddenly going to buy a Nintendo console, retro or otherwise? It's not obvious that the answer to that is "yes." Instead, those pirates will probably just not play Nintendo games at all. Or, more likely, will find another venue for ROMs, and rinse and repeat that process as Nintendo goes on its whac-a-mole expedition.

And, given that Nintendo only recently really invested in making retro games available on its consoles, these sites actually did preserve gaming history for millions of people who would otherwise have never played these aged titles. Not to mention that ROM sites are also a place for home-brewed games on these older consoles, which themselves are not infringing.

And, finally, if Nintendo really just wanted to combat piracy in all of this, why not at least start with the DMCA process?

RomAdmin from RomUniverse informed us that he hasn’t received anything from Nintendo, no recent takedown notices either. The site does respond to takedown notices.

“We’ve always immediately taken down questionable material, per their take down notices,” RomAdmin told TorrentFreak.

Instead, Nintendo went straight to the nuclear option, with a lawsuit asking for potentially over $100 million in damages. Again, it can do this, but given how much money the company is already raking in off of retro gaming... why?

Filed Under: dmca, lawsuits, rom sites, romuniverse, threats, video games
Companies: nintendo, romuniverse


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  • icon
    Gary (profile), 16 Sep 2019 @ 6:19pm

    Why?

    Because Nintendo wants to maintain it's 90 year government-issued monopoly on corporate assets.
    Even if the material is abandoned, it's easier to litigate than innovate. That is how monopolists operate.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2019 @ 10:32am

      Re: Why?

      The thing is, absolutely none of the material is abandoned. At least, not by the gaming community. That's the whole point of emulation. Players who play the games via emulation often are the foremost supporters of the technology, both is purchasing old technology as well as updated ports and re-releases of the games.

      However, many games such as obscurer ones from smaller developers are often abandoned in many cases by the original publishers which is why fan-translated works are so common and important for the gaming community as a whole. Look at stuff like the recent Natsume remakes of Wild Guns Reloaded and The Ninja Warriors Once Again: those games became wildly popular thanks to emulation and allowed interest in them to remain very high.

      The problem is these corporations produce important cultural works of art and then complain when gamers try to preserve them. The people who most value emulation are often also the ones who are most interested in purchasing new releases and supporting the software/hardware companies producing the games. You're attacking the people who are directly financially supporting your games and punishing them for wanting to keep games on old systems and hardware alive and available for future generations.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 16 Sep 2019 @ 7:25pm

    Nintendo: 'Because we hate you.'

    Instead, Nintendo went straight to the nuclear option, with a lawsuit asking for potentially over $100 million in damages.

    Company supposedly suffers $100 million plus in damages from a single site(and if they could prove so much as .1% of that I'd be highly surprised given I suspect the vast majority of ROMs were for games which were not available for official purchase, and hence were never going to get Nintendo money) but can't be bothered to do something as simple as send DMCA notices to staunch this massive drain on profits, and instead goes straight for the throat with a ruinous lawsuit.

    Yeah, this is a PR stunt pure and simple, they tried to scare ROM sites into shutting down and since that didn't work on all of them they're going to make an example out of this one to show what happens to sites that stand up to them. Still, nice of them to once again remind me of why I will never pick up their systems or their games.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2019 @ 8:33pm

      Re: Nintendo: 'Because we hate you.'

      Company supposedly suffers $100 million plus in damages from a single site

      The insanity of copyright law damages strikes again. $150,000 statutory damages for each game, trebled for willful infringement (not saying there was, but lawyers like to claim every case is willful and qualifies for treble damages) works out to 223 games.

      Nintendo's going to have a hard time proving actual damages, considering that most of the ROMs in question were not in production or being sold by Nintendo.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 16 Sep 2019 @ 8:42pm

        Re: Re: Nintendo: 'Because we hate you.'

        Nintendo's going to have a hard time proving actual damages, considering that most of the ROMs in question were not in production or being sold by Nintendo.

        Not a problem(for Nintendo), copyright magic means they don't actually have to prove any actual damages, simply claim infringement and it's automatically assumed that damages sufficient to buy houses has occurred.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Nintendo: 'Because we hate you.'

          copyright magic means they don't actually have to prove any actual damages, simply claim infringement and it's automatically assumed that damages sufficient to buy houses has occurred.

          The point of the above message was that there's no need to even assume. Statutory (i.e. not actual) damages are $450,000 if willful, enough to buy a house. If the defendent could prove Nintendo didn't lose a cent, or that they made more money because of the free publicity, it wouldn't matter; that's not a defense.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:29pm

        Re: Re: Nintendo: 'Because we hate you.'

        The $150,000 in statutory damages is only available in the first place if the infringement is willful - you don't then get to also treble that. See 17 USC 504(c)(2). (The limit is $30,000 for statutory damages if the infringement is not deemed willful.)

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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 16 Sep 2019 @ 8:42pm

    What does Nintendo get?

    Nothing, Nada, Zilch. Their lawyers get a nice payday. A site gets shut down and Nintendo will discover what it's like to squeeze $100 million plus from a stone.

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    • identicon
      Mike, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:31am

      Re: What does Nintendo get?

      Actually Nintendo get exactly what they want: the site shut down and an implicit warning sent to all other ROM sites.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Sep 2019 @ 9:15pm

    This article leaves out a rather important point about the lawsuit: RomUniverse doesn’t limit itself to retro games. If you go to the site right now, the front page has a section dedicated to the Nintendo Switch. (It also has sections for movies and ebooks, both of which appear to have recent releases.) I would love to bitch about Nintendo shutting down another ROM site and putting another dent in the conservation/curation of classic gaming history — but in this case, with the site engaged in mass-scale copyright infringement of current/modern releases, I can’t do it.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 16 Sep 2019 @ 10:22pm

      Re:

      In which case DMCA claims would have been a slam dunk, and forced the site to either admit that yeah, they don't actually honor DMCA claims, which would have left them all sorts of screwed, or Nintendo could have shot the site full of holes by simply sending out multiple DMCA claims targeting their stuff and getting it removed, which most people probably would have been perfectly fine with it since they were going after current stuff rather than just stuff that wasn't available in a manner that Nintendo was making money from because it wasn't for sale.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2019 @ 11:53pm

      Re:

      This, and this fact that comes from the TorrentFreak article:

      RomUniverse, which also offers pirated ebooks and movies, sells paid memberships to those who want unlimited downloads.

      DMCA claims carefully targeted at the infringing content ain’t the right option in this case. Not sure RomUniverse having lots of new game and book and movie releases up for download and making money from it is something they can reasonably defend in court.

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      • icon
        Cdaragorn (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:19am

        Re: Re:

        Paying for the bandwidth necessary to maintain the site is not even remotely the same as paying for the individual content being downloaded.

        Nothing about this makes DMCA claims "not the right option in this case".

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:32am

        Re: Re:

        Not sure RomUniverse having lots of new game and book and movie releases up for download and making money from it is something they can reasonably defend in court.

        Did the people being sued put them there, or did their users? If the users, the site operators don't need to defend, but should be protected by the DMCA safe harbor.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Even if the content was uploaded exclusively by users, which I'm doubting, I don't think the safe harbors would apply. Did they have red-flag knowledge of infringement and ignore it? Almost certainly. Did they directly profit from the infringement? Yes. Did they even have a DMCA agent registered? Some people here are saying no. Any one of those things would make them lose their safe harbor.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 12:28am

      Re:

      You might agree, but it's still problematic to see corporations skip all the other ways they have to deal with these kinds of situations and jump straight to the nuclear option. In this case that might be inevitable, or even the best option ultimately, but it still promotes a mindset that causes major problems in the many cases that aren't so clear cut.

      Yeah, this isn't a retro gaming issue as much as it's a TPB/Demonoid-style general piracy, but if Nintendo aren't internally making the distinction between sites like this and sites that concentrate on 20 year old games that Nintendo themselves don't even have the rights to publish any more, then it makes no difference as to the central issue.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 1:37am

        Re: Re:

        You might agree, but it's still problematic to see corporations skip all the other ways they have to deal with these kinds of situations and jump straight to the nuclear option.

        Let's also consider that in terms of "all the other ways", the DMCA is basically as "nuclear" as options can get. Because that's exactly what the DMCA is used as: a notice to tell someone to have something taken down for as long as you want, and its (mis)use is generally rarely ever punished or penalized.

        The fact that Nintendo got handed a nuke and said "fuck it, it's not big enough" is pretty damn staggering.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 5:05am

          The DMCA is the “Mother of All Bombs”: As heavy a “weapon” as they come outside of a nuclear weapon. The lawsuit is the nuclear weapon — and the fact that Nintendo used it against a site that accepted money in exchange for unlimited downloads of books, movies, and videogames (including recent Nintendo Switch releases) isn’t really staggering. But it is definitely understandable.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2019 @ 11:30pm

    For the same reasons ALL of the entertainment industries do this, CONTROL! None of them can bear the thought of anyone using/watching/playing/listening to anything unless it's the 'real' thing!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 1:33am

    Instead, Nintendo went straight to the nuclear option, with a lawsuit asking for potentially over $100 million in damages. Again, it can do this, but given how much money the company is already raking in off of retro gaming... why?

    Outright terror tactics, they want to scare everybody into over complying with copyright law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 2:35am

      Re:

      "Outright terror tactics, they want to scare everybody into over complying with copyright law."

      Asking someone to obey the law and not steal materials from others and not sell them is a terror tactic.

      A terror tactic.

      Really?

      And the free food, shelter, medical care and babysitting provided by the border agents are actually Nazi concentration camps.

      Really?

      Of course not really. You guys are just leftist idiots rambling on about nothing.

      Come take my AR-15.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 2:58am

        Re: Re:

        "Asking someone to obey the law"

        He said over complying, meaning that people are being bullied into avoiding legal activity because they're scared of being caught up in this kind of thing. So, you think it's better to voluntarily give up your rights to avoid being called a criminal?

        "Nazi concentration camps."

        Not Nazi concentration camps, but they fit the actual definition of concentration camp that applies anywhere else. The term doesn't mean killing people, although it dead lead to that in that one instance. There are others.

        Weird, several points and you've wilfully misrepresenting or ignoring vital information. Why is that?

        "Come take my AR-15."

        Oh, you're a nutter. Carry on...

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 4:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There are a lot of us nutters in America. Really. You wouldn't know that, but it's true. AR-15s and AK-47s all around.

          You are an idiot leftist if you reeaally want to continue defending your Nazi metaphors for border facilities.

          In Texas, we'd call you a "wacko dacko". Not a "Wako Dako", there's an entirely different thing altogether. Wacko Dacko, that's you.

          Brexit much?

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 4:59am

            There are a lot of us nutters in America. Really. You wouldn't know that, but it's true. AR-15s and AK-47s all around.

            You, uh…you encouraging some “Second Amendment remedies”, son? You hoping for someone to do another mass murder?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 5:16am

              Re:

              "You hoping for someone to do another mass murder?"

              He's started ranting about Nazis and AR-15s when someone mentioned the negative effects of overbearing copyright enforcement. It wouldn't surprise me if he's planning one.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:29am

                Re: Re:

                The only mention of "mass murder" came from you and you leftist/communist comrades.

                It's totally typical for a leftist to create some wild fantasy about people that don't agree with them. Just look at Judge Kavenaugh for a recent example.

                You guys will make up the most wild and crazy shit about other people, when in fact it's all coming from you leftist communist assholes.

                Typical. Why not do it again? Make up more crazy shit. Embarrass yourself further. It's fun to watch.

                I think I'll go put some more holes in that old stop sign out back with my AK-47. Fun. Really. You should try it. Normal people get a kick out of it.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:01am

                  Re: Re: Re:

                  "I think I'll go put some more holes in that old stop sign out back with my AK-47."

                  Better than you having a psychotic break and using it on children, as your type regularly does.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  lucidrenegade (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:11am

                  Re: Re: Re:

                  I think I'll go put some more holes in that old stop sign out back with my AK-47. Fun. Really. You should try it. Normal people get a kick out of it.

                  So you're admitting to theft of government property and/or destruction of government property.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:45am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    He's saying that we wants to go out in public and shoot a hail of bullets into public property because someone thousands of miles away said something to him on a thread about a videogame lawsuit... and that he considers this a normal reaction.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Toom1275 (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:51pm

                  Re: Re: Re:

                  [Asserts facts not in evidence]

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 5:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "There are a lot of us nutters in America"

            I noticed.

            "continue defending your Nazi metaphors for border facilities."

            I didn't make a Nazi metaphor, I pointed out that the term "concentration camp" has other meanings that the one you're offended by. Not that it makes you look any better, given that you've gone off on this random tirade over the mention of videogame copyright. It doesn't take much to trigger you, does it?

            "Brexit much?"

            That's idiocy as well, but at least I don't have to worry about gun fetishists shooting up schools while we try sorting that out.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:20am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That's idiocy as well, eh? Voted for (overwhelmingly) by the British people, but from your "elitist" view, idiocy. Everybody's an idiot except you, right? To hell with voting, right? We'll just let you decide what's good for everybody, yes?

              Superior much?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Voted for (overwhelmingly) by the British people"

                You need to stop getting your facts filtered by liars.

                The vote was in favour of Leave by 52% - 48%, which is hardly overwhelming and certainly not a mandate. But, when taken as a proportion of the overall population, it's way less than that. Add on top the rest of the story - not only were Leave lied to but serious breaches of campaign laws were made, large numbers of British citizens living abroad were prevented from voting, and so on, it's definitely not a majority of the people who understood what they were voting for at the time. Add to that democratic creep (Leave trended older, those people are dying off and younger people who were not able to vote at the time trend leave), it's uncertain to be a majority now.

                They may have won that specific vote, but stop lying about it being an overwhelming majority. If you have the mandate you claim, you should be able to stop depending on debunked lies and misrepresentation of facts, surely?

                "We'll just let you decide what's good for everybody, yes?"

                This is funny considering you're parroting the propaganda of right-wing publishers who very much have done just that. Ever wonder why the likes of Farage and Johnson have so many overseas interests, and in Farage's case made sure that his kids have EU passports before this happens? You've been conned.

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:02am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Your tears are delicious. (c) Copyright 2019 by Keep America Great. All Rights Reserved. No part of this phrase may be copied, photocopied, paraphrased, or reduced (or expanded) in electronic form without prior permission, in triplicate, from POTUS (the magnificent).

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 4:38pm

            Re: One stroke at a time bro

            “Brexit much?”

            Sir do you smell toast?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 3:46am

        Re: Re:

        free food, shelter, medical care and babysitting provided

        Oh, you mean the services found to be wholly inadequate?

        Try not to injure your arm patting yourselves on the back for that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 4:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Was that from a AAA review? You can't rely on them, their reviews are not consistent at all. I think the facilities compares (roughly) to a low-end Marriott, but it's definitely above the Motel 6 class. Really. Clean sheets, nice towels, new toothbrushes, dentists, doctors, foot massage (well OK I'm not totally sure about that) and everything FREE FREE FREE (well, FREE to foreigner fuckwads that cross the border illegally, not to American Taxpayers).

          Wholly inadequate indeed. By the way, why don't you send in YOUR tax dollars to improve the facilities, and I'll keep my share to feed my family.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 4:57am

            I’m amazed that someone — anyone — can think of being held in a prison camp as a good thing…and yet, there you are.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:17am

              Re:

              What an idiotic point to make, even for an idiot like you. People walk across entire countries to get to the best country in the world (the USA), and you call their free food, lodging and medical care once they get here a "prison camp". Have you any idea how much people pay for the privilege of coming to the USA?

              You're just another lemming falling over the edge of your ridiculous argument.

              Maybe you should run for President. As a Democrat, of course.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:19am

                Re: Re:

                "Have you any idea how much people pay for the privilege of coming to the USA?"

                "FREE to foreigner fuckwads"

                Hmmm....

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:31am

                  Re: Re: Re:

                  Do you even know what a coyote is, you ignorant fuck?

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote_(person)

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:00am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Yes. I also know that this only applies to proportion of immigrants who are currently locked up. Even if it did, that's got lots to do with your own actions south of the border creating the conditions people are fleeing. they're not going there for a holiday.

                    But, I just wanted to point out the stupidity of both whining that people are freeloading while boasting about how much they spend to get there. It's a complicated situation, but at least make your oversimplifications of the issues internally consistent.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:04am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      You are totally fucking ignorant. "only applies to proportion of immigrants who are currently locked up"... Did you even read that sentence? WTF?

                      Coyotes take people across the border EVERY DAY for money. MANY ARE NOT APPREHENDED! OR locked up! But they all PAY! COMPRENDE? Idiot!

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Rocky, 17 Sep 2019 @ 5:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If children are dying to unsanitary conditions in detention camps I guess your definition of adequate is in dire need of re-examination.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Gary (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 5:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Free!!

            Just Remember that Cadet Bonespurs has forged an impressive deal that makes taxpayers fork over $700 per detainee. Money that goes straight to Trump's business partners.

            Previously they were just given a ticket - which didn't cost taxpayers a dime, eh mate?

            If you were a real American you'd be taking your gun collection and freeing the detainees at the concentration camps instead of hugging the neo-nazi's...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free!!

              I just love it when you wackos come out of your wacko closet.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:24am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free!!

                How's that wall coming along, Hamilton? Just had to cut funding for the military to do it. Because fuck their facilities, fuck their kids' schools... but Mexico is paying for it! Through your military getting less support! ...Somehow!

                That bigly genius really helped Shiva Ayyadurai, didn't it?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free!!

                  You need some new talking points.

                  Sad. Really. You, I mean.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free!!

                  But please answer me one thing: I get paid for political analysis and commentary (like I do here). I spend all day every day listening to every presentation by Nancy, Chuck and their friends, and reading all their tweets, private Emails and such. I spent an HOUR watching Nancy put up a (very lame) chart about taking money from schools at a military base to spend on the wall. YOU WATCHED THAT TOO? It's wasn't on the mainstream news, as far as I can tell, or written about much in the "paper of record". ARE YOU ANOTHER ANALYST? OR ARE YOU JUST ANAL? IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer). (Well, maybe I am), so be careful with your answer.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    lucidrenegade (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:19am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free!!

                    You read their private emails. ROFLMAO

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                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:19am

                    I get paid

                    I find that hard to believe.

                    for political analysis and commentary

                    And that’s even harder to believe.

                    be careful with your answer

                    Either do something or shut up. Impotent threats, veiled or otherwise, do nothing but make you look limp and weak-willed.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 4:41pm

                    Re: Golf clap.

                    “I get paid for political analysis and commentary (like I do here)”

                    Well at least you’re getting paid to be a borderline retard. That’s more than blue balls could ever accomplish.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 4:43pm

                    Re: Bring it on motherfucker

                    “I Am Not A Lawyer). (Well, maybe I am), so be careful with your answer.” Bro you lack some real basic pattern recognition skills. Your soul mate Jhon Smyth tried that gambit and he got his shit pushed back in.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 6:35pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    If you're a lawyer, the fact that you goofed the Shiva Ayyadurai lawsuit proves you're a terrible one.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 4:38am

    TFW the person you allege is the master mind isn't....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:20am

    The other rom sites were just offering old rom,s of games not avaidable fon the switch ,or roms of old games no longer sold in stores .
    This site is offering roms for New current games sold on the switch .
    if i set up an american website offering iso,s or free digital downloads of ps4 games and xbox 1 games i would expect to get a lawsuit within a week or 2 .I cannot see how nintendo could ignore a website offering
    free downloads of games on various nintendo console,s including the Switch .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:31am

      Re:

      It's really easy. You just choose to ignore it.

      In all seriousness, though, what gets me most is the common assumption that there's no possible way to legally offer current copies of games like this. In the US at least it's very easy for this kind of service to be 100% legal. Format shifting is fair use for good reasons here. It's a perfectly reasonable and legal argument that I wanted to play on my PC instead of having to own their console. As long as I bought my own legal copy of the game downloading a version that had been changed so I can play it somewhere else is absolutely legal.

      Unfortunately too often it's decided that because someone could use it to obtain a copy illegally it's somehow ok to blame the site for that. I often wonder how far down this selfish rabbit hole we're going to have to get before most people start realizing just how bad giving people monopolies really is.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 18 Sep 2019 @ 12:05am

        Re: Re:

        "Format shifting is fair use for good reasons here"

        Except, it's illegal to bypass the copy protection to do so. That's part of the problem here - the DMCA says you're a criminal even if you're only trying to exercise your other rights.

        "I often wonder how far down this selfish rabbit hole we're going to have to get before most people start realizing just how bad giving people monopolies really is."

        Giving people a temporary monopoly as per the original intention of copyright isn't so bad an idea. What it's been mutated to is terrible, of course, but the original few years with requirement to register to retain it isn't so bad.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Sep 2019 @ 2:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Giving people a temporary monopoly as per the original intention of copyright isn't so bad an idea. What it's been mutated to is terrible, of course, but the original few years with requirement to register to retain it isn't so bad."

          Actually, it is. Once you've agreed to extend a monopoly you've already agreed to remove any and all competitive market measures from the process. The rest becomes a matter of negotiation which eventually results in the monopolist taking his big bagful of cash to congress and ask for copyright extension of "forever less a day" which then "reasonably" gets "watered down" to life+70 years.

          Copyright should be nothing more than an extension of trademark law, ensuring that what is REALLY owned is the act selling copies under the proper name of the developer/artist.

          I can't see how what has worked so well for bottled water would fail to work well elsewhere.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:15am

    Interesting that Nintendo is subtly tweaking the story...

    In a complaint filed at a federal court in California, the Japanese gaming giant accuses the site’s alleged operator, Matthew Storman, of “brazen” and “mass-scale” copyright and trademark infringement.

    “The Website is among the most visited and notorious online hubs for pirated Nintendo video games. Through the Website, Defendants reproduce, distribute, monetize, and offer for download thousands of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games,” the complaint reads.

    Nintendo states that the site, which has 375,000 members, offers downloads for nearly every video game system it has ever produced.

    Note that Nintendo is suing for copyright infringement. This means that Nintendo can sue for hosted stuff that's MADE by Nintendo.

    But then Nintendo portrays this to the courts and media as "infringement" because of all the stuff being shared that was developed for their hardware.

    This is dangerous, because if Nintendo successfully argues that the code inside other game developer's ROMs violates Nintendo property, and the only thing allowing those developers to use the hardware interface code is a license with Nintendo...

    Well, you can see where this goes. It makes the Oracle vs Google lawsuit look like child's play.

    If Nintendo wants to sue for outright copying and sharing of Mario franchise games or other code developed and licensed in whole by Nintendo, I have no issues with that. Someone is indeed re-using their creations without permission. Once they start going after remixes, they're wading into "fair use" waters. And once they start suing over games made by the likes of Konami using their development kits, they've stepped way over the line.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:29am

      If I read the filing correctly, Nintendo is suing specifically for infringement upon both copyrights and trademarks held by the company. On those grounds alone, it’s hard to see how Nintendo could lose this case.

      As for the third-party stuff: An argument could possibly be made about how it could sue to prevent any game ever published on any Nintendo console from being pirated. I can’t do it, but someone else smarter/more knowledgable than me probably could.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 17 Sep 2019 @ 11:35am

    If it wasn't for ROM sites and emulation keeping interest in old games alive, Nintendo would have never produced (and profited from) things like the Virtual Console and NES Classic.

    Basically this is Nintendo saying "Thanks for keeping these games alive and creating a market for us, now fuck off."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 2:58pm

      As I pointed out in an earlier comment, the site being sued does not (intentionally) act to preserve classic games. It offers paid memberships that allow for unlimited downloads of books, movies, and ROMs both recent and vintage. That includes games released on the Switch. If the site were only offering “retro” ROMs (which I’ll arbitrarily define here as games published before the past 15 years) in a more preservationist setting, I would have no issue joining in the Nintendo-bashing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2019 @ 10:42am

        Re:

        It is part of the vast community of sites that offer ROMs, so yes, it is part of the collective community that preserves and keeps older games and systems alive, regardless of how the site specifically does that. If you take issue with it offering memberships presumably to pay for its bandwidth (it probably still operates at a loss), then that's fine, but it still serves the same purpose.

        If the site were only offering “retro” ROMs (which I’ll arbitrarily define here as games published before the past 15 years) in a more preservationist setting, I would have no issue joining in the Nintendo-bashing.

        Your argument is unfortunately flawed. Some relatively old systems still aren't as well emulated or understood as they should be due to a lack of attention on them (such as the N64), and though it seems piratey for teams to work on emulating relatively new systems such as PS2, the thing is that the sooner you work on emulation while a system is somewhat recent, the sooner you can tap into people who are knowledgeable about how the system operates. With brand new systems being rapidly released nowadays, and with digital releases becoming commonplace, we're already at very real risk of games becoming lost or digital exclusive releases becoming unplayable if say the developer disappears and never releases a port on PC or such. Even with work already starting on stuff like PS3 and Xbox 360 emulation, it may be decades before it gets to the point like with NES or SNES.

        Emulation is not for the sake of piracy, but preservation. Yes, it does allow for piracy, but the people who exclusively pirate stuff often do not have the money or would not have spent any money had emulation not been available, whereas the community of people who most use emulation and focus on preservation are the same people who spend money on the games and systems themselves.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Sep 2019 @ 11:27am

          Let’s say I buy into your argument.

          How does it justify the mass-scale piracy of books and movies both recent and vintage that is going on alongside the “preservation” of games?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2019 @ 7:18pm

          Re: Re:

          I'd go one step further and argue that we're already there. It's been half a decade since the end of the PS2's life cycle based on Wikipedia. If we were talking about the heyday of PS2 games it's been even longer. Yet to my memory there's no 100% fidelious working PS2 emulator, not without significant audio/transition issues. I can only imagine that work on such projects has either ceased or has to go underground to avoid unwanted attention from Sony.

          This won't be a problem if the games you've played is getting a HD remake and you're willing to throw money on a new gaming console plus the upgraded copy of a game you used to play. If it's something popular but there's been no interest in a new port for the game such as Shadow Hearts: Covenant? Tough tits. And without a working emulator and/or ROM resource the games eventually get forgotten. Literally nobody benefits from this unless you're a company executive who derives a perverse amount of pleasure in telling people to go fuck themselves.

          I recall years ago when Techdirt posted an article about triggering reactions in Alzheimer's patients by playing music from their younger years. Videogames relevant to our early days are likely to be a core part of our fading memories when we're older. Recapturing those experiences will contribute a lot to making sure our brains don't all go to shit. But of course, thanks to copyright fanatics, we can't have those nice things. In that same article about music therapy, of course antidirt and out_of_the_blue lost their minds at the suggestion that music should be made more cost-accessible. Literally nobody buys a PS2 these days, but Sony is content to be angry about money they'll never get regardless of how you access their fading library. And considering how physical hardware is intentionally being built to require more frequent replacements it's only a matter of time before even the newer consoles become too prohibitive to preserve.

          I get Stephen's point, but at this stage I'd argue that Nintendo earned their terrible reputation. Most of their draw came from the fact that their systems were the most accessible. I personally purchased many of the later games on the 3DS and Switch precisely because I'd pirated and was exposed to earlier games in various franchises through emulation. Now Nintendo can't even permit gameplay footage on YouTube without wetting their pants. I can't be bothered to pirate on the Switch but honestly, if someone did I wouldn't lose any sleep.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Rekrul, 23 Sep 2019 @ 7:14pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            Yet to my memory there's no 100% fidelious working PS2 emulator, not without significant audio/transition issues. I can only imagine that work on such projects has either ceased or has to go underground to avoid unwanted attention from Sony.

            PCSX2 is still under development. Sony has nothing to say about the development of an emulator as long as the authors don't promote it as a way to pirate games, which they don't.

            I'll be the first to admit that it's not perfect, but it does play a large percentage of PS2 games, with most of those being perfectly playable, provided that you have a fast enough system. My older system can run some games at acceptable speeds, although it struggles to run the more complex games.

            Hopefully it will continue to improve, especially in the area of compatibility.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 8:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              A few years ago I recall the consensus among my friends was that emulating PS2 games was generally not worth it; the emulation wasn't perfect and still required investing in a ridiculously high-end system to be even remotely playable. You were far better off buying a second-hand PS2 that had been modified to run ROMs from discs, which isn't an optimal solution either since the chips eventually wear down over time and good luck getting that shit repaired.

              Sony literally has nothing to lose here. They're not making PS2s anymore. They're not publishing the games on the system. Players who can't be fucked to pay extra costs for a system that runs Sony's old games will simply do without, assuming they haven't already been spending most of their time playing newer games anyway. I'd suggest that the lack of emulation work done on the Vita was only made worse by the stringent protections Sony tossed on the system - which was obviously just what Sony needed for a system that was almost dead on arrival, make it less accessible.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 18 Sep 2019 @ 11:52am

        Re:

        As I pointed out in an earlier comment, the site being sued does not (intentionally) act to preserve classic games. It offers paid memberships that allow for unlimited downloads of books, movies, and ROMs both recent and vintage. That includes games released on the Switch. If the site were only offering “retro” ROMs (which I’ll arbitrarily define here as games published before the past 15 years) in a more preservationist setting, I would have no issue joining in the Nintendo-bashing.

        While that's true in this case, it's not just sites that offer current games and/or other content that Nintendo goes after. They oppose any site carrying their games, even if they're NES ROMS from 30 years ago. They oppose hacks, remakes, emulation (unless it's their own), and even videos of their games.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Châu, 20 Sep 2019 @ 5:14pm

    Change name become Nintendon't

    May be should change company name become Nintendon't (ニンテンドント).

    I find this cool name from old video game magazine from 1990s advertise Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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