A few weeks ago, Nintendo made an unprecedented move against the ROM/ISO community when it zapped Jacob Mathias, the owner of the LoveROMS and LoveRetro websites, with a massive $100 million lawsuit. Nintendo’s legal complaint was that Mathias’ websites infringed upon the companies intellectual property and also facilitated piracy due to hosting ROMS for several Nintendo titles (as well as others from various companies).
Nintendo’s massive lawsuit led Mathias to hastily shut down both of the websites just mere hours after he received the notice. Naturally, many wondered if Nintendo was truly serious about trying to seek such a high amount of money. It turns out that Nintendo may have actually been bluffing, though.
A new update on this case has shown that Mathias and Nintendo are currently in the process of reaching a settlement. Basically, this will involve the entire case not going through the court system, thus the fine should also fade out of the picture. As it stands, it seems that both Mathias and Nintendo are in agreement and it looks like things should wrap up soon.
It’s incredibly likely that Nintendo already knew it wasn’t going to get anywhere near the amount of money it was suing for. But, this pretty much proves that it was never really after the money. This was a matter of “shock therapy”. Nintendo wanted to make an example out of Mathias’ websites. And, it turns out this example has definitely been observed by other website owners in the ROM/ISO community.
LoveROMS.com before the lawsuit, versus just hours after.
EmuParadise, an even bigger website than LoveROMS and LoveRETRO, took down all of its ROM and ISO downloads just a few weeks after this lawsuit was filed. According to the official statement from the site’s owner, it doesn’t look like EmuParadise was hit with an official notice from Nintendo like Mathias’ websites were. Rather, seeing this situation unfold was enough to convince him that it just wasn’t worth it to keep the downloads alive. Thus, 18 years worth of archives were taken offline. TheISOZone has also recently closed its doors for the very same reason.
Indeed, it looks like Nintendo really has gotten exactly what it wanted. Though, the fallout from the closures of these websites has been massive. The news of EmuParadise’s soft-shutdown especially whipped up quite a negative reaction from the retro community. But, it’s doubtful that Nintendo is really concerned about that. All it’s seeking to do is protect and control its IP as much as possible. As long as it can continue making threats such as this lawsuit in order to achieve that goal, it will continue to do so.