Nintendo had filed a lawsuit against Matthew Storman in 2019 for his operation of RomUniverse.com. According to Nintendo, RomUniverse was “among the most visited and notorious online hubs for pirated Nintendo video games” for “over a decade.” The site had offered prominent downloads of copyrighted game files and “Nintendo Switch Scene Roms.”

Storman stated that in 2019 RomUniverse contributed a major part of his income. This stood around 30,000 USD to 36,000 USD per year. The site had sold “premium unlimited accounts” which allowed users fast downloads and no limits, at 30 USD per year.

When Storman had to sign an agreement with Nintendo to shut down the site in September 2020, a year since Nintendo’s legal appeal, he was making around 800 USD a month from the site. Nintendo had alleged that it had lost between 20 and 60 USD for each download from the site; amounting to a total of 1 and 3 million USD in revenues.

More Repercussions

  • Nintendo had sought 4.41 million USD for copyright damages from Storman, and 11.2 million USD for RomUniverse’s use of Nintendo’s trademarked box art. However, the ruling brought the amount down to a total of 2.1 million.
  • Nintendo also attempted to remove RomUniverse from existence, but was unable to prove “irreparable harm” and failed to achieve its objective. As Storman had become unemployed and was dependent on food stamps, it was agreed that he would be allowed to pay off his penalties in 50 USD installments.
  • Storman has missed his first payment, and Nintendo is using this to press further charges against Storman. Nintendo has cited the failure to make the payment in its allegation that Storman has ignored previous orders and that he intends to bring RomUniverse back again in the future to “mass-infringe copyright and trademark rights”.
  • It also stated that he had told his lawyer that he hasn’t ruled out bringing the site back. Using these reasons, Nintendo is pushing further for a permanent injunction.

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