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posted by mrpg on Tuesday July 24 2018, @01:35AM   Printer-friendly
from the then-ignore-nintendo-forever dept.

Nintendo to ROM sites: Forget cease-and-desist, now we're suing

Nintendo's attitude toward ROM releases—either original games' files or fan-made edits—has often erred on the side of litigiousness. But in most cases, the game producer has settled on cease-and-desist orders or DMCA claims to protect its IP.

This week saw the company grow bolder with its legal action, as Nintendo of America filed a lawsuit (PDF) on Thursday seeking millions in damages over classic games' files being served via websites.

The Arizona suit, as reported by TorrentFreak, alleges "brazen and mass-scale infringement of Nintendo's intellectual property rights" by the sites LoveROMs and LoveRetro. These sites combine ROM downloads and in-browser emulators to deliver one-stop gaming access, and the lawsuit includes screenshots and interface explanations to demonstrate exactly how the sites' users can gain access to "thousands of [Nintendo] video games, related copyrighted works, and images."

Also at Tom's Hardware.


Original Submission

Related Stories

EmuParadise Removes ROMs After Nintendo Sued Other ROM Sites 40 comments

Retro game repository EmuParadise says it's finished distributing ROMs

Nintendo has had enough of pirates and the websites that enable them, like EmuParadise. After shutting down a handful of sites and a Game Boy Advance emulator on GitHub in July, the publisher has seemingly done the work to convince EmuParadise to shut down. This massive online library of downloadable old games started 18 years ago, and up until this moment it hosted nearly complete libraries of games for various consoles that you could download and play on emulators.

Playing ROMs, as these game files are often referred to as, on an emulator exists in a legal gray area, but distributing these copyrighted works for download on the internet is obviously and clearly illegal. But Nintendo and other publishers have mostly avoided investing resources in tracking down and enforcing its legal right in many of these cases over the last couple of decades. For Nintendo, however, something has changed, and it is cracking down. And EmuParadise has confirmed that it is going to do what it must to avoid facing legal action.

"We will continue to be passionate retro gamers and will keep doing cool stuff around retro games, but you won't be able to get your games from here for now," reads an EmuParadise blog post. "Where we go with this is up to us and up to you."

Read-only memory (ROM) image.

Also at Kotaku and TechCrunch.

Previously: Nintendo Sues ROM Sites


Original Submission

Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Against ROM Sites, Defendants Agree to Pay $12.23 Million 18 comments

Nintendo wins $12m lawsuit against ROM sites run by a married couple

Nintendo has won a legal battle against pirate ROM websites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co. The judgement from the Arizona court has resulted in the owners of the now-defunct sites having to pay the Japanese game developer $12.23 million in damages.

The ROM site owners are married couple Jacob and Cristian Mathias, who registered the two sites under their company, Mathias Designs. Their legal troubles started this past summer when Nintendo filed a complaint with the federal court against them. In order to avoid a drawn-out legal battle the couple took down the two websites in July and put up a notice that said they were under maintenance.

As TorrentFreak notes, however, the couple soon owned up and admitted to both direct and indirect copyright as well as trademark infringement of Nintendo's games and other copyrighted content. The two ROM sites the Mathias couple ran offered pirated copies of Nintendo's retro games, including Super Mario World, Mario Kart 64, Super Mario All-Stars, and many more. People were able to download these pirate copies and play them on PC and other platforms they weren't intended for with an emulator, thereby bypassing Nintendo's hardware ecosystem entirely.

As the paperwork obtained by TorrentFreak shows, both parties – the Mathias couple and Nintendo – have now reached an agreement after the dispute was raised this summer.

Also at Motherboard.

Previously: Nintendo Sues ROM Sites
EmuParadise Removes ROMs After Nintendo Sued Other ROM Sites


Original Submission

Convicted Console Hacker Says He Paid Nintendo $25 a Month From Prison 32 comments

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/02/after-14-5m-judgments-console-hacker-paid-nintendo-25-a-month-from-prison/

When 54-year-old Gary Bowser pleaded guilty to his role in helping Team Xecuter with their piracy-enabling line of console accessories, he realized he would likely never pay back the $14.5 million he owed Nintendo in civil and criminal penalties. In a new interview with The Guardian, though, Bowser says he began making $25 monthly payments toward those massive fines even while serving a related prison sentence.

Last year, Bowser was released after serving 14 months of that 40-month sentence (in addition to 16 months of pre-trial detention), which was spread across several different prisons. During part of that stay, Bowser tells The Guardian, he was paid $1 an hour for four-hour shifts counseling other prisoners on suicide watch.

[...] Nintendo lawyers were upfront that they pushed for jail time for Bowser to "send a message that there are consequences for participating in a sustained effort to undermine the video game industry."

[...] Bowser also maintains that he wasn't directly involved with the coding or manufacture of Team Xecuter's products and only worked on incidental details like product testing, promotion, and website coding. Speaking to Ars in 2020, Aurora, a writer for hacking news site Wololo, described Bowser as "kind of a PR guy" for Team Xecuter. Despite this, Bowser said taking a plea deal on just two charges saved him the time and money of fighting all 14 charges made against him in court.

[...] Now that he's free, Bowser says he has been relying on friends and a GoFundMe[https://www.gofundme.com/f/garyopa-restarting-his-life] page to pay for rent and necessities as he looks for a job. That search could be somewhat hampered by his criminal record and by terms of the plea deal that prevent him from working with any modern gaming hardware.

Despite this, Bowser told The Guardian that his current circumstances are still preferable to a period of homelessness he experienced during his 20s. And while console hacking might be out for Bowser, he is reportedly still "tinkering away with old-school Texas Instruments calculators" to pass the time.

Alternate source with GoFundMe link (added to the story above): Nintendo Sued a Man So Severely That He Can Only Survive on GoFundMe

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Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:14AM (15 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:14AM (#711515)

    This is about video games, again, isn't it? Entertainment for children.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:34AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:34AM (#711529)

      You're a manchild, so it's all good.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:43AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:43AM (#711535)

        And it makes me wonder, is the incel part so involuntary? Time to grow a pair, in the real world.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:47AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:47AM (#711540)

          I think we should draft him into the army. That's the only way to fix incels.

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:55AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:55AM (#711544)

            But then they only relate to women as whores. Or commanding officers.

            • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @05:14AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @05:14AM (#711589)

              Makes sense, since they have to run Windows, and have no experience of a Siri, or any other facsimile of a female. Poor Boys! Not Proud Boys, pretty pathetic gamerboys.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:45AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:45AM (#711537)

      This is about video games, again, isn't it? Entertainment for incels.

      FTFY

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:41AM (#711574)

        Correlation is not causation; unless it is reversed? OMG!

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:56AM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @02:56AM (#711546)

      Uh lots of people play video games. The original arcade games were NOT invented for children. They were placed in bars.

      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:43AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:43AM (#711575)

        They were placed in bars.

        Bars full of children. In Thaighland. With Andrew Anglin, Nazi Pedofile.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday July 24 2018, @01:24PM (4 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 24 2018, @01:24PM (#711702) Journal

        Not only were they in bars. All the original video games were extremely violent video games.

        Space Invaders

        Frogger

        Missile Commander

        etc

        --
        To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday July 24 2018, @05:59PM (3 children)

          by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 24 2018, @05:59PM (#711804) Journal

          IIRC, the original video game was tic-tac-toe. Violent?

          And Space War, the original commercial game, was only violent if you also think that Chess is violent.

          That said, the two simplest plots are sex and violence. And sex is forbidden. So this is a lot about what can be presented simply, and partially about what appeals to the widest audience, and partially about what it allowed.

          And, thinking about it, even sex is harder to synopsize in virtual form than violence. Even checkers can be seen as an abstraction of violence.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 1) by noneof_theabove on Tuesday July 24 2018, @06:23PM (1 child)

            by noneof_theabove (6189) on Tuesday July 24 2018, @06:23PM (#711814)

            How violent was Pong? One of the earliest games.

            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday July 24 2018, @10:25PM

              by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 24 2018, @10:25PM (#711988) Journal

              Well, I've seen people get rather violently emotional at ping-pong matches, and since it's also rather like tennis, https://www.tennis-prose.com/bios/examples-of-incidents-of-violence-in-pro-tennis/ [tennis-prose.com]

              I was trying to recall one particular case that made the world news, but couldn't narrow it down enough. There were too many returns when searching for "women's tennis match violence".

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @06:26PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @06:26PM (#711817)

            I was reprimanded by my great-aunt-in-law for playing such a violent game a minesweeper once.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @05:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @05:57PM (#711801)

        But they were placed there so the kids would have something to do while the parents got hammered.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by julian on Tuesday July 24 2018, @03:13AM (3 children)

    by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 24 2018, @03:13AM (#711550)

    Again, is this the late 90s? This is absurd. Nintendo was able to sell NES Classic consoles as fast as it could possibly manufacture them. They've resold their catalogs 2-3 times to their hardcore fans and their oldest games still sell new copies every year, decades after they've recouped their production cost. Emulation doesn't do any damage at all and in fact feeds a culture of appreciation for hardware/software history which Nintendo is in the prime position to produce "authentic" replicas of.

    I have a collection of every NES, SNES, GB/GBC/GBA, and N64 game and it's a little over 11 GB in size. It's about 2600 files (not all game ROMs). After the N64 file size balloons because they started using discs so an entire GameCube collection is more than an order of magnitude larger. For comparison, the Atari 2600 library is about 520 titles and fits on three 1.44 MB HD floppies. Of the small amount of those Nintendo games that I've ever played or ever will play, I've probably bought 20% of them multiple times in various formats. I haven't cost Nintendo a cent. I'm actually a good customer.

    If they're being beat out by a free site that just means they need to put those old games on the App Store and charge $0.99. They've already made their money back on those titles. I'd pay $0.99 or even a couple bucks to play Advance Wars or Super Mario World on my iPhone without some stupid browser hack that doesn't work very well. These products are, some of them, decades old. Charge a small fee and rake in profit forever. It really doesn't take much effort to undercut the pirate sites.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:02AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:02AM (#711564)

      What? A non-greedy big corporation?

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by shortscreen on Tuesday July 24 2018, @08:03AM

      by shortscreen (2252) on Tuesday July 24 2018, @08:03AM (#711626) Journal

      Nintendo was able to sell NES Classic consoles as fast as it could possibly manufacture them. They've resold their catalogs 2-3 times to their hardcore fans and their oldest games still sell new copies every year, decades after they've recouped their production cost. Emulation doesn't do any damage at all

      TFS says websites had the games running in an emulator inside the browser. Given what I know about websites, browsers, and JavaShit, I'd assume the games were probably glitchy, laggy, mangled, and otherwise unplayable. That's why Nintendo had to shut them down, because their product was being represented in an unfair and disparaging manner, threatening future sales.

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday July 24 2018, @06:01PM

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 24 2018, @06:01PM (#711806) Journal

      After this I wouldn't give Nintendo corp. even two cents. I'd probably give them a penny if it cost them a nickel to accept it.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 2) by boltronics on Tuesday July 24 2018, @03:36AM (3 children)

    by boltronics (580) on Tuesday July 24 2018, @03:36AM (#711557) Homepage Journal

    Here I was thinking that Nintendo didn't care about older games these days? Aside from the S/NES Classics (which have a fixed number of games that cannot be officially updated), Nintendo haven't released any Virtual Console titles for the switch - which is the main reason I keep my Wii-U around.

    I hear the upcoming Switch subscription service will try to entice users by making a small selection of the classic games available, so that may be a factor.

    There's also the problem of some games like TMNT for the NES that are no longer available on the Wii-U Virtual Console for sale due to licensing issues, apparently in this case related to Konami's use of the TNMT property. Unless you want to purchase an actual old-school NES and physical cartridge of the game (which is both expensive and a pain to deal with), ROM sites would be your only option. I guess if Nintendo isn't allowed to sell it, nobody can have it.

    --
    It's GNU/Linux dammit!
    • (Score: 2, Touché) by anubi on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:59AM (2 children)

      by anubi (2828) on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:59AM (#711581) Journal

      Nintendo needs more people like ME!

      I'm sure Nintendo is very pleased to know I haven't pirated not even ONE of their videogames, even obsolete ones.

      Not only that, I don't even own a thing I can play them on if I did!

      ( Actually, I find videogames a terrible waste of time, and refuse to mess with them, I'd rather be designing my Arduino/Raspberri PI compatible I/O boards. )

      Time for more Executive-Class thinking here... maybe with enough discouragement of people who are interested in your product, there will be more people like ME!

      Lawyers await your handshake and retainer fees. Let's do the Executive Leadership thing while you still have people who give a damn about your product. Shake the hand. Sue your congregation. If you can sour the milk enough, no one will be left drinking it and your problem has been solved!

      This is a good example of that "Thinking Outside the Box" that makes the Organizational and Leadership Skills of the Executive so much more valuable than the other members of the team.

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Magic Oddball on Tuesday July 24 2018, @07:33AM (1 child)

        by Magic Oddball (3847) on Tuesday July 24 2018, @07:33AM (#711623) Journal

        I'm sure Nintendo is very pleased to know I haven't pirated not even ONE of their videogames, even obsolete ones. Not only that, I don't even own a thing I can play them on if I did!

        That would mean that you don't have a Raspberry Pi, a computer manufactured after 1995, an Android tablet, or an Android smartphone.

        Actually, I find videogames a terrible waste of time, and refuse to mess with them, I'd rather be designing my Arduino/Raspberri PI compatible I/O boards.

        Those are different kinds of hobbies altogether. Video games are more parallel to reading books, masturbating, telling/writing stories, listening to music, playing an instrument, creating artwork, watching sports/videos, playing with pets, surfing the Internet, or other non-productive forms of relaxation. Hopefully you don't limit your recreational time to fully productive things, as I suspect that wouldn't be entirely healthy...

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by anubi on Tuesday July 24 2018, @08:20AM

          by anubi (2828) on Tuesday July 24 2018, @08:20AM (#711630) Journal

          My ignorance of the games is showing, I see. Had no idea they would play on an android.

          Now, that should make Nintendo super happy. Here I had the means and still did not do it.

          But Nintendo's problem is the exact opposite of mine. Everyone knows who Nintendo is, and shells out bucks to buy their boxes.

          And as far as productive activity goes, I spend way way way too much time on walks, and my bucket list is to go out and visit a lot of places I've heard of, but never seen, like Sedona, Arizona, Supai, Arizona ( Part of Grand Canyon ), get a National Parks pass, and get in that diesel van I just bought and go all over the place in it.

          Right now, I have to complete my interface modules because everything I have, including my van, will have them in it. For my house, sprinkler controllers, security, lights, thermostat, etc. For the van, transmission controller, another one doing security, another doing engine monitoring. It will be a demo showing typical things my modules will do, and how to set them up to do other things. I'd like to sell 'em to farmers. For little things like watching animal pens and checking up on other things to make sure they are working properly. Is the temperature OK? Humidity? Do they have water? Are the fans running? That sort of thing. Logged. Exceptions sent to their phone via SMS. Accept instructions via SMS. Or maybe light beams. Hit your LED flashlight on a sensor to open or close a gate ( the interface recognizes the flashlight's PWM LED driver ). Or maybe it will recognize a radio transmitter on your truck. That sort of thing.

          When I take my road trip, I want to look for somewhere I would like to take my designs and circuit boards and set up a little production factory to assemble, demonstrate, and sell them. You know, some peaceful place in the middle of nowhere. I do not have to have a high skilled workforce for this - I can train 'em. What I make is nothing a high-school kid should find confusing. Its a specialty thing... cuz I can't make 'em cheap, just the parts alone add up quick as I use the precision ones. But I can make 'em reliable and trustworthy where the person who buys them programs and controls them, with no one else in on the deal. And made such that they interfaces are flexible enough that should needs change, the appropriate I/O boards can be added/deleted per whim. I may have to import someone though for Propeller programming. I also use those as programmable interface drivers. And I can use Raspberry PI's as well, but its mostly Arduino due to power considerations and simplicity. Actually, my designs are so simple that the only thing I have going for me is economies of scale. Once someone has my stuff in their hand, they can reverse it just by looking at it. But I buy my PCB by the hundreds, and they will need one or two.

          I just want to wind my life up in a simple lifestyle that I can do what I do out of a barn. Its quite obvious to me should I work in a corporation, I would not be allowed to do what I do best, and will have to spend my life gussying up for appearance's sake, substance be damned. Every corporation I have worked in valued their suit-guys a helluva lot more than their tool-guys, and I am a lab rat. I have a hard time doing suit-work, which usually requires me to, well, "stretch the truth"?

          I guess my dream would be to stir up enough market that Atmel would spin off a special version of their chip with the interfaces I need built right into the silicon and get a company started that would be able to train hundreds of people to roll their own machines and not be dependent on those "locking them in" to proprietary cloud services.

          --
          "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
  • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday July 24 2018, @03:51AM (1 child)

    by LoRdTAW (3755) on Tuesday July 24 2018, @03:51AM (#711560) Journal

    Hot on the heels of the hidden NES emulator in Animal Crossing... Nintendo sues ROM sites in order to stimulate torrent trading of massive ROM archives. I have a huge dump of NES games somewhere... Hmmm.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24 2018, @04:06AM (#711567)

      Did you post it on the Internet archive as a 40Gb file?

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