After almost two years in court, Nintendo has won the legal battle against piracy and rom website RomUniverse. While Nintendo never made as much money as they initially hoped for, the company walked away with $2.1 million in the end.
Back in 2019, Nintendo filed a lawsuit against RomUniverse. The site played host to a number of Nintendo roms ranging from NES all the way to 3DS games. However, it was not until the site started uploading Nintendo Switch games that Nintendo took action.
Nintendo also took issue with the fact that RomUniverse offered premium memberships for users that allowed them more efficient ways to download the games. These users would pay the owner of the site, Matthew Storman to gain access to “priority” servers where the games were hosted. However, Storman claims he never uploaded these games himself but instead hosted links to the uploads.
Storman attempted to get the case dismissed multiple times but the court decided to pursue the matter. RomUniverse then went offline in early 2020 as the case continued. Nintendo was seeking monetary compensation for damage to its business. The company was initially asking for $15 million but the court only awarded them $2.1 million.
The major difference in the settlement mainly comes from the judge deciding on the amount of money RomUniverse would have to pay per each trademark violated on the site. Instead of $400,000 per violation, there were 28 in total, the judge decided to give Nintendo $400,000 in total.
Nintendo also wanted $90,000 for every copyrighted game on the site, there were 49 games in total. This amounted to $4.million. The judge instead offered them $35,999 per game totalling $1.7 million.
In the end, the judge decided to reduce the amount of money Nintendo got mainly due to the fact that RomUniverse was shut down very early in the lawsuit. In addition, the judge believed that the site owner was being sued beyond his means. He was currently unemployed and had very little means to repay the settlement.