The popular ROM site RomUniverse, which has recently been sued by Nintendo for hosting pirated Switch games, has suffered another blow. The California federal court has now ordered the pirate site to destroy all copyright-infringing games within the next two weeks. In addition, the court has awarded Nintendo an injunction and the pirate site may not go back online at any time in the future. All of this had been added on top of the current $2.1 million settlement.
The court case between Nintendo and RomUniverse has been a long one. Nintendo originally filed the lawsuit back in 2019 after the company was made aware that the platform began distributing Switch ROMs online. The site owner, Matthew Storman disagreed with the allegations and even decided to represent himself in court. He believed that he did not break any laws of copyright infringements.
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Long story short, the case appeared in court and Storman lost. Nintendo originally sued the site owner for a lot more money but the court only awarded the company $2.1 million due to his financial state.
Since the court case began, RomUniverse has remained offline. Nintendo originally argued that the company was facing the ongoing threat that Stornman might bring it back. They filed the injunction on the grounds that the site might be turned back on and the company might face even more harm. Of which, this was originally denied.
After taking a second look at the matter, the preceding Judge Marshal has now granted Nintendo the injunction. Judge Marshal claims that the potential comeback of RomUniverse is an important factor to keep in mind. It may cause harm to Nintendo in some way especially by hosting games and ROMS. In addition, the site owner has constantly warned that he might bring it back. Storman claims that RomUniverse would return but not host any Nintendo titles on the platform. This is where the court intervened.
“Plaintiff’s evidence demonstrates a threat of continued infringement based on Defendant’s representations that he may relaunch his website which previously contained Plaintiff’s copyrighted games. Accordingly, Plaintiff demonstrates irreparable harm warranting an injunction for Plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim.”
The injunction now prohibits RomUniverse to copy, distribute, sell or even play unauthorised copies of Nintendo games. They may not use Nintendo trademarks, logos, names in any confusing or misleading manner.
In addition, the site needs to permanently destroy all unauthorized Nintendo games or other unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s intellectual property including movies, books, and music no later than August 17, 2021.
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Source: Californian legal department