Tech

RomUniverse Owner Ordered to Destroy All Nintendo Property by Tuesday

Written by Bill Toulas
Published on August 14, 2021

Matthew Storman, the owner and operator of the now-defunct ROM repository ‘RomUniverse,’ is ordered by the U.S. District Court of Central California to permanently destroy all unauthorized Nintendo games and copies of the Japanese company’s intellectual property, including music, books, and movies. This must be done no later than August 17, 2021, while the defendant shall also file a declaration under penalty of perjury to certify his compliance by the end of next week.

This order is meant to ensure that RomUniverse won’t return online, as Nintendo managed to convince the District Court Judge, Consuelo B. Marshall, that this is a real possibility. As such, it comes on top of the permanent injunction preventing M. Storman to engage in similar acts or even to assist third parties in the United States of America or any other country in the world to copy, distribute, sell, display, or allow the playing and/or reproduction of copyrighted work belonging to Nintendo, and any derivative thereof.

Back in January 2021, the same court evaluated a damage compensation from Nintendo, which asked no less than $15.6 million ($4.41 million for copyright damages and $11.2 million for trademark infringement). In May 2021, the court awarded $2.1 million in damages to Nintendo and set a minimum payment requirement of $50 per month. Storman apparently ignored even that, failing to pay the monthly token to Nintendo, something that the Japanese gaming company saw as a sign of the defendant’s willingness to get RomUniverse back together and ignore his legal obligations.

Indeed Storman himself confirmed he had thoughts around restarting the site but clarified that it wouldn’t have any Nintendo ROMs this time. Even if that was the case, though, these ROMs could still carry trademarks pertaining to Nintendo’s consoles, something that constitutes a violation of the law. As such, it was relatively easy for Nintendo’s legal team to substantiate the danger and convince the California court that a permanent injunction order was justified.

Although not completely gone, ROM sites that distribute ROM images of Nintendo games are gradually going extinct. Nintendo has carried out several legal actions against the owners of the largest platforms of this kind in the past couple of years, like LoveRoms.com and LoveRetro.co, sending a message to the entire pirating community.

RomUniverse’s owner was more persistent in the sense that he attempted to have the motion against him dropped, denied having done anything wrong, and even expressed eagerness to return online. This latest court order seals the tombstone for RomUniverse, so it’s gone for good.



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