Piracy

RomUniverse Calls Community to Support Legal Defense Against Nintendo

By Bill Toulas / September 24, 2019

About two weeks ago, we informed you of a new series of lawsuits submitted by Nintendo, targeting mainly ROM-hosting websites. One of them, RomUniverse, had a complaint submitted against them at the California Federal Court, revealing the owner’s name which is “Matthew Storman”. Nintendo asks the court to order the payment of statutory damages of up to $100 million, which is the amount that the platform has allegedly made thanks to user subscriptions. The “Premium memberships” on RomUniverse enable users to download as many ROMs as they like, but Nintendo is asking for the equivalent of $30 for each member in damages.

RomUniverse didn’t close it’s doors or tried to negotiate an extrajudicial solution, but instead, calls its members for help. They have added donation buttons on the platform’s homepage and launched a GoFundMe campaign where they set a goal to raise $100k. The campaign has been deleted now, but the website continues to pledge for donations. It is unclear if RomUniverse decided to delete the campaign because it didn’t start very strong, or if it was removed by GoFundMe on grounds of piracy, fearing a potential targeting by Nintendo.

romuniverse

Source: romuniverse.com

As Storman wrote there: “RomUniverse.com was founded in 2009 under the notion that users like you should have easy access to the content that you purchased and the ability to relive those childhood moments. It is because of this, that I am asking for your help. Now I know what you’re thinking, this one person is going to take on one of the largest console/gaming manufacturers in the world? And the short answer is YES. I believe that I have a solid defense, and considering that other romsites have folded and settled, this has never been done before.”

This indicates that Matthew Storman doesn’t believe that RomUniverse is doing anything wrong, or anything against the law. To the contrary, the site admins have been quick to respond to takedown notices in the past, but Nintendo hasn’t taken that path recently. It is clear that the Japanese gaming and electronics company isn’t interested in regulating piracy with notices, but instead prefer to make a strong case by going directly to the courts. Now, it is highly unlikely that RomUniverse will manage to raise $100k from donations. Users pay to get something back, and if a pirate website is gone, another one will pop in to take its place. TVAddons owner tried to raise legal defense financial resources through GoFundMe four days ago, and the campaign is still stuck at 1.8% of its goal.

Do you think that Matthew Storman stands any chance against Nintendo? Let us know of your opinion in the comments down below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.



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