RomUniverse Guy Tries To Revive The Site Despite Not Paying His Nintendo Fine

RomUniverse Guy Tries To Revive The Site Despite Not Paying His Nintendo Fine
Image: RomUniverse

Matthew Storman, creator of the Nintendo piracy site RomUniverse, is trying to bring back the popular ROM page even after copping a whopping $2.87 million copyright infringement from Nintendo.

Last month, Storman was hit with a massive fine. But because he’s currently unemployed, the RomUniverse founder agreed to a payment plan of $US50 ($66.75) a month until the debt is paid. (For those playing along at home, that means it will take him 3,500 years to pay his dues.)

But if you thought racking up a multi-lifetime debt to Nintendo would’ve taught him a lesson, think again. Storman’s apparently keen to revive the site, this time without Nintendo’s intellectual property.

“Mr. Storman stated that he was still considering what to do with RomUniverse and that if he were to bring back the website, it might have video game content and ROMs from companies other than Nintendo but would not have Nintendo content,” attorney William Rava noted in a court filing, first spotted by Ars Technica.

As a result, Nintendo is seeking to file a permanent injunction against Storman, citing the fact that he can’t pay his debt as a reason.

“This failure to make even the modest $50/month payment, an amount that he proposed and agreed to, demonstrates that Nintendo has no adequate remedy at law for Defendant’s past or future infringement and underscores the need for a permanent injunction,” Nintendo wrote in a court document. “Defendant’s threat to continue to operate RomUniverse to distribute videogame ROMs, using the same website he used for the past several years to mass-infringe Nintendo’s copyright and trademark rights, necessitates the entry of an injunction.”

Storman — who’s still representing himself in court — is fighting the injunction, arguing that “there is no legitimate, admissible evidence” that Nintendo “sustained any actual damages whatsoever” from the operations of RomUniverse. That’s despite Nintendo arguing that RomUniverse had supported “approximately 50,000 illegal downloads of ROMs” at the time of its complaint.

At the time of the initial lawsuit, the injunction was rejected on the grounds that the website had already been taken down. The Internet Archive, for instance, doesn’t feature any licensed Nintendo hardware or software to avoid the wrath of Mario’s legal team. If Storman’s new site steps over that line, it could open him up to a whole new case from Nintendo.

Comments

  • ” If Storman’s new site steps over that line, it could open him up to a whole new case from Nintendo.”

    Or any other game company that decides they want in on the action.

  • Game company’s should just give up and work with rom sites. Company’s never see the money they are awarded in these situations.

  • $50 a month. That’s the rate I paid for a drunk driving fine (3 years not 3500yrs). I was lucky. I deserved worse. I committed a a proper morally wrong crime. I could not give the slightest shit about copyright “crime”.

  • Ah yes, that deterrence factor people from the last article’s comments were talking about in action. How’s that been going, guys? I almost drowned on my coffee laughing at the timing of this article.

      • He’ll still be happily infringing on the rights of other companies. As I said before and as the article itself points out, what deterrent? God, even Nintendo’s injunction itself points out that he wasn’t deterred. It’s almost like ROM sites don’t care about courts because the sort of people who run them don’t have enough money for the civil legal system to be relevant to them.

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