Nintendo's lawsuit against ROM websites LoveROMS.com and LoveRetro.co will not be going to trial as the couple that owns them admitted to copyright and trademark infringement charges, forking over $12 million to the Japanese company.
Nintendo filed the lawsuit back , as the websites were gathering donations and offering advertising space, while hosting games that are Nintendo's intellectual property. The websites were immediately taken down of course, along with their quite hefty databases of games.
The lawsuit was filed in a US federal court in Arizona against Jacob Mathias and his company Mathias Designs, although his wife's name has been subsequently added as well. As part of the settlement, the Mathiases will have to shell out exactly $12,230,000 to the company.
Naturally, $12 million is a substantial sum but it's still peanuts to what the couple would have to pay had the case gone to court. LoveRetro alone had more than 17 million visitors monthly, which would most certainly come to haunt the websites in a trial, hence the relatively quick settlement.
TorrentFreak argues that it's unlikely that the Mathiases will be paying the entire sum, since the move is more like a show of force by Nintendo's legal team. Apparently, similar cases with similarly high fees have been handled with much smaller sums behind the scenes, although this is just speculation at the moment.
Ultimately, Nintendo got what they wanted, showing that they're not kidding when it comes to intellectual property. The mere announcement of legal action against LoveROMS and LoveRetro made many similar websites either take down their Nintendo ROMs or shut down altogether, so the show of force started working already too.
At the time of writing, both of the websites remain down and only host an apology to Nintendo. "LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co acknowledges that it caused harm to Nintendo, its partners, and customers by offering infringing copies of Nintendo games and has agreed to cease all such activities" it reads.