A husband and wife from Arizona have been ordered to pay Nintendo a sum of $12.23 million in damages for running a couple of sites that offered pirated ROMs.
Jacob and Cristian Mathias have admitted guilt of copyright and trademark infringement by operating LoveROMS.com and LoveRetro.co. These sites were up until July this year when Nintendo finally intervened and slapped a lawsuit against the duo.
Both the sites were registered as the joint property of the couple and offered pirated versions of games such as Super Mario World, Mario Kart 64, Pokémon Yellow and Donkey Kong Country.
After Nintendo threatened legal action, the duo pulled down the websites swiftly and put up a notice saying the sites are undergoing maintenance.
The eyebrow-raising fine of $12.23 million has likely been set as an example to discourage others from running such ROM sites. Ever since then, many popular retro and emulator ROM sites EmuParadise have actually purged themselves in fear of getting sued by Nintendo.
But, as TorrentFreak points out, the couple probably doesn’t have that kind of money, and they won’t have to pay the full amount. It is speculated that Nintendo would most likely agree to a smaller settlement in private while sending a warning message to other emulator sites.