RomUniverse used to be a site where people could go download ROM files to play old video games on PC using emulation software. Nintendo, however, wasn't about to let that stand as they love making money by repackaging old games to sell on their latest console. That and ROMs are legally seen as copyrighted material, so downloading a ROM without the permission of the copyright holder is illegal.
Nintendo brought a lawsuit against RomUniverse back in 2019 for distributing its copyrighted games illegally, and that suit recently ended with a ruling against RomUniverse's owner, Matthew Storman. He was ordered to shut down RomUniverse and pay Nintendo $2.1 million in damages.
Now, thanks to court docs uncovered by Ars Technica, we're finding out the terms of that settlement. Strangely, Nintendo's lawyers agreed to have Storman pay that $2.1 in $50 monthly installments--a rate that would see him pay off his court-ordered debt in roughly 3,500 years.
However, it looks like money was never really Nintendo's goal. During a recent deposition with Storman's former attorney, Nintendo discovered that Storman was thinking about relaunching RomUniverse, only without any Nintendo games. One assumes Storman thought that this would prevent future legal challenges from Nintendo, but apparently not.
Nintendo is now seeking an injunction against Storman recreating RomUniverse at all, arguing that his failure to pay his first $50 installment puts Storman in violation of the courts. Nintendo also argues that this "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’s original lawsuit against RomUniverse was over 49 titles that Nintendo definitively held the copyrights to, but now Nintendo is arguing that they have to prevent a new RomUniverse from appearing even if it doesn’t hold any Nintendo games at all. This basically would have Nintendo defending the copyrights of games it doesn’t even own--a difficult thing to argue in court.
On the other hand. Ars Technica points out that the new 2020 Trademark Modernization Act assumes a new "mandatory presumption of irreparable harm" in trademark infringement cases, which would make arguing for an injunction against any future RomUniverse easier.
Storman, who is now representing himself, is now requesting that the court overturn its previous $2.1 million ruling.
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