Nintendo Sues Console ROM Sites for “Mass” Copyright Infringement

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Nintendo is suing popular console ROM sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.com for copyright and trademark infringement. According to the complaint, both are “notorious online hubs for pirated video games” that “reproduce, distribute, publicly perform and display a staggering number of unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video games.”

    Nintendo hopes to shut both sites down. The company requests statutory damages of $150,000 per infringing Nintendo game and up to $2,000,000 for each trademark infringement. This means that, with more than 140 copyrighted titles and 40 trademarks on the record, theoretical damages could go up to a staggering $100 million.
     
  2. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    .....The eternal struggle. Give it up Nintendon't.
     
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  3. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I hope someone will shut down nintendo and other companies like it, who treats abandonware the same as any copyright infringement. Someone please pluck a giant pole up their anus.
     
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  4. macksomerville

    macksomerville [H]ard|Gawd

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    I feel like if the answer to the question of "can I play this any other way?" isnt answered by the original without having to find an operable 35+ year old machine, then STFU
     
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  5. Galvin

    Galvin 2[H]4U

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    Wasn't for the rom sites and emulators. Lot of these games would be lost forever
     
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  6. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed Gawd

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    So when all the carts have worn out due to age and the hardware has become unreliable no matter how much retro enthusiasts try to look after it, we just let a large part of out electronic gaming history wither away and die due to copyright.

    Surely this was not how copyright was intended to be used? Why not try to embrace the community that loves you so much Nintendo instead of being so hellbent on destroying it, you were such a big part of the lives of many growing up that we don't want to let go.
     
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  7. Kwaz

    Kwaz Whine & Cheezy

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    Not only that but suddenly now it's a problem because they want to capitalize on the NES / SNES Classic.
     
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  8. Semantics

    Semantics 2[H]4U

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    Why are people acting butthurt and surprised by this, nintendo's own properties are far from abandoned, they'll sell it to you six ways to sunday, nes classic, virtual console store etc. Nintendo in general just doesn't like sites like this because in general every generation nintendo consoles have been some of the easiest to pirate off of, often with just a softmod.
     
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  9. tetris42

    tetris42 2[H]4U

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    You'd need to change the law first. Under copyright law, there's no such thing as abandonware. There's no distinction of their rights to shut down a game they haven't sold in 30 years v. one they released yesterday.
     
  10. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Abandonware does not exist. No video game is old enough to have had its copyright expire. Also, Nintendo's IPs definitely do not quality as "abandoned".
     
  11. oldmanbal

    oldmanbal [H]ard|Gawd

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    I got a warning from comcast because son downloaded a torrent of mario vs . donkey kong 2 this month. Only warning I've ever gotten, and I know he's downloaded a ton a shit over the last few years. Nintendo is on the warpath.
     
  12. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 n00bie

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    Yeah, If Nintendo had PC software and a cash shop for emulated games, I could see them actually having a case, as many pointed out alot of these games would be completely lost if not for emulation. I personally would like to see a judge counter rule based on the fact the said articles are mishandled by right holders with no real avenue of valid purchase.
     
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  13. Wolf_Tech

    Wolf_Tech Limp Gawd

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  14. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Never heard of those two sites...
     
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  15. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    None of Nintendo's IPs are abandonware. Even games from companies that have gone out of buissness decades are not abandonware. Some one still owns the rights still. It is not like they can stop emulation and roms. Shit been out there for decades and will continue.
     
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  16. Methos

    Methos Limp Gawd

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    A long long time ago I used to help moderate the forums at CherryROMs, and Nintendo would very often use legal threats to have the roms removed. The downloads were disabled so often, moderating was mostly mocking people who came onto the forums looking for the roms. I was kind of a dick to people then, so if you were on that forum from 2001-2004 or so, I’m sorry.

    My point here is that Nintendo has never considered any of their IP as abandoned, they’ve been trying to shut down rom sites for damn near 20 years, and none of this should seem surprising.

    Edit: furthermore you can get a GoodNES and a GoodSNES rom package as a torrent and have every game ever in 5 minutes. Who even runs a rom site these days?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  17. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    this has been happening since 96-97, just different sites.
     
  18. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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    If Nintendo had set up a DDS years ago offering a built-in emulator with their entire library of NES, SNES, and N64 games available to purchase and add to such a client-based library (just like Steam, UPlay, or Origin), then they would likely be the wealthiest console company on the planet by now.

    Hell, an even better idea is a portable Nintendo emulator (like a proprietary version of the Raspberry pi) that connects to any HDMI display and home WiFi, but allows the capability to take it on vacations and even play it in offline mode...shit, that would allow it to even be connected to a vehicle's in-car rear screens so the kiddos can play some great classic games while donning the IR headphones while Mom/Dad enjoy the stereo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
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  19. collegeboy69us

    collegeboy69us [H]ardness Supreme

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    They didn't get my money, I was initially excited about the idea of a cheap/easy "authorized" NES Classic, after seeing how nintendo jerked around people who WANTED to pay with their shit supply chain and poor planning, I said screw it and kept my money. I would have even been willing to cough up more money in the form of downloading some ROMS from some sort of built in ROM store. Funny how when you are older and have disposable income and the nostalgia for games... paying a fair price for something isn't a big deal.

    They got lazy and they got greedy, so I said nope. If I really wanted my fix bad enough I'd build a pi emulator or something, but meh.
     
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  20. sadsteve

    sadsteve Limp Gawd

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    And that's the real problem. Life of the author plus 70 years is just bull shit. The problem is that our politicians sold out to companies like Disney.
     
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  21. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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  22. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That's exactly how the copyright was intended to be used. The owner of a created work has complete control of how and who distributes new copies of that work, including the right to revoke permission to distribute new copies. If they want their works to die and be forgotten, then they should have that ability up until their copyrights expire, at which point the work (if it still exists) can enter the public domain and become part of the countries creative heritage. The only thing they cannot do is demand existing legitimately distributed copies be destroyed or prevent anyone from redistributing them (i.e. first sale doctrine).
     
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  23. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed Gawd

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    Not for that extent of time and history should not be forgotten or abandoned. Yes, Nintendo provide remakes of their titles, but I want something that's literally the untampered original playable on the original hardware and sadly finding the original carts is becoming rare and expensive on the second hand market.

    It's a 30yo game that's no longer sold in it's original form to run on the original hardware, this is the abuse of an outdated copyright system as retro gamers are not going to go out and buy a Switch just to play a remake of their favorite titles. Those that will buy such titles would never consider downloading ROMs.
     
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  24. ZeqOBpf6

    ZeqOBpf6 Limp Gawd

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    Nintendo are the biggest scrubs of the gaming industry. Used to be great and now they just cling to the memories of what they used to be. Remind me a lot of IBM in that regard.
     
  25. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Abandonware has nothing to do with copyright, it has to do whether or not the software is distributed by the developer, which except for the recently done NES/SNES classic and perhaps the titles through virtual consoles with Wii/WiiU/Switch they were "abandoned" as a result abandonware. There is no legal status of "abandonware" so the 95 years copyright crap doesn't mean anything, sure Nintendo can go "hey all these people are using Raspberry Pis and creating mini-consoles... lets do it too, but charge a lot more money!"
     
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  26. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What you want doesn't matter. It's not in the public domain yet, and thus making copies without the express permission of the copyright owner is not allowed. You could argue that works need to enter the public domain faster, and I'd agree with you with regards to corporate owned copyrights, but that's not what you're demanding here.

    Also, Mario jumping on top of goombas and chasing a perpetually kidnapped princess around fictional worlds is not historical.
     
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  27. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Actually, no it isn't copyright abuse. Nintendo still makes use of many of their old IPs and even sells a lot of their older titles. It is entirely irrelevant that they do not continue to sell them in their original media format.
     
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  28. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    There's nothing stopping you from making a digital backup of the cartridges that you own.
     
  29. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Nor is it relevant that they ever create any derivative works at all.
     
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  30. HockeyJon

    HockeyJon Gawd

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    They do sell some of the retro games in the Nintendo shop. As long as they’re available, Nintendo has a case. If there’s no other way to play them, on the other hand, it’s BS that they would go after a ROM site for having them up.
     
  31. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    ROM sites are illegal though; you really can't argue that point.

    And again, there's nothing stopping you from grabbing a game you want off ebay and making a digital backup yourself.

    (I note downloading a ROM of a game you already have is *probably* illegal too, but that's a grey area.)
     
  32. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed Gawd

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    If I once owned the cart and it's since died, technically I still hold a license to use the software. If that software has since been provided as a ROM I will download it and use it. Copyright holders abuse outdated copyright law, in the case of C64 software half the time it's impossible to even determine who now holds the copyright since the software's been out of distribution for so long.

    Mario jumping on top of goombas and chasing perpetually kidnapped princesses is as historical as vintage cars, everything makes up our history - This is really no different to aftermarket manufacturers making exact replicas of automotive components for vintage cars due to the fact that the OEM component has been out of production for decades even though a newer variant of that vehicle may very well still be in production today.
     
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  33. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If you had a book and its ink faded to the point you couldn't read it, you do not have the right to get a new copy printed from anyone the author has not authorized to make copies.

    If you had a painting and its canvas deteriorated to the point you couldn't view it, you do not have the right to get a new copy painted from anyone the painter has not authorized to make copies.

    If you had an album and its grooves wore to the point you couldn't listen to it, you do not have the right to get a new copy pressed from anyone the producer has not authorized to make copies.

    Why should Nintendo not be allowed to enforce its rights as much as any of the above people would? Why is it abusive if they do?

    Not knowing who the copyright owner is does not confer any rights upon someone else they wouldn't have had otherwise.

    Automotive components are not subject to copyright, so it's a very different thing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  34. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed Gawd

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    And this is where copyright law is abused by copyright holders, this is where copyright law is vastly outdated. If you hold the license, you should be able to make a copy and use it. If you cannot make a copy and a copy is available by whatever means, there's no harm done in downloading that 30yo ROM and using it as you already hold the license to do so.

    There is documented cases of the automotive industry attempting to block sales of aftermarket components via copyright or patents, another system as corrupt as the copyright system.

    Your righteous attitude isn't making me feel like a pirate.
     
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  35. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I don't care what you do or how you feel about doing it. Just don't go around saying it's not infringement when it is.
     
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  36. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed Gawd

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    I didn't say it wasn't, I claimed that it shouldn't be after 30+ years.
     
  37. WBurchnall

    WBurchnall 2[H]4U

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    While it doesn't exist on PC, doesn't it exist in the WII Shop? I know for certain, the Wii store has old versions of Final Fantasy remastered/remade that were originally for SNES/NES. If someone can get FF3 for free from this site, I think it's a fair argument that it might reduce sales of the $9.99 version they are selling with a few FMVs thrown in every so often during the gameplay.

    Personally, I think it's a rediculous claim for games NOT being sold on current or last generation consoles app stores. However, for games being sold on current and last generation console stores, it abolutly makes sense. I know I bought one of hte FF remakes for a trip to play on a Nintendo DS back in the 2000s. I also brought a PC on that trip. I choose the Nintendo DS primarily because it's easier to fit on your lap on an airplane to play and offers slightly more privacy.

    I could easily see other people wanting the larger screen and for their own reasons pirating/emulating on the PC. Maybe that reason just being to save $9.99 plus the cost of a Nintendo DS if they didn't already own one.
     
  38. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    You DO have the right to make a digital backup, per the DMCA.

    Downloading a ROM for a game you own because it no longer functions is legally dubious. Granted, I did it once (my copy of Metroid died around '91), but all my other collection is backups that I did myself.

    Ideally, the entire library of old stuff would be made available, but there's a ton of licensing issues since Nintendo doesn't own most of the IPs. In fact, Nintendo's stance is kinda invalid too, since they can only enforce copyright on the IPs they actually own. (This is why certain ROM sites refuse to host Nintendo IPs, since Nintendo is a bit more anal about suing then everyone else, who typically understands they make money in the long run.)
     
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  39. WBurchnall

    WBurchnall 2[H]4U

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    The license you get, when you purchase a piece of software, generally does not include making copies or redistribution or resale. Some will even say, if the product is damaged, tough luck and almost all prohibit reverse engineering too.

    Ergo, when you say "If you hold the license, you should be able to make a copy and use it.",
    Iit sounds like what you are really saying is "If you hold a license, you should be able to do whatever you want with it even if it violates the license because feels."

    Morally, I agree with some licensing is overly restrictive. If I buy a dvd and effectively own 1 copy of a DVD, for my own personal use at home, it makes sense to back it up as a lossless file on a HD. However, if then I'm adding it to a Plex server and family members are streaming it...at that point, I feel like I'm violating the license, morally and legally, as it clearly forbids public exhibitions of the work. Especially if two simultaneously stream it.

    Once you stream 2 copies at once of the ripped dvd, one could make the argument "but you could lend them the dvd or give it away!" but you can't give a physical item to two people at once (2 or more consecutive streams). Also, you can't give away a physical item and retain physical possession of it at the same time (lending a dvd you've ripped onto your personal storage device). At that point, it's clear you are violating the license and morally trying to get more value than what you paid for.

    I think a similar argument could be made that if one purchases a game, maybe it is not a reasonable expectation for the disc/cd/dvd to last forever and it to eventually become worn with usage or just time. So all DVDs/CDs/Cartridges come with a natural expiry date as a consequence of the material it was made from. Since your lisence doesn't permit copying, it's intended for the product to at some point reach end of life. So the value you paid is for maybe 10 years of ownership of said game (Effectively) and not 5,000 years.
     
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