Nintendo Sues ROM Sites Over Copyright Infringement

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Dunlop0078

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Oh nintendo. I don't like the idea that these sites have nearly every piece of software nintendo ever produced. However if you do not provide any way for people to get their hands on old nintendo games legally and easily then people are going to pirate them. If nintendo could themselves sell these ROMs then im pretty sure we would see a lot less of these third party ROM sites.
 

sauron18

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Nintendo being Nintendo. They do not sell this games, they are not loosing money over this, they do not offer a legal emulator. How can i get this games from Nintendo? Anyone knows?
 
I'm surprised it has taken this long. These types of sites have been up and running for many years now. My question is what has changed? All I can guess is that either Nintendo realized there is money to be made in these old games or their legal department is running short on lawsuits and needed someone to sue so they don't get laid off. Even if they won. There is no way those sites have that kind of money. They'd just declare bankruptcy.
 

stdragon

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It's about monetizing their intellectual property via controlling the distribution of it. And, they have that right. That said however, it would be bad PR if they go after the individual downloaders instead of the core distributors on the net.

Again, they're in the right on this, but they also need to tread carefully so as to not backfire on them.
 

Eximo

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I can only imagine how much they would have made by releasing an iOS and Android app of their own. They obviously saw how well the NES and SNES classic sold, and they could have been doing that since the early 2000s.
 

gggplaya

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Actually nintendo is gearing up it's online service, and will start offering retro titles to play with the service. They will change games on a regular basis and will most likely eventually offer a store to purchase retro games(it would be the smart thing to do).

So the timing of this lawsuit makes sense.

 

jimmysmitty

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ROMs are completely legal in themselves. So long as you own the original you can have a ROM.

That said, most people don't. Nintendo has plenty of ways to do this but they don't. They should have made the miniNES and MiniSNES as ROM holders. People buy the system and then Nintendo sells the ROMs for say $1 a piece allowing people to buy the games they want. Maybe have a limited amount to storage or possible expanded storage in MicroSD cards and have the games tied to an account so people can re-download them when needed.
 

stdragon

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IANAL, but it's my limited understanding that's not the case. Extracting ROM data from a cartridge could be in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Hence, illegal.
 

jimmysmitty

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Backup/archival falls under fair use. It would be the same as making a backup of your music from a CD into MP3/WAV/FLAC etc or your DVDs. So long as you own and created the backup. Therefore if you make a backup ROM of the game it is legal.

However this falls into a different area.

I still say Nintendo is going about it wrong. Make their own emulator for the games, sell the hardware or software and sell the games at $1 buck a pop (or more for the more desired ones) and people will buy them. All this does is the same thing when they demanded payment from YouTubers for using their games in videos.
 

Giroro

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You know what I don't like doing?

Buying the same game 15 times because Nintendo's worthless online service links games to obsolete consoles instead of your account... and also often links the account itself to the hardware.

Plus, Nintendo has already stated they have no intention whatsoever to bring the Virtual Console to Switch.
 

bigdragon

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This is a total waste of time and money for Nintendo. They can't possibly shut down every ROM site. Nintendo also cannot completely get rid of ROMs that were acquired or shared in violation of some changing set of laws. What Nintendo should do is focus on providing a superior experience.

Nintendo's current emulation of old titles is frustrating. Some titles are only available for 3DS, some specifically for the New 3DS and not the original 3DS, some only for Wii U, and some only for Switch. There's also games that were only provided on Wii and never made available on newer platforms. Worse, buying a classic game from Nintendo locks it to the platform it was bought on, so if you bought an old game on Wii U then you'd be unable to play it on Switch without re-buying it. Nintendo promotes and distributes their back catalog in such a way that downloading ROMs from a website and playing via a bulky PC is the most convenient approach.

Nintendo should evolve and improve the process of enjoying their back catalog by making as many games as possible available for Switch. The Virtual Console should have no arbitrary limitation of what you can and cannot play. Give people the ability to play the old games, tie purchases to their account rather than their hardware, charge a fair price, and provide a straightforward experience that just works. This his how Nintendo could beat the ROM sites. No, I'm not paying $10 to play Zelda ALTTP on the New 3DS again (I have an old 3DS), but I would be willing to pay $3 to $5 to play it on Switch.
 

madmatt30

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^ barely any gba virtual console games available on ds/3ds store & it's nigh impossible to track gba carts nowadays without paying truly extorionate import prices.

Even though the 3ds has native gba support.

Ninty could drop every gba game ever made on the store sell them for $1/£1 & make monster profits but they won't ever do it.

As you said , I bought a couple of dozen gba virtual,console releases on the original Wii , be damned if I'd pay again to play them on the 3ds even if they were actually available.
 

stdragon

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Well, just enjoy Nintendo why you can, because IMHO they're nothing without Shigeru Miyamoto.

Nintendo needs to focus on biotech, not computer tech, because that's what it will take to grant that man immortality if it's ever at all possible. Just sayin.
 

tacgnol06

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@Jaber2 "Good for Nintendo, they let people profit from their IP for too long"

Well as long as you're just angry at the websites making ad revenue from distributing ROMs, and not the millions of end users of said ROMs. Not like they're doing any harm anyway. Can't steal what Nintendo isn't selling anymore.
 

stdragon

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With all due respect, that's not your call to make. It's entirely possible Nintendo is purposefully mothballing their intellectual property to be leveraged at a later date for enhanced profit making. And, they're allowed to do that. They're allowed to choose when and more specifically, when not to sell their own product. It's their property, and thus have legal control over it.
 

Nintendork

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Nintendo should release their own steam version for their legacy games (+third parties) compatible for both PC and "virtual console" for their current console or consoles (3DS/Switch).
 

Zaporro

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So pathetic of them. Looks like Ninetendo joins the ranks of rest of the patent holder trolls.
Wont do anything about it and wont let anyone else do it. Keeping things for sake of keeping and letting them go to waste.
 

You can't really justify a site centered entirely on profiting off the distribution of pirated games. Sure, it could be an inconvenience that some of these titles are not currently easily obtainable through legitimate means, but that doesn't give some random company the rights to make a profit off of them. This isn't even remotely comparable to a company going after others for creating a vaguely similar product. The site isn't creating a product of their own, but rather distributing Nintendo's products directly, using Nintendo's marketing materials.

And anyone starting one of these sites should know what they're getting into. This is not exactly the first time that Nintendo or other companies have worked to shut down sites like this. And I suspect Nintendo probably sent them warnings well in advance, that they probably just ignored. It's not like Nintendo is going after people for downloading their games either, just a site that's profiting off of making their games available in an easily accessible manner.
 
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