And with a headline like that you might be picturing an old timey mom and pop store giving away free classic games to the local kids in neighbourhood. Of course, it's not that - but a pair of popular ROM sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRetro.co that offered up copies of free Nintendo games among others for people to emulate classic hardware and play them.
Including Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario World and hundreds more. The $12 million USD settlement, in terms of monetary punishment, sends a clear message that Nintendo will not tolerate piracy - even if we're talking about games that are over 20 years old. Before the settlement both sites were taken offline once the initial complaint was filed, with the following apology posted.
Our website, LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co, previously offered and performed unauthorized copies of Nintendo games, in violation of Nintendo’s copyrights and trademarks. 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. To access legitimate Nintendo games online, please visit www.nintendo.com for information about the Nintendo Game Store.
Other ROM sites followed suit once once people began to see that Nintendo were not simply filing cease and desist letters - with ROMs for classic Nintendo games all but a thing of the past. Copyright and trademark infringement is not to be taken lightly.