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Last week Nintendo sued two long-standing emulation sites: LoveRETRO and LoveROMs. It’s not the first time emulation’s come under attack, but it was noteworthy in part because of the absurd damages Nintendo cited: $2 million for illicit use of their trademark, plus $150,000 for each Nintendo game hosted.
It’s ridiculous. Those amounts have no basis in reality. Like the days when the MPAA went around suing random torrenters, Nintendo levied the sort of threat designed to make sites immediately genuflect and then beg for leniency—and that’s exactly what both sites did, removing all Nintendo ROMs and in the case of LoveRETRO shutting down completely.
Now it’s spreading, with EmuParadise announcing this week that it was preemptively pulling all ROMs from its site. Immense damage is being done to an old and well-established community in a short period of time, a community that’s almost singlehandedly kept game preservation efforts alive for decades, and for what?