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Author Topic: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down  (Read 14366 times)

magictrufflez

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https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-07-23-nintendo-files-copyright-infringement-lawsuit-against-loverom-and-loveretro

And here's the official legal filing if anyone's interested (it's only 27 pages):

https://torrentfreak.com/images/nintendo-loveroms.pdf

Obviously Nintendo doesn't like emulation, but I get the feeling they went after these sites because 1. they could easily trace everything back to a single individual and 2. that person was apparently monetizing the daylights out of his sites (I'd never heard of either until today, so I don't know what the sites were like).

I'd definitely be interested to hear if other folks here have a take on this--is this the end of the world, or is this just a kind of outlier?

Chronosplit

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 10:35:41 pm »
Honestly, I've never even heard of the second site listed at all.  Maybe someone reported them?

This is obviously an overt show of power and nothing more, almost always Nintendo just does the normal DMCA.  Then again, maybe that's because of what happened when a certain site was told by Nintendo to take down all mario and such around the time the SNES Classic started.  The result was that the site put everything back up later, and now it's as if nothing ever happened.  That was a big deal and was mentioned here too, remembering back.

FAST6191

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2018, 05:05:37 am »
Another month, another ROM site smackdown.

Is it not just how the game is played? It has been the case since before I joined this internet lark and will likely be the case for a long time to come.

Also "1. they could easily trace everything back to a single individual"... that was US resident and hosting.

magictrufflez

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2018, 07:55:09 am »
This is obviously an overt show of power and nothing more, almost always Nintendo just does the normal DMCA.  Then again, maybe that's because of what happened when a certain site was told by Nintendo to take down all mario and such around the time the SNES Classic started.  The result was that the site put everything back up later, and now it's as if nothing ever happened.  That was a big deal and was mentioned here too, remembering back.

Not inaccurate, but IIRC Nintendo didn't pursue damages then--I believe someone pegged the max damages Nintendo could be awarded in this case in the billions of dollars. That pretty much ensures these sites (and sites that want to risk openly advertising that they host this stuff) are not coming back.

After reading the brief, it actually looks like the guy's sites were real outliers--the guy obviously went well overboard displaying copyrighted material, moreso than any other site I've seen, and who knows how much ad revenue he could've been making off the millions of hits his pages got?

It makes me cautiously optimistic this isn't going to lead to some kind of mass crackdown, TBH.

Mister Xiado

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2018, 09:47:01 pm »
Who knew that putting ads on a site that distributes ROMs would attract the stink-eye from the most litigious publisher in the past century?
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PolishedTurd

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 08:03:35 am »
I wish Nintendo would learn from the mistakes of the music and movie industries nearly 20 years ago: The cat is out of the bag when it comes to passing their data around, so monetize that behavior instead of vainly trying to stop it.

They had the right idea with Mario Maker - empowering people to do what they clearly want to do, for Nintendo's profit. If this site is any indication, they should also produce Zelda Maker, Mega Man Maker, Metroid Maker, Castlevania Maker...

Psyklax

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2018, 08:47:19 am »
Some "important sites", you say... can't say I've heard of either of them.

I mean really, why is this news? This back-and-forth with ROM sites has been happening for over 20 years. If you're really keen on having a copy of every 8- and 16-bit game ever made on your hard disk, you've had 20 years to get them. Who cares if some asshole who profits off this gets closed down?

You'd have to be born yesterday to think this is the "end of the world". There's been software piracy since before the internet, both hackers and producers have been playing this cat and mouse game forever, and so shall it continue henceforth unto eternity.

Apropos of this, I highly recommend this episode of the Computer Chronicles from JANUARY NINETEEN EIGHTY-FIVE which discusses the issue of software piracy, and you'll find that nothing has really changed.
https://archive.org/details/Software1985

FAST6191

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 02:24:31 pm »
I mean really, why is this news?
The notion of a smackdown is not news and for the most part I don't personally care about specifics (they are all utterly interchangeable, except when they are worse than they need to be) either. However if someone wants to share about specifics I can't say I would protest about that either.

Nice link by the way, if we are doing such things then I will have to also link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCAL_YgYiP0

magictrufflez

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2018, 05:18:20 pm »
Some "important sites", you say... can't say I've heard of either of them.

Well, neither have I, but I wrote "apparently important sites" in lieu of the actual site names to avoid getting smacked down for sharing sites that actively host ROMs. Us not knowing about them also doesn't change the fact that those sites apparently got ~17 million hits monthly--that's nothing to sneeze at, especially for a ROM site.

I think this instance is important because it could set a pretty clear bar for what game companies are willing (or able) to prosecute. I'd be interested if anyone knew any other cases of a company suing for this much in damages--I know companies have sent out cease and desist letters and have certainly shut sites down somewhat frequently, but I really can't recall anything close to this level of severity.

Cahos Rahne Veloza

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2018, 06:54:30 am »
I apologize in advance for hijacking this topic discussion instead of starting my own thread but seeing as my question relates to the matter at hand which is Nintendo being an a~hole as usual I decided to just ask here.

Anyhoo I just found out that -excised- is also one of the victims of these take down crap from Nintendo, well technically the site is still up but they had to take down a huge chunk of their Nintendo related downloads. -excised with prejudice- nope nope nope see Forum Rule 2 regarding piracy
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 01:28:37 pm by MathOnNapkins »

CrocMagnum

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2018, 08:29:32 am »
...Anyhoo I just found out that -excised- is also one of the victims of these take down crap from Nintendo, well technically the site is still up but they had to take down a huge chunk of their Nintendo related downloads...

They are not victims, first -excised- didn't receive a Cease-and-Desist from Big N. :)

They just removed these files of their own free will just to avoid potential trouble in the future, because if you've read post 1 you probably know Nintendo filed a lawsuit against rom sites (read the pdf link on post 1 it's real trouble for the owner), so people are -understandably- covering their backs.

Also I don't think Nintendo owns the intellectual property of Capcom, Konami or Square(-Enix) games, you know.

In another statement the Admin of the site said they acted in urgency and added that they 'll try to bring back non-Nintendo-owned files in the near future (hoping they bring back homebrews and hacks).

Quote
(FR) Retrait des sets Nintendo
Face à l'actualité récente et des mesures entreprises par Nintendo contre certains sites d'émulation, il a été décidé de retirer tous les sets de ROMs de consoles Nintendo sur le site. Merci de votre compréhension.

Quote
(ENG) Removal of Nintendo Sets
Due to recent events and measures taken by Nintendo to counter a few emulation sites, we have decided to withdraw all Nintendo's console rom-sets from the site. Thank you for your understanding.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 02:14:27 pm by danke »
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MathOnNapkins

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2018, 01:42:21 pm »
Note: It is against our rules to mention specific rom sites under normal circumstances. This thread hasn't been deleted because the subject matter is available on many other sites and would be considered current general knowledge about the scene.This does not make it okay to inquire about other sites or mention other sites that host roms and other game images. This includes sites that provide torrent files.

Psyklax

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2018, 02:53:59 pm »
if someone wants to share about specifics I can't say I would protest about that either

I hope I didn't come off sounding rude, I don't mind people talking about the subject and discussing it. I just wanted to make the point that this has been going on forever and I can't see much about this particular instance being notable.

I also don't agree with the idea that Nintendo are arseholes for asking websites to take down ROMs of their games when they currently make money off them through the Virtual Console or whatever, and still own the copyright. They're perfectly within their rights to do so, and in fact they HAVE to, otherwise they'll be giving people carte blanche to do what they like with their properties.

Having said that, as I said, if you want to download ROMs, you've had two decades to do it, and you'll still be able to in the future - but yeah, let's not name specific sites, guys. Not smart.

NERV Agent

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2018, 02:46:13 am »
ROMs have been cast out of paradise....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6rwGQDqf2s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nckt-U7cu9Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLWudZpWuN0

And that site was one of my "go to" resources for ROMs, too.

If things keep sliding in the direction it's going in--when it comes to ROM hacking--this is going to suck harder than Lando Calrissian having sex with a vacuum cleaner.*

When I hack CD based games, I usually buy the CD and rip the ISO myself. I don't trust the ROM websites for ROM hacking projects because once upon a time I took on a PSX hacking project, only to find that every ROM site at the time was hosting an incorrectly ripped ISO of the game I needed that wouldn't even load properly. After scouring the Internets, I said, "fuck it, I'll just buy the damn thing", and from now on whenever I work on a project I just hunt down the disc on Amazon or eBay and rip the ISO myself using an optical drive that one can buy at the local electronics store.

But with cartridges, there comes in some extra hurdles.

Wanna hack games on the PSX or other disc based system? Probably won't cost an arm and a leg to buy a copy, and the ROM hacker can rip the ISO with a readily available optical drive on their PC.

Wanna hack a rare cartridge based game with a price tag that fetches hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars, and be a good boy or girl and not resort to downloading ROMs? Get ready empty out your savings account, or take out a second mortgage on your home if you wanna continue this hobby! Also, can't buy an NES/SNES/Genesis/etc. cartridge dumper at the usual electronics store, so gotta find one somewhere online and hope to God that you're not getting ripped off with some Shit Made in China™ that doesn't even work.

From my POV, this is also an issue about preservation and allowing future generations to experience "past gaming history".

When I was in grade school I remember playing a huge theater sized arcade game at the local Wonder Park. Many years later I wanted to play this game again in some way, shape, or form, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what the name of the game was. I was dicking around YouTube one night and found footage of a game called "Starblade" which was similar, but not exactly the same game I remember playing. Upon further dicking around on YouTube, I finally saw footage of the game I was looking for: Galaxian 3. To my knowledge, Galaxian 3 isn't even on any of the Namco Museum collections.

I really wanted to play this game, but found no working MAME ROMs, only ROM sets with files missing that prevented it from running. I kept scouring ROM sites until I found a PSX version of the game that was so rare, it's not even listed on GameFAQs. I had no idea that this version of the game even existed had it not been for ROM sites (I later found some mention of it on Wikipedia, but with no source citations to back it up).

Not only can I relive a portion of my childhood by playing this PSX ISO, but I (and other gamers who missed out on this obscure PSX game during the 90's) can also acknowledge the hard work of everyone who worked their asses off to make this game, allowing their work to "live on". Later on, I did see a copy of this on eBay, but their are only so many of these discs in circulation. If people are barred from downloading a copy of this disc that isn't even being printed anymore, it prevents the larger public from appreciating the hard work the developers put into making this game. And I doubt Namco and Sony are losing millions of dollars when people download an obscure game from decades ago that isn't even being printed or sold in retail stores anymore.

This like preserving books, films, newspaper articles, etc.

If things keep sliding in the direction it's going in, some of us ROM hackers should to keep copies of our ROMs and distribute them on the "low low" for future ROM hackers.

*Very few people will get this reference, since very few people actually saw that movie.

Jorpho

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2018, 10:42:33 am »
Wanna hack a rare cartridge based game with a price tag that fetches hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars, and be a good boy or girl and not resort to downloading ROMs? Get ready empty out your savings account, or take out a second mortgage on your home if you wanna continue this hobby! Also, can't buy an NES/SNES/Genesis/etc. cartridge dumper at the usual electronics store, so gotta find one somewhere online and hope to God that you're not getting ripped off with some Shit Made in China™ that doesn't even work.
Except then absolutely no one is going to be able to play your hack of that rare cartridge unless they download the ROM from somewhere, so what's the point?

Quote
I really wanted to play this game, but found no working MAME ROMs, only ROM sets with files missing that prevented it from running.
If the game is in MAME at all, then it's got to be in a ROM set somewhere out there.  (If there are ROM sets with files missing, then it's probably because the MAME driver was updated and it's just a matter of time before an updated set shows up somewhere.)

Quote
This like preserving books, films, newspaper articles, etc.
I think most ROM sets out there are rather exhaustively "preserved" at this point.  There's always torrents if nothing else.
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NERV Agent

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2018, 06:47:37 pm »
Nintendo should just sue the crap out of those scam Famiclone makers instead, like this shit and countless others.

I'm gonna give the benefit of the doubt to folks like (removed) that the ad revenue was to pay for the server bill. But with the scam Famiclone consoles, it should be obvious that the makers are up to a quick cash scheme by deceiving consumers who don't know any better. Little Johnny wanted an SNES classic or PSP for Christmas? Sorry, mommy got fooled into buying something that looked like an SNES Classic or PSP, but had a price tag so low that she thought it was a bargain. Now Christmas is ruined.

Yeah, these companies are in China and there is probably some convoluted legal crap with suing a company in China (given that country churns out other shit knock off products besides video games), but these Chinese scam companies must have US distributors that allow them to sell their shit here. Why won't Nintendo go after those distributors? They, too, are distributing their intellectual property without a license (for profit), just like LoveROMs.

The folks at (removed) just wanted to create a retro community and allow people to experience classic gaming, overall with good intentions. These Chinese Famiclone consoles exist for the malicious intent to fool consumers into buying crap so the scammers get easy money.

MOD EDIT: Math said no ROM site names.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 10:31:17 pm by KingMike »

FAST6191

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2018, 07:19:49 pm »
Unless the famiclone bundles Nintendo owned code with it or uses their trademarks what do you propose they do? One of the very same things that allows us to have emulators (that being a console is just a bundle of chips, from that era usually off the shelf ones as well, and copyrighting that can't really be done) means they don't have a leg to stand on really.

Jorpho

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2018, 07:20:16 pm »
Nintendo should just sue the crap out of those scam Famiclone makers instead, like this shit and countless others.
To be clear, they can really only go after them for including copyrighted software.  The hardware patents have expired – but then, the hardware inside these things probably bears no resemblance to actual Famicom hardware.  But I think the "design patents" for the exterior have also expired, so there's nothing stopping someone from making something that looks exactly like a Famicom.  (Design patents are how Apple managed to go after Samsung for the whole "rounded corners" thing.)  They could definitely go after them for using trademarks, but then they just have to be really careful about saying "Nintendo" anywhere.

Quote
Yeah, these companies are in China and there is probably some convoluted legal crap with suing a company in China (given that country churns out other shit knock off products besides video games), but these Chinese scam companies must have US distributors that allow them to sell their shit here. Why won't Nintendo go after those distributors?
They've come down pretty hard on anyone trying to distribute 3DS flashcarts, it seems.
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julayla

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2018, 07:30:47 pm »
If Nintendo is shutting down sites, especially ROM sites, does this mean that Nintendo will try to attack this site?! I'll be really scared about it if they do because a lot of people put their effort on translating and making good game hacks of games some people wouldn't even hear about.

Isao Kronos

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Re: So, looks like some apparently important sites are shut down
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2018, 07:58:04 pm »
I figured it'd be at least 2 pages before someone started fearmongering about OH NO WHAT IF THEY GO AFTER RHDN