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TL;DR: After winning a lengthy legal battle against Matthew Storman in May, Nintendo is seeking a permanent injunction against his site, RomUniverse, because they believe that his failure to pay the first $50 towards his $2.1 million debt shows that he disregards the law.
In 2019, Nintendo sued Storman as the owner of RomUniverse, a site they purported was illegally distributing copyrighted Nintendo games. Storman chose to represent himself. The California Federal Court ultimately awarded Nintendo $35,000 for each of their 49 games available on the site and an extra $400,000 in trademark damages.
According to himself, at the time of his deposition, Storman’s only source of income was "unemployment and food stamps." Before being closed down as part of an agreement with Nintendo last year, RomUniverse was generating about $800 per month.
Nintendo has already sought an injunction against Storman’s operation of RomUniverse, which would prevent him from ever relaunching the site. But their request was denied because they failed to show that the site had caused them irreparable damage, which is a legal requirement, and because it was already offline.
However, Nintendo’s lawyers now claim that in a recent phone call with Storman, he didn’t deny the possibility of relaunching the site in some kind of legal fashion. Nintendo’s lawyers argue that because he hasn’t made the first $50 payment towards his $2.1 million debt, the threat of further financial consequences might not disincentivize further copyright infringements.
"This failure to make even the modest $50/month payment, an amount that he proposed and agreed to, demonstrates that Nintendo has no adequate remedy at law for Defendant’s past or future infringement and underscores the need for a permanent injunction," Nintendo’s lawyers write.
It would take Storman 3,525 years to pay off his $2.115 million debt at the $50 per month rate the Court has mandated.
Image credit: Cláudio Luiz Castro