In September 2019, Nintendo filed a lawsuit in a California court against Matthew Storman, owner of the ROMUniverse site, alleging that he hosted and distributed pirated Nintendo games and profited from mass copyright infringement by charging a subscription for his site.
Storman rejected these accusations and decided to defend himself in court on his own, without a lawyer. He claimed that he did not violate any law and that he did not personally post any ROM on the site. However, that did not succeed in convincing the judge, because in one of the previous testimonies he confirmed that he still put ROMs on the site. Mostly, he made money by charging for premium access to the site. It was determined that during 2019 alone, he earned between 30,000 and 36,000 dollars in that way.
Nintendo demanded more than $ 15 million in damages for the damage they suffered, but the judge still did not accept that request. He ruled that ROMUniverse must pay a much smaller but still huge sum. For each of the 49 Nintendo ROMs on the site, a compensation amount of $ 35,000 was determined (Nintendo claimed $ 90,000 per ROM). In addition, it was ordered that ROMUniverse must pay an additional $ 400,000. That gives a total fine of $ 2,115,000, and the ROMUniverse site has been permanently shut down.