Sega Cracking Down on ROM Sites

Sega Cracking Down on ROM Sites

by August 7, 2000

Swapoo is changing the way it’s doing business after Sega came calling about ROMs being traded on the Napster-esque service, according to Sega X:

Swapoo, formerly RomNet, is changing the nature of their game ROM-swapping service and will be barring any users caught illegally swapping software. We are no longer associated with game ROMs, Swapoo founder Jeffery Freeman said. If a user is found to be sending illegal files, Swapoo will boot them. Earlier this week, though, game ROMs for Sega’s older Genesis console included Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe and Afterburn could be found available for download. These game ROMs can be played on ordinary personal computers using emulation software.

“This would be considered one of the sites we would be going after”, said Sega spokesman Charles Bellfield. “We will do everything possible under the law to shut them down. Sega is planning legal action to remove its video games from the file-swapping site, but now that Swapoo’s policy is changing, it looks as if the company may have to wait and see what the results will be.”

Currently, no video game companies have contacted Freeman about the issue, but he has hired an attorney and plans to incorporate Swapoo today. But on the same note, Sega believe it doesn’t matter whether a service hosts files itself or enables “peer-to-peer” sharing of files among users of the site.

If we do not take a stance, we are essentially condoning this behavior. We need to protect the community of talented artists and developers we have at Sega and the content they’re developing, Bellfield said. Obviously this effects the profitability and sustainability of the developers we currently support. Sega, and the industry in general, will not allow this to continue.

So, ROM sites, be careful out there.  Sega might be watching you.