The ESA's movement has caused sites to either render their ROMs un-downloadable or to shut down.
A person has actualy been convicted of piracy in California already. IMO I think this is rather ridiculous.
The below quotes are quesions and replies found on Nintendo's official site.
"Isn't it Okay to Download Nintendo ROMs for Games that are No Longer Distributed in the Stores or Commercially Exploited? Aren't They Considered "Public Domain"?
No, the current availability of a game in stores is irrelevant as to its copyright status. Copyrights do not enter the public domain just because they are no longer commercially exploited or widely available. Therefore, the copyrights of games are valid even if the games are not found on store shelves, and using, copying and/or distributing those games is a copyright infringement.
"People Making Nintendo Emulators and Nintendo ROMs are Helping Publishers by Making Old Games Available that are No Longer Being Sold by the Copyright Owner. This Does Not Hurt Anyone and Allows Gamers to Play Old Favorites. What's the Problem?"
The problem is that it's illegal. Copyrights and trademarks of games are corporate assets. If these vintage titles are available far and wide, it undermines the value of this intellectual property and adversely affects the right owner. In addition, the assumption that the games involved are vintage or nostalgia games is incorrect. Nintendo is famous for bringing back to life its popular characters for its newer systems, for example, Mario and Donkey Kong have enjoyed their adventures on all Nintendo platforms, going from coin-op machines to our latest hardware platforms. As a copyright owner, and creator of such famous characters, only Nintendo has the right to benefit from such valuable assets.
Also IMO I think Nintendo are just being d***s about this, I mean come on, it's nearly impossible to find an actual copy of a classic game much less a reliable one. There is no more direct profit to be found in these games anymore anyway, unless of course you take in the exception of the "Virtual Console" which is just another way to take more of the consumer's money and take in more profit. Also, why would I want to pay for a game I already own?!
If you need/want anymore information here is the URL for nintendo.com's info on this:
Also here is the ESA's official site: