The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Starbase Café => Topic started by: Nathanael on February 01, 2006, 07:14:37 pm



Title: copyright laws
Post by: Nathanael on February 01, 2006, 07:14:37 pm
Well my sister recently had me download pokemon crystal for her. But usta when i was a rom pirate or whatever u call it. The websites with roms would always have a disclaimer that it was illegal to have a rom on ure computer for longer than 24 hours if u didnt own the original cartridge.But now im havin second thoughts bout downloadin the game cause I think its still illegal.Unfortunately she argues the site doesnt give the disclaimer so its legal. And she also sais that she will entually buy it I believe that she will buy it. But i believe its wrong to have it on our computer and lettin her play it when she doesnt own it if its illegal. Unfortunately if I dont find the law she will hate me forever for takin it off. If its still a law like I think can someone show me a site that shows the law. Cause i cant find it anywhere.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Novus on February 01, 2006, 07:53:49 pm
If you're in the USA, try the U.S. Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov/). Most of the time, the 24 hour limitation is complete and utter fiction, and downloading a file without the copyright holder's permission is usually illegal irrespective of what the guy giving the file to you says.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Halleck on February 01, 2006, 08:46:56 pm
ROMs are generally legal as backups of real cartidges ONLY. So, if you own the cartridge, it's legal, but if you don't, it's illegal. Simple as that.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Draxas on February 01, 2006, 11:54:45 pm
There are actually a very small number of roms that are perfectly legal to download for everyone, because the copyright owners have made the software public domain. However, these are VERY few and far between, and apply to typically small companies. This certainly does NOT apply to anyone as huge as Nintendo/Game Freak, that's for sure.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Halleck on February 02, 2006, 04:44:19 am
True, this has been known to happen (with a handful of ROMs along with other types of games.)

For instance, Beneath a Steel Sky and Star Control 2.  ;D


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Zeep-Eeep on February 02, 2006, 03:02:42 pm
It can vary on country too. For example, there
are a lot of software items (codecs, formats,
copyrighted material) that one can legally download
in Canada that one cannot in the USA.
Where are you?


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Novus on February 02, 2006, 04:06:45 pm
True, this has been known to happen (with a handful of ROMs along with other types of games.)

For instance, Beneath a Steel Sky and Star Control 2.  ;D
Note, however, that the original releases of these two games (and a few others) still have their original copyright and license, so you're only allowed to distribute the new free versions. In some other cases, however, all the previous versions are free (e.g. Ken's Labyrinth (http://advsys.net/ken/klab.htm)).


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Halleck on February 02, 2006, 11:28:42 pm
That's true for SC2, but I think the original BASS distribution is also free.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Novus on February 03, 2006, 06:46:12 pm
That's true for SC2, but I think the original BASS distribution is also free.
You may be right; I can't find a straight answer to this right now.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Halleck on February 03, 2006, 08:21:33 pm
That's true for SC2, but I think the original BASS distribution is also free.
You may be right; I can't find a straight answer to this right now.
They seem to dish out (http://www.liberatedgames.com/forums/index.php?t=msg&goto=473&rid=0&S=42e00657d58f7589604fc9669ba485c4#msg_473) whatever components from the game people would like (including, presumably, a complete original release), but aren't too formal with their licensing policies.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Nathanael on February 04, 2006, 01:47:12 am
Oooooh my head. All these laws and loop holes this is turnin into one big headache. Guess my sis will just have to hate me for life :'(


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Draxas on February 04, 2006, 07:25:50 pm
The bottom line for you, Nathanael:

Do you own the Pokemon Crystal cartridge? If not, the rom is illegal for sure. If so, the legality is still questionable.

So, unless you've bought the cart since the time you posted your first message, you pretty much have your answer.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: meep-eep on February 04, 2006, 08:06:17 pm
Don't be so sure. Even if you own a copy and making your own backup would be legal, downloading one from the internet may still be illegal.



Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Arne on February 04, 2006, 11:15:10 pm
nintendo.com/corp/faqs/legal.html

Edit, better put this as a text, never know with those referers... cough


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Draxas on February 05, 2006, 02:02:09 am
Take Nintendo's opinion with a grain of salt; it's in their best interest to scare everyone the hell away from emulation in general. How else can they expect to continue turn a profit on 20 year old games?


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: JonoPorter on February 05, 2006, 11:59:58 am
My advice: Just buy the game and clear your conscious.
And don’t proclaim potentially illegal activities on public forums where your IP address is recorded.  Not that you should worry about any repercussions; it’s just not wise.



Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Death 999 on February 05, 2006, 10:43:29 pm
Take Nintendo's opinion with a grain of salt; it's in their best interest to scare everyone the hell away from emulation in general. How else can they expect to continue turn a profit on 20 year old games?

To put it another way, would they turn a profit on 20 year old games if it weren't for emulation? I have bought games based on recommendations based on emulation.

Also, it'll be... quite a trick to get an emulator to handle ANY of nintendo's new games. At the very least, they'll have a market for the controllers.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Draxas on February 06, 2006, 12:07:41 am
That's the thing; Nintendo defeats coventional emulation less through litigation, and more through being unconventional. That's why nobody has made a working Gamecube emulator(at least I haven't heard about any); you would need special hardware just to use the non-standard discs.

Still, you can bet sales of their "classic collection" for the GBA are not as sky-high as they could have been; many people ask "Why should I buy this game for $25, when I (possibly already have the NES cart, and) could download it for free?" It is a valid point, which far overshadows the idea that games are sold because of emulation.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: taltamir on February 06, 2006, 09:40:28 am
if a person actually OWNS the cartridge why should he be forced to buy the game again in the first place? Alot of music exects say that they beleive a person should not only pay for a CD of a tape he owns (better quality), but repurchase all the songs in lower quality digital formats via download, aswell as repurchase them as he upgrades hardware (cant move them between computers) and infact would like to see a model where items expire (ie, your music bought online would expire after X monthes and you have to buy it again)... This is part of the reason why I boycott the RIAA and the other imbecils (that and their manufactured music sucks)

Also. MOST EULAs have a clause in them that says "Except in states where it is not permissable by law"... Which occasionally mean EVERY state... Basically they make up things you cannot do in the EULA which you have every legal right to do, and that little clause protect them, saying that since its legal, you can actually do it. This is to scare people, and also to make people beleive that it is illigal.. enough sheep beleive that if something is illigal it has to be wrong, and when enough people beleive something is wrong, it becomes illigal... This has worked very effectively in the past... If you want to know whats legal or not do NOT ask the hackers, DO NOT ask nintendo... ask a person with no vested interest and real legal experteise... A lawyer would work.

Ofcourse over time litigating is taking away more and more rights, that is the trend at the moment. So you can just bet that everything is illigal... Althought generally speaking, certain things are not enforceable. If you have a cartridge, and its legal for you to back it up, but illigal to DOWNLOAD a backup someone else did of the same cartridge, then one must ask... Who would know if you backed it up yourself or downloaded it? This si the common explanation people give themselves before going to download things illigally which they have a legal right to posses.

Also... Buying a cartridge does NOT give nintendo any money... many companies want second hand selling of their items to be considered piracy aswell... and some take steps to thwart it (microsoft does that by saying they sell a license and not a CD... so its LEGAL for you to make copies of your Windows CD... in fact, MS provides instructions on how to create customized windows CDs with integrated patches and the like; But that makes reselling those almost impossible... Which is why halfprice books no longer stocks used windows disks). Back to the giving money deal... Nintendo makes money when they sell a cartridge to a distributer. Buying it encourages said distributer to buy more from nintendo, but the money doesn't go to them directly (some might have a sell back policy with manufacturers though... but those are usually smaller companies). This is entirely out of the picture with an item that is no longer manufactured, and has already been sold by the original distributer... or in other words... a used product that passed many hands... you are paying people who owned the product before and the thrift stores, NOT anyone in the "chain of distribution"... as such they want to eliminate such trade as its "taking away their customers" (rather then.. you know... building a fan base)... I hope they fail in making this illigal as the consequences for the environment are grim (buying a used CD/whatever is perfect recycling... forcing people to throw those used ones away and buy a NEW one creates alot of excess junk...)


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Novus on February 06, 2006, 01:18:09 pm
There are several issues that make software licensing unnecessarily complicated:
  • EULAs: Did you agree to the EULA by clicking "Yes" or not? What if your dog clicked "Yes" for you? If you don't agree, and this prevents you from using the product, do you get a refund?
  • Under which circumstances are you allowed to copy or modify or even distribute a program regardless of agreements?
  • What exactly does "copying" include? If I load a program into RAM, am I creating a copy? Do I need permission for this, too?
Many of the problems stem from the fact that the answers to the above questions vary depending on which country you are in.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: GeomanNL on February 06, 2006, 11:58:20 pm
I doubt the companies care whether you download old stuff like that. It's illegal, but they are not getting any money from owning that stuff anymore, either. It is so old and outdated, it doesn't even run properly on todays hardware. The real money is in the next generation graphics and gameplay mods instead. If they get no money, they're unlikely to spend precious resources on tracking down people who download it, and prosecute each of them. That's unfeasible, so it's a check-mate situation, imo.

In addition, many of the older popular games have freeware versions today - that number is growing every day.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Deus Siddis on February 07, 2006, 12:30:58 am
Freely downloading roms can sometimes help make a company money. If you played the older installments of a game series that are no longer on the market, through emulation, you might get hooked and buy the lastest sequel, with its big graphics and big price.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Halleck on February 07, 2006, 06:26:51 am
I doubt the companies care whether you download old stuff like that. It's illegal, but they are not getting any money from owning that stuff anymore, either. It is so old and outdated, it doesn't even run properly on todays hardware. The real money is in the next generation graphics and gameplay mods instead. If they get no money, they're unlikely to spend precious resources on tracking down people who download it, and prosecute each of them. That's unfeasible, so it's a check-mate situation, imo.
I have a suspicion that nintendo will have a greater vested interest in ROM piracy once the new revolution comes out. They will be selling emuable "retro" games for that platform, and in that respect, ROM pirates could be seen as stealing software which is currently in print.


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Arne on February 10, 2006, 01:43:06 pm
Aren't the old NES/SNES games gonna be free for the rev?

I heard they *might* make them 'skinnable', if so, that would be incredibly sexy.

btw, I bought the NES classics Zelda and Metroid for my GBA (with NES skin), even though I own them for NES already (and also have them on emulator).


As for EULAs, I think you can go and change a setting in windows for what the generic buttons say (OK, Retry, Cancel) to suit your fancy. You can also change the EULA text file itself and then agree to it.  I parody EULAs in my comic (http://itchstudios.com/psg/potato/chaircorp00.jpg) (numeric url).



Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Novus on February 10, 2006, 04:53:45 pm
As for EULAs, I think you can go and change a setting in windows for what the generic buttons say (OK, Retry, Cancel) to suit your fancy. You can also change the EULA text file itself and then agree to it.
Also, it's going to be hard in many countries to argue that clicking an OK button in response to a text box in some incomprehensible foreign language constitutes entering a legally binding contract. Nej, jag förstår inte ett dugg engelska. ;)


Title: Re: copyright laws
Post by: Death 999 on February 10, 2006, 05:21:34 pm
I parody EULAs in my comic (http://itchstudios.com/psg/potato/chaircorp00.jpg) (numeric url).

That's amazing. I like 05 and 07 especially.