Can a Rom legally be extracted from the Virtual Console?

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by mrstaplez, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. mrstaplez
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    Newcomer mrstaplez Newbie

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    Hey Guys, Ive been looking at this for a couple hours, trying to see if this is possible. I finally broke down and decided to post on this forum for actual help.

    I try, to the best of my ability, to find as many ways as possible to obtain ROMs legally rather than download them like the whole pirate scene; and then help others do the same. I'm already on my way to purchasing backup devices, but these are costly, and was wondering if there's a less costly way in the wii, for the ROMs nintendo offers there.

    Now, in my research Ive found that VC games have been decrypted. (for those of you who dont know, when saved onto an SD card theyre saved as a common.bin, specfic to your wii and unusable by flash carts and emulators) The file, when unencrypted, seems to just be html and the ROM file i need. Unfortuantly, i've found no way to unencrypt them like the hackers who distribute them. The closest Ive found, is extracting encrypted saves. Nice, but unuseful for my purposes.

    So Question 1: Is it possible to decrypt common.bin? Any tutorials, or programs for this purpose avaliable?

    Secondly, I've found (according to google) that when Virtual console games are saved right on the wii, they're saved as .wad files. These it seems can be extracted, and my magical purchased rom found, ready for the handheld of my choice. My option besides decrypting the bin then, seems to be obtaining that wad off my wii. Would a Nand dumper or Wii Filesystem Dumper be of use to this end?

    So Question 2: Can I obtain the Virtual Console ROM image directly from the wii itself? Any links to legal dumpers/programs to accomplish this, and a tutorial on them?

    And Question 3: Any other information or ideas on obtaining the ROM within a Virtual Console purchase? Method of extraction?

    If this is difficult or impossible, thats okay, I'll wait until I can offord a retrode and have it shipped from Germany [​IMG] I also do intend to violate this forums terms of use. I've stated I want to simply extract a rom I already own for use in an emulator (ie, computer, not wii) not pirate one, get a link to one, or distribute one.
     


  2. Szalkow

    Member Szalkow RawkSD Cheerleader

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    I know that there are methods of extracting, replacing, and swapping ROM packages in VC wads (often referred to as "injecting") although I don't know where to point you for instructions. From this, common sense would indicate that a copy of the game's ROM could be extracted or converted from the channel.

    If you're looking for "legal" solutions, however, you're out of luck, as "backing up" any Wii disc or channel is a violation of copyright, terms of service agreements, and software protection policies. Reverse-engineering, distributing, or transferring copies of any disc, game, or wad is in most places a civil offense and forfeits your rights. When you buy VC from the shop channel, Nintendo is only selling you the right to use it as-is in a VC channel.

    The only advantage of "dumping" or "injecting" programs is that they offer a moral defense (you own a legitimate copy) and generally you can't (won't?) be prosecuted like you would for file sharing.
     
  3. WiiUBricker

    Member WiiUBricker Insert Custom Title

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    Yes you can extract ROMs from VC games. Just extract the contents of the Wad file with ShowMiiWads, unpack 000000x.app files with U8 tool and find the rom. Use the search function on gbatemp for more information. There are several topics here regarding extracting ROMs off VC Wads.
     
  4. mrstaplez
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    Newcomer mrstaplez Newbie

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    Well, backing up a ROM from a cartridge is allowed, based on the "backup, archive" exception in copyright law- as long as your not going around a systems security in doing so (ie, modchip) Is this nintendo talking, or the law talking? In many cases, I've found theres a difference. For example. on the back of most gba games you'll see the line "not for resale" However, you don't see the authorities at gamestop or garage sales for selling used games. I think nintendo puts its own spin on the boundries of what you can do with your games.

    Anyway, are you sure this is truly illegal? if its so, i'll probably stop right here. No difference between downloading it and extracting it then.

    On the issue of extraction however, "givemiiwads" doesn't work on common.bin, since its not already a wad file. which is why i was considering a wii nand dump. any solutions or more input?

    Thank you both for your responses btw, I really appreciate it.
     
  5. W hat

    Member W hat Rhythm Heaven Fan

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    Breaking any copy protection mechanism, under the DMCA, is illegal. The DMCA also goes against many legal precedents such as "fair use" and "one backup" as a part of that.

    If the NES carts themselves have copy protections built in, it's illegal to back them up. Wii channels definitely have copy protections built in.
     
  6. mrstaplez
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    Newcomer mrstaplez Newbie

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    Okay, thank you. Thats what i needed to know. So, ripping ROMs is illegal period then?
     
  7. Presto99

    Member Presto99 You slammin, bro?

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    Just do it. Just do it. You'll be glad.
    But really. Especially if you own it on VC just get the rom however you want. It comes down to how you feel about it. (and sorta the legality of it)
     
  8. Hyro-Sama

    Member Hyro-Sama I'm from the fucking future.

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    Most Wii channels are free. How the hell is that illegal?
    Mii channel is Free
    Check Mii out is Free
    Internet Channel is Free
    Nintendo Channel is Free
    Weather Channel is Free
    Wii Speak is Free
    Wii Shopping Channel is Free

    Need Proof.
     
  9. mrstaplez
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    Newcomer mrstaplez Newbie

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    lol, i'm contacting the U.S. copyright office now. seriously tho, if I bought a desk and ripped it apart and turned it into a table, even if the person who made it said I can't tamper with it, that wouldnt be illegal. I bought it, its MY desk.

    I just feel convicted about it if its truly illegal to do so.
     
  10. The Pi

    Member The Pi Lurker

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    [​IMG]
    Seriously?
     
  11. mrstaplez
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    Newcomer mrstaplez Newbie

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    lol, why not. A quick phone call or email is better than all the arguing that goes on on websites about it. Everyone seems to have a different opinion, so why not just get an answer straight from the horses mouth. Are we allowed to back up games, or aren't we? Unfortunatly, they're closed now. So i'll try after Christmas.
     
  12. Hyro-Sama

    Member Hyro-Sama I'm from the fucking future.

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    I OWN ALL THE GAMES I DOWNLOADED. I SWEAR. [​IMG]
     
  13. mrstaplez
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    Newcomer mrstaplez Newbie

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    LOL
     
  14. ItsMetaKnight

    Member ItsMetaKnight GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Downloading is ALWAYS illegal, though. No matter if you own it or not. [​IMG]
     
  15. mrstaplez
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    Newcomer mrstaplez Newbie

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    [[/quote]
    Downloading is ALWAYS illegal, though. No matter if you own it or not. [​IMG]
    [/quote]

    Yeah, thats obvious. The question I'm now resolving (since decrypting a virtual console rom would be obviously illegal) is whether ripping one is illegal period. If all commercial ROMs are illegal. I. WIll. SCREAM. And right now, its looking that way. Tho, their are some arguments contrary to the fact, which is why I'm writing the copyright office.
     
  16. SFenton

    Member SFenton ಠ_ಠ

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    I think if ripping one constitutes taking the cartridge and ripping the game from it, the same principles would apply from ripping, say, a Wii or PS2 game- illegal.

    Bear in mind that I'm not completely sure but I would most likely assume illegal.
     
  17. Szalkow

    Member Szalkow RawkSD Cheerleader

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    Oi vey, people, he asked a technical question and mentioned legality so I offered a correction. This argument happens every time legality is even mentioned on GBAtemp.

    Most of what you do using Wii homebrew is going to be illegal under copyright and protective laws, and all of what you do with homebrew violates ToS. This does not (and shouldn't) force you to stop doing what you're doing, because homebrew is cool and fun and useful and all that jazz.

    For any game system since Atari 2600, yup.

    The long and short is, you take responsibility for what you do and you can get pretty far without getting busted. Ripping ROMs yourself isn't really practical, if you're going to do that you might as well download them.
     
  18. Fishaman P

    Member Fishaman P Speedrunner

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    Legally? Yes.
    Currently possible? No.
     
  19. mrstaplez
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    Newcomer mrstaplez Newbie

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    Sigh, thanks alot Szalkow. I was misinformed.

    One more question tho, why do sites such as consoleclassix.com continue to exhist then? just too many for nintendo to find and crush? they're a rental service that i think truly believe themselves legal, just like the retrode. Its a shame really, I was kinda looking forward to playing games like that. But, you've clarified alot for me, so again, thanks.

    Edit: Also, for clarification, its the DMCA that makes ripping ROMs illegal, correct?

    Double Edit: Nevermind about consoleclassix, nintendo already went after them...but then left them alone! maybe theres hope for legal roms. Check this out:
    Nintendo's official Cease And Desist letter ( http://www.consoleclassix.com/letter_from_noa.php ), and then CC's clever letter of response ( http://www.consoleclassix.com/letter_response.php )
     
  20. Szalkow

    Member Szalkow RawkSD Cheerleader

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    The American DMCA issues a couple of new protections to update old copyright laws stating something to the effect of "defeating any form of copy protection, or making tools to do so, is illegal", making most ROMs illegal by process. ROM sites still exist because they are good at living in (or pretending to have) loopholes and gray areas, and because Ninty and other game companies are more likely to issue blanket Cease & Desist letters without actively pursuing. Unless a site is losing the game company enough money to make legal action profitable, they won't bother beyond a letter. Granted, this same lack of care is also why users like those around here can use ROMs with impunity. No one is going to sue you for pirating 20-year-old games that aren't in stores. Additionally, unlike the act of breaking copy protection, violating intellectual property law is simply a civil offense and there's no criminal action against it. Remember that most ROM sites got the ROMs from elsewhere and there's no evidence that they broke the DMCA to get them.

    tl;dr you can't go to jail for it and it's not worth it for anyone to sue you.
     

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