Legality of downloading roms

Discussion in 'Computer Programming, Emulation, and Game Modding' started by Dominator211, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Dominator211
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    Dominator211 JFK's Jelly Donut

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    I want to build a movie PC/emulation station PC but to do this I need ROMS I have researched this before hand and really didn't answer much. so my questions are..... sites like -removed- and -removed- illegal if so why do they exist. I am just looking at pleasuredome at the moment and I need to keep a ratio of 1.0 meaning I upload somethings I get some things. the guy I found this out from was from Uk and he absolutely pounded this service it terabytes and terabytes of roms. I just want to check the legallty of these sites and want to know why they exist..... to get us all arrested
     
    Last edited by BORTZ, Jan 23, 2017


  2. Dimensional

    Dimensional GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Due to the complexities of Copyright law and DMCA, and how they conflict with each other, sadly it's next to impossible to give a straight answer, other than if you own the games, you have a more legal right to the roms than those who don't own said games. That doesn't mean it's completely legal, just that it's more illegal to download the rom if you don't legally own a copy of the game.
     
  3. luckymouse0

    luckymouse0 Mad Scientist

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    Do you think that someone will close every rom or illegal download page???

    They can't even close 4chan, which some boards have CP.


    But you can make a station or pc emulation machine, just not include the roms within it.

    Example: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/retroengine-sigma-mini-video-game-console-cool#/

     
    Last edited by luckymouse0, Jan 22, 2017
  4. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    The funny part with this, is if the ROM is NDS or earlier, every good dump should look the same, so nobody can prove you either did or didn't dump/download it just by looking at it.
     
  5. evandixon

    evandixon PMD Researcher

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    By US law, it's illegal to download ROMs, period. It's legal to make backup copies of your own copies, as long as you don't break encryption in the process (like DVDs and BluRays). I haven't heard of anyone being fined or jailed for breaking encryption while not downloading (doesn't mean it hasn't happened), but be aware there could be potential legal troubles if you try it and are caught. Up to 5 years in jail and/or up to $250,000 fine per occurrance.
     
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  6. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    If that's the case, I'd be locked up for over 50,000 years by now. ;)
     
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  7. evandixon

    evandixon PMD Researcher

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    You monster :P
     
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  8. luckymouse0

    luckymouse0 Mad Scientist

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    Source: http://www.zophar.net/articles/FairUseROMs.html
     
  9. osaka35

    osaka35 Instrucional Designer

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    that's...not quite how the law works in the US. Other countries are a different story, though, I only know US law and how international law affects US citizens. But it's a moot point as no one's going to come after you for them, and you're not going to be fined for them. So while on the books it ain't right, you're going to be fine downloading them. You just have to be wary about hosting them.
     
    Last edited by osaka35, Jan 22, 2017
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  10. luckymouse0

    luckymouse0 Mad Scientist

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    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_console_emulator#United_States

    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/emulation/...t_legal_to_download_roms_for_old_games_right/

    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/emulation/comments/3zq3cr/what_are_the_laws_with_using_roms/
     
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  11. osaka35

    osaka35 Instrucional Designer

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  12. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Which is weird, considering supreme court judges ruling emulators as being perfectly legal, as hardware is reverse engineered and contains no copyrighted code, that and hardware cannot be copyrighted. Sony V. Connectix, Sony v. Bleem!, and Nintendo v. Galoob Toy Inc all had cases ruling emulation and derivative works as legalized, despite Nintendo's staunch opposition to unofficial emulation; nevertheless, the rulings in those lawsuits have one and all, deemed emulators legal as long as there is no copyrighted code. That being said, ROMs contain copyrighted code, that makes it a bit trickier. For games that are no longer being actively sold in any form other than eBay, Amazon, eShop, Steam, etc, I personally have no moral objections as only secondhand retailers get the money. YMMV.

    Sources: https://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/203_F3d_596.htm
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/Sony_v_Bleem.htm
    http://www.invispress.com/law/copyright/galoob.html

    I see ROMs and emulators as a means of preserving/archiving, esp. when companies go under, lose licensing rights and all that jazz.

    Edit: Seems someone beat me to it, in a nutshell, emulators aren't illegal as long as they don't use copyrighted material in the code, dumping BIOS files for personal use is legal. Nintendo likes to use fear-mongering to make it sound like you're evil for using emulators.
     
    Last edited by the_randomizer, Jan 22, 2017
  13. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

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    Umm don't videos and games both have warning of making copies of it? Least somewhere before loading the disc or even in the manual? If owning backups either by creating them yourself or downloading isn't illegal then why do game publishers keep adding copy protection anti piracy patches to games? :mellow:
     
  14. osaka35

    osaka35 Instrucional Designer

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    the long and short of it is that it may be technically illegal, but if it went to court, it might not be illegal if it wasn't ruled in their favour (see the galoob thing). So they say "it's illegal! don't do it!" but they're not going to take you to court over it and risk not being able to say it's illegal. not over roms anyway. isn't law fun?
     
    Last edited by osaka35, Jan 22, 2017
  15. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    The DMCA has a lot of contradictory statements, such as it's legal to make personal backups, but not legal to use software to circumvent DRM to make backups, how else does one make personal backups? DRM I couldn't care less about.
     
  16. osaka35

    osaka35 Instrucional Designer

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    as i recall, it's also fuzzy on what's defined exactly as able to be backed up. i know mp3s were ruled 100% legal to back up, but movies aren't. to be honest, it probably won't be defined precisely unless a judge rules on a case about it (or the laws get super specific). this only applying to the united states(only laws i'm familiar with)
     
  17. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Again, the DMCA is bloody confusing, more exemptions are needed.
     
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  18. Dominator211
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    Dominator211 JFK's Jelly Donut

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    yep i don't think I'm that guilty thou
     
  19. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    The likelihood of being caught for just downloading is extremely unlikely, you're more likely to get caught if you're profiting off of pirated material. I have my fair share of ROMs, but I've never sold them or hosted them for downloading.
     
  20. Dominator211
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    Dominator211 JFK's Jelly Donut

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    the stupid people on this site want to know if I am in law enforcement. coincidence I think NOT. then they can't exactly tell me if this whole operation is legal tey just tell me to look at the wiki when the wiki says nothing about the legality bunch of BS on this site.
    im not going to profit at all here but i ink the whole opperation they have going is based on ratio so if the ite is taken down everyone is guilty

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    entire conversation as of right now not going to say the name of the sight at this time