Piracy: Common Myths

Viri

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
3,647
Trophies
1
XP
5,441
Country
United States
Stop being such a "moral fag" about everything when it comes to piracy. Quit overthinking things about morals, just have fun and enjoy your free vidya! Companies won't give a shit if you pirate video games, unless you try to sell them, leak them, or host them your self.
 
Last edited by Viri,

raxadian

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
Messages
3,539
Trophies
1
Age
39
XP
3,399
Country
Argentina
Software gets copyright protection (life+70 years), chips get mask protection (10 years) and everything else you need to try to patent (20 years).

But bios is software.

So the CD Sega CD bios are still illegal, good thing most modern emulators don't need them.

70 years.... Really? Wow.
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
35,287
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
24,952
Country
United Kingdom
So the CD Sega CD bios are still illegal, good thing most modern emulators don't need them.

70 years.... Really? Wow.
Nice introduction video to the concept

Also less that it is illegal -- owning a copy and not using it at the same time should be enough just as owning a copy of the game is for games and more that it would be illegal, or indeed unlawful in some places, to distribute with your emulator/clone console.

If you do a cleanroom replication of the BIOS (which emulators may or may not have done -- can't just read the various leaked SDKs or necessarily disassemble a dump, either of which I would bet some substantial money on most of the reimplementations having done, though how easy it is to prove is a different matter) then you could happily include that in most places (Japan might have issues) and still have your clone console.
 

chrisrlink

Has a PhD in dueling
Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
4,879
Trophies
1
Location
duel acadamia
XP
4,516
Country
United States
S. Korea has some of the strictest CR laws in the world remember the PubG vs Fortnite (or rather bluehole V Epic) they wanted to drag them to Korean court cause they knew it would be thrown out in US, S.Korea was not always CR friendly until the 90s CR law was non existant reason why they wanted to do it in Korean court was because a basic concept for a game can be copyrighted there think of it this way if GF/nintendo was a Korean company and used the full extent of it's laws Pokemon (or rather the monster taming rpg genre) could be copyrighted there and then none of these Pokemon clones could be made (robopon, digimon world (DS Games) ) basicly bluehole copyrighted battle royale genre (with the shrinking danger area in the game) in their homeland

heres an article by forbs explaining it better than me

https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomas...fight-with-fortnite-in-korea/?sh=5a2dc37a3901
 
Last edited by chrisrlink, , Reason: source added

smf

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
6,039
Trophies
1
XP
4,786
Country
United Kingdom
70 years.... Really? Wow.

It depends on the country, but the bios isn't old enough for that to matter.

Also less that it is illegal -- owning a copy and not using it at the same time should be enough

It depends on the country. You might be required to dump your own and not download it from the internet, although most (if not all) countries it wouldn't be criminal to downloaded it.

then you could happily include that in most places (Japan might have issues)

Some countries have reverse engineering laws that exclude making a clone. It's a real minefield. Although I'm not sure I've heard of sega going after people who do pirate their bios anyway, let alone a re-implementation.
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
35,287
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
24,952
Country
United Kingdom
It depends on the country. You might be required to dump your own and not download it from the internet, although most (if not all) countries it wouldn't be criminal to downloaded it.
I have still yet to see any case where dumping it yourself acts as a defence over merely owning it at the time, and can't point to any law saying that or likely to be interpreted that way; most such things tend to be phrased in terms of harms done, and if you own it and did not torrent it and thus distribute it as part of downloading it then harms or counts of infringement get hard to demonstrate.

If you dump it yourself then it is a nice clean way of being sure you have it, and thus why many places dealing in audio, DVD, and in some cases BIOS rips. Some legal snoozefest in the jewel case might say you can make one backup yourself and must get rid of it if you sell it but having that be binding is also dubious.
 

raxadian

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
Messages
3,539
Trophies
1
Age
39
XP
3,399
Country
Argentina
Some countries have reverse engineering laws that exclude making a clone. It's a real minefield. Although I'm not sure I've heard of sega going after people who do pirate their bios anyway, let alone a re-implementation.

A 2019 Japanese law (allegedly sponsored by Nintendo) means you can get arrested for simply making a save backup if you did it by "illegal" ways.

Sega is not going after people using their consoles Bios because they are not in the console business anymore. And because emulators is a way they can keep selling old games.

If a mini Sega Dreamcasr is ever made it will be thanks to the fans making emulators and reverse engineering the fudge out the thing.

Meanwhile Nintendo Witch Hunt means for example that not even themselves have a full accurate Nintendo 64 emulator.
 
Last edited by raxadian,

smf

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
6,039
Trophies
1
XP
4,786
Country
United Kingdom
I have still yet to see any case where dumping it yourself acts as a defence over merely owning it at the time, and can't point to any law saying that or likely to be interpreted that way

These cases never end up in court because they are a waste of time, so you won't see any cases.

I know if you pay a license to store music on computer to play on radio to the public in the UK then you aren't allowed to use music obtained from illegal download sites (including youtube videos that aren't posted by the copyright holder), you can however rip your cd's or download the music from a legitimate music store. You don't need to leave the cd there, I'm not sure you even need to retain ownership of it.

However they don't seem to check, so you technically can do what you want but getting away with something is of course different.
 
Last edited by smf,

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
35,287
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
24,952
Country
United Kingdom
Playing to the public is broadcast though which is a whole different kettle of fish.

As far as not making it to court.
We have seen cases wherein people claimed that as they bought CDs with the pirate tax on them in Europe that things were all good, and it being bought by the judge in the case.

Closest I have to anything here is some company in the US was making censored versions of popular films, buying original DVDs as and when they did. They however got pinged for their trouble.

Leaving aside that most cases are for distribution I struggle to believe none ever were all "you fell for my trap card - I owned it at the time of the event in question, here is a copy of the receipt" that were not in turn answered with "did you rip it yourself? No. Well then".
 

smf

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
6,039
Trophies
1
XP
4,786
Country
United Kingdom
Leaving aside that most cases are for distribution I struggle to believe none ever were all "you fell for my trap card - I owned it at the time of the event in question, here is a copy of the receipt" that were not in turn answered with "did you rip it yourself? No. Well then".

How many cases have you seen that didn't involve file sharing?

Also you have a lot of faith in courts to apply laws completely and consistently, when that isn't what they actually do.

You can do something that is against the law, that the courts decide would be disproportionate to apply the law fully in your case.

I assumed this thread is about the law, not whether you will get caught, whether you would be taken to court or what would happen in court if you were.
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
35,287
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
24,952
Country
United Kingdom
How many cases have you seen that didn't involve file sharing?

Also you have a lot of faith in courts to apply laws completely and consistently, when that isn't what they actually do.

You can do something that is against the law, that the courts decide would be disproportionate to apply the law fully in your case.

I assumed this thread is about the law, not whether you will get caught, whether you would be taken to court or what would happen in court if you were.
Any legal type will tell you a law on the books means next to nothing until it is contemplated in court (especially in a precedent based system). Though I am still also lacking any book law and historic interpretation tends to be more of a "is there a statute specifically prohibiting this action" (and then challenges from exemptions, fundamentals of lawmaking...) and usually with specific penalties. "No?" In that case what harms is the one making the claims alleging happened as a result of this guy's actions?

And a fair few cases -- there have been quite a few where various storage, ripping, transmission, conversion, subtitles (granted that is less applicable here), said censors, and whatever else were the defendants that were not simple dude downloads a torrent/other p2p service from our investigator and more someone is doing something more interpretive. Granted dude downloads a torrent/other p2p would still be a fine case to go with should they have demonstrably owned the game but been too bone idle or incapable of ripping it themselves.
I also can't imagine the EFF and equivalents thereof would not be like flies on shit if this scenario appeared in a court somewhere.
 

smf

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
6,039
Trophies
1
XP
4,786
Country
United Kingdom
I also can't imagine the EFF and equivalents thereof would not be like flies on shit if this scenario appeared in a court somewhere.

My reading of https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#117

I would say that when downloading from an illegal download site, you aren't copying the program you purchased. In many cases the downloaded copy isn't identical to the original, it may have been patched to work round drm etc & that causes it's own legal issues. Philosophically you could argue it's still the same game, but the law is clearly written with the intention of you making a copy from a legally purchased one. Even if the end result is bit identical, there is no exemption that explicitly says you can obtain a copy elsewhere. So it seems rather unsafe to rely on an implicit exemption.

Copyright and licensing are different, some copyright holders will give you permission to make as many copies as you like but then license you to use a set number of those copies at any one time. If you have that agreement then you don't need to rely on fair use.

Your DVD example isn't equivalent as that is a clear copyright breach even if you purchased the original as combined works need permission from the copyright holder.

Cases where producing a receipt would be a defense just don't go to court, so a judge would never get to rule on it. It's especially unlikely as a judge would likely rule against awarding any damages, because there was no lost sale.
 
Last edited by smf,

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
35,287
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
24,952
Country
United Kingdom
My reading of https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#117

I would say that when downloading from an illegal download site, you aren't copying the program you purchased. In many cases the downloaded copy isn't identical to the original, it may have been patched to work round drm etc & that causes it's own legal issues. Philosophically you could argue it's still the same game, but the law is clearly written with the intention of you making a copy from a legally purchased one. Even if the end result is bit identical, there is no exemption that explicitly says you can obtain a copy elsewhere. So it seems rather unsafe to rely on an implicit exemption.

Copyright and licensing are different, some copyright holders will give you permission to make as many copies as you like but then license you to use a set number of those copies at any one time. If you have that agreement then you don't need to rely on fair use.

Your DVD example isn't equivalent as that is a clear copyright breach even if you purchased the original as combined works need permission from the copyright holder.

Cases where producing a receipt would be a defense just don't go to court, so a judge would never get to rule on it. It's especially unlikely as a judge would likely rule against awarding any damages, because there was no lost sale.

The DRM one is a separate issue from where I sit, though I have seen rulings go either way as things might be necessary and even that seems to include provisions for making something work.
Bit identical copies is a potential issue, and that is before we consider whether my having say an emulated copy of whatever N64 game that contains at least theoretically (sometimes we get say a 1.3 that never hit https://www.zeldaspeedruns.com/oot/generalknowledge/version-differences but we will assume no new censorship or bugfix issues cropped up) identical game to the straight N64 version. That said it is an issue and presumably why many places say roll your own as that little bit of safeguarding. Don't particularly see it as a dealbreaker though as much as an issue the would be downloader has to be concerned with not unlike might get a virus instead.
I can also see a path to an argument of said differences if they are more simple bugfixes and censorship, and not something like a gold edition with all the expansion packs/DLC or indeed a translation*, being some kind of allowable or seriously entertained (even more so if there was a return program, recall or something at the time, maybe even a simple acknowledgement of error which the v1.1 might be a tacit version of -- such a thing presumably not being free to issue or create) or in the case of the BIOS if it conferred no particular advantage (maybe if the difference, functional or more academic, itself between versions did not rise to a copyrightable act being a further contemplation). That however would be an argument you get to make that might fail to persuasive.

*though if the baseline is already established then NTSC English <-> more or less identical PAL English might be where I go next. If it was just a find and replace color with colour type and drop to 50fps for PAL deal then philosophically speaking I don't see any issue. Those parallel translations where Europe might well have got the far superior version then being a different matter. Line could get very hazy as well as things are removed to comply with local standards (think gambling machines removed in pokemon).

Combined works as you call it, derived works as many other places would know it generally, and adaptations as the link to the law text you provided seems to want to call it might well be a separate issue.
If I am playing sneaky/clever lawyer though it seems more a matter of timings
"or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation"
Assuming I am the one doing the censor work with the DVD editor (or computer program if sticking with the narrower restriction there).
Your call/payment to me initially renders you an owner of the baseline DVD (or program) from my stack of them and thus I am now your authorised agent in its modification. You might not be able to sell the modification onwards at a later date (whoo nice bonus for my business I guess) without permission of the holder but that would seem to be the obvious workaround.
Might also go for downloading a cracked version (assuming said download does not have a nice crack separately as many will) if the you then consider said chosen download site your authorised agent. They might be in trouble at some level but that tends to be less your problem and more theirs (that fairly recent supreme court case about printer toner probably being a good example, though patents more than copyright was the thing used here).

"If you have that agreement then you don't need to rely on fair use."
If doing the 1 cart/dvd = 1 game (or presumably BIOS if continuing with the earlier topic) then that would change things, and I have not seen a game provide me with so many chairs/CPU cores/concurrent users/... like so much OS or productivity software.
Equally if fair use is less restrictive than what the holder might care for -- same as any other contract that might go against what the law says you can include in a contract.

Implicit vs explicit law and restrictions thereof... getting into the fun legal philosophies today (others playing along there is a constant debate in legal philosophy, which also varies between countries and sometimes parts of them, about whether laws merely say what you can't do and all else is presumably legal, and prescribe what it is you can do with anything falling outside that being illegal). UK law tends to be instances of restricted actions, which is why we get idiocy like the response to legal highs laws wherein they decided they could not keep up with "twiddle one useless non functional group and give that a spin", US generally does that too and indeed going against it would be rather counter to their whole history.

I would not disagree with a statement along the lines of "a cautious legal type might not do well to say yeah all good" to such a scenario as discussed here like they might "you are driving the speed limit while in total control under perfect conditions, nothing wrong with that". Equally that law is probably ancient and written by people more ancient and less understanding of computers (or ghost written by industry) and thus did not anticipate such a scenario or actively left it somewhat murky.
If I am sticking with harms done, unfair competition and whatever else that determines things in these sorts of cases I am still lacking anything to say "you must grow enough tech and tech skills and do it yourself/have your computer guy do it for you".
Amusingly enough if the download site had some kind of "by downloading this you agree you are an owner of a copy of the software" type deal that might be further fun.
 

smf

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
6,039
Trophies
1
XP
4,786
Country
United Kingdom
If I am playing sneaky/clever lawyer though it seems more a matter of timings
"or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation"

You seem to have missed this rather important parts

(a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy.— Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:

(1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or

(2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.

(b) Lease, Sale, or Other Transfer of Additional Copy or Adaptation.—Any exact copies prepared in accordance with the provisions of this section may be leased, sold, or otherwise transferred, along with the copy from which such copies were prepared, only as part of the lease, sale, or other transfer of all rights in the program. Adaptations so prepared may be transferred only with the authorization of the copyright owner.

I don't see how you could buy something, modify it and sell it without permission with the way the law is written.

Equally that law is probably ancient and written by people more ancient and less understanding of computers (or ghost written by industry) and thus did not anticipate such a scenario or actively left it somewhat murky.

They may not have envisioned it, but a law was passed that tried to prevent you copying something that you have fair use rights to copy then I do not think it's safe to assume that the legal system would think it's ok to download from an illegal site.

Especially as this will likely have benefited the owner of the site & they tend to try to think of those as organised crime.
 
Last edited by smf,

Zaphod77

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
661
Trophies
0
Age
47
XP
580
Country
United States
The bottom line is distributed copies are infringing unless they are backups given to the new owner at the same time as the originals. and an infringing copy can only be made non infringing by the copyright holder.

Owning a cart doesn't entitle you to download an infringing copy, despite the fact that this does not harm the copyright holder as long as you don't distribute it.

Dumping you own for use with an emulator does count as operational adaptation, but only if you do nothing else with the copy. You can't patch it. You can't even decompile it or view it in a hex editor. Just load it into the emulator and play. It's a pretty narrow exception. The intended purpose of the operational adaptation clause is to let you run the installer, which makes a copy of the software on the hard drive, but it does allow a few more things. Cracking the installed copy also counts as use in another manner.

Archival backup has been ruled to only apply if the original was stored on magnetic media in the courts. It's possible a new case may change this, but until then, the archival backup clause doesn't save you.

b) lets you transfer the backups as long as you also transfer the original. It also lets you transfer the installed software and the computer along with the install disks. But if the archival copies are patched by a protection removal program, they are no longer exact copies, and need the permission of the copyright holder to transfer.
 

raxadian

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
Messages
3,539
Trophies
1
Age
39
XP
3,399
Country
Argentina
Ehem:


When it comes to guides I find text is always better but when it comes to explanations video tends to stay more in your memory.

No protection at all? No wonder the Sega Genesis was cloned so much.

Funny enough Until the late 2000s it was still possible to get a legal Sega Genesis if you bought in Brazil.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WiiMiiSwitch

ihaveawindows

Well-Known Member
Newcomer
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
68
Trophies
0
Age
15
Location
Bogor
XP
242
Country
Indonesia
Piracy: Common Myths

  • Piracy is theft.
    This is by far the most common myth. Piracy is not theft because it does not cause any direct damage or loss to the other party (in fact, whether there's another party at all is sometimes up for debate). Theft, on the other hand, is a criminal act because in committing an act of theft, you deprive somebody of something. If I go and take an old lady's purse, then due to my actions the old lady has been caused a loss, her purse. However, when pirating, nobody loses anything. The pirater gains a copy of some digital item, while the person/entity who originally created that item is completely unaffected by the act.

    The legal term for theft is "larceny" and is under criminal law, while piracy is "Copyright Infringement", which is under civil law (except exceedingly-rare cases that edge into a felony). If downloading a song from the internet causes somebody's bank account to magically have money subtracted out of it or causes physical copies of the item in question to poof into thin air, I would love to know how that works.


  • Piracy is not theft, so it's not illegal.
    Many people realize that piracy is not theft and doesn't cause a loss, so they assume that it's not illegal. That is false, in fact people go to court and/or get sued for piracy all the time. Civil law is still law.


  • If I'm caught pirating I only need to repay the retail cost of the product so it's not a big risk.
    While criminal cases often require that fees/damages are proportional to the property in question, no such relation is required for civil cases. It's not uncommon to see somebody fined $9,500 per song.


  • It's only illegal to upload, downloading is legal.
    This myth comes into being from people being taken to court for uploading. In reality downloading is illegal too, however the fees for uploading combined with downloading can be much bigger, setting a larger example, so that's generally what companies take people to court for, to make the biggest example out of them.


  • It's okay to download something if I already have a real copy.
    A myth commonly proposed by ROM/ISO sites, this is false as well. Nowhere do any of the laws or regulations add "unless you already have a copy". The concept of a single backup in "fair use" is commonly-mentioned, but this revolves around you creating your own copy, downloading somebody else's copy is taking part in "distribution", which is still illegal (and the main focus of copyright law).


  • This old game is no longer being sold, so it's out of copyright and it's fine to download.
    Copyright on modern (1978 and newer) works lasts 70 years past the author's death, or 95-120 years for an anonymous work. Whether it's still sold or not has no bearing on this.


  • I can download it as long as I delete it within 24 hours.
    There's nothing official that says this, this is an outright lie.


  • I bought the disc/cart/game, so I can do whatever I want with the software on it!
    Sadly, false as well. In the majority of cases, what you have bought is a physical object containing the information and a license to use that single copy of the information, which is different from owning the object outright.



  • Piracy causes job loss.
    Commonly-stated by large corporations, but has no actual backing. In fact a government report (PDF) has looked into many commonly-cited numbers and reports for piracy and found them to have no actual backing, or to consist of outright lies in their references.


  • I'm just some guy on a forum, they'll never get me.
    Tell that to GBATemp member kongsnutz, who was sued for $1,500,000 AUD.


  • That's just US law, copyright stuff doesn't apply to me in another country so I can pirate all I want.
    While I'm using US laws and regulations primarily since it's a main concern of this forum, this is another falsehood. The WIPO/Berne Convention is a worldwide agreement, if your country is in the member list (there's over 100 countries there, so you most likely are) then your country recognizes the copyrights of other countries and has it's own laws in place to deal with violations. Look at the above example, which took place in Australia.


  • Piracy kills game systems.
    There is no correlation between systems that fail (or succeed) and piracy. Multiple systems have failed terribly without any piracy in their lifetime (Virtual Boy, N-Gage, CD-i), while other systems that had piracy enabled for the majority of their lifetime ended up being some of the top sellers of their generation (PS1, Wii, GBA, DS, etc.)

    This holds true for games as well, for example the PS3 was the last console of the 7th generation to be hacked (and patched the hacks quickly and recent models are unhackable), yet it sold many less games than the Wii, which was the first to be hacked (and does not patch hacks quickly, and still has hackable models being sold).
I truly support the anti-piracy community, but here in Indonesia, stopping piracy is harder than it is, piracy in Indonesia is just like real pirates in Somalia. Plus, I just heard a report on a news channel that Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft are reluctant to give development permits to Indonesian game developers because Indonesia is known for piracy (I mean it, we sell homemade PS2 games on online shopping platforms for Rp.7.000,- per disc (around 50¢)), which is sad because I would like to see my country develop and be seen to other countries, and to have a national thing to be proud of other than language, food, and culture.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BlazeMasterBM
General chit-chat
Help Users
    Dark_Phoras @ Dark_Phoras: Fake