1. Dodain47

    Dodain47 GBAtemp Psycho!
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    Only if a legal release is possible. Gericom is looking for ways to release the port.
     
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  2. peteruk

    peteruk GBAtemp Addict
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    Defo keeping my fingers crossed :)
     
  3. ShadowOne333

    ShadowOne333 GBAtemp Guru
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    Why do you think Nintendo hasn't taken down the source code of the project nor the Github page?
    They can't do shit legally about it, since it's all reverse engineered and 100% legal.
    The only thing is you need to get a ROM to dump the assets to compile it.
    Sure they can't have a binary floating around, and that's all Nintendo can't take down, but Nintendo cannot do shit against compiling the game from source, and the same applies to doing so for Switch.

    Also, fyi for everyone here.
    There's a certain Github page for a Switch port somewhere, and 100% legal as well.
    You just need to compile it yourself to get a NRO to play it on Switch.
    You can convert the NRO to NSP too if you so desire.
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Yeah don't go become a lawyer any time soon. Just because it is "reverse engineered" does not make it legal. In this case the project leads have admitted to using diassembly and decompilation on the binary to generate the source which is about as far from the actually legal clean room stuff* as is possible to be.
    *in this case you would get a bunch of people to play the game, note down all the concepts present within the game and how they work (or roughly how they work and dial it in from there). Every jump, enemy, physics item, NPC behaviour, sound call... and then do the same for the level data and whatever else, before handing it all off to a bunch of different people. The chances of such a piece of code compiling to 1:1 is also basically impossible.

    I am curious as to why they have not attempted to nuke it from orbit (or those pokemon disassemblies which have been around for longer still), plenty of other companies have done similar such things when it was just a few fragments of code that were disassembled or cribbed from unauthorised code. I imagine they don't view it as that much of a threat (if the average member here struggles to compile it then yeah) and probably don't want to get involved in a precedent setting case if the hackers that did it turn around and invite the EFF to throw down on their behalf.
     
  5. ShadowOne333

    ShadowOne333 GBAtemp Guru
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    Again, it's all custom code made by studying and debugging the game in itself, which has been stated since the 90s to be completely legal. Just look at emulators, they follow the same rule of thumb, disassembling and RE consoles made by the same companies that made the games.

    I suggest you take a look at the Bleem case that went down in the 90s with Sony, and which they lost.
    Nintendo tried the same in the 90s but failed miserably, and they won't attempt doing the same here because there is already a precedence of them losing under very similar circumstances.
    If we go by your logic, then all emulators should be illegal too, and we know very well that is not true (thank god for it).

    Nintendo can't take the code down because:
    1) It doesn't have any assets from their IPs. This was the main reason why they could take down the binaries but not the source code of the project. If the source code itself doesn't have any of Nintendo's copyrighted assets, like imagery, music, etc., they can work with the source code as a simple generic 3D platformer engine.
    This is why they focus on the users providing the ROM for the extraction of the assets and further compilation for their own use, and not the distribution of binaries.
    2) The source code was all made from RE. Since the code itself is not a 1:1 recreation of Nintendo's, nor a leaked code, they have every right to exist.

    Also, if you still think Nintendo is in the right to take this down, take a look at this:
    https://www.eff.org/es/issues/coders/reverse-engineering-faq

    It has a list of a lot of examples of RE being protected under the law, and it also lists the examples of Bleem I mentioned, and others from big gaming companies.
     
    Last edited by ShadowOne333, May 30, 2020
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    It is not made by studying of the game running/video of that, input-output (simplest version there is I have a box that takes in 16 bits and outputs 16 bits, someone buys my box and fires through all however many thousand inputs and gets all the outputs and writes their own and that is fine and I can't do anything about it) and other such things.
    If it was that or a few other things then it would be fine. If they had started on that project the moment Mario 64 was released I imagine it would be maybe 10% done today -- something like Mario 64 is hideously complicated to do that for, never mind getting code made to perform it exactly. You typically only figure out how one or more things is done in a game (say something like https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iNSQIyNpVGHeak6isbP6AHdHD50gs8MNXF1GCf08efg/pub?embedded=true but also jumping) and make your own take on that for your game, not recreate a whole work.

    This however directly took Nintendo's code, ran it through various static and dynamic analysis techniques, a bit (or probably a lot of) human ingenuity on top of that to fill in some blanks that physics really leaves behind. Legally speaking it is not all that different to taking a piece of code, disassembling it, poking it a bit so you can be reassembling it and then doing that.
    It is a serious piece of impressive work, something I did not expect to see for some years yet (C decompilation has been gaining speed in academic circles for a while now with nice probabilistic, forced branching methods and what have you along with compiler analysis as they are pretty deterministic, simple memory increases allowing for many more states to be accounted for. For it to happen to a random embedded MIPS CPU device is quite nuts though) and would even happily buy those that made it a beer should I see them at a conference some time. I am similarly glad Nintendo has not done anything yet and does not appear to care to. Does not change the fact it is the very definition of derived work though and the whole thing copyright of code is pretty much designed to prevent.

    I am familiar with the Bleem case. It has nothing to do with this. That was about emulation. Also what did Nintendo try with emulation? I know about them vs Atari (Atari essentially obtained illegitimate access to their code to bypass protections) and I know about them vs galoob (game genie is OK being the result of that one). I am not aware of them getting involved in anything notable for emulation during that time. They had that wonderful FAQ on their website but that is nothing really.

    1) It really does. The code is the asset that was used to create this.
    2) Nintendo could likely not use this code in their own project (though I am not sure how they might be able to tell seen as the code itself compiles to the original ROM) but seen as it is a direct result of their copyrighted work and does not appear to enjoy any fair use protections, interoperability protections or the like they could well.

    So I read the EFF FAQ. Saw nothing there that would say this is OK, several things that would make me question it.
     
  7. ShadowOne333

    ShadowOne333 GBAtemp Guru
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    I think you are certainly misunderstanding where the "1:1" part comes from.
    While the code/decomp/disasm surely compiles back a 1:1 match of the original ROM, it's by no means indicative that the code itself is the SAME one as Nintendo's.

    This is where knowledge about the structure of the ROM comes from, and also goes to show how adept the people are in MIPS assembly (like Kaze)
    Hackers already know the structure of SM64 quite well and inside-out.
    They know exactly in what banks of the ROM are the textures, 3D models, sounds, music, text, actor data, etc. So with this knowledge, they know exactly where to put the data back in the ROM.

    The claim that 1:1 match with the compiled ROM is obviously a misunderstanding, and one I can see people who have zero knowledge of romhacking fall for way too easy.

    That point falls flat at the exact moment you check the PC port.
    It is far from being 1:1 with the N64 ROM, is it?
    It is riddled with bugs here and there, some compilations from a week ago weren't even able to finish the game, and so on.

    Aside from that, disassembly and reverse engineering false under fair use, as long as it's not distributed in a binary format with copyrighted assets.
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    The original leaked project that kicked all this off compiled to 1:1 with the original ROM when provided with the assets. That was the stated, and achieved, goal -- you can take the leaked source, mix it with the non code assets from the ROM (though I believe the source did include some levels) and create a byte for byte match of various released versions of the N64 Mario 64 ROM.
    The PC port, which is a direct descendant of that N64 source recreation, being different or buggy is immaterial in this. The user added code for said PC may be even less within Nintendo's realm than the source recreation might be at some level (barring any "coincidentally" identical stuff I am not sure of the specific legalities of that one -- the decompilation project presumably could claim the layout, variable names they invented, their own comments and what have you like we see with public domain book reprints but it gets really messy from there on out) but again immaterial.
    That the ROM layout was already known is nice to have but is also the sort of thing you could map out with a weekend's effort if you really wanted, maybe even less than that (log on execute is less common than read or write breaks/logs but still a thing, play the game with it and you will probably get a good idea of where the code is without any particular technical skills to do it).

    You can keep claiming, wrongly and your own source even disagreeing with your assertion, that disassembly and reverse engineering fall under fair use or are otherwise acceptable under copyright but it does not change the case that it is only so under very specific circumstances and approaches used (see clean room reverse engineering), said approaches being anything but the approaches used by the decompilation project to achieve their feat in remaking the source.
    https://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?&httpsredir=1&article=1146&context=chtlj if you want a nice intro to it all.
     
  9. ShadowOne333

    ShadowOne333 GBAtemp Guru
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    We can keep going back and forth, you claiming it's illegal, and me saying it's 100% legal.
    All in all, the fact is that none of the decompilation projects, nor disassemblies of all the Nintendo games out there have been struck down by Nintendo so far.

    That counts all of the Pokemon games from Gen 1 up to Gen 3 (I think progress is being done on DS Gens), SM64 obviously, a whole bunch of NES and SNES disassemblies which are not as known, and even the 64 Zeldas, to list the most popular.
    And I think that's just scrapping the barrel, and yet none of them have been hit at all, it's always the binaries that get taken down, but not the Github which is right in the center of the public eye.

    This is Nintendo, if they could, they already would have done it years ago.

    Even if the US laws that protect the corporate greeds more than the consumers make such a thing illegal under their terms, there's still the rest of the world where it is not. They can take down the main project, but the forks remain up still, so it won't do a thing for them in the end, as they can't prosecute thousands of people and forks across different websites and countries.

    At the end of the day, the source codes are public and available for everyone without a repercussion in years, and it's unlikely to change anytime soon.
     
  10. Dodain47

    Dodain47 GBAtemp Psycho!
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    Copyright Attorney and gamer Leonard French takes a look at Nintendo´s DMCA Takedowns for the Super Mario 64 PC port.
     
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  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    There are reasons not to pull the trigger on a court case. If the law or some aspect of it is unclear you don't want to set precedent, or having something fun appear on appeal.
    Having it out there in the world (but plausible deniability) can then make the "access to the work" aspect more fun if you do clamp down on someone that borrowed from it.
    The arguable loss from the project being out there is minimal (and courts are not the most fond of making an example/making a point type cases) and thus not worth the effort. Fan games, at least those using the names and likenesses, they kind of have to smack down but that is usually more trademark law.

    The rest of the world, barring places that don't recognise US, Japan or other such copyrights (there are a few small locations using them as sanctions and basically anarchies) also generally agrees that you can't just take a work, send it through a few steps and suddenly end up with a free and clear version to use. This is to say the broad takes on clean room stuff apply just about everywhere in the world, some places might have a few less in the way of can't bypass protections DMCA bit and maybe EULA stuff that the EFF mentions in their bit but the general code is copyrighted, and copyrightable, and therefore protected by copyright still applies.

    The source code is out there, and I am delighted to see any number of ports, improvements and takes on it (while Rare did better games on the same system it is still a very good game that could do with being brought up to more modern standards). Likewise while they could make it far harder and send things underground I do agree they would probably get a nice Streisand effect if they tried (popular open source software has been removed from the net before before it has been a few years since it last did, and this stuff is well and truly seeded out there, not to mention the PC port and other ports could probably continue to be shared as diffs). However to go from being out there to it being free and clear under the law to use is a very different matter.
     
  12. Kwyjor

    Kwyjor GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    I suspect creating a simple, easy-to-follow process for dumping the assets and then recompiling them into a usable .cia is a surprisingly labor-intensive enterprise. (And it has to be an easy-to-follow process because otherwise there will be an unending stream of users bitterly complaining, "I tried to open the Zip file but it gave my computer a Linux virus and then my Luma exploded so the pogrammer is the satan.")

    If I'm not mistaken, one of the significant wins of the Bleem case was that even though they disassembled the PSX BIOS and created their own replacement, the courts found they could legally do so. So it's not entirely dissimilar to disassembling Super Mario 64 and producing replacement code. (I also understand that Bleem was ultimately finished because the ongoing legal battle proved to be too costly even if they were right on that point.)
     
    Last edited by Kwyjor, May 31, 2020
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  13. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    I shall have to go back and go through the cases on that one.

    Assuming it was though I would have thought that went more to necessity for interoperability than anything even vaguely close to this.
     
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  14. MasterFeizz

    MasterFeizz GBAtemp Maniac
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    If you use their intellectual property, which the decompilation is, in a project that could result in monetary damages to nintendo you can and will most likely get in trouble. Super Mario 64 is still being sold and there is also a very likely chance that it's coming to the switch.
     
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