The legality of flash carts in the USA...

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by misterdoo01, Sep 1, 2010.

Sep 1, 2010
  1. misterdoo01
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    Newcomer misterdoo01 Newbie

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    So, I really want to purchase an Acekard 2i for myself before I head off to college, but I'm concerned that purchasing the cart itself and owning one is illegal. I understand that pirating DS ROMs is illegal, but can I get in trouble for simply purchasing an Acekard?
     


  2. Slyakin

    Member Slyakin See ya suckers

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    I can't say it's illegal to buy one, but being caught with illegal files on your computer can lead you with a fine.

    I don't know the legality system very well.
     
  3. geoflcl

    Member geoflcl Permanent GBAtemp Newbie

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    Nahh, don't worry about it. You can't get in trouble for purchasing a flashcart.

    But, as you already know, they can fine you out the whazzoo if they catch you with ROMS. But who cares. You're good to go with the flashcart.
     
  4. Giga_Gaia

    Member Giga_Gaia Shinigami

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    I doubt they would go after you for having illegal files on your PC or owning a flashcart. You're not big enough of a pirate to be worth their lawyers expenses just to sue you.

    Beside, they go after huge pirates, the kind that actually upload the stuff on internet for greedy leechers like you, me and 99.9% of the people on this forum. I doubt they'd go after you if all you do is download. They'd go after you if you spread the stuff around.
     
  5. .psyched

    Member .psyched GBAtemp Regular

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    Good to hear that. Didn't know up until now.
     
  6. TwinRetro

    Global Moderator TwinRetro Don't start nothin', Won't be nothin'

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    Its really not going to happen. I was playing my DS at the DMV, and the security officer (real police officer) asked what game I was playing. I politely told him that it was a flash cart and told him how it works and everything.

    I now get emails from the guy asking where he can get X game for his son every once in a while. I turned a policeman into a pirate. [​IMG]
     
  7. giratina16

    Member giratina16 Born This Way

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    It's funny how authoritative figures don't always follow the law. I know a policeman who smokes weed.
     
  8. .psyched

    Member .psyched GBAtemp Regular

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    NICE.
     
  9. Bunie

    Member Bunie #1 Princess

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    Citizens Arrest sounds in order. Maybe he will bribe you.
     
  10. zzhou

    Newcomer zzhou Member

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    In my home country the general rules are:
    The main problem for "them" is to prove that you did something illegal. It is not illegal to own a flashcard, ROMs, etc. It is illegal to distribute them and especially to distribute them for profit.

    Basically, they would have to prove that you have malicious intent with those ROMs (i.e. you can always claim you have them to research into some technical stuff) and/or obtained it from illegal source (i.e. I'm not sure if you can't dump the ROM from your legal copy).
    Also - checking for the "illegal" files on your computer, DS, etc requires court order. So you would have to really draw attention to yourself so they would go through the hassle.

    So the easiest illegal thing to do is to use torrents - as it would automatically "distribute" (upload) files that are downloaded. Merely having DS with flash card and ROMs would require too many efforts on law enforcers part to sue you.

    It might be illegal to sell flash cards. Don't do it!
     
  11. Ritsuki

    Member Ritsuki ORAORAORAORA

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    It depends on which country you lives. I dont think it's illegal in America.

    I was thinking about something : in my country, it's not illegal to download games, music, etc... but if I travel to America with my laptop and all my downloaded files in there, do they have the rights to look in my computer and arrest me for that ?

    And since I'm not a citizen of America, if I get caught for illegal downloading, I'll be juged by an american court or by my country's ?
     
  12. thebigboss14

    Member thebigboss14 GBAtemp Fan

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    I don't even think they will think in doing that because "technically" you are the victim of the case. Unfortunately, if you try to upload, share or distribute the roms and files is a different king of story so be careful. Another tip, don't try to use P2P software like limewire, ares, bittorrent, utorrent and stuff like that because if you try to download lots of stuff in one night because they could notice it and warn you about and even fine and all that. Be sure to find better ways to do things. I'm in college right now and they are strict in every aspect. Advice from a fellow user ok. I hope it comes in handy for you.

    Posts Merged______________

    That sound really cooll and funny [​IMG]
     
  13. misterdoo01
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    Newcomer misterdoo01 Newbie

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    Thank you everyone for the quick replies. I'm not concerned about getting in trouble for the ROMs; piracy is so ridiculously widespread that you cannot easily enforce any regulation relating to anti-piracy. If I get in trouble for the ROMs it's because I drew attention to myself as possessing them. Even then, I'd have to go out of my way for that to happen.

    The hardware itself is what concerns me; I actually already ordered one and received it today (the Acekard 2i is fantastic!), but as I signed the little form stating the package had been delivered to me when the mailwoman arrived, I thought about the future repercussions of my purchase; would the US government suddenly crackdown on the sale and ownership of these devices and arrest anyone who possesses them? That's really silly to think about, and as a previous poster noted, cracking down on me, or all of us really, would be a waste of resources; I would end up being nothing more than an example for people to fear (i.e. "Oh snap, if he got arrested for it, I might too!").

    Heck, the packaging my cart was shipped to even said, in handwriting, "flash cart", and it went right through US customs (though that probably isn't a huge feat...).

    I dunno, I guess I'm just paranoid. I don't want to be sitting in my dorm when all of a sudden the police show up out of nowhere and try to arrest me. :/ Silly, silly...
     
  14. thebigboss14

    Member thebigboss14 GBAtemp Fan

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    It's a quite interesting and funny story you got right there you know but I don't think it's going to become real. Don't be so worry about that because the US government already have many problems to worry about little things. They are actually worry about the issues the nation is going thru right now like terrorism, war and economic crisis. I don't want to get too political because I really dislike politics.
     
  15. tk_saturn

    Member tk_saturn GBAtemp Psycho!

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    In the US it's perfectly legal to use them provided you dump your own games. Even if you own the games, it's illegal to download them.

    However if Nintendo went after children and their parents for piracy, there would likely be a big backlash. In time you may find piracy becomes less socially acceptable and so that may change in the future.
     
  16. Rayder

    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    It's basically all illegal. At least it is if you listen to the video game companies.

    BUT

    Generally, no one cares as long as YOU aren't the one who is uploading and providing the the ROMs. No one cares as long as you aren't profiting from the ROMs you may have downloaded.

    So, unless you are selling ROMs for the express purpose of making a profit, or dumping and uploading ROMs to the net on a massive scale, no one really cares. Most authorities leave video games to the individual companies who's property was pirated to pursue the pirates.

    If you had stuff like child porn or secret government documents or other "super-illegal" crap on your computer, you'll get busted pretty quick and they'll likely lump any pirated games you have in with the bust just for the hell of it. But barring any of that "super-illegal" stuff, there is little chance of anyone giving a damn.

    There is also the money factor......if you are rich, they are more likely to come after your ass and take all your stuff and freeze your accounts than if you are poor, because if you're poor, they won't get any money out of you and are therefore not worth their time to bust.

    I'm talking America here, I have no idea (nor do I particularly care) how other countries deal with piracy.
     
  17. TeenDev

    Member TeenDev GBAtemp's Original Hipster

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    There is nothing legally wrong with owning a flashcart just like there is nothing wrong with owning a complicated FPGA set up by yourself to run unsigned code (strange example, I know). The only thing illegal is if you have DS ROMs on it.

    This has been discussed time and time again over the years. You have nothing to worry about. Just be careful who's watching if you decide to use illegal content on your card.

    Flashcarts are protected under the DMCA, I believe, which allows reverse engineering.
     
  18. qwertymodo

    Member qwertymodo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Actually, the DCMA expressly prohibits breaking DRM or any application or device that does so. Therefore, owning a flashcart is illegal. Period. However, as it has been said, it is not likely to be enforced, ever (not towards owners anyways, I mean just look what happened to the original R4 team). Basically you are infinitely more likely to be caught "obtaining" roms than purchasing a flashcart, because that leaves a much larger digital papertrail, and is the focus of antipiracy watchdogs.
     
  19. zzhou

    Newcomer zzhou Member

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    I came to US with like 20 DVD-ROMs with Wii games...

    Keep in mind - customs officer cannot prove your laptop contents is illegal - he does not have expertise.
     
  20. zzhou

    Newcomer zzhou Member

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    I ordered Acecard 2i yesterday. Site warned me I should not use it for pirating, only for legal uses (like homebrew development) - and I confirmed I have read it.

    Also note - laws cannot be applied retroactively.
     

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