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    Marketing itself as an online video game rental store, Console Classix offers a paid subscription giving you access to thousands of games from a variety of platforms: ranging from the Atari 2600 to the Nintendo 64, our beloved GameBoy Advance, and many more.


    Console Classix differs from a standard rental store in that you don't actually receive the physical game at home: you're actually playing ROMs using emulators. So how does that work? Why are they claiming this service as fully legal, and why has it been up and running for so many years? According to the owner, Aaron Ethridge, this is all due to a legal loophole of sorts:
    1) For starters, Console Classix owns at least one physical copy of every game it distributes
    2) When someone wishes to play a game, the game isn't actually stored on the gamer's computer, it is only available in RAM so there is no (easy) way for the player to retain the game. So this can be considered as lending rather than distributing.
    3) Console Classix doesn't lend more ROMs simultaneously than it owns physical copies. If they only own 1x Super Mario Bros 3 (NES) cartridge, then there can only be one person playing that ROM at a given time through their emulation service.

    Whether or not this is technically legal, Console Classix has yet to be taken to court. Back when they started their business, they received a cease and desist letter from Nintendo, but this never went any further, and so Mr. Ethridge went on with his business.

    What do you think about such services? Have you ever used Console Classix?

    :arrow: Make sure to read Ars Technica's excellent article on the subject
     
    focusonme, Red771, CeeDee and 49 others like this.
  2. Discussion (150 replies)

  3. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord
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    That's... an interesting take on the law, I'm glad it seems to be working out for them so far
     
    focusonme, Red771, tomman321 and 13 others like this.
  4. Xzi

    Xzi GBAtemp's Resident Plok Expert
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    Very interesting. I wouldn't think Nintendo would acknowledge his right to distribute these games to play, even if they can't be kept. It's possible he's stayed under their radar for the most part, but Nintendo might be cracking down harder in this new wave of anti-ROM hosting, we'll have to wait and see.
     
  5. WeedZ

    WeedZ Possibly an Enlightened Being
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    That's actually pretty smart. Follows the copyright to a t
     
  6. Noctosphere

    Noctosphere Adoptive father of Zelda
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    wow...
    just... wow...
    lol...
     
  7. TunaKetchup

    TunaKetchup GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Renting roms

    Now this is pretty messed up
     
    focusonme, Red771, AboodXD and 6 others like this.
  8. Deleted User

    Deleted User Newbie

    That's really interesting, and a smart way of getting around copyright loopholes. However, Ethridge is right in saying that using the service is a novelty; I can't see anyone using this site over a dedicated emulator and ROM Hosting site, and I'm willing to bet the versions of the emulators on Console Classix's client are horribly outdated.
     
    tomman321 likes this.
  9. Noctosphere

    Noctosphere Adoptive father of Zelda
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    renting ;)
     
  10. DS1

    DS1 伝説のサラリーマン
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    I just wish the original devs got a cut, as impractical as that may be. Not because they "deserve" it (the people that worked on the original games might be long gone), but because they need the data. Online campaigns and petitions are BS, but imagine they knew people were paying for a subscription and spent most of their time playing Shining Force or something. Then they'd have an actual incentive to rerelease the originals or even revive the IP
     
    Zense and Xzi like this.
  11. KingVamp

    KingVamp Haaah-hahahaha!
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    That's interesting. Kind of like a retro cloud gaming. I wonder how licensing comes into play for this.
     
    Xzi and TotalInsanity4 like this.
  12. RayPanimals

    RayPanimals Advanced Member
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    This is the hero we need to stand up against Nintendo.
     
  13. Deleted User

    Deleted User Newbie

    Scrapes every rom... I'm just... Uhhhh, renting, yeah.. Renting
     
  14. Quantumcat

    Quantumcat Dead and alive
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    Are you even allowed to rent out cartridges? On DVDs there is a message it is for home use only. Video shops of old had to pay extra (a license?) to be allowed to rent them out. I imagine it is the same for games, so it wouldn't matter if they had a physical cartridge for each person "renting" a particular rom.
     
    dimmidice, Ritsuki and Cyan like this.
  15. ShadowOne333

    ShadowOne333 QVID PRO QVO
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    "Oh got a C&D from Nintendo?
    Well .l. you, I am on fairly legal ground assholes!"

    Awesome way he didn't give a shit about Shitendo's C&D.
    Now those are guts, hope it all goes well for him and his little rental service.
     
    Subtle Demise and Deleted User like this.
  16. supergamer368

    supergamer368 Mostly lurker, full idiot
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    This is to say the least, odd. Yeah, let us lend you a technically pirated rom for a fee, but only one of you gets it at a time. Obviosly, this is gonna create tons of problems because all the popular *ahem* good *ahem* games will be in constant use. I’m kinda suprised at how well it works out for them.
     
  17. Souperman9

    Souperman9 GBAtemp Regular
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    I'm quite surprised this exists.
     
  18. Deleted User

    Deleted User Newbie

    Stares at Pokémon and Mario
     
  19. evandixon

    evandixon PMD Researcher
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    Fascinating idea, but definitely illegal (unambiguously), since it's still distributing copyrighted data.
     
  20. moneychild

    moneychild GBAtemp Regular
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    Dang.....why didn't I think about this.

    I think oaky...after all he is only sharing what he owns.
     
  21. bodefuceta

    bodefuceta GBAtemp Fan
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    I thought someone hacked the site and put ExoClick ads on front page.
     
    AlexMCS and Catsinabucket like this.
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