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  #1    
Old April 16th, 2010 (03:16 PM). Edited April 16th, 2010 by Prince_of_Light.
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I've been reading some conflicting information about this, so maybe someone here could help me clear this up. I want to download because I have no way of dumping the ROMs from my own copies of the games (dumping your own ROMs from your own hard copy is DEFINITELY legal in the US).

If it's not legal, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that you can't download a digital copy of something that you can prove you own physically. That's like saying you can't download MP3's from a CD you own, but you can rip them all you want. The end result is still the same because you still own the game. It makes no sense.

EDIT: In this case, since my question is solved, let's make this thread a general discussion about the legality and ethical issues pertaining to ROMs. For fun's sake. =P
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Old April 16th, 2010 (03:21 PM).
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I'll just say this, a ROM image is not a highly monitored thing, illegal or not. So the FBI is not going to break down your door for downloading this type of thing.

I'm not trying to tell you to do something illegal in any way, but I'm just saying if someone did they would not get in trouble for it.
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Old April 16th, 2010 (03:37 PM).
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Quote originally posted by SIN1488:
I'll just say this, a ROM image is not a highly monitored thing, illegal or not. So the FBI is not going to break down your door for downloading this type of thing.

I'm not trying to tell you to do something illegal in any way, but I'm just saying if someone did they would not get in trouble for it.
I just like being on the right side of the law, lol. But if this is illegal I'd definitely lobby against it.
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Old April 16th, 2010 (03:40 PM).
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It is still illegal, because you are playing the game under someone else's license to own and play the game. But if you were to make a ROM of your own game, then it wouldn't be illegal since it would be your license you are playing with.
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Old April 16th, 2010 (03:43 PM).
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There are many stupid things that are illegal. Like for example, If I owned my own property, I couldn't make whatever obscene artwork I wanted, even if it was tucked away where only me or a guest could see it, just because it would be obscene enough to violate certain laws.
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Old April 16th, 2010 (03:53 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Team Rocket's Raichu:
It is still illegal, because you are playing the game under someone else's license to own and play the game. But if you were to make a ROM of your own game, then it wouldn't be illegal since it would be your license you are playing with.
Thank you, that helps things. Guess I'll have to clear out my ROMs now. =(

Quote originally posted by SIN1488:
There are many stupid things that are illegal. Like for example, If I owned my own property, I couldn't make whatever obscene artwork I wanted, even if it was tucked away where only me or a guest could see it, just because it would be obscene enough to violate certain laws.
LET'S LOBBY! lolz.

In this case, since my question is solved, let's make this thread a general discussion about the legality and ethical issues pertaining to ROMs. For fun's sake. =P
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Old April 16th, 2010 (07:15 PM).
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But seriously it's like downloading music on Limewire. You can have it on a cd, but you still downloaded it.
If it is illegal, who cares? xD
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Old April 16th, 2010 (07:15 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Team Rocket's Raichu:
It is still illegal, because you are playing the game under someone else's license to own and play the game. But if you were to make a ROM of your own game, then it wouldn't be illegal since it would be your license you are playing with.
You are incorrect. It is perfectly legal to download a ROM of a game you physically own. Your license applies to the digital copy of the game as well.

However it IS ILLEGAL to SHARE your digital copy. It's not the downloader who is punished, it's the one sharing the ROM file.
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Old April 16th, 2010 (07:38 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Pachy:


You are incorrect. It is perfectly legal to download a ROM of a game you physically own. Your license applies to the digital copy of the game as well.

However it IS ILLEGAL to SHARE your digital copy. It's not the downloader who is punished, it's the one sharing the ROM file.
That's not what Nintendo says. lol.

Quote originally posted by Nintendo Legal Information:
Can I Download a Nintendo ROM from the Internet if I Already Own the Authentic Game? There is a good deal of misinformation on the Internet regarding the backup/archival copy exception. It is not a "second copy" rule and is often mistakenly cited for the proposition that if you have one lawful copy of a copyrighted work, you are entitled to have a second copy of the copyrighted work even if that second copy is an infringing copy. The backup/archival copy exception is a very narrow limitation relating to a copy being made by the rightful owner of an authentic game to ensure he or she has one in the event of damage or destruction of the authentic. Therefore, whether you have an authentic game or not, or whether you have possession of a Nintendo ROM for a limited amount of time, i.e. 24 hours, it is illegal to download and play a Nintendo ROM from the Internet.

source: http://www.nintendo.com/corp/legal.jsp#download_rom
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Old April 16th, 2010 (08:23 PM).
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All roms are illegal. Just buy the game again.
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Old April 16th, 2010 (08:49 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Chibi-chan:
All roms are illegal. Just buy the game again.
My games work for the most part, thankfully. I took good care of my SNES. It's just irritating that you can't have multiple self-created copies of property you've paid for to be used for your own personal use. It's common sense. It's like telling people they can't make photocopies of a book and that you have to use the original book, and then when the book gets ruined since you can't make photocopies you have to go buy another one.
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Old April 16th, 2010 (08:52 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Prince_of_Light:
It's like telling people they can't make photocopies of a book and that you have to use the original book, and then when the book gets ruined you have to go buy another one.
Technically, you can't do this. :\
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Old April 16th, 2010 (08:53 PM). Edited April 16th, 2010 by Prince_of_Light.
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Quote originally posted by donavannj:
Technically, you can't do this. :\
The world doesn't make sense. DX

What I find strange though is how none of this holds true for music. It's probably because of the nature of digital media though; making copies is necessary for MP3 players to be functional. I found out you can even have a spare burned copy on another CD and an unlimited amount of MP3 copies as long as they're for your own personal use and provided all the copies were made off of the CD/MP3s you own.

However, downloading in all cases is illegal, even if you own the music already. This means if your CD busted and you have no MP3 copies that are made from that CD then you're stuck buying a new CD.

Kinda destroys the spirit of the law if you ask me.
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Old April 16th, 2010 (10:01 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Pachy:


You are incorrect. It is perfectly legal to download a ROM of a game you physically own. Your license applies to the digital copy of the game as well.

However it IS ILLEGAL to SHARE your digital copy. It's not the downloader who is punished, it's the one sharing the ROM file.
I'm afraid you're wrong Mr. Pachy, it is illegal to do anything with roms... even making roms is illegal.

Quote originally posted by Chibi-chan:
All roms are illegal. Just buy the game again.
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Old April 16th, 2010 (10:38 PM).
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It's more or less a legal gray area right now; for the most part, though, it's illegal. Doesn't mean it's wrong, though.
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Old April 18th, 2010 (05:33 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Zet:
I'm afraid you're wrong Mr. Pachy, it is illegal to do anything with roms... even making roms is illegal.
This is such a weird area. They area is such a grey one. In some states it is legal if you make your own. In others they are outright illegal.

The Supreme Court said it is illegal to make a ROM of a game if you put it on another cartridge. Though whether a computer, flash drive, or USB card would be considered is a cartridge is also grey.

They should make this black and white, not gray.
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Old April 18th, 2010 (05:39 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Team Rocket's Raichu:


This is such a weird area. They area is such a grey one. In some states it is legal if you make your own. In others they are outright illegal.

The Supreme Court said it is illegal to make a ROM of a game if you put it on another cartridge. Though whether a computer, flash drive, or USB card would be considered is a cartridge is also grey.

They should make this black and white, not gray.
For America maybe, but it is illegal completely outside of the US iirc
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Old April 18th, 2010 (07:09 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Zet:
For America maybe, but it is illegal completely outside of the US iirc
Not necessarily. Copyright laws are different in every country. That's why The Pirate Bay was trying to buy an island.

But I would just assume it's illegal, to be honest. It's too up-in-the-air for a definitive answer.
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Old April 19th, 2010 (09:08 AM).
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Well, it depends if you own a prototype game, but nobody will break into your house for downloading ROMs. I only download prototypes and betas and demos. Those are legal.
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Old April 19th, 2010 (03:17 PM).
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I think it's perfectly legal; that's why I back up all of my DVDs to my computer for safekeeping.
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Old April 19th, 2010 (04:04 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Heart's Soul:
Well, it depends if you own a prototype game, but nobody will break into your house for downloading ROMs. I only download prototypes and betas and demos. Those are legal.
Wouldn't they only be disclosed to a certain group of people and not given away to everyone?
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Old April 19th, 2010 (04:47 PM).
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Fair use on the grounds of preservation purposes would like to say "Hi." But even then, it's still not clearly defined and could go either way.
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Old April 21st, 2010 (06:47 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Zet:
Wouldn't they only be disclosed to a certain group of people and not given away to everyone?
I could go into the case of STARFOX2 for Japan which was released as a ROM online, it was legal to download, and we got an English patch.
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Old April 22nd, 2010 (11:19 AM).
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You can make copies of your game for yourself only as long as you've bought the product already. You can't give the copies to friends, though, and you certainly can't sell'em. If you don't own the product, it's illegal to download it.

Some companies don't even permit back-ups, like Nintendo ($.$); Sony and Microsoft don't really care, as long as you buy the game once.

All Nintendo game handbooks state specifically that back-ups "are not needed". That message is not on Sony or Microsoft games.
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Old April 22nd, 2010 (11:32 AM).
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For all saying you can make your own backups, I've read elsewhere that that isn't even true either. I'll have to find that quote.
Anyway, not encouraging you or anything, but I can't say I've heard of a case where the downloader was prosecuted.
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