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  #1    
Old December 21st, 2011 (06:03 PM).
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As I was saying in the title, how legal is rom hacking? I am thinking about making a rom hack, and I would like to make sure it is completely legal. Also I own the game I would like to hack.
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Old December 24th, 2011 (06:36 AM).
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If you own it and bought the game yourself it should be legal, as long as you don't try to distribute it in a gameboy cartridge or something like that.
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Old December 24th, 2011 (06:50 AM).
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If you get the ROM image from your own cardridge it should be legal.
Nintendo hasn't really done anything against romhacking yet. The actualy problem is the piracy of all the games, so if you don't download or upload ROMs you shouldn't get in trouble.
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Old December 24th, 2011 (06:57 AM).
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I think Nintendo has no problem with Rom Hacking so long as everyone knows that they own Pokemon and no one is trying to sell their rom hacks.

I think it would fall under the category of fan works, I'm not too sure
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Old December 24th, 2011 (07:46 AM).
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ROM Hacking is perfectly legal as long as your modified data is not (re)distributed. However owning a ROM is not legal, not even if you own the game. Downloading is considered illegal. If you're that desperate for legality, find a way to dump your game cartridge.

But this is the internet we're talking about, so give it a shrug.
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Old December 24th, 2011 (07:53 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Truality:
However owning a ROM is not legal, not even if you own the game. Downloading is considered illegal. If you're that desperate for legality, find a way to dump your game cartridge.

But this is the internet we're talking about, so give it a shrug.
Welcome to Earth, where not every country is subject to the same laws.
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  #7    
Old December 24th, 2011 (08:06 AM).
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You're hacking games owned by Nintendo. Of course it's illegal.
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Old December 27th, 2011 (10:39 AM).
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It's as legal as you make it.

I don't think Nintendo really cares that much.
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Old December 27th, 2011 (12:09 PM).
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As long as you're not trying to sell it over a public and easy-to-find location such as a well-known website, they probably won't care in the majority of cases. They still reserve the right to tell you to knock it off as soon as they catch wind of something they don't want happening at all, though.
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Old December 27th, 2011 (01:08 PM).
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I guess they hold the Copyright = the right to copy. So if you copy their games you would hurt their copyright and by that they could accuse you. But in general nobody gives a freak as long you don't make money. Because THEY want this money. So as said, the greater problem is piratery.

Hm, I bought Ruby by myself, and I did "not" download it additionally to play it on my PC, so I think that is alright.
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Old December 27th, 2011 (01:09 PM). Edited December 27th, 2011 by chrunch.
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ROM Hacking isn't illegal, but it is to download the ROM, regardless of whether you have the cartridge or not.
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Old December 27th, 2011 (04:42 PM).
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Downloading roms is illegal. This is what it says on nintendo.com:

Quote:
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.
ROM hacking, on the other hand, is perfectly legal. Nintendo couldn't care less about hacks...unless you're selling them. For perfect legality, your rom must come from your own game cartridge.
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  #13    
Old December 28th, 2011 (03:16 AM).
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It is illegal, yes. But then again, people have been doing it for at least the past five years. Not to mention the Mario hackers, etc. etc. I'm sure, if you don't sell it commercially, Nintendo will probably let it slide. But don't worry, I've been hacking for three years and I'm fine :3
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Old January 14th, 2012 (06:22 AM).
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Normally downloading copyrighted content is not legal, and I'm sure if Nintendo noticed about ROM Hacking... then I'm sure they'd take action against it. But since these things are hardly even noticeable for them (since they mainly have to work on their software and the stuff in their server in the headquarters either in the United States, Japan, Europe, Australia or any other country), it's not likely they'd notice ROM Hacking anytime soon, unless someone mentions it towards Nintendo. Knowing what most gaming companies are like with expecting their profits (which would be why I'd be sticking to Free Software most of the time and editing the payed software, because who needs to pay for something that can be distributed for free?).

There's no real need to worry about ROM Hacking or even downloading ROMs (or any kind of software). 'Cause it's all about sharing things with others, right? I always download ROMs and ISOs 24/7, it's all about researching and finding new things on certain ROMs or ISOs to then figure out how to edit them and look into them with a hex editor like HxD. Like I'm considering on creating fan-made titles for the Fire Emblem games that wern't released outside of Japan, so that way it can give those games that feel of it being as close to how the English editing team do it. Hacking new ROMs and ISOs always feels like a brand new adventure that will help shape the world wide web and it's free speech. :)
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Old January 16th, 2012 (02:55 AM).
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As long as you own the game and game console yourself, it's perfectly legal, as long as you don't put all that data in a cartridge and start selling it in anyway for your own profit.
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Old January 16th, 2012 (07:28 AM).
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Game catriges are things - and we do what we want with our things, throw them out of the window, crush them againist a wall, flush them down the toilet or hack the hell out of them :D

On the other hand, the rights of Nintendo are violated.. but honestly, who gives a fadoodling duck?
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Old January 16th, 2012 (02:32 PM).
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The hacking itself isn't illegal.
As for the ROMs, well...the Internet's going to have them forever and always.
So long as nobody links them etc. etc. it remains a grey area.
Just don't worry about it.
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Old January 18th, 2012 (12:19 PM).
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You should be fine unless you're uploading the actual ROM. I don't think the patches themselves are illegal, since it's just changes you made and not the actual game.

However, you should probably be careful if SOPA passes. I'm not completely sure about this, but it might get you in trouble.
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Old January 18th, 2012 (02:17 PM).
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Quote originally posted by SkyStar:
As I was saying in the title, how legal is rom hacking? I am thinking about making a rom hack, and I would like to make sure it is completely legal. Also I own the game I would like to hack.
Well, regardless of you owning the game or not, downloading ROMs is illegal. What isn't illegal though, is making a backup of your ROM from your cart onto the computer. But both of the previous methods will give you the exact same file. So, it's your call there...

After you have the ROM, you can do with it as you please, this is fully legal, but when you distribute your hack, don't include anything from the original ROM, or else it is illegal, you would do this by sending a binary patch file... IPS seems to be the preferred method around here.
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Old January 18th, 2012 (10:05 PM).
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to be completely honest, I don't think anyone would do anything about you ROM Hacking. Especially if you don't "ruin" the experience for other players. That is a quote from Microsoft with XBOX LIVE. They say that you can hack all you want, just keep it off the internet.

I bet the same applies for this Pokemon game. Just don't spam it on the internet and you should be fine.
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Old January 22nd, 2012 (08:24 AM).
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ROM hacking, on the other hand, is perfectly legal. Nintendo couldn't care less about hacks...unless you're selling them. For perfect legality, your rom must come from your own game cartridge.[/QUOTE]

But what if you make the ROM, and someone else sells it under your name?
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Old January 22nd, 2012 (03:15 PM).
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It is semi-legal. If your in the U.S.A. (like me) it is legal (in most states) to own a game and back it up to a rom. I don't think it's allowed in the U.K. and Australia, but no one really cares enough to come after you, unless you try to sell it. The one exception of this is chrono trigger. I have personally seen at least seven different rom hacks get letters of cease and desist from square, not to mention that one 3d fan game... To answer your question, it is (usually) more legal than pirating movies, but less legal than backing up a rom.
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Old January 27th, 2012 (03:00 PM). Edited January 27th, 2012 by The Corrupt Plague.
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It's a grey area but I'm pretty sure that Nintendo doesn't care anyways. It should be alright just as long as you don't go around selling bootleg carts or trading the roms themselves. Distribute your hack as a patch and you should be safe as long as you stay very far away from a company called Square Enix.
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Old January 28th, 2012 (09:36 AM). Edited January 28th, 2012 by Projectwolfie.
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Nintendo doesn't really care too much about romhacks themselves. Especially when we're talking about GBA games and lower, which aren't sold anymore. I think they realize that there is a pretty good size community out there in general. Just make sure that you're distributing an IPS patch or something instead of a rom itself. If you want to be extra sure, your base rom could be dumped by yourself. And no selling, no matter how tempting it might be to give people the "original feel." If they want it that bad, they can get a flashcart to play their games with. It's worth keeping in mind that emulators themselves are legal, while the ROMs themselves may not be.

However... I should warn that there are companies who do care. There was once a Chrono Trigger sequel hack named Crimson Echoes that got a C&D from Square for example.
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Old January 28th, 2012 (09:04 PM).
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^Basically what Projectwolfe said.

More over, I want to make Downloading a rom more clear.

Downloading a ROM is illegal, however the action is justified only if you are doing so to treat it as a back-up. You can review every law, and look into any or all loopholes, its there.

...The only other time a ROM becomes LEGAL to download is if the country it originates from decides to NOT release to your country! Magi Nation for GBA for example. They made a japanese version of an American card game. They released it to their public and not us! THE GAME EVEN HAS A FULLY TRANSLATED ENGLISH DIALOG!
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