Multicade in an actual arcade: Is it legal?

Richter X

Active member
GamesBoro, a classic game store nearby, got ahold of a Multicade, and are setting it up for taking quarters and stuff. I've heard these are pretty gray area, but putting it in an actual arcade for tokens? Is it legal? I just don't want these guys to get into any trouble down the road. :erm:
 

BIrvine

Senior Member
I'm not familiar with this company selling the multicades, but as long as they own the IP (roms included in their machines), then its perfectly fine. If they're just someone building and selling cabs that include x number of games, then it would be illegal for sale. Thus charging people for money to play like a real cabinet would also be frowned upon (whether tokens or coins). Customers paying to play it are in no risk whatsoever.
 

shawn

Active member
I'm not familiar with this company selling the multicades, but as long as they own the IP (roms included in their machines), then its perfectly fine. If they're just someone building and selling cabs that include x number of games, then it would be illegal for sale. Thus charging people for money to play like a real cabinet would also be frowned upon (whether tokens or coins). Customers paying to play it are in no risk whatsoever.

Not even sure you need to own the IP. I imagine like any other IP they could just pay a percentage of all moneys received from people playing the game and just pay the IP owners. It would seem a good idea for the IP owners since they don't have to build or maintain the machines or anything else for that matter, just sit on their asses and count thier money.
 

EmuWikiAdmin

VIP (site admin -- emuwiki)
Selling, leasing, giving or giving access to copyrighted content without the author's permission is illegal. The copyrights on any movie / game / computer program / music expire 50 years after its creation in Canada, and something like in the 70 years in United States. As long as this amount of time has not been reached, using the games, especially for commercial purpose, could eventually lead to the company being sued. So the only question is : do they have the permission from the authors or companies owning the copyrights of these games.

As pointed out in earlier responses, there's always that question of whether it's going to bring enough attention to lead to legal problems. Maybe not. But in pure theoritical terms, it is not legal if the company selling the arcades does not have a contract with the copyright owners.
 
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