Zophar ROMs: You had a good run

Blue Protoman

New member
Forgive me for posting this in the wrong place, but this seemed relevant. I'd send it directly to the host of roms.zophar.net, but I can't seem to register on the site (due to the Captcha not working). If anyone could show him this thread, by e-mail or otherwise, please do. I want him to read this.

As you know by now, due to financial issues (and a small bit of legal ones), Zophar's ROMs, or most of it, has gone down, and will not be going up in the future. It's a bit old news (November 2010), but I didn't find out until this past week. Here's his original message;

Due to financial problems, problems with servers and kind-of legal problems, I am shutting down several of the most popular sections of the website, while keeping the less popular ones open for a while.

No, nobody sued me. That's what annoys me the most - its not the companies that care - why would they, they make no money from these decade old games, and they make no money from second hand games, so why should they care?

No, its these ridiculous retards who are just regular website visitors that send me threats saying that they will sue me, report me (to who? the game police?) and that I'm somehow making artists in the gaming industry starve. Righto... except artists don't make money from out-of-production games and they sure as hell don't make money from second hand sales of games (and you can bet your ass that the person who sold you that game made a copy for himself).

Anyway, this site is a financial black hole, I get no pleasure from it, so I see no reason to keep it running.

If you have a donation subscription running, cancel it. No, I'm not going to cancel it for you. Any further donations will go towards covering past losses and keeping up what's left of the site.

Thanks, and bye.

So, what am I here to say? Thank you. Thank you for providing people with a great center for ROM downloads. Thank you for providing convenience to this system. And thank you for being willing to run a ROM site, knowing that you would come under legal threats, and spend a lot of money on hosting. You have done a great thing for the emulation community. I am sorry to see you go, however, I will not try and beg to keep it up. I know that you had a hell of a time with this. I will not whine and complain, thinking that you are my bitch. No, what I will do is keep you and your site in my memory, and never forget the great things you've done.

You had a good run, Administrator. You did well. But all good things must come to a close, and your time has simply come. The best has been made of it.

In closing? Goodbye. And thank you for your blood, sweat, and tears.
I'm going to take at least partial credit for this, what with contacting several of the publishers and, when applicable, the ESA with information about the pirated games. I even provided the information in the form of pre-formatted ESA takedown notices. I CC:ed the host on all of those messages.

I also contacted the advertising provider, asking why they were funding software piracy, as well as contacting the individual companies being advertised with evidence that they were paying the publisher to advertise their product on a software piracy site. Wendy's wasn't too happy to discover that their products were being advertised on such sites.

The hosting company replied to me at one point stating that they had no evidence that any of the software was illegal. I pointed out that the front page explicitly stated that it was illegal to distribute the provided files. They stated that they would remove any files that video game companies filed a complaint against yet were (even previous to that) automatically deleting every file I CC:ed them about.

For the record, I'm not opposed to software piracy. What I have a problem with is turning a profit via software piracy. As for Zophar's ROMs having a "good run", there are much better ROM sites that were founded many years before Zophar's ROMs and they're still in existence. But if you're downloading ROMs via the web, you're doing it wrong.
Unlike you, I like to not have crap litter my ROM folders.

And he wasn't trying to make a profit; he was trying to keep the server up. Difference.
Unlike you, I like to not have crap litter my ROM folders.

I don't have crap littering my ROM folders. My ROM folders are fully (manually) sorted and archived. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything that I've said, though. Especially since you were downloading your ROMs from a site that insisted on archiving dozens of bad dumps in the same archive file as the good dump, thus forcing you to download hundreds of worthless ROMs just to get a single copy of a good ROM.

And he wasn't trying to make a profit; he was trying to keep the server up. Difference.

If he was only interested in keeping the server up, why has he completely abandoned the sites? Wanting to keep the server up suggests that he cares about the sites on the server, unless you're implying that he was worried about the server's self-esteem or something. On the other hand, he has repeatedly demonstrated that he's only interested in the money. And unlike you, I *do* know how to get in contact with the administrator and have discussed some of the financial specifics of the site.
For those interested, Here's how it went down when I confronted him about it in December of '08:

Reaper man said:
For fuck sake will you take roms.zophar.net down already? All it's doing is causing confusion amongst people who visit the site. ZD has had a long standing "No ROMs" policy, and this is completely contradictory. If you want to keep it so bad, throw the server on a new domain so that it can be completely unaffiliated. Also, if you don't care that there's rom discussion/begging, fine. Let me know, and I'll remove the rule and make a sticky showing places to get roms. Be warned though, that doing that can put you in legal trouble (unlikely) and/or give you less advertising freedom. In any case, we need a solid answer from you, since you are the site owner
Edman said:
The No ROMs policy should stand as it always has. As for the ROMs site, the roms have actually been offline for almost 2 months now, but traffic from Google is up so I’m probably gonna bring them back. I am going to move the ROMs site off to different domain, but be aware, unlike the ROMs site, which is full of ads, zophar.net isn’t breaking even. The server costs more than the ads bring in – its nonsensical, as traffic is up, but income is down. In effect right now the ROMs site is “subsidizing” the main site. So there is going to have to be some switching around of servers and ads if the ROMs site is not a part of zophar.net, as I can’t afford a site that’s not covering its server costs (and I have certain pressure from the other owner as well).
The site never made any money, I was just telling you it contributes to the main site to calm down your inner copyright nazi. It did contribute quite a lot to zophar.net in the way that many people clicked through to the main site from the ROMs. Even today, if you enter "Playstation ROM" into google you'll see that the zophar.net main site is #5.

I kept up the server because I had some other files on it that I didn't want deleted... last november an opportunity presented itself to move them to a different machine, so this one was no longer needed. End of ROMs.
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