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View Poll Results: What's your stance on ZD hosting ROMs?
Hell yeah! That would be kickass. 6 16.22%
It'd be nice. If not, then that's okay. 9 24.32%
I don't give a damn either way. 4 10.81%
I wouldn't like it. If so, then that's okay. 2 5.41%
Screw that! ZD isn't a place for ROMs! 16 43.24%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-13-2008, 09:51 PM   #1
Rattlehead
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Default Important info on ROMs

I found a law that offers exemptions for older game systems. Therefore, that would make hosting commercial ROMs for older game systems (i.e. Atari 2600 to Dreamcast) legal to host! This is the part of that law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, that exempts older games from being illegal:

17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)
"...computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace."

For further info on the DMCA: click here
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:31 AM   #2
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Note: There is a loophole; if a game is currently distributable by the owner of the copyright, it could be interpreted that a game is no longer 'distributed in a format that has become obsolete', because it is being distributed in an updated format. This will include any games available for the Wii Virtual Console, for instance.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:32 AM   #3
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That would be the case if that amendment were made. As it currently stands, that hasn't been amended to the DMCA, so therefore it is legal. According to Wikipedia, the anti-circumvention exemptions were added in 2003, and it (the DMCA) was last updated in 2006.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:05 PM   #4
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Well, as I said, there's 2 issues here really:

1. Are we interpreting this correctly? I have a feeling this allows making of a single backup for archival purposes because preservation of the original is in danger. What is really meant by a "library" and an "archive" here? Does this law even mention distribution?

2. Do we really want to annoy Nintendo & co. into a million dollar lawsuit? Everyone here would be right and we'd still lose just because they have more money.


However, on that note, why doesn't Nintendo shut down ROM sites? There are soooo many ROM sites around, many have traffic levels of what looks like well above a million unique users a month, they are very old, they distribute very new stuff (Nintendo DS games, even), and yet, nothing happens. What is up with that?
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:18 PM   #5
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lots of publishers usually resell rights for their old games and have them remade for newer systems. that way you would immediatly have a interest conflict.

i would say let commercial be commercial.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:42 AM   #6
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YOU found this? -- No, this argument has been brought up many times before. With things like the Virtual Console, XBLA and PSN, many games are being re-released in forms that will keep these games 'current'.

Beyond that, with all of these clones on the open market - like the NES/SNES combos I can find at a local reseller, that means compatible hardware is available in the commercial market... thus keeping those games protected. You can still find the Dreamcast pretty easily, along with many older systems.

Beyond which, "backups" are allowed in many cases - but they are backups that you, yourself, have made personally. Unless explicitly stated by the license holder, sharing "roms" is actually quite illegal -- even if you own the original cart. See, the idea is that you have the right to physically backup a media to preserve its use. IE: I can take a VHS tape and use a PC and copy the video and audio off, and put it on a DVD for archive purposes/reuse -- through the personal use measure. However, if I then give that copied DVD to a friend, I've broken the law. I do not have a license to distribute that media.

Roms are the same.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:44 AM   #7
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Um... I can't edit my own posts. I wanted to remove that second "Beyond which".
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:28 AM   #8
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I also vote that we keep off Commercial Roms. There are PLEEENTY of Sites \ Ways to get them.

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Old 07-15-2008, 08:39 AM   #9
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What about those unlicensed ones?
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edman View Post
Well, as I said, there's 2 issues here really:

1. Are we interpreting this correctly? I have a feeling this allows making of a single backup for archival purposes because preservation of the original is in danger. What is really meant by a "library" and an "archive" here? Does this law even mention distribution?

2. Do we really want to annoy Nintendo & co. into a million dollar lawsuit? Everyone here would be right and we'd still lose just because they have more money.


However, on that note, why doesn't Nintendo shut down ROM sites? There are soooo many ROM sites around, many have traffic levels of what looks like well above a million unique users a month, they are very old, they distribute very new stuff (Nintendo DS games, even), and yet, nothing happens. What is up with that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by packardmelan View Post
YOU found this? -- No, this argument has been brought up many times before. With things like the Virtual Console, XBLA and PSN, many games are being re-released in forms that will keep these games 'current'.

Beyond that, with all of these clones on the open market - like the NES/SNES combos I can find at a local reseller, that means compatible hardware is available in the commercial market... thus keeping those games protected. You can still find the Dreamcast pretty easily, along with many older systems.

Beyond which, "backups" are allowed in many cases - but they are backups that you, yourself, have made personally. Unless explicitly stated by the license holder, sharing "roms" is actually quite illegal -- even if you own the original cart. See, the idea is that you have the right to physically backup a media to preserve its use. IE: I can take a VHS tape and use a PC and copy the video and audio off, and put it on a DVD for archive purposes/reuse -- through the personal use measure. However, if I then give that copied DVD to a friend, I've broken the law. I do not have a license to distribute that media.

Roms are the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by leilei View Post
What about those unlicensed ones?

1. Edman, after so long I would imagine that they realized that there are WAY too many sites to take every one of those webmasters to court. It would take an enormous amount of time and money. Also, I see WAY less ROM sites that offer games for newer systems. The newest I've seen around is the Dreamcast.

2. Okay, where to start with packardmelan? I'm tired of this, so fine. I'll let you call them "current"...but what about games that were released by companies that are now exclusive to a different company? Take Rare, for instance. They released Banjo-Kazooie on the N64, then get absorbed by Microsoft. They own the franchise, but Nintendo has the games. I'm not saying that there won't be a Banjo game for the Xbox 360, but that Nintendo can't release the current Banjo games in the Virtual Console w/out Rare's permission...which I doubt they'll get from Microsoft. Secondly, where are you finding NES/SNES combos? The closest that I've seen to that are those 100,000-in-1 bootleg consoles...which if what you're saying is true, is illegal. I've also never seen one of those at any local resellers in Northwest Arkansas, where I live which is a region of about 250,000+ people. And Dreamcasts are quite rare in the gaming stores around here. Lastly, I'm not talking about movies, which are not mentioned in the exemption for video games that I posted.

3. Xeon3D, I'm starting to agree. I'm getting pretty tired of this.

4. Leilei, unlicensed ROMs would be fine due to there not being a license for the game.
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