Concern Yo

jsack

New member
Are Emulators illegal, for example my college, VT, monitors our content download, if I download an N64 emulator, will that be seen as illegal or stealing.
 

MarioGeek

New member
As long as you own a physical copy of the game you're downloading, it isn't illegal. I really doubt they'd notice or care anyway.
 

ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
MarioGeek's answer was for roms, I think he miss understood you question.

The answer is no! They are not illegal. The intent of using a coppiced game to play it however could be questioned. So if you play a game at school, and your campus does not own that game, yes that is illegal. Now if you own the computer, its on you. Meaning you "should" own the original game. The use of an emulator will gain you no trouble, that is if its ok to game on campus ;) Downloading the emulator again, is not a foul, if you download it from the emulators web page. If you try to get it via a torrent, that is different. And downloading games on campus is very foolish. Chalks up there with downloading mp3s on campus.

Disclaimer, this is how we perceive the law here, its not legal advise.
 
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Zach

New member
As long as you own a physical copy of the game you're downloading, it isn't illegal. I really doubt they'd notice or care anyway.

No. No, no no no NO

It is NOT legal to download a ROM just because you own the physical game. The ROM must come from YOUR physical copy, using dumping hardware that may or may not be illegal to build / purchase in your country.
I really wish people would stop saying stupid shit like this, just because they heard it on a ROM site, or from a friends who "knows about this stuff". The only ROMS which are legal to download, free and clear, are Public Domain ROMS. Made by homebrew authors, or commercial products whos rights holder has explicitly released the product into the public domain.

Emulators on the other hand, are typically not illegal. But in some cases they could be interpreted as illegal depending on how the reverse engineering of the platform was done, and whether any copyrighted code is present in the source. In general though? No, they are not illegal.
 
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ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
It is NOT legal to download a ROM just because you own the physical game. The ROM must come from YOUR physical copy, using dumping hardware that may or may not be illegal to build / purchase in your country.
your right my over site. So actually you meant No. Yes, yes yes depends Yes

Listen to Zach, he is in fact a Layer.
 
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ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
I'm not a lawyer
Then you should not act like one. Your interpretation of the law, whether right or wrong, is still unprofessional as its not creditable.

I'd be filthy rich by now.
LOL knowing the law and thinking you know it all are not the same things ;P
 

MarioGeek

New member
Well Zach, it really doesn't matter in the end. I couldn't care less if it is illegal. I'm just telling the guy he should go for it. It is very unlikely anyone would care or notice. Let him have fun.
 

ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
well.... on campus though? Its been a good while since I have gone to school, but I know for a fact torrents are easy to spot in the IT room. If you just download a few illegal items you are prolly ok. I don't know many people that would just get a game or two. Secondly, he never asked about roms. So to answer his question, yes its legal, go for it, and play. Download emulators will give you no trouble.
 

Zach

New member
Then you should not act like one. Your interpretation of the law, whether right or wrong, is still unprofessional as its not creditable.

As opposed to all the B.S known-to-be innaccurate common myths spewed by ROM download sites since the late 1990's and all the people who have visited them? Please...

The credibility of my "interpretation" of "the law" is hardly the issue. At most my interpretation changes applicability depending on the country you live in, but as a general rule, I stand by my "opinion" as being far more accurate information than people would get from other sources.
 

Zach

New member
Well Zach, it really doesn't matter in the end. I couldn't care less if it is illegal. I'm just telling the guy he should go for it. It is very unlikely anyone would care or notice. Let him have fun.

If you don't care whether it is illegal or not, you shouldn't be handing out advice willy-nilly that could get people into trouble. It is within your rights to do what you please, based on your own opinion. But it is also within my rights to correct what I believe to be false or blatantly stupid information when I see it.

In the future, why not just give this link to people asking questions.

http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/help/entry.html?cat=24
 

MarioGeek

New member
The answer that I provided is so common that I believed it to be true. I've only been into emulation for a few months, give me a break.
 

ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
If you don't care whether it is illegal or not, you shouldn't be handing out advice willy-nilly that could get people into trouble.
- and giving amiture legal advice is not different ? The validity in both of you is only attributed to your opinion. Neither of you can give legal advice nor should be.

MarioGeek has a more open minded laid back opinion. Zack has a more careful conservative opinion. The OP needs to make his own opinion. Opinions are like, well you know, every one has one.

If you have a legal question you have no business asking it here period. I dont care how convening someone or some link may sound, they dont practices law, thus they are not creditable. Read at your own risk.

Furthermore, non of this is any longer on topic. He is asking about emulators not roms!
 

Zach

New member
The key point here is my opinion is based upon verifiable facts written into copyright-law itself. Nintendo themselves even reference the legal right the make a backup copy in their own ridiculously stupid anti-piracy web page. re: downloading ROMS for a game you own. I am no less qualified to state what I have so far, than any actual lawyer is, because a certain amount of speculation is involved. Even a lawyer cannot say for sure without a hardcore established case-history of lawsuits to reference one way or the other. My assertions are far more reasonable in any case, and just as sound as a lawyer who would say "well, based on current law there is nothing that says this activity is explicitly illegal/legal".


But back on topic. It is pretty safe to assume Emulators are legal based on existing lawsuit results, and the lack of lawsuits against popular emulators in general. It is important to note that Emulation is not a new concept by any means, just that game console emulation is a relatively newer branch of the field.

Sony never actually won against Bleem! for instance, when they took the company to court, although Bleem! went out of business soon after saying that the lawsuits had damaged their finances irreparably. The only Emulators I would stay away from are those that absolutely require a BIOS to run games, and actually provide that BIOS file with the emulator.

In general it is assumed BIOS ROMS/files/whatever you want to call them, will be obtained by the user just like a game ROM would; from the users own console, using generic / non-illicit dumping hardware.
 
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Zach

New member
The answer that I provided is so common that I believed it to be true. I've only been into emulation for a few months, give me a break.

There is nothing wrong with believing something is true. What matters is how you handle things once you have realized it is not the case. You could say, "wow I didn't know that, thanks for informing me" but instead you shrugged your shoulders and said "meh... so what? who cares." and that is what I took issue with.

I don't have anything against you personally, if that's what you're worried about. I just don't like seeing misinformation repeated, and my correction being casually flaked off like the issue being discussed has no real consequences for the person acting on the information.
 

MarioGeek

New member
I just want people who discover emulation to have fun with it and not have to worry, so I'm pretty nonchalant when it comes to topics like this. But, I guess you do have to worry in some cases. You clearly know more about all of this than I do. I didn't mean to disregard your post like that.
 

ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
Anyone that reads a forum to be 100% true and concise, needs their head examined.
Anyone that only reads one reference to a question, needs their head examined.
Anyone taking legal advice form a gaming site, needs their head examined.

Point being, MaroiGeek is responding in a more appropriate fashion. Yes, he is wrong, yes Zach is right. but its a gaming site for crying out loud. being nonchalant is much more appropriate the being all straitlaced about it. As Zach said earlier he really should have quoted or linked to the info, rather then sounding like it was his legislation. This would have dismissed his ownership to it and alleviate such controversy. I also agree with Zach that a "wow I did know that" was warranted though it would have helped to establish the source of the info initially.

The key point here is my opinion is based upon verifiable facts written into copyright-law itself.
Really, I mean come-on what is this a court hearing. Smoke a J and loosen up a bit.
 
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Mupen64 Man

Big fan of Mupen64
Staff member
So have we come to a conclusion? I think that emulators are perfectly legal as long as it isn't packaged with files like the system bios of a console. The like of this topic can be found on several websites and I don't think that there is much new to be found out if emulators are truly legal or not.
 

Lefteris_D

Administrator
Staff member
The emulators themselves are legal in my view but in reality it also depends on what the local laws in your country say regarding reverse engineering hardware. Some countries even don't care about software distribution (roms, PC software etc) which is why warez sites focus on getting hosting from companies in very specific countries (to avoid DMCA requests).

As for us here at the forum, we go by the generally accepted concept and respect the game developer by not distributing their property (the roms).
 
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