Is downloading old games for free ethical?


New member
In the past, before my conversion, I had an interest in retro gaming and would often download (pirate) games from the internet to play on my PC. I'm now questioning whether this practice was morally wrong, as it is against the law and could be considered stealing. While I understand that this is definitely the case for newer games, I'm uncertain about older games that are no longer being sold or purchased. In this situation, would I be taking something away from the game developers by downloading these older games for free online?


Staff member
My personal opinion is that if an old game, is no longer commercially available in any way, then yes, it is ok. It is still illegal, but it is ethical.

And by "in any way", I also include modern ports etc. It must no longer be available, period.


Controller Man
Staff member
The laws are pretty clear, but I will admit I'm foggy on the time frames.. It is not ok to copy anyone's work until it falls in to public domain. I know the laws have changed over the years but AFAIK there are expiration's to copy-writes.

That subjective, anyone has opinions, ethics can not be agreed upon nor should they.