Is it legal?

MellowJello

New member
Hello everybody! I am the new kid on the block here, so bare with my nooby nature on these parts of the forums.

I understand that in order to download ROMS, I need to have a legal copy. I do have a legal copy...well I did. I lost it. But I legally purchased it! Would this allow me to legally download it? Or am I just talking nonsense about all this legality stuff and just download all the games to my hearts desire?
 

Mupen64 Man

Big fan of Mupen64
Staff member
Welp, technically it is illegal to download roms of games that you don't own. I believe that if you have made a purchase, you should be able to have a back up on your computer. But really, whats stopping you from downloading? Nothing much to be honest.
 

Mupen64 Man

Big fan of Mupen64
Staff member
You shouldn't have to, no. But the way I see it, there is a fine morale line between illegal and legal as far as roms go. Some forums like this one, we don't mention the names of Rom sites, and we don't post links. Basically, we don't say that we download them, we just discuss them, if you know what I mean.
 

testmachine

Old member
So basically I shouldn't have to worry about illegally downloading ROMs?

You shouldn't worry about older roms.But newer ones for the NDS and N3DS,or even isos for the PS3,XBOX360 and Nintendo Wii could bring you legal issues.I'm in Bosnia And Herzegovina,and here the laws are different.The government and the police don't care much about our people downloading stuff from pirate sites and torrent sites.So we're theoretically speaking immune to legal issues by downloading stuff from the Net.But in America laws about internet piracy are quite strict and if you ever get caught there's a slight chance that you'll be issued a fine for downloading pirated softwares or Games,or anything pirated (Music,movies,Operating Systems etc.).So be careful.
 
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alexxi

back from hell
I say pirate to your heart's content and buy the game if you really like it. Most games these days are crapware, I'm not going to spend $40+ on a game that I will spend a few hours on and never play again.
 

ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
I say pirate to your heart's content and buy the game if you really like it. Most games these days are crapware, I'm not going to spend $40+ on a game that I will spend a few hours on and never play again.
- spoken like a true gamer.
 

testmachine

Old member
I say pirate to your heart's content and buy the game if you really like it. Most games these days are crapware, I'm not going to spend $40+ on a game that I will spend a few hours on and never play again.

This is exactly what i meant.
 

GamerSam

New member
If you find your game again, nope. Also I assume there are probably some older games that belonged to dead companies by now, I wish there was somewhere to look that kinda info up.
 

SYLVASS

New member
That would probably depend on your country's laws and diligence in enforcing them.
Some countries forbid piracy but are pretty lax when it does happen.

Some people or companies also don't find it worth the effort to file a law suit.
They can let it slide if only a small number of people pirate their stuff.
 

Tomtaru

hitokiri battousai
Paraphrasing here, is it legal to steal a car of the same brand because you forgot where you parked yours? After all, you did pay for one...

While you think about that, let me point out a major flaw in my paraphrasing... Pirating games and stealing cars isn't actually the same thing... If you steal someone's car, they've lost their's. But Pirating a game doesn't make the original owner lose it... See, making a copy isn't really theft... Sure, it makes the owner sell less copies and therefore they make less money. It also throws the market off balance, cause even though everyone plays the game, only a handful of people bought it. Bad sales means a bad game voor those big companies... So do your part, but a game, download only when the game isn't available in stores anymore. Resale stores don't count, companies don't take profit for selling those games anyway....

Did that sound much like the babbeling of an old man? Well good, that's what I was aiming for!

Bottom line is, while its technical not stealing, it's bad for business to pirate, but if it isn't being sold, making an extra copy won't hurt anyone!
 

ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
Well legality is define by written law. So caught or not, it's still illegal. Though getting caught is what separates the guilty from the guilt free. So if know one knows you cannot be accused of being guilty.
 

ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
no, guilt is measured be a court or otherwise proven at wrong. You are not guilty until the verdict is in. Before said point, you may have the opinion that a party is guilty but he/she is not guilty until proven so.

Now in contrast, a person can be guilty simply by doing a crime but only he/she will know that, thus they can not be labeled as such, unless they confess.

So more to the point of the topic.
It's legal if no one knows, know what im saying? hehe
Incorrect, its illegal either way. but you could say.

"I'm not guilty until proven so." - Implying you keep your knowledge of said crime to yourself.
 
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Tomtaru

hitokiri battousai
Very nice wording you have there, if I need a lawyer, can I ask for you?

In the end, it's just about the perspective, you yourself knows that you're guilty of illegal downloading, if you can live with the guilt, that's fine.

I know I can, old games aren't for sale anymore.
 

ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
I don't think you need a lawyer if you think that is wordy, maybe just find a good dictionary.

Perspective is most certainly a large part of it but the greater power here is awareness. Not very many people know downloading game X is illegal. Also fueling to my point, how can you feel you are guilty if you don't even know its a crime.
 
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Tomtaru

hitokiri battousai
Ignorance is not an excuse to commit crimes. it's not because you didn't know it is a crime to do something, that you can't be guilty for said crime, you still did it.

The word "guilty" for me means you did it. Doesn't matter if it can be proven or not, you are guilty of the crime you committed. Of course you're "not guilty" until proven otherwise. But the fact that it can't be proven doesn't change the fact that you did it. Plenty of guilty people have been set free because it couldn't be proven, sadly a lot of not guilty people have been put away too.

I'm getting the feeling we are getting a bit off topic...
 

ulaoulao

Controller Man
Staff member
Ignorance is not an excuse to commit crimes.
Who said anything about the act of committing a crime? I simply said that a person cannot call him/herself guilty if they don't know they are in fact guilty. What do you think the word awareness means? My entire point was that people need to be aware of such crimes. So if you commit a crime that no one witnessed and you are not "aware" of it being a crime, how can you have the "perspective" that it was a crime? You cannot.

Here is an example to put this in to focus.

It is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket in Kentucky. -- This is actually a true law. States need to make some quota of laws and they apparently had nothing else better to add. Do you think many Kentuckians know that? Who care if they do, it’s stupid... Not that it's really possible and I'm sure no cop would care, or be "aware" of this crime themselves. It’s still illegal per the written law.

So back to my point and back on topic. A very large amount of people that come to this page have no idea that downloading a rom is illegal...

If you download a game you have committed a crime, yes.
committing a crime does not make you guilty by law, at least here in the US you have the right to court.
You may feel guilty if you are "aware" it was a crime but that does not make you guilty by law.
If you are not aware of this being a crime, there is no guilt. Just hope you don’t find out the hard way...

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For all whom may want to know. Remember CD,Roms,Movies, its all the same thing. Copyrighted material.
Downloading Without Paying: Why is it illegal?

When a movie or song is produced and marketed, everyone involved in the process has monetary gains from the sale of that product. Therefore, that product is protected by copyright law so that it cannot be copied, reproduced or resold without their permission. If you did not pay for a song, movie or other media file that has a copyright, then downloading that file is a crime. Likewise, distributing a copyrighted media file, whether via electronic or non-electronic methods, without the express permission of the copyright holder is also illegal.

Just to add perspective here. If you see a game on a web page, there is no crime until you duplicate it. The game by itself is still one copy. When you hit the download button you just made another copy of it. This is why its illegal. Its not that you now own it, because if downloading deleted the server copy you would be fine. Just like you can give your friend a CD. One copy, one purchase...

You can read more here http://www.webster.edu/technology/service-desk/illegal-downloading.html
 
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