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Author Topic: Rom Legality  (Read 1732 times)

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Rom Legality
« on: September 15, 2006, 08:07:07 pm »
Okay, the big topic nowadays is ROM legality. Are ROMs legal if you own the original game, yada, yada, yada... Well, I did some researching last night and came across this site: (Warning: Language) This site here, has some information on the use of ROMs for "fair-use." This sire goes in depth about court cases that would relate to ROMs, such as the 1984 "Betamax Case." The Supreme Court of the U.S. said that non-infringing use of something for personal use, can be considered "fair-use" and legal, in a nutshell that is. I've found two sites; one with the full information about the Sony v. Universal Case (Betamax) and one for some sections of the copyright policy of the U.S. The Betamax Case can be found here at and the section of the U.S. law can be found here at I will continue to look for the other cases for now. Let this be known though: The article has copyright of a few years ago, so it may not be up to date. The other thing is, I am not fully sure of ROM legality yet, but I'm doing the research. Do not use this as an excuse to say that ROMs are legal, until you have read everything and checked all the cases for yourself. Also note, that I am not telling you to go download ROMs either. This post is just for some information on the subject, and do not go by this. Also, I was not the one who wrote the article either, so I take no credit. (Wow, too many alsos ><)
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Re: Rom Legality
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2006, 10:20:05 pm »
But would it be legal if one used an emulator and a USB connector that plugs into the GB cart and the computer (sadly, this does not exist, yet), since at no time is the ROM ever copied?


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Re: Rom Legality
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2006, 10:30:24 pm »
but it is being copied; the data goes to the computer's RAM, and is able to be written into "the not-RAM :P", so there is no loophole. nice try, though.


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Re: Rom Legality
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2006, 10:33:01 pm »
It is legal if you build your own ROM extractor.
64 color palette:

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Re: Rom Legality
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2006, 11:17:08 pm »
xparasite9, did you even read everything in there, or did you just try to shoot me down? (Not flaming, asking a question.) The thing is though, the intention of the game is to be enjoyable to the user, and the product is owned by the user. If you've read, and went to the other sites, and red the copyright law, you could make a good judgement yourself. Listen here, as the guy stated in the article, "code is code" no matter what. Emulators themselves are perfectly legal for example, and they're used to simulate old OSs and other things such as video game systems. Emulators are specifically designed to read ROMs, but also serve other purposes. People who own ROMs and emulators for older systems, such as the Commodore(sp?) 64 (Just an example), are they still breaking the law when they have their old system with all their old programs sitting in a closet next to them? What if the only way to preserve alive the old programs through ROMs? (Which, nowadays it pretty much is.) According to companies, if you recorded live TV, that was illegal. What do we have now? Tivo. It's not illegal to save shows on the hard drive. It is illegal if you sell them though. Same principle applies to ROMs. (BTW, RAM = Virtual memory. Technically, a hard drive is RAM/Virtual memory. So, in essence, if you copy it to a hard drive, you're still holding it in your RAM.)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2006, 11:20:10 pm by Hex »
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Re: Rom Legality
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2006, 12:59:05 am »
I was referring instead to having the emulator read through the cable to the cart instead of to the ROM.