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Thread: are ROMS illegal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question are ROMS illegal?

    just wondering

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    As always, the answer is
    it depends

    AFAIK, you may create a ROM image of a game you legally own, as long as you do not circumvent an effective copy protection. At least that is the situation in Germany. You always must be wary of the laws in your own country. In some countries it is even illegal to modify a system for playing backups.
    I guess the answer that will most likely fit is this: Downoading ROMs is illegal, unless they are freeware. Even abandonware is basically illegal.
    I bet you can find a lot of educated answers to your question online, especially game magazines etc.

    See ya.

    EDIT: I think this is the wrong forum BTW
    Last edited by Tosnic; 15th-April-2019 at 13:22.

  3. #3
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    There has been a law passed only today in the EU that concern copyrighted material being posted online. Basically it is now the responsibility of the web site hosting the file, when/if they become aware of it, actively to seek the permission of the copyright owner or take it down. I would guess this applies to ROMs too.

    A fatuous idea as it is a totally unworkable law and irrelevant in practice with the only web sites affected likely to be ones that are already doing or trying to do the same thing.

    It'll simply push such copyrighted material out of the mainstream or onto sites outside the the reach of EU laws.

    The laws are actually different even within the EU/UK. A few years ago a law was passed in the UK to make backup copies of copyrighted material you own legal. But a few months later that was challenged and the decision overturned. Did anyone take any notice? I doubt it.

    These sorts of laws are always too late, ignore what millions of people are actually doing and consequently unenforceable.

    When VCRs first became affordable for home use in the UK it was actually illegal to use them for recording broadcast TV. Excepted for use in schools and other places of learning you were recording copyrighted material and that was against the law. This soon was forgotten because so many people ignored it completely. Many moons later they passed a new law that made it legal to record copyrighted broadcast material as long as you deleted it within seven days..............I think this law may still even be on the books.

    It was rendered even more meaningless when HDD recording and other similar device arrived where, as we all should know, deleting something usually just means it is marked as available space and not ever be over-written in full. There must be millions of old VCR tapes, recordable DVDs and HDDs from used PVRs with hundreds of little pieces of copyrighted and therefore now illegally held material from years of use sitting in the garages and attics of almost every home where they were used. Same applies to PCs and any other device you can write files too.

    ROMs will still be available whatever laws are passed it is just that finding them and sharing them will now be made a little more difficult.

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