Let's talk about Piracy.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mumble, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Mumble .

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    (Before you read, please take note that I'm not posting any roms. I just wanted to talk about this with some people)

    Piracy is looked down on as something really bad, or it makes you a thief instantly (Or at least that's how some people look at it)

    What I want to talk about mainly, is why Downloading old roms is classified in the Piracy category? I have seen plenty of videos where people talk about if piracy wasn't a thing, so many games would be lost and forgotten. Which is true, but not exactly my problem with it.

    Take a game like say, Super Smash Bros Brawl. It's a really good smash game, and you can still buy it to this day. The problem with this, is you will not be supporting Nintendo by doing this, you'll be buying it either off of ebay, amazon, or someone who has previously purchased it from Nintendo, but wants to sell it now.

    So while I don't support the idea of Pirating games such as BoTW, or any games that actually support devs, I'm a little curious why getting games from previous generations that wouldn't support the developer would be wrong.

    What are your guys thoughts on it?
     
  2. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . .

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    Some people see it as stealing, regardless of weather it affects the developers or not. Also, technically, depending on what happened to the IP, it is usually against US laws to copy/distribute the software. If the software is abandonware, where the copyright is not owned by anyone, then it is illegal to copy/distribute forever, but usually you won't be sued because nobody will pay a lawyer to go to court about it. If it is owned by a company or individual, it is copyrighted for 70 years after the original author dies.
     
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  3. Mumble .

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    Yeah. That's one of the things that get's to me too.

    Companies like Nintendo say that Piracy is the reason why some companies are failing, and they absolutely despise it.
    Yet they themselves have been accused of piracy. Sure it was their own game, but they're also proving "Hey if you don't pirate, some games are going to become irrelevant"
    (source: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2...o-download-a-mario-rom-and-sell-it-back-to-us )

    While I do think stealing is wrong, I don't think it is "technically" stealing if you're taking it from somewhere that isn't their place.

    Here's some analogy:
    There's a popular and beautiful Ring that everyone likes, but the ring is no where to be bought. So you're browsing through a dumpster, looking through all the junk and you actually end up finding the Ring. Well you have it now, you own it. You didn't buy it, but you have it now.

    I see it the same way with old games / previous generation games. If it isn't something that is supporting a dev, then I don't see a problem.
    Does that make sense to anyone? Or am I just talking at this point lol.
     
  4. Madmorda Painting Queen Staff Member . . .

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    Without piracy, I wouldn't have a hobby. I mean think about wii trimming. Without easily accessible digital copies of games that could be transferred, portables would be limited to ones that contained disc drives and were huge. Many rare games wouldn't even be heard of, and some would eventually pass into extinction.

    Not only that, but piracy forces Nintendo to give us some leeway with their games. Like without it, Nintendo could charge full price for new digital copies of old games. Instead, it encourages them to release them on the eshop for low prices, which is much more reasonable.

    Also it allows for improvement and upkeep on games. For example, smash bros brawl has all kinds of addons and upgrades that you can get that Nintendo didn't release. And it ensures that online multiplayer will always be available as long as there is interest in it, even if they don't want to keep their servers running.

    I am also very glad that people make cheap reproduction carts. I like playing my games on a physical copy of the game, but don't want to pay high prices. That way, it keeps older consoles like the gameboy more relevant than they would be otherwise. Which means I can actually play with them after painting them :)

    I can see both sides of the argument, but I strongly believe piracy is for the best since it allows for the creation of wonderful things like Gman's WiiBoy. I like the creativity it inspired and the freedom and customization it allows. Of course I don't support pirating a game that is still available in stores, but I feel that once it is no longer being sold by the original manufacturer then there's no harm in it.

    Just to be clear, I do strongly support the second-hand game market. I buy games every time my budget allows, both from the manufacturer and from the used game store near me. Anyways that's my ramble on the subject :)
     
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  5. The Next Guy Sun Dried Cases .

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    I guess piracy is a matter of interpretation @Madmorda, I personally own a hard disk that contains only games that I own a physical copy of. There has been plenty of disputes over what legally counts as piracy. If I were to say piracy should be banned or outlawed, I would not want backups to be considered as such. But monitoring the owner distributing games that he/she had backed up on their own Wii or other console would be difficult.

    One such example of a game that would be lost without piracy would be Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii. I personally own this copy, in a box where I can keep it safe from wear and tear. But this argument can be considered invalid because Nintendo never allowed such a system to exist. So they could argue that such wear and tear would contribute to their profit, forcing you to buy the game again. Dirty of them it is.

    The argument for old system games being pirated being ok is also invalid. If you ever go to a retro games store, you may see NES, SNES or even Sega Genesis clones being sold. You may not realize it but Nintendo/Sega still earn profit from these companies because of the patents on the data interface between the cartage and the system. Such products would not be sold in stores if illegally accessing these carts.

    In summary, I think backups should be legal under the prerequisite that you do not loan out the backups or the physical copies. Whereas straight up copying and returning or downloading from the internet should not be legal.
     
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  6. Madmorda Painting Queen Staff Member . . .

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    I agree that it really just comes down to interpretation. What about wii portables though? I mean with PortablizeMii you need digital games. You could only legally obtain those if you had the ability to rip your copies, but I wouldn't even know how to copy a gameboy advance game. And if you own a virtual console game, that would also be difficult. Nes, snes, genesis, ps1? Since bitbuilt is all about the Wii and sharing info and the wonderful thing that is PortablizeMii, I just wanted to know your thoughts on it.
     
  7. The Next Guy Sun Dried Cases .

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    Well, since without video evidence (Or pollen testing shit if you are being a smartass) it is impossible to track exactly what you did, I would not find it taboo if you were to download ROMs from the internet if you own a working copy. ROM hacks are valid in my opinion as long as you have the original game and it does indeed work. Virtual Console I have conflict with even though it really just is repackaged. IMHO it would be safer to use emulators to play your legal roms as emulators break no patents (that I know of).
     
  8. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . .

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    Hah, you're funny. Most repro companies are shady Chinese dealers that just make it and sell it, disrespecting all copyright/patents the original manufacturers have.

    Yep, emulators are 100% legal, since they emulate hardware which is not copyrighted. This is why emulators can be out there freely, whereas the roms, bioses, and other files needed cannot.
     
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  9. Mumble .

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    One of the big things I have learned recently is this:

    Is it okay because I want it to be okay, or is it okay because it's a fact that it's okay?

    While I'm pretty sure it is a fact that downloading old games doesn't affect anything with developers wallet, it's definitely a good thing to keep in mind. Not just with this topic, but with every action.
     
  10. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . .

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    For this it's definitely ok because you want it to be ok :P
    In the eyes of the law, it is illegal. However, personal opinions would mark it as a grey area, some think it's totally fine, others think it's totally wrong. Unless it's in the stores at the time you download it, the developers don't see a cent of the money. Even for something like virtual console, I believe Nintendo keeps 100% of the money, so developers have to keep making new games to keep making money
     
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  11. Madmorda Painting Queen Staff Member . . .

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    Here's kind of my thought process.

    If Joe can't afford to buy a game new, he's going to buy it used. The cheapest way is to get it at thrift stores or garage sales or flea markets. He could spend $40 at the flea market and get a large stack of older games. Or, Joe could buy one game at Walmart. But why would he buy one when he could buy a whole stack for the same price? Companies want you to buy the new games because that's where they make money. They don't profit at all off Joe buying the stack from the flea market vendor. But Joe wants the older ones because they're 20x cheaper. So in this case, the only win-win is if he buys the new game with his money and downloads the old ones. Then he gets the games he wants and the company makes the same amount of money as if he just bought the one game new. If he couldn't do that, he would buy the stack and the company would lose his potential business.

    Some other reasons he would pirate would be if:
    -A game was not released in English (Mother 3)
    -It's too rare or expensive to obtain reasonably (Shantae)
    -He wants to play it on a different medium for convenience (wii portable)
    -Legally ripping his copy is a pain (pretty much every console)
    -Fanmade romhacks (Metroid Rogue Dawn)
    -Online multiplayer (for after the official server has been taken down)
    -He doesn't have any more money to spend on games than he already does, so the company could not profit off him more than they do anyways

    I think that the first major company to openly embrace piracy will get ahead of the other two. Music is shifting that way, where artists give away their music but ask you to either donate what you can when you can or buy merch. I think once somebody says, "You know what? Whoever buys my console can have free copies of all nes, snes, gb, and gbc games preloaded onto it." If they made it so you could play all their games except for, say, the last two consoles released by them, everyone would jump on it. Nintendo knows that within a year or so, someone has cracked their console to play all of it anyways. Might as well capitalize on it. They could even do bundles. Like $100 buys you the license for all super Nintendo games ever and you can play them on whatever you want. I mean you can anyways, but I'd still jump on that deal to do it the right way.
     
  12. ShockSlayer Ivan - the tyranny of evil men . .

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    yo when you're poor choosing piracy is easy as fuck. $50 for one game or $50 for a flashcart for all games. GEE

    As a kid, a huge part of why I was so interested in retro stuff was because the games were cheaper to get. It wasn't a hard choice because there was no choice; either have something or nothing. I remember being like 8 and beating MMX for the first time on a keyboard using SNES9x. It wasn't until a few years later that I got an old SNES from a friend and finally found a used copy of the game and did it on a regular controller. Hell, last night on drunk stream I beat it using a Wii, again using SNES9x. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I'm used to stuff like emulation because it's been a big part of my life. It wasn't until I was able to afford Megaman X Collection back in like 2006 that I was actually able to support Capcom for the game properly for the first time, and as a bonus I could finally play X5 and X6 which I could never find discs for.

    In terms of what I think about piracy, all I need to say is that there's no disc drive pinout in the definitive Wii trimming guide, and it's never bothered me.
     
  13. honeybun .

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    Piracy is a crime because it is the theft of an intellectual property. When you purchase a game, you purchase the right to own it, and when you steal the game you don't, regardless of the availability of the game to be purchased and regardless of whether or not the money would go back to Nintendo.

    Whether or not you're personally alright with that is a different matter. Luckily nobody really bats an eye when people download retro games. ;)
     
  14. Mumble .

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    Fun fact: Most digital things you buy are not yours. If a developer chooses to take it away from you, they most certainly could. (Looking at you PT demo)
     
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  15. fibbef Wizardry V Completer .

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    It seems that Cheese has a pretty good grasp on the whole copyright law thing. To add my two bits to the pile, it's still illegal to pirate older games because the copyright holder can still generate revenue on the software. Maybe they never will, but they definitely could if they chose to re-release through virtual console or a compilation, such as:
    Bingo.
    Yep. For this reason, I'm 99% sure that ROM hacks are illegal. Because even though the hacker changed the story, possibly modified some graphics, maps, etc, you're still ripping off the IP, including characters and other trademarks.
    I remember hearing this in high school and it was hard for me to wrap my head around. True though; if you buy a music CD, you're not buying the music, you're buying a license to listen to the music. It just so happens you're also buying the physical media it comes on, which you DO own. O.o
     
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  16. GingerOfOz no wario Staff Member . .

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    ROM hacks are the most confusing thing about piracy for me. I love Kaizo ROM hacks, but I never can decide whether or not owning Super Mario World really makes using the hack OK.
     
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  17. fibbef Wizardry V Completer .

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    My best guess is that it's illegal for the ROM hack to exist at all.

    I'm basing the cease and desist orders on Pokémon Uranium and that 3D Chrono Trigger as precedents.
     
  18. ShockSlayer Ivan - the tyranny of evil men . .

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    I'm pretty sure it boils down to everything is illegal if you look at it hard enough, but you're only going to face negative consequences if you do something stupid.
     
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  19. Madmorda Painting Queen Staff Member . . .

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    I know of a store in Minneapolis that advertises selling original Xboxes loaded with thousands of retro games. Like they have signs and posters and everything. They load them up with pirated games and sell them for extra. And it's like a nice store, on one of the main streets, advertising pirated games.

    Like you guys, really?
     
  20. Luke .

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    It's illegal for sure, but I believe that it's not always unethical, especially not if you already own a copy of the physical game, which I personally own all the gamecube/n64/nes games I want to play anyway so it's not that much of a problem for me.

    I could go on and on, but to simply reply to the OP -
    The only way I can see this as being wrong is because while they don't sell the physical copies of these games anymore, they do sell them on the virtual console, and you're wrong about Brawl being "a really good smash game" B|, but I think it's within the realm of possibility that they start releasing gamecube / wii games on a virtual console at some point, so there is still the potential avenue for them to make profits on these games in the future.
     
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