Emulation - the legality of it?

Bentos

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I've been reading up on the legality of emulation and I still can't quite make out whether or not it's okay. I've got a bunch of PS1 and PS2 games that I'd like to copy onto my PC and play using an emulator rather than the original console, as I currently don't have the space for them. Is this acceptable, or would I still be breaking copyright law?
 

Stevencc

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#2
I've been reading up on the legality of emulation and I still can't quite make out whether or not it's okay. I've got a bunch of PS1 and PS2 games that I'd like to copy onto my PC and play using an emulator rather than the original console, as I currently don't have the space for them. Is this acceptable, or would I still be breaking copyright law?
It is legal to make an iso of your own disc and play it through an emulator I believe, obviously it's illegal to download a bios and roms of games that you don't own but honestly when it comes to PS1 and PS2 games I doubt it's something you'd get in trouble for now. I've downloaded hundreds of roms.
 

Cas

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#3
It is legal to make an iso of your own disc and play it through an emulator I believe, obviously it's illegal to download a bios and roms of games that you don't own but honestly when it comes to PS1 and PS2 games I doubt it's something you'd get in trouble for now. I've downloaded hundreds of roms.
You disgust me.
 

Libertadores FC

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#4
This is always something I've been wondering as well. I don't do emulators but I know a lot of Youtubers who use emulators and don't get in trouble.
 

Bentos

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That would've been my thoughts on it too, but a Google search took me to the Nintendo website, who state that any use of emulation or 'backing up' of games is illegal.
 

Libertadores FC

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That would've been my thoughts on it too, but a Google search took me to the Nintendo website, who state that any use of emulation or 'backing up' of games is illegal.
Nintendo take everything seriously though. I'm mostly wondering if its something you can actually get in trouble for.
 

Christian Slater

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#8
A few old games I used to enjoy can only be found by emulation as they're now abandonware. I'm not sure or arsed about the legalities of downloading ROMs, if the likes of Nintendo, Sega and Sony were to release them all under a subscription based service I'd pay for it, but they don't.

I've got an Emulator on my phone to play Pokemon while bored at work. It's baffling to me how Nintendo haven't even bothered to release it on this platform yet, they're losing millions while others have just found a free work around.
 

G.B

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#9
i'd imagine half the devs/publishers are out of business anyway by now. but honestly, how would the remains comppanies even catch you doing it?
 
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I believe the legal standpoint is, as long as you own the game and console, you're ok to do it. Nintendo are fuckwits as has been previously stated. The legal stance in a court of law would be that you have purchased the software, so you are free to do as you please with it, as long as you aren't selling pirated copies of the software.

However, in terms of older consoles (Gamecube, PS2 kind of era), you're not going to get in trouble for that shit regardless now, as they're no longer manufactured, and therefore the company that made the game isn't losing out either way, as they make nothing off second hand game sales regardless.
 

Bentos

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So, something of a grey area, but not enough for anyone to actually give a shit?

Has anyone emulated PS1/2 with any success? I've read there can be some compatability issues, but didn't know if this would still be the case on a PC able to play most modern games on high settings.
 
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I can do it with relative ease on my laptop, no dedicated graphics card, 4gb ram, dual core 2.1ghz cpu... Certainly nothing special, and it's over 4 years old I think. Shouldn't be difficult at all, I have occasional problems doing ps2 games, cannot emulate gamecube for love nor money, but ps1/n64/megadrive etc are a piece of piss.
 

Jockney

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#13
I believe the legal standpoint is, as long as you own the game and console, you're ok to do it. Nintendo are fuckwits as has been previously stated. The legal stance in a court of law would be that you have purchased the software, so you are free to do as you please with it, as long as you aren't selling pirated copies of the software.

However, in terms of older consoles (Gamecube, PS2 kind of era), you're not going to get in trouble for that shit regardless now, as they're no longer manufactured, and therefore the company that made the game isn't losing out either way, as they make nothing off second hand game sales regardless.
Not true at all, even for games from older gens and in particular the Gamecube which was supported mainly by 1st and 2nd party developers. Just because intellectual property is dormant doesn't mean that certain companies won't issue takedown notices, or even sue the arse off of you, for appropriating their shit.

There aren't any hard and fast rules to this, though, as the games industry does not work like most other media and entertainment businesses. Some major publishers like Valve are pretty lax on copyright and how creative the community are allowed to be with their IP, while others -- in particular Nintendo -- will take you to task for something as minor and clearly not-for-profit as making an HD tech demo of Mario 64.
 

Bentos

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But, hypothetically, if my intention was to purely burn an iso of games I already own and play them from my PC, am I going to get sued to fuck?
 

Christian Slater

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#15
What games are you lot downloading and would suggest? I've been enjoying Cannon Fodder recently.
 

Jockney

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#16
But, hypothetically, if my intention was to purely burn an iso of games I already own and play them from my PC, am I going to get sued to fuck?
As long as it's not P2P, they can't and won't do shit even if they were aware, which they won't be.
 

Stevencc

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But, hypothetically, if my intention was to purely burn an iso of games I already own and play them from my PC, am I going to get sued to fuck?
The chances are almost non-existent when you illegally download an old game so I'd say you have even less chance of getting into trouble when you have a legal copy of the game. If you are really worried though maybe it would be a better idea just to pick up a PS2 on Ebay for cheap and then play both PS1 and PS2 games on that.
 

Jockney

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Fred Onyedinma
#19
What are the chances if you record them onto Youtube?
A different kettle of fish entirely. Youtube provide avenues for claimants to deal with copyright issues that are dealt with in-house; most publishers actually promote Let's Play and other captured gameplay videos because the Youtube content boom has provided a fantastic source of free advertising for video games.
 
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A different kettle of fish entirely. Youtube provide avenues for claimants to deal with copyright issues that are dealt with in-house; most publishers actually promote Let's Play and other captured gameplay videos because the Youtube content boom has provided a fantastic source of free advertising for video games.
...Except Nintendo.
 

KevinMcallister

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how easy is this to get into, i've literally no idea where to start, i'm buying a Snes as stated in another thread but i would love a Megadrive emulator for Road Rash and Sonic etc?
 

Bentos

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Anyone know whether it's better to run games from disc or iso? Downloaded everything I needed earlier, but the PS1 game I was running from disc hung a few times whilst playing. Is it better to run straight from the game file?
 
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#28
ISO will probably work better, as it's easier, and certainly quicker, for the emulator to read it from your hard drive than the disc I believe.
 

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#29
A website called RetroAchievements has modified editions of some Mega Drive, SNES, and Game Boy emulators, with Xbox/ PS3 style achievements added.

And I wouldnt worry about getting caught downloading anything. Jesus, Ive been downloading games for as long as Ive had the internet, from DOSBox and ScummVM, right through to N64 and PS1 and everything in between.
 

Pyeman

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#30
Before I actually post anything, I should give advance warning that I'm an absolute novice with shit like this, and so I apologise if I'm asking really basic questions from here on out.

I once downloaded an emulator to play Zelda: Ocarina of Time on my laptop. It seemed to work OK at first, but then I had issues saving a game and returning to the point I had saved it. I also found that the controls were inconsistent and sometimes just wouldn't work.

I assumed the game was too complex or old to be emulated properly. My question is, is it possible to find reliable versions of these old games and play them through an emulator? And if so, where's the best place to get the stuff to do it?
 

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