What is you opinion on emulators?

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Posted by mariokarthero97 (11 posts) 3 months, 11 days ago

Poll: What is you opinion on emulators? (12 votes)

Love em! 58%
I like them, but I also prefer owning the actual copy of the game. 8%
Meh.... 17%
BAD. They're illegal and hurt the developers! 8%
I only use them for games made by a company I despise (e.g. Konami, Square Enix etc). 8%

So I have been busy writing up a legal report for a University assignment and I was wondering: What do people think of video game emulators?

The very idea of these things seem to spark a lot of controversy within the gaming community, as it can be viewed as piracy in a way as well as not supporting the developers. I am also a regular emulator user, though I do make sure to buy the actual copy of the game.

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#1 Edited by RSM-HQ (7198 posts) -

https://www.nintendo.com/corp/legal.jsp#download_rom

There is a good deal of misinformation on the Internet regarding the backup/archival copy exception. It is not a "second copy" rule and is often mistakenly cited for the proposition that if you have one lawful copy of a copyrighted work, you are entitled to have a second copy of the copyrighted work even if that second copy is an infringing copy. The backup/archival copy exception is a very narrow limitation relating to a copy being made by the rightful owner of an authentic game to ensure he or she has one in the event of damage or destruction of the authentic. Therefore, whether you have an authentic game or not, or whether you have possession of a ROM for a limited amount of time, i.e. 24 hours, it is illegal to download and play a ROM from the Internet.

Copyrights do not enter the public domain just because they are no longer commercially exploited or widely available. Therefore, the copyrights of games are valid even if the games are not found on store shelves, and using, copying and/or distributing those games is a copyright infringement.

Well doesn't seem very "controversial" OP, Roms and emulators are illegal. It's fact.

Doesn't change that some will do it; this topic comes up at least twice a year. Always with someone trying to justify what they do; likely feeling guilt.

Overall I'm very 'meh' about it. It's not my concern to get deeply involved in what minor illegal acts others do. As I see it, it's better someone is using Roms/ Emu than stealing cars or committing extreme violence_

What I can't stand however are the people in denial claiming to be somekind of justice warrior sticking it to the big-man, even bragging about emulators and Roms as if it's something that should be mass accepted, when in reality they're swiping software for self-entertainment purposes, recommend others do the same, and ignoring laws against it.

Don't attempt to justify petty actions.

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#2 Posted by mrbojangles25 (41884 posts) -

Depends on the game.

I don't think Nintendo, Sega, and so forth are making a lot of (if any?) profit from NES, SNES, Genesis, etc titles. I think for otherwise "retired" systems, emulation should be OK.

The only reason I can think of, and it's not a very good reason, to prevent emulation of these "retired" titles is in the even they do the whole "NES Remastered" thing they did a short while ago where they come out with a little box that is officially emulating titles, and Nintendo get's a small % of that.

Maybe they're worried about a slippery slope? A "give 'em an inch" situation? Maybe they think if they make "retired" system emulation acceptable, people might take that as permission to do current or last-gen emulation as well?

@RSM-HQ said:

https://www.nintendo.com/corp/legal.jsp#download_rom

There is a good deal of misinformation on the Internet regarding the backup/archival copy exception. It is not a "second copy" rule and is often mistakenly cited for the proposition that if you have one lawful copy of a copyrighted work, you are entitled to have a second copy of the copyrighted work even if that second copy is an infringing copy. The backup/archival copy exception is a very narrow limitation relating to a copy being made by the rightful owner of an authentic game to ensure he or she has one in the event of damage or destruction of the authentic. Therefore, whether you have an authentic game or not, or whether you have possession of a ROM for a limited amount of time, i.e. 24 hours, it is illegal to download and play a ROM from the Internet.

Copyrights do not enter the public domain just because they are no longer commercially exploited or widely available. Therefore, the copyrights of games are valid even if the games are not found on store shelves, and using, copying and/or distributing those games is a copyright infringement.

Well doesn't seem very "controversial" OP, Roms and emulators are illegal. It's fact.

Doesn't change that some will do it; this topic comes up at least twice a year. Always with someone trying to justify what they do, which should speak volumes they they know being in the wrong.

Overall I'm very 'meh' about it. It's not my concern to get deeply involved in what illegal acts others do.

What I can't stand however are the people in denial claiming to be somekind of justice warrior sticking it to the big-man, even bragging about emulators and Roms as if it's something that should be mass accepted, when in reality they're swiping software for self-entertainment purposes and ignoring laws against it.

Don't attempt to justify petty actions.

We are just talking. No one is saying anything concrete or definite.

I think in the bolded section, that's like the one reason I can see anyone being OK with emulation. Just because someone is playing the original Metroid does not mean they are entirely satisfied and will suddenly pass on a new Metroid game should one come out.

Sounds like Nintendo's policy is based solely on technicalities ("therefore..."), not anything practical or reasonable. Again, not making excuses, just arguing they should change their policy.

If I made an IP 20 years ago and I have not see a dime made off of it for 10 years, and someone wanted to use that IP solely out of appreciation for it and no one else was making a profit, I'd be OK with that. Playing NES, SNES, Sega, etc games that are no longer sold retail shouldn't be a crime.

Also, given the lack of general backwards compatibility, I think it is petty for any hardware manufacturer to be against emulation when they actively prevent loyal customers from playing games they likely have purchased in the past. Let's just assume for a second there's a way to get cartridge-based stuff "scanned" onto a USB stick...if this were true, wouldn't the ideal be that Nintendo et al allows backwards compatibility, to negate any emulation?

Sounds like they could be a bit more proactive and consumer-friendly in preventing emulation, as opposed to just relying on old legal jargon "Grrrr it's our IP hands off!"

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#3 Edited by warmblur (767 posts) -

Love them!!! great way to preserve gaming history as the companies couldn't care less about the games and just the profit. Emulators are great way to go back into gaming past and see how far we've come. I love that I can play these games in a VR arcade and relive the the arcade days.

Here's a screenshot I took over a year ago of the VR game called new retro arcade neon. It's amazing experience playing these in VR they all work pretty flawlessly.

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#4 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (24120 posts) -

I only use the legally bought ones such as Amiga Forever. I still tread carefully in forums, though.

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#5 Edited by RSM-HQ (7198 posts) -

@mrbojangles25:

We are just talking. No one is saying anything concrete or definite.

You misunderstand. Already stated that I don't really care if people emulate or use Roms. Not exactly going to recommend Rom/ or emu either. Just don't need people double-downing to tell me emulation is justified, sending a message to big business, or a legal 'misunderstanding'; when that's false. People emulate because they want to, simple. It's a selfish act for entertainment pleasure; and this won't change while copyright and trademark is law-bound. The quicker people accept that, the quicker we can move past these tedious topics of justification_

Also don't really care if someone steals a piece of candy. The crime could be worse, that's simply how I see it

Sounds like Nintendo's policy is based solely on technicalities

I think in the bolded section, that's like the one reason I can see anyone being OK with emulation.

I added the link case anyone wants to read the whole thing (and it's not only Nintendo that follows this, it's just a good source for the subject). And the bolded was to counter TCs claim.

Emulation being frowned upon wasn't thrown together by a salty group with buyers remorse, it's because in all manner it's technically illegal, even if one views it as a victimless crime.

*Now if you told me it's stupid, and copyright/ trademark should be re-evaluated for the gaming industry; to be more preserving of aged software? I would agree. But it's not, that's the reality.

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#6 Edited by DaVillain- (31932 posts) -

I really don't care about "emulators" and I like to support the developers hard work these days. Honestly, it's just easier to wait for a sale on a game then to emulate them. CDKeys on the other hand are okay.

My opinion is Meh! I just don't care about it and what people do with emulators.

Edit: Why does the TC have "0" post? I never see that before when we get new GS users.

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#7 Posted by xantufrog (9655 posts) -

You aren't allowed to use the forums for research. Emulators are a dodgy topic to navigate as well, although we do permit discussion in the broad sense of how it might affect the gaming industry