In-game copy protection, like on-disk protection enjoys the same protections under the DMCA. If you copy the disk, that's fine (actually, it's not, see below) - there's nothing there to prevent you. But if you then crack the game to remove the manual check... That's unlawful.
If you photocopy or otherwise reproduce (in other words, COPY) the wheel, manual or what have you for the purposes of playing a copy of the game, that also is unlawful.
The key here is that you, as a user, don't own the copyright unless it has been specifically released to you as an individual. Even if the game has been abandoned, no longer available, the author long dead... You still don't have the right to copy that game. That's law in all countries that signed up to the Berne convention (which is pretty much all of them).