English Amiga Board

Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Retrogaming General Discussion

Thread Tools
Old 25 April 2007, 20:37   #1
Junior Member
MethodGit's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: The Streets
Age: 36
Posts: 2,731
I feel the emulation scene is spoiled too much by "legal issues".

In some circles at least, it greatly affects the enjoyability (to most average people) of stuff like ScummVM, any Neo-Geo-CD emulator, and the whole Archimedes emulation scene, for instance.

1) The ScummVM team are so anal about copyright, that they won't allow even online replicas of original codewheels to be linked to from their forum or site ("Warez", they call it), never mind the slightest hint of protection cracking, unless - they say - there is valid proof that the game in question was legitimately cracked by the original company, say, in budget re-releases. One thing to note here is that in the early days, they pretty much disabled protection in all the games without a second thought. This was a very good thing. But since a particular version (I forget which), they've intentionally, seriously re-enabled codebook/codewheel/manual protection in many (versions of) games that had them in the first place (for, and here's the jackpot folks... "copyright reasons"). And as many cracked releases of old adventure titles implemented the crack into the old, original executable that's useless to SVM - not to mention their tendency to detect and support data files by specific MD5/CRC32 sums - you're buggered if you want to play, say, Gobliins 2 unless you happen to have the original manual with you. And they got all arsey recently about someone trying to help provide a link to a scan of the Future Wars manual to help with the copy-protection. I asked "Are sites like Replacement Docs now banned then? Who owns the copyright to the game anyway as Delphine went bust years ago?" The response, "the fact is whoever owns the copyright (yes, they'll assume immediately that someone else bought the IP straight away for no reason) hasn't explicitly said "okay, you can spread this game/manual around for free". To this lot, "Abandonware" doesn't exist.

2) When anyone develops and releases a Neo Geo CD emulator in general, many people are like "you shouldn't download the BIOS, it's illegal, you must dump one from your own Neo Geo CD unit, blah blah blah blah". First off, how easy is it exactly to get an original console nowadays, without perhaps spending fuckloads in the process? And why exactly would there still be reason for anybody to be pursued on legal grounds and hammered with lawsuits over a bios for a (relatively flop) machine that stopped being commercially viable nearly a whole decade ago? "Providing a BIOS for download will encourage piracy", indeed. *rolls eyes*

3) Most galling of all is the overly-serious "protection" of the entire Acorn Archimedes back catalogue. Back in around the late 90's and 2000 it wasn't so bad. Plenty of good sites where you could download Archie ports of familiar titles and also original games for free without any problem. But now things have changed for the worse. All the good sites have either gone under or been neutered so drastically as to be no fun at all to visit anymore. It appears there is not even a single place similar to this board that isn't so anal about protecting the IP by banning the spreading of old titles for free. And if the average joe ever thought trying to find the odd naughty/hidden Kickstart rom site was hard, just wait till they try to find a place that houses the RISC OS roms you require. It's almost impossible without spending absolutely ages looking through every nook and cranny and dark corner of the web, even more so if you're after a later version than 3.11 (or even an older version at times). "Ah, but there's a perfectly legal way to get your roms and other emulation files", the Archie nerds will say. "It's a package called Virtual Acorn. That'll be £79/£99/£119 please." Thank god at least one torrent site helped me with obtaining everything you ever need for decent Archie emulation then.

Anyone here also have tales of woe regarding (general) emulation communities and their OTT fear of being sued by even the most miniscule of faceless people? In a way, I feel over-zealous nerds help towards killing a scene, not keeping it alive.

I apologize if this thread is controversial in any way, but I thought at the same time it would be an interesting discussion somehow.
MethodGit is offline  
Old 25 April 2007, 21:15   #2
Dizzy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 3,395
Guess you should blame the company close down site just because the got copyrighted stuff, no matter how old it is.
This action give the people behind those emu program some hard time, so to secure that noone can close their site they have to take this action...

and as you said we know where to find it (thx torrent/emule )
Dizzy is offline  
Old 25 April 2007, 21:18   #3

Mad-Matt's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Lincoln / UK
Age: 41
Posts: 1,609
Send a message via ICQ to Mad-Matt Send a message via MSN to Mad-Matt
I think your just pissed as you want everything for free

in these days where you can be sued for lookig at some one funny, its safer to not promote piracy where theres a slightest possability of running into a copyright issue. This boards and caps images is a testiment to that.

there was very few things good on archemedies so dont worry to much about it .. its for your protection Or you could buy the emu like they say. You wouldnt ever download illegal amiga roms would you ? no, you'd buy the amiga forever pack ....

As for ScummVM. They are doing the right thing. Its how they get legal source code to make the interpreter as compatable as possible (game dependant) and in some cases gets you a free game
Mad-Matt is offline  
Old 25 April 2007, 21:47   #4

Ultron's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Amigaland, Nostalgia
Age: 44
Posts: 757
Man, we're one of the worst with the AmigaForever\Cloanto BS, but hey. I still can't believe people are paying for stuff they already own. Unfortunately the Amiga always had to put up with these type of companies from day one. Heck, some Amiga users even put up with it and justify it. "Screw me more! Harder!", the Amiga peanut gallery demands.

Heck even Commodore took Jay Miners' stuff, made cash out of it, trashed it, then hell with the users.

Other platforms are actually pretty lucky. That's why the C64, Spectrum, MAME is so vibrant. Look at ours. Start counting the sites Cloanto killed you'll be right to sleep 'cause they're more than sheep.

Ultron is offline  
Old 25 April 2007, 22:10   #5
Registered User

TikTok's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Malayasia
Age: 39
Posts: 657
To this lot, "Abandonware" doesn't exist.
AFAIK "abandonware" doesn't exist in a legal sense either. It is true that some companies have gone bankrupt and left behind games for which noone seems to own the copyright - however, I don't believe this means the copyright is automatically dissolved. Copyright lasts for many years (75 in the US?) after the death of an author of a work.

Whether we agree with this or not, the fact is that the people you mention above are merely abiding by the law as is their right. As Matt said, you can't blame these guys for protecting themselves from legal action. I would also argue that - especially in the case of ScummVM - the attitude and stance of the team surely fosters a greater cooperation between developers and the community.
TikTok is offline  
Old 25 April 2007, 22:15   #6
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Poland
Posts: 142
It's 'illegal' to play old games via emu.
You must buy mobile ports instead.
Free things come from communism.

This message is sponsored by bittorrent technology.

AGN is offline  
Old 25 April 2007, 23:51   #7

Photon's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Eksjö / Sweden
Posts: 4,819
IMO authors/publishers can't complain if the game in question is not manufactured/available for purchase anymore. Either let us buy it, NOW, or stop complaining that we don't pay for the damn thing.
Photon is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 00:12   #8
Global Moderator

Ian's Avatar
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Derby, UK
Age: 42
Posts: 2,204
Methodgit? more like moaninggit.

In the face of legal action I'm sure you'd suddenly have a change of heart about "piracy" too. Or would you stick it to the man for all of us?
Ian is online now  
Old 26 April 2007, 00:37   #9
S. Campbell
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Left a bit/ Fire!
Posts: 136
There's essentially no legal action that could be brought against someone for hosting a BIOS file. It doesn't fall under "circumvention of copy protection" legislation like the DMCA or EUCD, and it'd be impossible to prove damages, as you'd have to do to bring a copyright-imfringment case. The worst a company could do to you is make you take the file down.
S. Campbell is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 03:08   #10
Fred the Fop
flaming faggot
Fred the Fop's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Versailles
Age: 51
Posts: 2,802
Originally Posted by Ian
Methodgit? more like moaninggit.

In the face of legal action I'm sure you'd suddenly have a change of heart about "piracy" too. Or would you stick it to the man for all of us?

I miss the Ian-Marz battles

Ah memories
Fred the Fop is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 04:33   #11
Junior Member
jmmijo's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: PDX
Age: 58
Posts: 2,378
Originally Posted by Mad-Matt
.....in these days where you can be sued for lookig at some one funny.....

SO what happens when you look at somebody in a not so funny way
jmmijo is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 10:44   #12
Lesser Talent
killergorilla's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: UK
Age: 38
Posts: 7,956
You get herpes from Zetr0!
killergorilla is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 10:51   #13
Dizzy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 3,395
Dizzy is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 11:28   #14
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 12,351
Originally Posted by MethodGit
To this lot, "Abandonware" doesn't exist.
It doesnt. It is a term thought up by Pirates to help them sleep easier at night.

The reason everything is so sensitive right now is the "Virtual Console" on the Wii and the other 3 next gen consoles.

Retro-gaming is at it's height at the moment and companies have decided to try and cash in once again. This puts pressure on the emulation community especially the developers who get a cease and disist letter in their inbox and shat their pants and swing violently to the right as they clean up their sites.
alexh is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 11:34   #15
Ya' like it Retr0?
Zetr0's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 45
Posts: 9,768
how did you know know that? ahhh.... the doctor told you from last time.... sorry dude....

indeed, there is no leagal definition of abandonware, there is however Public Domain , this comprises of everything from music to movies to even amiga games. Software (unless classified official secrets / munitions *such like cyphers) has only a 50year copywright (its +75 after death of authors/musicians) there are other exceptions.

1. If software is placed in whole or in part of the public domain by the original copywright holder. (this cannot be removed after they have placed it there)

2. If the copywright holder, being a corperate / business entity no longer exists (and copywright is non-transfered) works fall into the public domain.

there are many forms of copywright, dont get this confused with patent law as this is a f*cking minefiled! these can range (depending on patent applied) from 10 - 25 to even 50 or more years.

thats pretty much the jist of the UK law upon the subject. currently the music industry is trying to push (lobby / payfor) amendments through the european / uk copywright law to have the 75 year barrier moved to 100 years... ( i think they make enough f*cking money on shit anyway!)

I understand Methodgit's frustration at seeing money hungry company's claw away with rekless abandon it seems the sceen we all love!

I want to know WHO owns os 3.x and bellow.... I want to know WHO owns the KS Roms...

I want to know whoms pocket this money goes into....
Zetr0 is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 12:27   #16
Registered User

TikTok's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Malayasia
Age: 39
Posts: 657
Thanks for the information Zetr0. I think one of the problems is that there are not that many games where the company has gone bust and nobody has bought the rights; it seems in many cases the rights are acquired by other companies (probably as part of a bigger deal) but nobody seems to know who owns the rights (as you mention with KS and OS 3).

I've even read of a few cases where companies wanted to released software into the public domain, but they could not find the documentation proving they had the rights to it in the first place!
TikTok is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 12:34   #17
AmiBay MegaMod
Merlin's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Manchester, UK
Age: 58
Posts: 1,163
I think the way forward is what Ian Braben did with Elite, he just released it as public domain (along with Frontier if I remember correctly) and there was a site working on a game called Elite: The New Kind, or something like that. Ian Braben was the author and he did the right thing in giving it away, that's as near to abandonware as you will get. I think Jeff Minter who did Sheep in Space and Attack of the Mutant Camels did the same, don't flame me if I am wrong about Minter.

Merlin is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 13:30   #18
Junior Member
kriz's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: No(R)Way
Age: 38
Posts: 2,635
Abandonware is just a term invented, its nothing real about it .

I think they do what they have to do to not get closed etc.
kriz is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 13:38   #19
Oh noes!
spiff's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Neverland
Posts: 731
yea, pretty much spot on.
My favorite example is how Nintendo had to change the names of the players for old games on virtual console. EA has the NFL license. It's a frikkin retro game released 20 years ago.

We all love the "kick start" licensing stuff as well... that's not even starting on what the art and music copyright might be on some games. A lot of the stuff was probably just 2-3 friends so no one bothered with limited licensing.

"If the copywright holder, being a corperate / business entity no longer exists (and copywright is non-transfered) works fall into the public domain."

I didn't about this one, wouldn't this be the case of a couple of amiga games? I know Sony owns/uses psygnosis stuff but I'm thinking battlesquadron ie companies used just for the publishing at that time (self publishing?)
spiff is offline  
Old 26 April 2007, 13:53   #20
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 12,351
Originally Posted by Zetr0
2. If the copywright holder, being a corperate / business entity no longer exists (and copywright is non-transfered) works fall into the public domain.
That is not true.
alexh is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
52 scanned issues of "Australian Commodore & Amiga Review" magazine available for d/l Minuous Amiga websites reviews 23 14 September 2017 04:23
"Reminder "Lincs Amiga User Group aka "LAG" Meet Sat 5th of January 2013" rockape News 4 30 January 2013 00:06
Most "valuable" way to contribute to the Amiga gaming scene today NewDeli Nostalgia & memories 38 28 March 2009 15:38
New legal keyfile website launched "Keyring" lopos2000 Amiga websites reviews 53 05 September 2008 17:38
DVD: "Digital Memories" - remembering the C64 scene Paul News 0 30 May 2006 19:41

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:16.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Page generated in 0.09744 seconds with 13 queries