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Old 19 March 2002, 19:19   #1
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Opinions on NON legal Websites

OK guys Stay with me on this one please.......

There are lots of different types of Emulation and alot of it has been somewhat on the "NON-LEGAL" side for example N64, PS, Sega, GB etc.....

Now some of the sites that distributed games for these systems were shut down as they had no legal permission to do so.

Now Amiga Emulation seems to be a good thing, companies letting game distribution go ahead, people like Cinemaware putting their own ADF's on the net.....Yes Everything about Amiga Emulation seems to be good and that's cos it's legal

Now Stop !!!! Think about it, Emulation still seems to have a bad name because of all the illegal sites distributing Roms and stuff, thus giving the Emu scene a Bad Name and reputation

So this is (finally) my question to you, What (if anything) should be done about the NON-LEGAL sites distributing Amiga Stuff (Kickstarts for Example). .

Some people would say this is good, it allows people to get hold of all types of files, (but this would make the Amiga Emulation Scene as bad and corrupt as the others) .

So why Not BAN them ?? Well as mentioned people who didn't have Kickstart.roms wouldn't be able to obtain them unless they either copied them from their Amigas or Purchased Amiga 4 Ever.

So I guess what I am asking is your opinion on Illegal Amiga Sites

Shhould they be allowed to distribute files despite been copyrighted and do sites like this give the scene a bad rep?

Sorry for all the babbling but I was just wanting to get my point across and stuff.

Well I hope this generates some interests as I would love to know you opinions
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Old 19 March 2002, 20:17   #2
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On the one side, "illegal" Amiga sites are good ! Why ? Well take this for example : Someone got an old A500 and really got no monitor or TV to connect with and even don´t have more knowledge then putting some disks in and play ! This guy now can "legally" optain a copy of a Kick Rom image to use an Emu (of course only the Kick he´s got in his real Amiga ) ...

On the other hand are those sites really bad, because some people think everything older than a year can automatically be posted as kind of "freeware" .... There are not many people or companies out there to support the classic Amiga platform anymore, but I think those who are left need support !

Just my 2cents
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Old 19 March 2002, 20:33   #3
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Who cares about the reputation? It's impossible to make everyone happy at the same time. Also if something can be copied and distributed, it will. Banning is practically not possible, if it was, there would be no emulation scene at all. Internet is being ruled by chaos which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Old 19 March 2002, 21:37   #4
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Well I had to admit I started off with Amiga emulation illegally. I had only tried an amiga a couple of times at some friends' houses a long time ago. Then when I learned a bit about amiga emulation I found a site where I could download the 2 roms I have now from. After having fiddled with emulation for a while I saw that there were an A500 for sale second hand which I bought. Unfortunately the monitor broke so I couldn't use it which just further inspired me to look in the ads in the newspaper where people tried to sell second hand things which is where I also (the very same week) found an A1200 which I also bought. There's no doubt about the fact that if I hadn't gotten the roms illegally in the first place I would never have invested in an Amiga. And if I had gotten an Amiga anyway I would never have entered emulation since I still don't have a clue as to how to transfer the rom anyway. I think I could manage with my A1200 as it has a harddisk, but I'm too lazy to go through the trouble for my A600 which I recently bought (mainly to get the monitor for the A500). So in a way it's good while in another way it's bad. Personally I think that it would be a good thing to release Kick 1.3. It would mean people would get to know what the Amiga was and is and is. Unfortunately it would still be somewhat hard to get the newer ones legally if you don't want to shell out for AF or if in fact you don't have a credit card (like me).
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Old 19 March 2002, 21:50   #5
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I agree with Burseg to a great extent, who cares about the emu scene's, in particular the Amiga's emu scenes, reputation! There will always be so called "illegal" sites just like there are usenet groups that distrubute child porn I'm afraid it's a lost cause and can never be squealched entirely.

Also consider that since the Internet is global, what maybe illegal in one state/country may not be in another
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Old 19 March 2002, 21:57   #6
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I think you have to respect the copyright owner's right to protect their property. After all, that's what it's there for. The fact that it's "old" is not an issue, it's just not legal..

Now, for people without credit card or skill to get ROMs from their old Amiga (I did it, the hardest part was transferring to PC but that's easy if you know), I find the current means to purchase Amiga Forever unacceptable. Clearly more people would buy a cut down CD with just the ROMs for a lot less (£5?)... and payment by other means (cheque / Switch) would be desirable. Hey, if it were in every EB / Game / HMV (* or other large store chain!) as a budget emulation title that'd be good for emulation and Amiga Inc. *I'm not against Cloanto, for those who want to buy the extras, so be it. I personally own AF5.0, but I can see why people wouldn't want the extra stuff.

Anyway, on the other hand I'm very surprised Commodore don't have more commitment to the emulation market. It's a shame their agreement with publishers didn't include a term "inform us of address / ownership changes or else we own copyright". In that way, many more games could be sourced legally (even though a few will persist to reject waiving copyright). As it stands, it could be 80 years or whatever (hand-wavey ) before copyright expires and what would be gained during that period... more profits? I don't think so... not without making something like a fully legal (and inexpensive) "Amiga Archive" series with all the games in the CAPS Project format available. That's not likely due to greed and licensing complexities so who knows what'll happen...

Edit: Forgot about all the web pages after all that... they're all evil, evil I tells ya... apart from the legal ones.
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Old 19 March 2002, 23:25   #7

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50% of what i use the net for isn't strictly legal, because i download OLD copyrighted Amiga games, but having said that, if you have ever recorded from the TV, or copy an audio cassette then you have broken the law (well at least in the UK anyway).

i'm into emulation in a big way, i have in the past put ALOT of money Sega's, Nintendo's and various publishers way...

... i'm not ripping them off now though, because Snes and Megadrive games are not available to buy new anymore, they would make no money from me if i purchased games from a boot market etc... so by using a ripped cart rom i'm not ripping them off.

i think, and IMHO, publishers should be more worried about people cracking/distributing current or new games, this is what hurts the industry i think we all love.

i once ran a fairly successfull Amiga games website (no. 1 spot @ TAGS alot of the time ), however i was closed down because of one copyrighted download i didn't have permission to store, you do have be very carefull about the stuff you have freely available...

...but the game in question isn't available to buy new and i haven't seen it on ebay etc.. (not that, that would make the publisher any money anyway).

i'm sick to the back teeth, with the whole piracy debate, magazines are pro-publisher, but i would imagine that all of the staff have used cracked games, infact a lot of developement houses have given jobs to crackers and hackers...

piracy exists... sometimes you don't even know your doing it...
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Old 20 March 2002, 00:50   #8
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The problem with piracy on this level comes from interpretation of the law, its intention and it's implementation. Clearly, the laws were set up to protect the intellectual property that was being sold and maintained a certain value at the time of its release (and its re-release, really). When these laws were established, intellectual property was viewed differently. Media was not available in the same form as it is now, and technology has rendered many of the rules obsolete. But despite this evolved climate, people still hang on to the letter of the law just because it is there. Here in the US there are laws still on the books that reflect back to the horse and buggy, simply because there is so much red tape involved in repealing any law.

Considering how many companies allow their games to be freely distributed, it is pretty clear that publishers have adapted the same general mood as the users. It's not across the board, but closer than the media would have you believe.

As for the debate of copying kickstart roms, I look at it this way. For years I have withered the debate surrounding mp3's and copying music illegally. I had to contend with whether I was taking money out of the artist's pockets by downloading the tunes or ripping a friend's CD. At the end of the day, I decided I could be responsible for my end of it. Most CD's I buy are from the used bins anyhow, so the artist doesn't get paid for that beyond what the original buyer contributed. If the artist gets anything at all (considering the deplorable ripoffs the music industry is known for), it certainly isn't from used sales. This same nasty publisher vs. creator standoff existed in game publishing, so the artists typically get the shaft anyhow (the publisher's karma?) So the only person I cheat when I buy a used CD is the middle man. And that is legal. The law is not adequate, so why should I lose sleep over antiquity in due process?
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Old 20 March 2002, 01:44   #9

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@ twistin
i agree with pretty much all you say, copyright laws are too old to handle this (internet) medium.
the main problem with internet piracy is that if one site is closed down, another springs up to replace it, take napster for instance, the battles they had with the music companies, pretty much closed down napster, but KaZaA and Morpheus sprung up and now surfers can still get a hold of their favourite bands new release, with more and more people jumping onto the internet bus, more and more data becomes available, or the same data is more widespread, something that publishers cannot fight (a faceless enemy).

i too don't lose any sleep about the data i download, i don't sell it, distribute it or trade it, if i download a song etc.. i listen to it on my PC and no other medium.

without file-sharing, i wouldn't of been able to get the soundtrack to SSX, it hasn't been (to my knowledge) released commerically, downloading it means that i don't have to go through the hassle of ripping it myself, all i have saved is time! IMO

as for the Amiga piracy issue, i have an Amiga, so i own the right to use the Kickstart rom, the games i have downloaded have not be available to buy anywhere, if you show me where i can buy original boxed games i will probably buy some, as i like collecting retro games and hardware.

no one could of predicted that the internet has become as huge as it had, and it will only get bigger, and no matter what law you put into place, people will always break them, sometimes without even knowing it!
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