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-   -   What's your take on emulation? (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=7338)

Roots 2004-02-13 16:41

What's your take on emulation?
 
*Please do not post any links to emulators, rom images, or other illegal material in this thread*


I want to discuss how you guys feel about emulators and rom images. I know that they are illegal, but personally I feel that there are a couple of conditions where its *ok* to emulate:

1. The system you are emulating is outdated. By outdated I mean games for that system and/or the system itself are hard to find purchases. I limit myself to using emulation for the SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, NES, etc because I rarely see those consoles/games sold in stores anymore.

2. You own the system you are emulating. For example, I own a PS2 but I leave it at home during the semester because I don't have a TV in my room here at school. So if I want to play a PS game I have no choice but to use my PC and emulate it.

3. The game you are playing is not domestic and not purchasable in your country. I loved playing Tokimeki Memorial for the SNES, but there was no way for me to purchase it here in America.


Do you think those conditions are justified, or do you label me as an evil, evil man? :heh:

Superchop 2004-02-13 18:38

Well...as illegal as emulation is...there are certain things that are legal

you are allowed to have a "backup" copy of any game you have...but it's to be used only as a backup..and it can't be used if the original is in working condition...and lets say if one day you sell the game...you must also give the backup along with it...

can't really remember anything about emu's...although i'm sure it falls along the same lines as the roms

AG3 2004-02-13 18:54

I love emulators! Ah, all the great SNES games I've played in the past few years with ZSNES, like Tales of Phantasia, Chrono Trigger, Seiken Densetsu 3, the Megaman X series...

I also use ePSXe. I have both a PS1 and PS2 at home, but we have only 1 TV in the house, which is mostly occupied by my mom.

The great thing about emulators is the ability to save whenever. This makes it much easier to choose all those answers you would never usually pick in RPGs, since you can just save first and then reload after seeing what happens, in addition to loads of other uses.

eLstar 2004-02-13 19:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by Superchop
Well...as illegal as emulation is...there are certain things that are legal

you are allowed to have a "backup" copy of any game you have...but it's to be used only as a backup..and it can't be used if the original is in working condition...and lets say if one day you sell the game...you must also give the backup along with it...

can't really remember anything about emu's...although i'm sure it falls along the same lines as the roms

I don't understand any of the reasoning behind that. Companies wouldn't have any problems with Emulators and such if they just made it flat out illegal.

n'est-ce pas?

Superchop 2004-02-13 19:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dranz
I don't understand any of the reasoning behind that. Companies wouldn't have any problems with Emulators and such if they just made it flat out illegal.

n'est-ce pas?

true...but if you think about it even if it was all illegal/legal it still wouldn't stop people from making roms/emus

daliinn 2004-02-13 20:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roots
3. The game you are playing is not domestic and not purchasable in your country. I loved playing Tokimeki Memorial for the SNES, but there was no way for me to purchase it here in America.

If it was never sold in your country i think it is absolutly fine. For instance, Sekien Densetsu 1, 2, 4, and 5 were distributed to the US, but not 3. Therefore, I think it would be fine to download sieken densetsu 3 thus completing the series.

EtherNEZ 2004-02-13 20:43

Indeed.

It would have been hard to play the likes of Suikoden, Xenogears, Star Ocean 2 etc etc for me without the existence of emulators.

Of course, I obtained copies of the aforementioned games legitimately (Xenogears was 50ukp :( ) , but not all of us wish to 'mod' our hardware to play import games for various reasons. The emulators for the PSX are now generally sophisticated enough that this is really unnecessary. Not to mention the advantages of instant saving and loading :)

I don't see any problem if - a) you own the game and b) you own the console, but I'm sure the publishers would probably disagree :rolleyes:

As for the PS2... an emulator would be nice but..... I think we have a while to wait. Might be the only way I can play Xenosaga or Suikoden III, IV at this rate other than messing with hardware....

Roots 2004-02-13 23:52

Yeah, modding a console to play games in another territory sucks. I still don't understand why they do that, it pisses me off. But if they didn't do it, then I might have to take back #3.

zalas 2004-02-14 13:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roots
1. The system you are emulating is outdated. By outdated I mean games for that system and/or the system itself are hard to find purchases. I limit myself to using emulation for the SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, NES, etc because I rarely see those consoles/games sold in stores anymore.

You can actually buy these consoles for cheap at used video game shops.
Quote:

2. You own the system you are emulating. For example, I own a PS2 but I leave it at home during the semester because I don't have a TV in my room here at school. So if I want to play a PS game I have no choice but to use my PC and emulate it.
And save states are really helpful when you first start playing a game. Plus the fact you don' t need all those memory cards :)
Quote:

3. The game you are playing is not domestic and not purchasable in your country. I loved playing Tokimeki Memorial for the SNES, but there was no way for me to purchase it here in America.
If it's a recent system, you can order overseas and get the game and then mod your system. The real good I see in playing foreign games on emulators is that you can apply translation patches on them.

Furthermore, I'd like to add 4:
It should be okay if you're developing/translating games for that system. There's basically no hardware debugging support in any of the systems. You'd have to basically incorporate debugging code into an emulator to correctly debug code.

JAppi 2004-02-14 14:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by Superchop
Well...as illegal as emulation is...there are certain things that are legal

you are allowed to have a "backup" copy of any game you have...but it's to be used only as a backup..and it can't be used if the original is in working condition...and lets say if one day you sell the game...you must also give the backup along with it...

can't really remember anything about emu's...although i'm sure it falls along the same lines as the roms

No, read the EULA that comes with just about every game. It is 100% illegal to make a backup copy.

Emulators are perfectly legal. As long as they don't include any of the bios software.

The roms/images are the illegal part. Making copies of the software is illegal.

Although, It might be a bit different now.

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=10348

Quote:

Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and which require the original media or hardware as a condition of access.
So would that make emulation of old systems legal?


If you're interested in emulation I'd suggest you check out GHDpro's other site. http://www.emulator-zone.com/

It even has a forum ^_^

Superchop 2004-02-14 19:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAppi
No, read the EULA that comes with just about every game. It is 100% illegal to make a backup copy.

Emulators are perfectly legal. As long as they don't include any of the bios software.

The roms/images are the illegal part. Making copies of the software is illegal.

Although, It might be a bit different now.

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=10348

Hmm...i could of sworn i read somewhere that we are allowed to make 1 backup copy of anything we own (only as backups, and to not be used at the same time as the original) to "protect our investment" i'm so confused now -_- oh well...i guess i'll have to go do some research...

but i did find this quote on a few sites and although it doesn't talk about software i would assume it's similar...but then again US laws can be very confusing...if i'm able to find anything else i'll post it here...

Quote:

Your Fair Use Rights:

Copyright law gives authors the exclusive right to reproduce and profit from their works. It also protects them by preventing unauthorized third parties from doing the same. However, US Copyright Law also provides an exception called fair use. Fair use permits consumers' "limited personal, non-commercial use of lawfully obtained copyrighted material without prior consent of the copyright owner." For example: you can photocopy parts of books you own, make a backup copy of audio tapes, audio CD's and even VHS tapes. So far, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that fair use "is necessary to avoid an irreconcilable conflict between copyright law and the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech".

Under Fair Use guidelines, you as a consumer are allowed to make personal backup copies of media you own so you can:

Protect Your Investment - DVD's can range in price from $30 up to over $100 for boxed sets. Under Fair Use, protecting your investment by making personal back-up copies of your DVD's is critical.

Get maximum versatility out of your DVD's - By making a backup copy of your DVD, you are able to enjoy it in different locations without having to transport, and risk damaging, the original. You would be able to take the backup to your office or on vacation and leave the original safely at home. In addition, you would be able to convert your DVD to a different format (like VideoCD) which would allow you to play it on a PC that lacked a DVD-ROM drive.

Restore/Repair damaged DVD's - Like other types of media (VHS tapes, audio tapes, etc.) DVD's can be damaged by heat, scratches, or just plain broken. Making a personal backup allows you to keep your original safe and also gives you the ability to restore or repair your original should the need arise.
on a side note if anyone can prove me wrong please do so and provide evidence to support it...

Kurara 2004-02-14 19:06

I don't see anything wrong with emulation of any kind..

I own over 200 ROMS and 10 emulators ^^;;; So I'd be a big hypocrit if I said it was wrong. However, I have to say that I mainly play outdated games.. [ SNES, NES, Gameboy, etc ] I do have some GBA roms, so I'm guilty of playing games that aren't old. But I do own a GBA and I would very much like to have the actual games instead of ROMS.. And by all means, I would never stop playing video games on consoles just to use emulators. And I HONESTLY doubt anyone does this.

For the old games problem.. Yeah, it's true. You can find those games in video game stores. But they are very, very rare. Even PSX games are really hard to find, except the popular titles like FF7 or FFT. I've been trying to find the Suikoden 1 CD for a while.. I never found it in any stores. I've only been able to find it on ebay.. And no one sold it under 30$ US, which is way expensive for an old game.. Specially since a few years ago, the game cost about 20$.. it's the same thing for a lot of PSX games that I've tried to find. They're impossible to find except at an expensive price.. So imagine SNES or NES games. It's even worse. A lot of games that were fairly popular or more rare games are impossible to find now. Some of the REALLY popular games are like old relics now so you can find them for horrible prices on ebay and things like that.. I know it might sound like a bad excuse.. But to me it's a very good excuse, since not everyone can pay that amount for an old game.. And not everyone can even buy things on ebay. Also, there's no reason why it would hurt the industry to download an old game. Specially if the game was made 6 years ago or more.. Because most people don't even buy old games even if they don't use emulators...

Another important thing to remember is that Emulators are very different than pirated games. Pirated games and other programs are on the right platform. They're games that were made for the computer. Roms aren't on the right platform, even if you have a control pad. The experience of a game can never be fully translated into a rom.. The graphics are always a little less good, the screen is often smaller, the game can lag a lot more and have more flaws.. And the gameplay is often not as good. Specially in platform, fighting and adventure games. x_x It makes a big difference.. And just having it on your computer instead of having an actual cardridge is different to me. I'd much rather have all the games.. And I'm pretty sure that most gamers feel that way too...

And like everyone said, a lot of old games aren't even available in America and weren't translated. That's a really important reason... Because a lot of really good games weren't translated, yet some people have translated them as roms...

Superchop 2004-02-14 19:15

This is the EULA for Windows 98 and if you scroll down a bit it'll talk about making copies...and it does allow for 1 copy for backup/archival uses...but nothing else...

http://nl.linux.org/geldterug/license.html

I've also checked some of my pc game manuals...and even though i have a couple that don't let me make any copies whatsoever some of them do allow to make 1 copy for backup/archival uses

JAppi 2004-02-14 19:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Superchop
Hmm...i could of sworn i read somewhere that we are allowed to make 1 backup copy of anything we own (only as backups, and to not be used at the same time as the original) to "protect our investment" i'm so confused now -_- oh well...i guess i'll have to go do some research...

but i did find this quote on a few sites and although it doesn't talk about software i would assume it's similar...but then again US laws can be very confusing...if i'm able to find anything else i'll post it here...



on a side note if anyone can prove me wrong please do so and provide evidence to support it...

Well, afaik circumventing dvd copyright protection *is* against the DCMA.

As far as backups. Well, read the EULA for your software. If it says you can make backups you can.

I remember back in the days of software on floppies. The manual would usually suggest that you imeadiatly make copies of the software and used the copies you made instead of you orginals.

You no longer buy software. You buy licenses that allow you to use their sofware. You are bound to the conditions of the license.

Prince of Chronics 2004-02-14 19:33

I personally don't see a problem with emulators... like many others I have quite a large amount of roms and a couple emulators... however, I play my emulators on my xbox not on my pc.... I like emulators because I can relive all those classic games I loved to play back when I was a kid... like Super Punch Out, Saturday Night Slam Masters and Herzog's Zwei... unfortunately, my snes, nes, master system and genesis are no where to be found these days... so, I rely on emulators to play those fun games...

Superchop 2004-02-14 19:43

Well...even with the DMCA there is an exception ;) although it doesn't relate to us...or at least i dont think it does

http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf

scroll down to page 15 of 18 and it'll talk about the exception

well..i have a serious headache from reading all these legalities and exceptions and all this -_- why couldn't they make things easier on us and word it in a simple way...

Megane 2004-02-15 11:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAppi
...
If you're interested in emulation I'd suggest you check out GHDpro's other site. http://www.emulator-zone.com/

It even has a forum ^_^

Is there some kind of uber thread there that discusses and points out the laws surrounding emulation? It might save us all a lot of hassle and confusion.

Buster 2004-02-15 12:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by Megane
Is there some kind of uber thread there that discusses and points out the laws surrounding emulation? It might save us all a lot of hassle and confusion.

No, it won't, because the law itself is in conflict at this time, between consumer rights and eula rights. All the contract verbiage in the world will not remove consumer rights completely, nor will shouting "fair use" at the top of your lungs eliminate copyright laws.

There is an ongoing court case that may clarify some of these conflicts in time. Read here:

http://news.com.com/2100-1023-978580.html

It could be many years before we have a proper idea of what, exacty, is legal.

Megane 2004-02-15 13:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buster
No, it won't, because the law itself is in conflict at this time, between consumer rights and eula rights. All the contract verbiage in the world will not remove consumer rights completely, nor will shouting "fair use" at the top of your lungs eliminate copyright laws.

I would be quite surprised if these things had not been discussed before on an emulation forum. I wasn't trying to say that there are any concrete laws surrounding emulation, I can't, as I don't fully understand the way things currently stand. What I was asking was whether someone has an ato-like post on the matter, which stated what was known. Because I can quickly see such matters being brougt up again, on a forum which primarily deals with anime fansubs, not games and emulation.

zalas 2004-02-15 15:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Megane
I wasn't trying to say that there are any concrete laws surrounding emulation, I can't, as I don't fully understand the way things currently stand.

I don't really think there is a law against emulation. As long as you didn't infringe on copyrights when creating the emulator, there shouldn't be problems. This is why playstation emulators like ePSXe and the Saturn emulator Satourne don't come with BIOS images. There is a law against downloading ROMs/game images. However, I believe for older systems it's now legal to back up your old cartridges, provided you own them.


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