Discussion of game backup, reproduction, burning, and ripping. Covers ROM backup, cartridge reproduction, optical disc ripping, burning, and storage. Focus on archival purposes and not deceptive selling.
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casterofdreams
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The State of creating backups given the current climate

by casterofdreams Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:37 am

Hi everyone,

I’m sure it’s well known by now but just in case you don’t know what is going on: there has been a systematic takedown of rom sites, both directly from legal action and indirectly to avoid legal action.

We also have some tools used by fan made games being taken down as well.

All this brings up an interesting conversation: what about game backup of titles you already own? Some people say it’s legal to make a backup; corporate people say it’s not. Morally I see no issue. You paid for the thing.

I personally wanted to dump my 150+ library of DS games into a single flash cart and archive them on my PC.

So yeah. Where do we stand?
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Jmustang1968
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Re: The State of creating backups given the current climate

by Jmustang1968 Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:24 pm

I think if you archived your own games, no fuss. They arent coming for you. The problem is when you dump them and allow others to get them, or even worse, sell the dumps.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: The State of creating backups given the current climate

by ElkinFencer10 Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:31 pm

As far as I'm aware (and my degree is history, not copyright law, so I may well be mistaken), it's perfectly legal to have digital backups of games that you have obtained through legal, legitimate means (keeping ROMs of my 100+ NES games on a flash cart, for example).

What I'm not sure about and would be curious to have clarified is the legality of keeping those ROMs once you've sold the game. Take my Genesis Everdrive. I have a Streets of Rage ROM on there, and I have a real copy of Streets of Rage for Genesis, but I've just sold that game; will my possession of that digital game image become illegal once I mail the game and it is no longer in my possession?
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marurun
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Re: The State of creating backups given the current climate

by marurun Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:12 pm

Strictly speaking, it could be argued that the only media backup you are allowed is one you make from your own media, so if that ROM file didn't come off your own cart, it may be illegal (the law is not 100% settled in this space, iirc). And yes, if you transfer ownership of the original, your backup is no longer legal. Should the original become too degraded to use, you would still be obligated to retain ownership of it as a kind of legal validation for the backup.

Note that I am a librarian, not a lawyer, so while I understand copyright fairly well, I don't have the legal expertise to tease out every legal decision.
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casterofdreams
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Re: The State of creating backups given the current climate

by casterofdreams Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:02 pm

What about uncontrollable situations: you lose your SENS cony of Earthbound or your PS1 disc of Final Fantasy VII in a fire. Do you just delete your backup?

Jmustang1968 wrote:I think if you archived your own games, no fuss. They arent coming for you. The problem is when you dump them and allow others to get them, or even worse, sell the dumps.

I know the past I remember Nintendo being fussy about making backups of your games, even for archival purposes.
My BTS List: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=37219
My 8 Gen portables: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=41354
My First Guide: Re-Released games w/DLC (this guide needs work. *UPDATED*): viewtopic.php?f=52&t=44588&p=821770#p821770
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marurun
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Re: The State of creating backups given the current climate

by marurun Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:13 pm

I think in those cases you just make sure you have some chain of evidence to indicate that your backups are valid backups of legitimately owned goods. Maybe a receipt or dated picture indicating you did own the items prior to destruction. Nobody is coming after folks making their own backups for their own personal use. It's when those "personal" backups find their way on-line that's a problem.
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