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Old Jul 08, 2002, 03:56 AM
ashVID ashVID is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 2,099

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This topic comes up very often. People spout off as if they really know the law when in fact they do not. The truth is, video game back-ups, copies, whatever you call them are in a grey area of the law. They fall somewhere between entertainment and software but have no clear legal definition. Software is considered more an intellectual property and has far more stringent regulation (why do you think computer software is not allowed here?)

Is it illegal to chip your PS2? No.
Is it illegal to copy a game? No.
Is it illegal to let your friend borrow a copy of your game? No.
Is it illegal to make a copy of the copy? No.
Is it illegal to make a copy of a game and sell it to someone as a service for backing up their original? No.
Is it illegal to sell a copy of a game when you know there is a good chance they dont have the original? This is where it gets dodgy.

Truth be known US copyright laws have always been very consumer friendly (some upcoming laws may change all this). The US courts have consistently found in favor of consumers on the issues of protecting their investments in music and movies by making copies. With the internet and the advent of modern technology a whole new realm is now introduced into the equation. In 1979 when I made a copy of an audio tape and let a friend borrow it, no one cared. There is no magical 24 hour period. Truth is, I could copy any tape I want and give it to whomever I want and not violate any law under the condition of "fair use" Flash forward to today however when we now have instant access to millions of people and the ability to digitally transfer information. This is why Sony and many other companies are spending fortunes on copy protection and begging the courts to change the laws. Almost every case of companies closing due to court findings (Napster) has to do with the facilitation of copyright infrigence not with actual law breaking. If you haev any newer DVD silvers you will notice that they no longer put Playstation 2 or Sony Logos on the art. Why? Because that IS illegal as those are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced. Ironic? You can copy the game but not the logo... Dont you think Sony and EA and Rockstar would shut down the trading forums if they could? Sure they would but truth be known, we are the fanatics, the few and the ones who tell our friends about the games, etc. and they need us and currently we are not overtly breaking any law. People on this forum and other like it have a warped perception of the significance of back-ups. Truth is, 95%+ of console owners in the US have no idea you can even copy games or know what a modchip is. Many others who know, dont know how to do it or where to get them. If Sony were to go on a big public campaign it would do nothing more than highten awareness and open pandoras box...(Napster anyone?)

Sony has the ability to end piracy tomorrow. To end back-ups altogether. How much does it cost to physically produce a video game with the case, DVD, printing etc.??? Less than $2 for even the larger games, most game can be made for under $1. If Sony charged $10 - $25 for new PS2 games most people would look to the used market and give up back-ups altogeter. Ever wonder why a movie (even one without a theatrical release or box office take) can sell for $12 new even though it may have cost millions to make yet a video game sells for $50?? You tell ME who the crooks are. Wasnt the entire purpose of going to CD/DVD to decrease cost over cartridges? All it did was increase profits, no savings was passed to the consumer. I digress...

Back to the original point...most of what goes on in this forum is either completely legal or in a grey area of the law (one can argue that we are just a community of friends sharing copies of our legally owned games, between the entire forum population I bet we have every original for every system). If this forum was illegal, it would be shut down, it is no secret of this I am certain.

ash =o)
Old Jul 08, 2002, 06:11 AM
CousinFizz CousinFizz is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 3,936

Thanks ash.......

And speaking of gray areas, what about all the game developers who are out of the business now such as SNK? You can't find the games anymore, or it's very difficult to do so, but you can find the D/L of the games (the rars) is that illegal to make a backup of those games? (The copyright is around but who knows where.)

There are so many game companies who aren't around anymore and also companies who have been bought out by other companies and the developers are gone... The games are still around but again very difficult to find, what about those? Any input on that?..... thanks.......

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>

AND then there's this I read on ........................

Of all the Record Labels Sony have been the most aggressive in pursuing anti-piracy strategies. It was not surprising then, that theirs was the first CD copy protection technology to be targeted by crackers. The solution however, is surprisingly low-tech.

Sony and Universal Music have already begun selling the copy protected CD's and have mainly focused on Europe, where audio CD piracy is said to be rampant. The main feature of Sony's proprietary Key2Audio protection is that any audio CD carrying the technology will not be playable on a PC. Sony have included a track containing "bogus" data which confuses a PC since PC drives read data first. This renders the CD "unplayable" on a PC and even causes some Apple Macintosh computers to crash. In that way, Sony believed they would prevent the transfer of music from an audio CD to a PC's hard drive.

They felt so strongly about it that they were willing to ignore the fact that many car stereos and some portable devices would also not play the CD's.

According to recent newsgroup and forum postings however, it is extremely easy to circumvent the copy protection. Using a felt-tipped marker, or even some sticky tape, the bogus data track, usually located in the outer rim of the CD, can be covered thus allowing any PC to play the disc and even to extract the audio from it. Reuters actually tried this method on Celine Dion's newest release "A New Day Has Come," which comes embedded with Sony's Key2Audio technology. They found that the reported method works.

Having already shipped more than 11 million copy-protected discs in Europe and having invested millions in developing this copy-proof technology, Sony now find themselves in a muddle. They certainly cannot abandon their investment but they will most probably try to use their method in a different way. It is evident however, that now that the "cat is out of the bag" it will become increasingly riskier for any record company to invest so much in developing any anti-piracy technology.

Cya............ CFizz

Last edited by CousinFizz; Jul 08, 2002 at 07:11 AM.
Old Jul 08, 2002, 07:23 AM
NTLhacker NTLhacker is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: no
Posts: 178

I know a little off what u are talking about. But everything i know has been covered. But let me tell u about modchips. Believe it or not illegal to put a modchip into your playstation1/2 or xbox. Cause u paid for the machine and its your property so u can do what u want to it. U are legally allowed to own 1 back-up copy off a game that YOU already own incase something happens to the original.
Old Jul 08, 2002, 09:41 AM
handyguy handyguy is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Monterey, Calif
Posts: 9,647

At any rate, as long as you don't set up a big shop you should be okay.

I do notice that the websites that stay up have no logos or photos or TM stuff or copyrighted stuff on them. Like this board, see? Yeah CF, your site should be fine as long as you follow this. Pure text is the american way.
Old Jul 08, 2002, 01:10 PM
littlejack littlejack is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Coventry, UK
Posts: 759

I'm going to but in here and ask... why is it not legal to chip your ps2?

you are allowed to mod anything else, take a car - you are allowed to take a standard car, that is capable of breaking every speed limit as standard, and chip the ECU to make go even faster.

I tell you this, i paid 300 for my ps2 and if i want to mod it i don't see what anyone can do about it.
Old Jul 08, 2002, 01:49 PM
ashVID ashVID is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 2,099

Nice points...let me address...

- it IS legal to chip your PS2, even Sony would say so
- you do NOT have to own the original in order to have a back-up (it works like this, someone, somewhere in this group has an original, a copy was made and BORROWED by you, there is currently no legal time limit for how long you can keep it or how many copies you can make of it)
- for out of print games, movies, etc. the law has fairly consistently found that if there is a demand and the copyright has either not been renewed or USED that copies can be sold AS COPIES out of a personal collection (Sci-Fi conventions etc.)
- As far as Sony's new "protection" I think it is ridiculous. It ENCOURAGES piracy and the downloading of music. If you but a new CD that you cannot make MP3s of then arent you going to look to the net to find someone who has? Any CD can be copied thru a line input, no protection will ever get around this fully. Also, dont you think it is very ironic that Sony MAKES CD-BURNERS??? SELL BLANK CDRs???? Make computers (Vaio) that ADVERTISE their digital music features??? SELL MP3 PLAYERS??? So in effect they are selling you a computer with one of their CD burners so you can RIP CDs and put them on one of their CDRs or MP3 players BUT THEY NOW HAVE PROTECTED THEIR OWN ARTISTS CDS TO PREVENT SUCH!!! Antitrust anyone??? LOL

ash =o)

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