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Bnetd reverse engineering ruling may stifle innovation

Blizzard Entertainment, maker of the popular Warcraft and Diablo videogame titles, handed opponents of reverse engineering perhaps their most potent weapon to date last month when the US 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in its case against open source software developers who had created BnetD, an application that emulated Blizzard's Battle.Net and let gamers connect with each other outside of the company's servers.

In upholding a lower court ruling, the court held the Digital Millennium Copyright Act -- which has previously been the basis of protecting a degree of reverse engineering in software -- prohibited the reverse engineering BnetD developers required to create their software. In addition, the ruling held that so-called click-wrap, browse-wrap, or handshake licenses may also prohibit the reverse engineering. The court disagreed with arguments presented by the Electonic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which asserted that reverse engineering was permissible based on fair use, interoperability, and reverse engineering rights granted in the US Copyright Act and, ironically, the DMCA. Developers and their supporters worry the case may have broader implications for add-on innovation and development, and may mark a significant loss of right to reverse engineer legitimately.

Beyond the chill of Blizzard

Although BnetD developer Ross Combs was on the losing end of the ruling with a couple fellow gamers -- who were also contributors to BnetD -- he fears the ruling has implications beyond Blizzard's Battle.net game network, and knows of other projects under threat from the company, which has been emboldened by the ruling.

"I believe there are a number of ways this ruling is detrimental to creators of add-ons, replacement parts, and other interoperating technologies," said Combs, who was banned from further distribution of BnetD.

He explained the most direct impact of the ruling would be the enforceability and "freely negotiated nature" of EULA provisions that prevent the use of reverse engineering, granted by the Copyright Act. Combs pointed to the 1985 Vault v. Quaid Software case, for example, where a state contract law which allowed such license provisions was preempted by federal copyright law, according to the courts.

"It seems strange to me that such a provision would be enforceable in light of that, but that is what the appeals court has found," Combs said. "As a practical matter, this means that most software products and some hardware products cannot be reverse engineered in this judicial circuit. That obviously has a detrimental effect on innovation, and is likely to allow vendors to lock users to their products, resulting in higher prices."

Combs, credited among gamers for dramatically improving online play of Blizzard's games with BnetD, also warned the ruling was a dangerous precedent by finding that the exemptions for reverse engineering and interoperability outlined in the DMCA do not apply as widely as was apparent.

Combs also referred to Blizzard's other efforts against developers and Web sites hosting software that interacts with their games and servers, something that has gone on "for a number of years," according to the developer, who was engaged in the legal fight over BnetD for three and a half years.

"Mostly they go after sites with 'mods' or 'cheats,' like DiabloWorld.com," Combs said. "There are also groups like the Freecraft project, which created its own [real-time strategy] game engine which could read Blizzard's map and item files. I believe that Blizzard threatened legal action and the project was scrapped (later a similar project with another name was started in another country)."

Will add-ons get subtracted?

EFF staff attorney Jason Schultz said the ruling casts a cloud over what was previously viewed as solid ground for software development because of copyright law and prior rulings on reverse engineering. Schultz said add-ons to Firefox, Google Maps, Craigslist, instant messaging clients, and other applications are among the software that could be impacted.

"The implications are that we won't see any growth in the area of add-on innovation when it comes to software, especially Web software," he said. "Open APIs, add-ons, complimentary products to build and compile a Web site -- all of that is potentially compromised by this. A lot of innovation is coming off of this secondary level of application architecture."

Schultz -- who indicated Blizzard is bringing the ruling down on other developers of similar add-on technology -- said the combination of the DMCA interpretation and EULA enforcement were used to circumvent copyright protection and DMCA-based defense of reverse engineering.

Schultz said his organization was hoping the Blizzard case would mark a major clarification of the DMCA, but it did the exact opposite. Nevertheless, he said the EFF is actively on watch for cases that could further test DMCA, licensing, and reverse engineering rights.

Phil Albert, an IP attorney and partner with the San Francisco offices of Townsend and Townsend and Crew, agreed the ruling marked an extension of intellectual property protection via the DMCA and license agreement.

"It's entirely possible to use the DMCA in combination with licensing terms to create exclusivity beyond what copyright law would provide them," he said. "It's not clear whether the intent of the DMCA was to protect against copyright infringement or go beyond that to create new kinds of protections. It's kind of using the DMCA in an unintended way."

More to come

Combs said he believes Blizzard saw BnetD as a threat as it moved its product lines toward massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG).

"In the past, their game server was not a revenue center and could be freely used by anyone on the Internet," he said. "But with the subscription model, they did not want to risk the ability of game owners to play on another server and thus avoid the monthly fees."

Although he expressed "deep disappointment" over the ruling, Combs stressed the need for perseverance against corporate and government efforts to close down competition through legitimate reverse engineering in the name of copyright protection and the fight against piracy.

"I hope this case doesn't discourage others from pursuing their interests or make them self-censor when a free software project runs up against the wishes of a commercial entity," he said. "The decision is only in one circuit and it isn't set in stone. The legislature and courts are doing everything in their power to make war on piracy today, and at some point I believe the excesses will be recognized for the damage they are doing to legitimate users and third parties. Tools like WINE, Samba, PVR software, and Microsoft Word import/export plugins are all important tools which have to cooperate with products and use protocols or formats designed by another party which likely wishes the tool didn't exist. It's important to recognize that they aren't just a nicety, but a requirement for a healthy marketplace."

For its part, Blizzard has called the ruling in its favor "a major victory against software piracy," according to a statement from president and co-founder Mike Morhaime.

Ric Hirsch, senior vice president of intellectual property enforcement for the Entertainment Software Association, which filed an amicus brief in the case, said the Circuit Court judges "did a very good job in their analysis of the legal issues," adding the ruling "helps communicate that software publishers and the games software industry is serious about going after piracy of their products."

Hirsch said the ruling will reinforce the use of the DMCA to prevent "IP abuse and theft. The court's ruling reinforces the value of creativity and innovation in the games industry -- it protects developers' creations through the use of security technologies. People will be more inclined to innovate if they think their creations can be effectively protected from unauthorized uses."

Albert, who pointed out that both sides made arguments in favor of innovation in the case, said it is unclear how far the convoluted DMCA-EULA protection could go. However, he said he expects more debate on the matter, both inside and outside the courtroom.

"I think this is going to be an increasingly fertile issue for disputes," he said. "It's not entirely resolved as to where the boundaries are in terms of what is permissible and what is not permissible under the DMCA.

"On one side, people are saying we need all the protections we can get," Albert said. "On the flip side, the people who build on the product or interface to it say, 'We need to be able to provide the features and functionality that the original producer isn't.' This comes up in a lot of places. Ultimately, fortunately, what makes sense wins out in the long run. Eventually, we'll be to a place where it does make sense to reverse engineer and make things better."
I thought you guys would want to hear this, because if I'm not mistaken this ruling could be applied to emulators too. This DMCA thing is getting totally out of hand...
 

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surely forcing people to pay a subscription just to play a game theyve already paid for should be illegal.

ive never played WoW and never will cos i think its disgusting how they can charge £30-40 for a game then charge you £10-15 a month just to play the damn thing.
 

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Well, if Bnetd emulated the WoW servers, I can kinda see the point here, however the diablo servers were FREE anyway.

But anyway....here is my point. Once a piece of software (game, app, whatever) has acheived enough of a following that people would want to take THEIR time to create add-ons to the game, which people would then use, and these add-ons would make people want to play the game MORE and maybe even attract new people to the game, thereby making the company more money, why would they want to stop it?

I just really don't understand it....user created mods typically make games more fun. I know I have seen before in post where people have specifically said that they might buy the game DEPENDING ON IF SOME COOL MODS GET RELEASED FOR IT, so this has actually become a determine factor for alot of people whether or not they even buy the game! The things these corporations do nowadays utterly disgust me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think you guys are missing the big picture here. The ramifications of this ruling go a lot further than just forcing BnetD to shut down. They have basically set a precitent that says it's illegal to reverse engineer hardware or software for the purposes of interoperability, add-on support, ect., if the creators of said hardware/software don't want you to. If this ruling holds up, it could give companies that operate in the US liscence to seek out and put a stop to any project based on information gained from reverse engineering their products, including emulators.

In other words, say Nintendo decides that because the Revolution will have backwards compatibility with games from all it's old systems, they don't want to compete with all the free emulators out there for them. Well, this ruling gives them grounds to put all unauthorized emulators for their hardware out of commision. Now in theory, this shouldn't matter to emu authors who are not US citizens, since they should be out of the reach of US law. But then again, the US has gotten good at applying it's laws outside it's own juristiction as of late... Does anyone know if the creators of BnetD lived in the US? Because if Blizzard was able to shut them down and they weren't even US citizens, then that would mean no one is safe.
 

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With this ruling effectively stepping into the gray area of Virtuous Reversing, it WILL pose quite a problem.

Time to go underground soon? I hope not.
 

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This may sound extremely odd on a emulation forum, but oh well...

No emulators? Oh well. Good for the most part. Nobody has reasons to download thousands upon thousands of games that these companies make onto their computers to be played by emulators. I say good for them if they can some how (though they won't) be able to put a stop to emulation. I find it great to be able to play some older extremely tough to get games, but N64, PS, PS2 (which plays psx games as everyone knows), Gamecube, XBox etc. etc... they're all being emulated up to some point, even if the newer systems come out with their most popular (re-release) titles compatable with newer systems, idiots still go out there and download thousands of dollars worth of software they didn't put any sweat into making, which, in the end, does lose these companies a lot of money. They mod their boxes to play these illegal games. I can't think, or in the history of this argument I hope doesn't break out, heard one *GOOD* excuse for people to get games they didn't buy.

I don't have the money
I can't find the game
game companys sell more games than what are stolen

Bull****... there's just almost no reason for emulation. No reason whatsoever. There are few of us that actually use the emulator (such as epsxe) and burn our own ISO's and run them. I'd say upwards of 90%+ of the (emulated) games on their computer they don't own. I, for one, wouldn't miss price drops in RL software.
 

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no reason to flame, he does make a good point.
IMO we wont see the emulation scene disappearing anytime soon.
the only thing that can possibly kill the emu scene is time. with time, consoles will be too powerfull to be emulated by PCs (that is if we continue with the same architecture for PCs...)
 

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band
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i was referring to the "im not using illegal romz", and various claims of innocence that ppl (have in the past and prolly will continue to) put up to arguments such as modem1 :)

the only thing that can possibly kill the emu scene is time. with time, consoles will be too powerfull to be emulated by PCs (that is if we continue with the same architecture for PCs...)
totally agreed and im glad this seems to be happening with the ps2 ^^. tho, that said i still wonder what is taking xbox emulation so long tho its so close to pc architecture ... (the above 2 sentecnes are by no means an attack against emu authors...if u dont want to answer consider it to be an old man's rambling >_<)
 

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I can't believe that you think that there is no point to emulation. I couldnt dissagree more. I think emulators and emulation in general is one of the most exciting concepts out there, there arent just emulators for consoles, the are old Computer emulators, like Apple II, Amiga even Lisa, cpu emulators, old arcade machine emulators, there are emulators for something as useless as a CHIP-8, and who could of imagined an emulator for Texas Instruments calculator, and how can you forget about WINE, a windows emulator for Linux! For you to just so bluntly disregard years of hard work put in by countless programmers and emulator users to keep this hardware alive is just plain insulting! Can't you see that without emulation all of these amazing machines would be lost forever, there are people out there that do feel pationatly about these things and you are obviously not one of them. Plus your statement has absolutely no merit, how can you possibly blame emulation for all of the piracy going on? Its like blaming Winamp for all the mp3 being pirated! Do you not realize that majority of people who download ISO images etc., are more interested in burning them and playing them on theyr perfectly legaly purchased, moded console? Or did you completely disregard that fact and just decided to shift all the blame on emulators? I could go on and on aobut this..

But dont your realize that there is a bigger issue here? There is an issue of freedom. Cant you see that big companies are ristricting your freedom as a software user, regarding what you can use, copy or mod on your own personal pc? As long as people like you are around software users/programmers will continue be pushed around by big companies/governement. I for one feel that if I purchase or legaly aquire a software I have a freedom to modify it and use in any way that I think is apropriate. Thats like buying a TV and then having the TV monufacturer telling you what you can and cant watch on it. Dont you see how redicilous that sounds?

For more on these freedoms Listen to RMS
I hope that I was able to influence your way of thinking in some way or another, but this topic is just too big for me to go on about it.
 

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bad to hear that emulation will end someday :(

I don't think emulation is bad thing. A lot of people (i may include myself in this) use emulators to play games that have already been forgotten, and play systems that've already been buried. Its not easy to see someone buying a Atari 2600 or, being a bit actual, a Sega Master System just to play one or two games. The companies have already earned with these consoles. Its so much easier to get an emu and play it in your pc.
Also, a lot of emulators have options that can enhance graphics, sound, and do a lot of other things (like sound record, video record, etc...). And you know that consoles just can't do that. Oh well, if you stand with a N64 playing Zelda OoT with normal graphics, and then look at an emu running Zelda with those Hi Resolution textures, which one should you play first?
Also I'm wondering how far will work the Revolution's retro-compatibility... and if get some good, how do you'll play games? with downloaded roms or roms you'll need to buy from Nintendo? I just want to see if then what will the companies say...
If consoles had all the options the emus offer, I think then there wouldn't have a real reason to use emus... but since the only problem of emus is the comaptibility (and of course, speed/gfx errors), emus are much better than consoles.
 

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(tried to post this around 3:00am, but my internet went down at some point when I was typing this)

I am not saying emulation is entirely a *bad* thing. The idea is awesome, and I'm sure Nintendo is (figuratively speaking) smacking themselves upside the head for not thinking of a similar idea earlier. What I'm saying is that people are using emulation as a excuse to download gigabytes and gigabytes of games they don't own. Whether the game is 1 year old or 25, it's still illegal.
It'd be great to see Nintendo, Sony or Sega (former anyway) release their games somehow, emulation or not, to play on the PC or newer consoles and such, but sadly, for the most part, that isn't going to happen.
What's happening is that Nintendo (for a example) is mostly likely biting the big one, releasing their "new" console which isn't much faster than their Gamecube, to be backward compatable with their older systems games. There's even a rumor that it's going to be released for $100! $100?! Nobody in their right mind would release a console at $100 and expect to make a major profit (though I'm guessing they're hoping it'll come from the games already made/released on prior systems). No, emulation isn't the whole reason they're doing it. They didn't listen to customers and never really updated their games for people that used to play their games in the mid 80's, who are now (fairly) mature adults at 2005, and their fanbase has dropped. All their previous Mario... Zelda etc. releases are now being emulated, and they're no longer making money off of any of it. How many people will go out and buy their re-released Zelda, Mario or Metroid games for their Gameboy advance for $20 when they can download it in a matter of minutes? People without computers, that's who, which there aren't many of nowadays. Sony and Microsoft are two huge reasons as well. Nintendo didn't act early enough, and they're likely paying the ultimate price.
I can go to any number of sites which have EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN GAME RELEASED (snes/nes/genisis/n64) GAME, in one download. That's how easy it is to get these things.
In this bnetd thing, they reverse engineered Battle.net to play games they don't own on custom servers via emulation. I've heard countless people brag that they play on some custom WoW server with edited equipment, monsters and the game itself. It's not right (NOTE: I know that WoW doesn't use battle.net, but you get the point with Warcraft/Starcraft/Diablo). Blizzard may want $13/$15 a month for you to play their game, but it's their choice. And it's your choice to go purchase the game or not. But it's not your right to download the game in full, and play on a custom server anywhere you want. Blizzard keeps Battle.net open for all their games for the reason that people keep playing on it, and I can't see any of their games getting shut down on b.net due to nobody playing it any time soon.

I'm all for ZSNES, ePSXe, PJ64, 1964 etc., but for the most part, it's all about piracy. Are you going to tell me that anyone who has that Arcade emulator (whatever it's called), owns every arcade game they have in their rom collection? Likely not. You guys (not literally just you, but all emulation related sites) try to get around it with "we don't support downloaded games" etc. etc., and ban the idoits if they say they downloaded it from wherever, but honestly, how many people do you know own the equipment to dump arcarde games? SNES games? N64 games? NES games? Genisis games? Probably less than 0.001% of people out there. This place is one of the better, only supporting PSX games, which it's a lot easier to get ahold of PSX games from Gamestop, Gamecrazy, EB etc. etc., but there are still too many of the other (people downloading games) that are out there to even remotely halt the spread. I'd say ePSXe is just about the only one that I fully like. You even know a few selected Final Fantasy ISO's (from what I've seen) that have selective problems with certain parts of the "disk", which is great... but it's still almost as easy to go out there on the web to get whatever game you want in a matter of minutes (or the filesharing programs and such), free of charge, even though you can go out anywhere and get some, if not most games for under $10.

I'm sorry for the rant, but all I'm saying is that, no matter how many people say they "own all emulated games they download" or "owned it at one point", it's still illegal, which is why these guys are trying to prevent it. The booklets for games say clear as day for SNES (for example), that it's illegal to duplicate the game in any way. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm thinking that includes COPYING it onto your computer via any sort of dumping hardware/utility.
Most emulation sites say "delete roms within 24 hours if you don't own it", and say it's "legal to have the rom if you own it". It's not. It's only legal to purchase the game to get the cart, plug it into the intended system, and fire it up. I, for one, am all what these guys are trying to accomplish. I don't honestly think much will happen, but hopefully their efforts will go to waste completely.
 

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zen_master said:
But dont your realize that there is a bigger issue here? There is an issue of freedom. Cant you see that big companies are ristricting your freedom as a software user, regarding what you can use, copy or mod on your own personal pc? As long as people like you are around software users/programmers will continue be pushed around by big companies/governement. I for one feel that if I purchase or legaly aquire a software I have a freedom to modify it and use in any way that I think is apropriate. Thats like buying a TV and then having the TV monufacturer telling you what you can and cant watch on it. Dont you see how redicilous that sounds?
Not saying I agree/disagree with anything, but this caught my eye.
This kinda attitude is EXACTLY whats wrong in the world today...
It's all about me, me, me...My right to do what I want. What about the developers right to contol their own code, hardware, etc???
When you buy software you are not Buying it you are leasing it, there is a big diofference. Sure you own the cd it is on, but the actual code still belongs to the developer/distributer. You do not have the right to claim it for your own use or modification (Unless explicitly allowed by said developer)..

Your worried they are taking your rights, when it isn't your right to begin with....

Miretank said:
bad to hear that emulation will end someday :(

I don't think emulation is bad thing. A lot of people (i may include myself in this) use emulators to play games that have already been forgotten, and play systems that've already been buried. Its not easy to see someone buying a Atari 2600 or, being a bit actual, a Sega Master System just to play one or two games. The companies have already earned with these consoles. Its so much easier to get an emu and play it in your pc.
Also, a lot of emulators have options that can enhance graphics, sound, and do a lot of other things (like sound record, video record, etc...). And you know that consoles just can't do that. Oh well, if you stand with a N64 playing Zelda OoT with normal graphics, and then look at an emu running Zelda with those Hi Resolution textures, which one should you play first?
Ummm, graphics so not make a game..Oot is no less fun to play with low res textures. in Fact IMHO it should be played the way it was meant to be played, all the high res stuff detracts from the game experience..to many "kid's" going oohhhh-ahhhh look at the pretty picture instead of just enjoying the game.
 

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Modem1 said:
(tried to post this around 3:00am, but my internet went down at some point when I was typing this)

I am not saying emulation is entirely a *bad* thing. The idea is awesome, and I'm sure Nintendo is (figuratively speaking) smacking themselves upside the head for not thinking of a similar idea earlier. What I'm saying is that people are using emulation as a excuse to download gigabytes and gigabytes of games they don't own. Whether the game is 1 year old or 25, it's still illegal.
It'd be great to see Nintendo, Sony or Sega (former anyway) release their games somehow, emulation or not, to play on the PC or newer consoles and such, but sadly, for the most part, that isn't going to happen.
What's happening is that Nintendo (for a example) is mostly likely biting the big one, releasing their "new" console which isn't much faster than their Gamecube, to be backward compatable with their older systems games. There's even a rumor that it's going to be released for $100! $100?! Nobody in their right mind would release a console at $100 and expect to make a major profit (though I'm guessing they're hoping it'll come from the games already made/released on prior systems). No, emulation isn't the whole reason they're doing it. They didn't listen to customers and never really updated their games for people that used to play their games in the mid 80's, who are now (fairly) mature adults at 2005, and their fanbase has dropped. All their previous Mario... Zelda etc. releases are now being emulated, and they're no longer making money off of any of it. How many people will go out and buy their re-released Zelda, Mario or Metroid games for their Gameboy advance for $20 when they can download it in a matter of minutes? People without computers, that's who, which there aren't many of nowadays. Sony and Microsoft are two huge reasons as well. Nintendo didn't act early enough, and they're likely paying the ultimate price.
I can go to any number of sites which have EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN GAME RELEASED (snes/nes/genisis/n64) GAME, in one download. That's how easy it is to get these things.
In this bnetd thing, they reverse engineered Battle.net to play games they don't own on custom servers via emulation. I've heard countless people brag that they play on some custom WoW server with edited equipment, monsters and the game itself. It's not right (NOTE: I know that WoW doesn't use battle.net, but you get the point with Warcraft/Starcraft/Diablo). Blizzard may want $13/$15 a month for you to play their game, but it's their choice. And it's your choice to go purchase the game or not. But it's not your right to download the game in full, and play on a custom server anywhere you want. Blizzard keeps Battle.net open for all their games for the reason that people keep playing on it, and I can't see any of their games getting shut down on b.net due to nobody playing it any time soon.

I'm all for ZSNES, ePSXe, PJ64, 1964 etc., but for the most part, it's all about piracy. Are you going to tell me that anyone who has that Arcade emulator (whatever it's called), owns every arcade game they have in their rom collection? Likely not. You guys (not literally just you, but all emulation related sites) try to get around it with "we don't support downloaded games" etc. etc., and ban the idoits if they say they downloaded it from wherever, but honestly, how many people do you know own the equipment to dump arcarde games? SNES games? N64 games? NES games? Genisis games? Probably less than 0.001% of people out there. This place is one of the better, only supporting PSX games, which it's a lot easier to get ahold of PSX games from Gamestop, Gamecrazy, EB etc. etc., but there are still too many of the other (people downloading games) that are out there to even remotely halt the spread. I'd say ePSXe is just about the only one that I fully like. You even know a few selected Final Fantasy ISO's (from what I've seen) that have selective problems with certain parts of the "disk", which is great... but it's still almost as easy to go out there on the web to get whatever game you want in a matter of minutes (or the filesharing programs and such), free of charge, even though you can go out anywhere and get some, if not most games for under $10.

I'm sorry for the rant, but all I'm saying is that, no matter how many people say they "own all emulated games they download" or "owned it at one point", it's still illegal, which is why these guys are trying to prevent it. The booklets for games say clear as day for SNES (for example), that it's illegal to duplicate the game in any way. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm thinking that includes COPYING it onto your computer via any sort of dumping hardware/utility.
Most emulation sites say "delete roms within 24 hours if you don't own it", and say it's "legal to have the rom if you own it". It's not. It's only legal to purchase the game to get the cart, plug it into the intended system, and fire it up. I, for one, am all what these guys are trying to accomplish. I don't honestly think much will happen, but hopefully their efforts will go to waste completely.
Hey, an intelligent post! At least there are some people still around here that aren't total asshats and actually "get it." This is exactly the reason I gave up on being an admin and making any sort of contribution to this place. The emulation scene as a whole has gone to hell and has been invaded by children that think they have some kind of god given right to play all the games they want for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Modem1(I'm not going to quote the whole thing again :p): I agree with what you're saying up until the point where you say you can't back up game catridges you have already paid for. Regardless of what Nintendo's instruction books would have you believe, copyright law protects people's right to make a backup copy of any copyrighted work they purchase in case the original gets damaged. (Well, at least here in the US it does. There are some places that isn't true.) The problem is, thanks to our good friend the DMCA it's also illegal to bypass any measures of copy protection the creators of a copyrighted work put in place. This effectively gives a loophole to copyright holders, making it so people cannot make backup copies of works they purchase, and have to buy them again if the original is ruined. Maybe for a sturdy medium like a cardridge this isn't so bad, but for DVDs where a little scratch can wreck the disc... I'll tell you one thing, if I had actually ever had to pay to replace a movie I'd purchased just because of one scratch, I'd be pretty damn pissed.

dpence said:
Not saying I agree/disagree with anything, but this caught my eye.
This kinda attitude is EXACTLY whats wrong in the world today...
It's all about me, me, me...My right to do what I want. What about the developers right to contol their own code, hardware, etc???
When you buy software you are not Buying it you are leasing it, there is a big diofference. Sure you own the cd it is on, but the actual code still belongs to the developer/distributer. You do not have the right to claim it for your own use or modification (Unless explicitly allowed by said developer)..

Your worried they are taking your rights, when it isn't your right to begin with....
This is quite possibly the most ignorant statement I have ever heard you make. First of all, the original intent of copyright law was to prevent people from making copies of works created by others and selling them for profit or giving them away without permission. However, under copyright law you still owned your copy, and what you did with it was entirely up to you. Then came the DMCA, which started this whole downward slide we've been on. It's been chipping away at the rights of the consumer, little by little, for years now. Actually, I can almost see where your ignorance is coming from here. With how much ground has been lost for the rights of consumers lately, buying software has practically become like leasing it if you want to remain withing the boundries of law. But that level of restriction was never the intent of copyright, and in my opinion it shouldn't have ever gotten to this point.

If what you were saying about keeping the content owner in charge were carried out to it's fullest extent, what's stopping a company like Microsoft saying: "I hope you've been enjoying using Windows for the past 6 months. We at Microsoft have decided we're not rich enough, so in order to keep using Windows please enter a valid credit card number so we can charge you $1000. If you chose the ignore this message, we will permanantly disable this copy of Windows which you have already paid hundreds of dollars for."... or something to that effect. But, if you want to give them the right to do that, then by all means keep supporting taking away the rights of consumers. Heck, before you know it they'll be finding a way to charge us for the air we breath.

This is just my opinion, but here's a general laydown of which rights I feel should be protected for the consumers of copyrighted works.

1. Right to use a copy whenever, wherever, and however he/she see's fit, as long as he/she isn't personally profitting from it or causing the copyright owner to lose profit in any tangible way. Note that protection from the loss of profit should only apply directly to the work purchased, and not to any side profit that could be made from services involving said work (such as paying to use Blizzard's official servers for instance :p.)
2. Right to make a functional backup copy.
3. Right to obtain another copy for no additional charge if their copy is destroyed and no backup was made. (In other words, you cannot be forced to pay twice for a copy of something you've already purchased. AFAIK this has never been considered a right before, but I really think it should be one.)
4. Right to bypass measures taken by copyright holders that restict any of the above rights.
5. As copyright law states, all other rights besides these belong to the copyright holder, unless they choose to waive them.

If the law would just protect and honor these rights, I would have no reason to complain.
 
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