Emulators, are they legal?

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saurabh
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Emulators, are they legal?

Post by saurabh »

http://www.emulator-zone.com/

are emulators for all of those game consoles legal?

Vista Ultimate R2
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Post by Vista Ultimate R2 »

I think an emulator that uses an image of the ROM for the machine being emulated is only legal to use if you own one of the machines that has that ROM, if the ROM is copyrighted, while any that don't use ROMs are legal for anyone to use as long as you own licenses for any commercial software that you're running in emulation.
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saurabh
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Post by saurabh »

so like if u own a N64, N64 roms are okay?

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Post by compact-mac »

If you own the game, yes it is legal.
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___
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Post by ___ »

the emulators themsevles are legal unless they contain BIOS ripped from the consoles

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Post by Frozenport »

Although, it is important to note that this claim has yet to be tested in court.
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Post by ppc_digger »

___ wrote:the emulators themsevles are legal unless they contain BIOS ripped from the consoles
That is only true if they were written using freely available documents (e.g. PearPC) or clean-room reverse engineering (like how the first PC clones were created).

Using the BIOS is a gray-area situation. Mac BIOS are supposedly legal if you own that specific model. Bochs, for example, uses a GPLd BIOS written by hobbyists (QEMU does too, IIRC).

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Post by RentedMule »

BIOS is software which is copywrited.

Emulators are perfectly legal. What do you think DOSBox is? The questionble legality is whether you can legally own a rom... actually more specifically, if you can own a rom of the cart you have. There are several places that sell roms with permission from the copywrite holder.

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Post by ppc_digger »

RentedMule wrote:Emulators are perfectly legal. What do you think DOSBox is? The questionble legality is whether you can legally own a rom... actually more specifically, if you can own a rom of the cart you have. There are several places that sell roms with permission from the copywrite holder.
Actually, DOSBox has its own set of BIOS functions (I'm not sure whether they are part of DOSBox or an actual emulated BIOS, as DOSBox is an OS emulator, rather than a PC emulator, like Bochs).

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Post by gamer765 »

i think it is alright as long as you own the actual game....

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Post by Dr Eggman »

Emulators are perfectly LEGAL, IF you own the BIOS, and the game which are both for the system. For a system that is Abandonware eg. Super NES, you are freely available to download. Now, for a system that Isn't Abandonware, eg. Nintendo DS, you must first own the system, AND the game that you are going to download/dump.

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Post by empireum »

It's another issue if "abandonware" is legal to download.

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Post by logicaL »

Dr Eggman wrote:Emulators are perfectly LEGAL, IF you own the BIOS, and the game which are both for the system. For a system that is Abandonware eg. Super NES, you are freely available to download. Now, for a system that Isn't Abandonware, eg. Nintendo DS, you must first own the system, AND the game that you are going to download/dump.
The only problem with that theory is that the Virtual Console/Classic Collections that are coming out nowadays. They are still making money off of them so they are not abandonware, and if I'm not mistaken its not abandonware after a certain period of time (I however do not know that amount of time)

I personally think that the only ways for emulators to be legal you have to own the game and the system at a minimum.

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Post by ___ »

it is only abandonware once the copyright expires (if it does) or if the developer/publisher allow it

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Post by Eclipse9069 »

Emulators are legal, as are roms if you own the original copy.

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