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27 November 2004 @ 01:36 pm
Things that chafe my ass - anal-retentive anti-piracy edition  
I am getting more and more pissed off at seeing the Morality Police lump abandonware copyright infringement (regardless of whether or not you actually bought the original game) with downloading new games to get out of having to pay for them. Yes, all infringing activity is illegal, but being indirectly referred to as a thief who is hurting the industry just because I have a few old NES and SNES ROM's on this machine is really fucking aggravating...especially since I own the original cart for every damned game I downloaded. So if I purchase something way back in the day and feel like downloading a dump of it for my own convenience (or a silly hack of it to laugh at), who am I "stealing" from, what did I "steal", and how did I "steal" it? This gets especially absurd when you consider that some of these games were made by companies that have since died. For instance, Ocean, who produced the Addams Family games, got bought out by Infogrames, and with all the new and upcoming releases they have to support and develop, somehow I doubt they give a crap about a nearly 13-year-old game for a dead platform. The reason I say this is that about 12 years after Deadly Towers was released, I heard that somebody had written to Broderbund back in the day and gotten a nice set of maps for the game. I had picked up the cart a while ago and wasn't having any luck mapping the game myself, so I emailed them asking about it, and they told me that they had no information about this game at all. And this was 7 years ago! I bet they sure were heartbroken when I downloaded it just for shits and giggles.

Certainly if you like a recently released game, you should buy it. Its developers and publisher need the income to continue to exist and produce games that you like. I just get irritated at being lumped in with asshats going double the speed limit in a residential area when my activity is more akin to doing 60 in a 55 - technically illegal but harmless.
 
 
Current Mood: stewing
 
 
 
hhallahh on November 27th, 2004 10:59 am (UTC)
I haven't really seen much stuff from companies about how you shouldn't take abandonware. Granted, it's a given, but the amount of attention they give to the issue is minimal, and I doubt even the developers themselves really believe in their hearts that it's a big deal. It's wrong like doing 60 in a 55 zone is wrong, as you point out..

On the other hand, a lot of the most popular "abandonware" games pirated are, in fact, not really abandonware. Games like FFVI, Mario World, etc. all have gotten remakes and one could see the piracy of those games becoming a non-negligible issue. With these considerations, it becomes a blurred line between which games are "harmless" to pirate and which games aren't... and it's much easier for large developers to just say that pirating any game is unacceptable rather than trying to make a list of "more unacceptable" games (the ones who could be remade.)

I guess.
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on November 27th, 2004 11:23 am (UTC)
On the other hand, a lot of the most popular "abandonware" games pirated are, in fact, not really abandonware. Games like FFVI, Mario World, etc. all have gotten remakes and one could see the piracy of those games becoming a non-negligible issue.

That is a very good point. When I was rambling, I was thinking about "dead end" games that, in all likelihood, will never be remade or redeveloped somehow. I didn't consider the case of downloading a ROM of an old game to avoid paying for its remake.
setupweaselsetupweasel on November 27th, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC)
There are those of us.
I personally feel that copyright has gotten out of hand. People like Disney will swipe an idea from Japan (Kimba, The White Lion King) w/o paying for it and market it like it's their own idea. Then they will turn to Congress and make sure Steamboat Willie never ever reaches the public domain. They can do it, because they are Disney, but you can't, because you are Rydain.

I personally feel that anything that is out of print is fair game. On top of that we need a reasonable timeframe for things to move into the public domain. It has been more than 30 years since the Beatles made an album, why can't I download the White Album for free.

Copyright can extend 4 times longer than patents. Something is wrong here.