And Now Comes The Pushback As One ROMs Site Is Challenging Nintendo's Takedown Of ROM Sites

from the rom-com dept

Over the past few weeks, we've discussed Nintendo's tortured relationship with fans of its retro offerings. As a starting point, after years of pretty much ignoring the demand for retro games offered for earlier versions of its consoles, Nintendo finally produced an offering for retro consoles loaded with some but not all of the games from the eight and sixteen bit eras. Before this official offering, Nintendo's ignoring the market had for years produced a wide range of websites that allowed gamers to engage in their nostalgia by playing old games no longer available via emulators and ROMs of those games. Nintendo's retro consoles successfully competed with these free games by producing a great product. Despite that success, Nintendo has since gone on a campaign against some of the highest profile ROM sites out there, suing some and allowing that lawsuit to serve as enough of a threat to simply get other sites to voluntarily take Nintendo ROMs down. These sites, which had essentially served to compile and record video game history that Nintendo refused to do itself, suddenly began disappearing.

There was always going to be some kind of a backlash to this. And, now, one site is signaling that its ready to fight Nintendo, going so far as to taunt the company with a forthcoming offering for retro game ROMs.

While these decisions are understandable, not everyone is equally impressed by the show of legal force. The niche pirate site ‘Good Old Downloads,’ for example, sees the ROMs controversy as a good opportunity to expand its catalog. With retro games.

The new section is “coming soon” according to the site’s homepage. While no further details are listed, it is now linked to a Tweet which makes it rather clear what motivated ‘Good Old Downloads’ to add retro-titles. The tweet embeds a video showing recent press coverage of the Nintendo lawsuit and the related shutdowns. Towards the end, it shows a clip from “Age of Ultron” where Thanos’ face is replaced by the site’s logo.

“Fine, I’ll do it myself,” he says.

Now, let's be clear about a couple of things. First, Good Old Downloads is absolutely a site for pirating video games. It's unambiguous in that. Nothing in this post is to suggest that what the site is doing is legal, or even morally okay. It isn't. What should be clear is that the site's move comes as the we're still waiting for a settlement between Nintendo and the ROMs site and in the immediate wake of other sites taking their own ROMs down. In other words, this is the first but almost certainly not the last site to dig its heels in and challenge Nintendo's takedown efforts.

Which is ultimately the point of this post: Nintendo's focus on putting a genie back in the bottle when that will never happen is both futile and pointless. Pointless because Nintendo is already successfully competing with these ROM sites. And futile because these files are still available roughly everywhere on the internet.

That said, ROMs haven’t been particularly hard to find through traditional pirate sources. For example, shortly after Nintendo announced its lawsuit, one Demonoid user uploaded torrents featuring thousands of ROMs to the site, including tiles belonging to the Japanese game giant.

This isn't even whac-a-mole. It's more like trying to fill up the ocean with all the grains of sand on the beach. There's a great deal of work to be done to keep you busy, but you'll never achieve your goal. So why bother?


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  • identicon
    Daydream, 5 Sep 2018 @ 4:00pm

    Why bother? To pay for the lawyers, I suspect.

    Because having legal representation is expensive, and having a dedicated legal team is expensive, and no company wants to feel like they've wasted money on something they don't need.
    So, they put their lawyers to work C&Ding and suing everything that remotely looks like it's remotely trademark/copyright infringing. Nevermind the harm it does to everyone else.

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    identicon
    Chico Sayez Hatsanogood, 5 Sep 2018 @ 4:21pm

    Well, here's NEW ASTONISHING POSITION STATED FLAT OUT!

    Nothing in this post is to suggest that what the site is doing is legal, or even morally okay. It isn't.

    That's been lacking, I write, in the understatement of the decade.

    Whew. Me and reality ARE winning at last. The worm has, er, never did understand that favorite of Monty Burns... Think it's squiggled.

    Anyhoo...

    FIRST, they don't care about this "pushback", kids. You're believing your own puffery, there. On one hand, it's PROOF to convince legislators that no civil efforts can avail, and on other hand, they're no worse off, but do get to crush SOME pirates!

    Nintendo's focus on putting a genie back in the bottle when that will never happen is both futile and pointless.

    There you go WRONG again! No matter how many court cases pirates have lost, you STILL keep making this unfounded assertion!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 4:32pm

      Re: Well, here's NEW ASTONISHING POSITION STATED FLAT OUT!

      Here's your C&D for English. I'm taking that language away from you

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 6:39pm

      Re: Well, here's NEW ASTONISHING POSITION STATED FLAT OUT!

      Only you could read (well, not read) a decade of posts and conclude that this site has no clearly stated position.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 6:56pm

      Did crushing Napster help the RIAA push the genie of illicit MP3 filesharing back in the bottle? How about the MPAA putting “watermarks” on DVD screeners? Denuvo has a few stories to tell you about its DRM, and I believe they all end with, “And then it was cracked, too.” Nintendo could literally sue every ROM site out of existence *right now* and it could still not prevent the sharing of ROMs.

      So long as the Internet exists, people will find a way to share files that corporations have a much harder time stopping. So long as human nature is what it is, filesharing will be a hydra: Cut off one head and two more shall take its place. Nintendo can kill ROM sites; it cannot kill both human nature and technological protocols. If your personal dogma tells you otherwise, you might want to reëxamine those beliefs.

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      • icon
        Killercool (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 7:05pm

        Re:

        The internet could shut down right now, and it wouldn't stop file sharing. Nothing stopped people from recording, copying, and even playing TV shows to groups of people in the 70s and 80s.

        Even now, there's not an internet connection in the world with the bandwidth to truly compare to good old SneakerNet. Which is a guy with a hard drive in his pocket, for the ignorant.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 5:55am

          Re: Re:

          Exactly. One of the funnier things about these guys is that they seem to believe that piracy didn't exist before the internet. Which is probably why the proven lessons of that era are so far beyond them, and insist on repeating mistakes made decades ago.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 9:45am

        Re:

        So long as the Internet exists, people will find a way to share files that corporations have a much harder time stopping.

        No need for this qualifier. I knew plenty of people who had floppy disks filled with ROMs before they had access to the Internet (late '80s, early '90s).

        They could shut down the Internet and confiscate data storage at the border and people would STILL find a way.

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      • identicon
        Kalean, 10 Sep 2018 @ 10:05am

        Re:

        Sick DBZA reference hidden in there.

        You're not wrong.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 4:11am

      Re: Well, here's NEW ASTONISHING POSITION STATED FLAT OUT!

      They don't have to care about pushback. This isn't about some site, it's a symptom of culture, and that is not going away no matter how many sites get shut down.

      It also matters not how many court cases infringers lose. They are like a the tip of a 500 meter pole stuck in the top of an iceberg.

      Talk about puffery. You certainly are full of yourself. None of the writers here ever advocated for infringement, and you are deluded if you believe they have. They also have no obligation to make a disclaimer, or "educate" for an industry which is as ethically reprehensible as the facilitation of mass infringement. Their sort of thought has always been clear, and too bad if they are not partisan to your cause (or its opposite).

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    identicon
    Chico Sayez Hatsanogood, 5 Sep 2018 @ 4:23pm

    Draconian enough WILL work. Guaranteed. Here's the plan.

    Since you're for once making effort to be objective and see reality -- to do that, first, forget your little magic-based assertion: there are NO genies, just dull justice.

    Your "friend" Google will rat you out for a quarter, and with your ISP they'll have enough detailed information to get search warrants, incontestable evidence -- IF you don't just PAY UP. Nintendo and other copyright holders are likely to soon get major revenue, especially from the massive and commercial infringers. -- They'll calibrate for continuing revenue, though. You'll be suckered forever, suckers.

    As for ordinary infringers: the CHILL of seeing pirates BILLED for six figures (greatly preferred by copyright owners) but with threat of JAILED will be enough to stop nearly all. -- The System doesn't CARE about you, kids. Corporations will happily see you jailed at taxpayer expense. You are just beans counted in terms of corporate revenue.

    I think that's been the plan all along, but it's taken long time to nail down. Tried to warn you, and just makes you angry.

    So what can I do except HOOT?

    [IF you'd EVER been nice to me, I'd have candidly given you some GOOD ideas. But now it's too late. You are pi-RATS in a trap.]

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 5:23pm

      Re: Draconian enough WILL work. Guaranteed. Here's the plan.

      How’s the maze business going bro?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Killercool (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 6:01pm

      Re: Draconian enough WILL work. Guaranteed. Here's the plan.

      Dude, people still commit crimes under threat of death.

      What's a little unlikely jail time?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 6:20pm

      Re: Draconian Trolling

      Mr. Chico,

      Since you are new to this site, obviously no one has ever been nice or mean to you.
      But it is clear from your screed that you have an opinion that must be SHOUTED from the top of your soap box. If you are like some other posters, you may even repeat the same banal nonsense in multiple posts to "Make us understand."

      So what can I do except HOOT?

      You could try to speak clearly, without broad generalizations about the community, and actually state a position.

      Draconian copyright enforcement isn't a sane position. Numerous articles here and elsewhere point to the frequency of copyright violations committed by the same companies screaming for tighter regulation.

      There are quite a few people that post here who belong to some "SovCiv" cult that don't believe copyright laws even apply to them, perhaps you could sit down with them and has this out over coffee instead of shouting?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 6:54am

        Re: Re: Draconian Trolling

        Digital piracy is rampant here in my country. Even physical piracy is widely spread because of the stupidly high prices of physical media. The govt has seized millions upon millions of pirated content often destroying them with much fanfare and publicity to the fact and the jailed people. Never made a dent in piracy.

        And yet, despite wide, chap or even free availability everywhere Netflix is a huge success. Its almost as if you provide availability and fair pricing can reduce piracy. Go figure.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re: Draconian Trolling

          The thing about piracy is that there are two types: piracy that harms the copyright holder, and piracy that doesn't.

          This is obviously not a straight line drawn in the sand. Some acts of copyright piracy both help and hinder the rights holders; studies have shown that *most* piracy helps more than it hinders, unless the rights holder is intentionally trying to bury the work because it competes with another creation.

          So, the goal of rights holders should never be to eliminate piracy; it should be to eliminate harmful piracy. And the easiest way to do this is to provide a reasonable alternative (see Netflix).

          Attempting to eliminate IP violation, while it may provide work for the lawyers and DRM developers, won't accomplish what the rights holders want, and may in fact affect their properties negatively.

          Of course, we all know this here. It's what a vocal minority shouts about as supporting piracy. But really, it's just looking at how human society functions and applying some logic.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 6:59pm

      As for ordinary infringers: the CHILL of seeing pirates BILLED for six figures (greatly preferred by copyright owners) but with threat of JAILED will be enough to stop nearly all.

      The RIAA thought threats of lawsuits over filesharing would accomplish the same goal. Look how well that worked out for them.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 9:26pm

      Re:

      Good ideas? Like what, kill all the lawyers? Yeah, not convinced. You couldn't have a good idea if you drove a car into it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 11:59pm

      Re: Draconian enough WILL work. Guaranteed. Here's the plan.

      Hi, blue boy. Ready to get rekt?

      there are NO genies, just dull justice

      John Steele says hi.

      Your "friend" Google will rat you out for a quarter

      A quarter... right. Who's going to pay that quarter? The RIAA? The MPAA? They spend all their time bitching that Google gets too much money. If Google is that money hungry as you say the price for that information is not going to stop at "a quarter".

      search warrants, incontestable evidence

      Yeah, guess what two things copyright enforcement doesn't have.

      Nintendo and other copyright holders are likely to soon get major revenue, especially from the massive and commercial infringers

      You copyright fanboys are hilarious. First you bitch that pirates are too poor to pay for the things you say they don't deserve. Then you boast that suddenly pirates have money to fund your precious rightsholders several times over.

      Remember the millions of dollars that The Pirate Bay supposedly had? Any of that money made it to the rightsholders?

      What's that you say? No? Wow, what a big fucking surprise.

      the CHILL of seeing pirates BILLED for six figures (greatly preferred by copyright owners) but with threat of JAILED will be enough to stop nearly all

      Let's see... the first has only happened twice in the course of the RIAA's campaigns and the second has about similar success rate in Japan, welcoming plenty of controversy and discussion as to whether it's considered constitutional. Unlike you copyrightards nobody else is dumb enough to think copyright infringement is on par with rape and murder.

      You are just beans counted in terms of corporate revenue

      And... who argued otherwise? But here you are, cheering this on. So much for your anti-corporate stance, but anyone with half a brain and watching you flail and scream at Mitch Bainwol getting less money would have realized this.

      So what can I do except HOOT?

      You could leave the site like you threatened to do for years? I promise not to miss you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 6:30pm

    so lawyer question

    at what point does a specific game (not a franchise) become abandonware?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Killercool (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 6:53pm

      Re: so lawyer question

      I don't think the concept of abandonware actually has legal grounds. If it was owned by a corporation, even if the company dissolved, their assets are almost invariably purchased by someone. Even if it's just creditors.

      If it was created by an individual, the property belongs to his estate. If his estate has no inheritors, ownership defaults to the government, making the software public domain. Still not abandonware, though.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 7:11pm

        If it was owned by a corporation, even if the company dissolved, their assets are almost invariably purchased by someone.

        In the case of well-known companies being bought and dissolved (hi, every studio ever bought by EA!), yeah, the assets are easy to track down and all. But what about small devs and pubs that never survived longer than a single console generation (if that)? Tracking down someone who could legitimately have the rights to a decades-old game after their company dissolved would be costly, and they might not even care in the end. (Not that their not caring would make “abandonware” legal, but still.)

        The concept of “abandonware” holds that these games would be lost without the archivists doing work that copyright holders should be doing. If the copyright holder either will not or cannot do that work, why should their games be lost to time when they can be preserved, albeit illegally, for future generations?

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        • icon
          Killercool (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 8:10pm

          Re:

          No argument with that, I just don't think it has a legal basis.

          Even if I personally think it has some moral appeal. Even if it meant archiving games that I personally find repugnant or irrelevant.

          Morality notwithstanding,"orphan works" can be very dangerous territory. Even libraries have been charged with copyright violation, for the simple act of digitizing a work they had on hand that had no way to identify or contact the author. Personal archiving is legal, but allowing anyone else to access that archive? Ehh, watch your back.

          For now, at least. Hopefully, something can changed in that regard.

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    • identicon
      Rekrul, 6 Sep 2018 @ 8:32am

      Re: so lawyer question

      at what point does a specific game (not a franchise) become abandonware?

      Never. In about 70-100 years or so, a commercial game may become public domain, but until then, it's owned lock, stock and barrel by someone.

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 8:48am

      Re: so lawyer question

      at what point does a specific game (not a franchise) become abandonware?

      "Abandonware" just means "whoever owns the rights doesn't care enough to send a takedown notice."

      It's not a legal concept, except insofar as "it's only illegal if you get caught" is a legal concept.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re: so lawyer question

        ""Abandonware" just means "whoever owns the rights doesn't care enough to send a takedown notice.""

        That's part of it, but certainly not the whole story. Often it's because of expired licensing, defunct publishers/developers or other strange loopholes in copyright ownership - it's not that the copyright owners don't care, it's often that nobody knows who they are, they no longer exist or the owner can't give permission even if they want to.

        Given that copyright registration is not something that you have to update to keep any longer, the default position often has to be "we'll assume this is OK until we get told otherwise", else these games truly would disappear.

        It's not a legal concept, but the idea of civil disobedience to protect things that would otherwise be destroyed is not without precedent.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 10:38am

          Re: Re: Re: so lawyer question

          That's part of it, but certainly not the whole story. Often it's because of expired licensing, defunct publishers/developers or other strange loopholes in copyright ownership - it's not that the copyright owners don't care, it's often that nobody knows who they are, they no longer exist or the owner can't give permission even if they want to.

          That's a related issue, but not quite the same thing.

          Marvel could certainly issue takedowns for, say, Wolverine for the NES, even though publisher Acclaim is defunct. It's a licensed game with a defunct publisher, yes, but it's still entirely clear that there's at least one company that has standing to restrict its redistribution; that company has chosen not to.

          If you're talking about cases where the rightsholders themselves don't even realize that they're the rightsholders, sure, that happens sometimes.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 12:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: so lawyer question

            I'm generally more thinking of things like orphaned works - where people literally don't know who the rights holder is. There's plenty of examples where people have actually tried to re-release or remake a title but can't do so legally because nobody's quite sure who owns the rights, and this is a problem across all media.

            Licensing specifically is, of course, a major hurdle but it's not the only one. It's just worth mentioning in the case of things like abandonware since it introduces another wrinkle - i.e. in your example even if someone had managed to buy the rights from Acclaim it's still dependent on renegotiating rights from Disney to use the character for a 30 year old game. If they can't do that reasonably or refuse altogether then the game is abandoned. Hence, the use of the term.

            The point is "abandonware" might not have legal standing, but that's what it refers to - games that have been abandoned by legal resources and thus need grey markets to survive.

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            • icon
              Thad (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 3:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: so lawyer question

              I'm generally more thinking of things like orphaned works - where people literally don't know who the rights holder is. There's plenty of examples where people have actually tried to re-release or remake a title but can't do so legally because nobody's quite sure who owns the rights, and this is a problem across all media.

              Well, right, but like I said, that's a related issue, but it's not the same thing as abandonware.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 10:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: so lawyer question

                True but abandonware is a term for "this game needs to be preserved but the current copyright regime doesn't allow it". So, nothing like the same thing

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2018 @ 7:40pm

    If you're not selling a product, you're not getting any money from it. There's no "lost sale" as a result of piracy of ROM images. It's a zero sum game either way. Why waste corporate dollars and time on something you're not making any money from?
    (And just echoing what was said in the post: This is not to in any way condone piracy or say the ROM images are acceptable. I'm only pointing out reality.)

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Sep 2018 @ 8:20pm

      Why waste corporate dollars and time on something you're not making any money from?

      Because they could make money from it, and potential revenue is just as important to corporations as actual revenue.

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    • identicon
      Christenson, 5 Sep 2018 @ 9:47pm

      Re: Market Research

      Actually, I'm not the first person to point out that learning the piracy rate is effective market research...

      there's demand in proportion to the rate of piracy if the owner isn't selling it. And the owner can monetize that in any number of ways.

      Wanna bet a well-packaged emulator would sell nicely???

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      • icon
        Thad (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re: Market Research

        Wanna bet a well-packaged emulator would sell nicely???

        No need to bet. What do you think the NES Mini and SNES Mini are?

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 9:19am

          Re: Re: Re: Market Research

          They're also great examples of what a lie the "can't compete with free" thing is. Those sold well, even though it was much cheaper to build your own box, and the end product would have been more useful if you did.

          The problem isn't whether or not Nintendo can sell product, the issue is what happens to the games they *don't* select to put on their product.

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          • icon
            Ryunosuke (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 10:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Market Research

            That is certainly a great idea Nintendo could use in future NES/SNES minis. A build your own box, load it with x amount of games, and you can have them pre-loaded.

            They could even sell different "levels" of minis. like one that has 40 games, one that has 60 games, and one that has 100 games (for example).

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 12:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Market Research

              That would be an idea, but it's doubtful that they'd so such a thing to give the consumer what they actually want. They'd possibly do it to promote games they published, of course, but they'd likely never do it to promote 3rd party games that would otherwise be lost to history, hence the importance of emulation and "pirates" to preserving things.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 4:28am

      Re:

      There's no "lost sale" as a result of piracy

      except to the corporate mind the gamer would have to buy current games to fill in the time they spend playing pirated games.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 9:10am

      Re:

      The reality is that the availability of ROMs actually increases sales of legitimate works by giving gamers access to titles they otherwise wouldn't have been interested or even aware of. Not only is Nintendo releasing those emulator-in-a-box consoles but there are also remakes in development for the Nintendo Switch of games that were once obscure but were rediscovered thanks to emulation. Wild Guns Reloaded and The Ninja Warriors Once Again for instance are both remakes that are able to get way more attention from people who have played them via emulation.

      Emulation often drives sales as gamers with money to spend want to purchase an official copy of a game they enjoyed, where as gamers who don't have money don't represent a lost sale if they wouldn't buy the game anyways.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 3:26am

    One of the reasons these rom sites exist is many games are in limbo ,due to licensing,music rights etc they will never be released again .Or the developers no longer exist and no one has the legal right to release
    the game .Nintendo is not like any other company,
    they will dmca game videos on youtube that has only 30 seconds of game footage.
    They seem to mainly go after sites that have millions
    of users .

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 7:14am

    They should have lost their copyrights the moment these titles were removed from the market. If you aren't selling the thing in a format that can be used with currently sold equipment then you lose your copyrights. Simple as that.

    What Nintendo is doing may be within their rights but it's certainly not ethical. As is the law. Life + infinity regardless of availability is unethical and immoral.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 7:59am

      Re:

      Even this gives too much deference to copyright holders. These items represent the culture many of us grew up with. If Nintendo were still selling them in some form, people should be able to share amongst themselves anyway, or sell games based on them. Maybe selling exact copies should remain someone's exclusive privilege, but it has been decades and they've already made back their investment many times over.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 8:26am

        Re: Re:

        Seriously, Nintendo has survived longer than any other competitor in the console market that was in place prior to Sony and Microsoft. SEGA? Dusted. Atari? Dusted. Whoever made the 3D0 and the CD-i? Dusted so bad ain’t no one lookin’ to copy their stuff. Nintendo has billions of dollars to its name; it no longer needs to sell NES games for the sake of adding to its loot box.

        I appreciate that Nintendo has a right to sell those games. I appreciate the fact that downloading those games from ROM sites is technically illegal. That said, I believe Nintendo should be thanking these ROM sites and these archivists for keeping these games in the public eye long enough for them to be profitable again. Nobody would have cared half as much about those two Classic consoles if emulation had not let people continually play the games of their youth.

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  • identicon
    Rekrul, 6 Sep 2018 @ 8:44am

    Solution to the copyright problem;

    All works must be registered or they don't get copyright protection. There's a grace period of one year in case mistakes are made. The registration fee is $1 for the first year and it doubles each year after that. Companies are free to renew the copyright as many times as they want, provided that they pay the registration fee. Individuals would get longer terms between renewals, such as two or even three years at a time. If a copyright is held by an individual and is then bought out by a corporation, they would be required to retroactively pay all the registration fees, minus any the individual paid, as if they had owned the copyright from the start. These fees would apply retroactively to all existing works.

    If a company does not pay the renewal fee, the work becomes permanently public domain. To help ensure that this happens, a complete, archival quality copy of the work must be submitted to an independent third party at the time of registration so that they may release it if/when the registration renewal isn't paid.

    If such a plan were implemented, I guarantee you'd see a ton of works enter the public domain as companies would find it impossible to keep the copyright on everything. It would also allow them to keep the copyright on their more profitable works longer than on stuff that lost money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2018 @ 9:44am

      Re:

      nope, needs to start at $10 not $1 but I like the idea.

      However, 1 exception. The proceeds must go into the coffin that the government uses for welfare.

      and no... I did not misspell coffer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 6 Sep 2018 @ 4:28pm

      Re:

      A central online database could also be a good use for a clone of google image search - want to know if an image has been registered for copyright? Just drag it into the portal to find out.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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