thulfiqaar wrote:Dunno to be honest. I thought emulators and roms were legal... are they not?
IANAL but I have worked summarizing cases... In the U.S. it's an iffy area.
The emulator itself is perfectly legal, assuming there's no copyrighted code used.. The bios many emulators use however is a gray area.
Downloading the bios would be considered copyright infringement. After the DMCA, extracting them yourself is... questionable.
The are two cases of particular interest are the decisions in both Sony Computer Entertainment
v. Connectix Corporation
, 203 F.3d 596 (9th Cir. 2000) and Davidson & Associates
, 422 F.3d 630, 633 (8th Cir. 2005).. These two are interesting because of one factor: Connectix did not violate Sony's EULA as there was no specific mention against revserse engineering thus the decision of the 9th CC was to allow them to continue under fair use... IE the bios were extracted by owners of the console, without profit for the extraction of said bios, and they were not provided by Connectix for download. The second case relating to BnetD which was a Battle.net emulator, however did violate Blizzard's EULA and was essentially that creating an emulator which violating clauses against reverse engineering, and that distributing that product, was considered a violation of the DMCA.
The EFF has a nice summary of both of those cases and more: https://www.eff.org/issues/coders/rever ... g-faq#faq5
Under the DMCA, roms (or ISOs in the case of Wii, Gamecube, Playstation, Dreamcast, etc.) would fall under the same restrictions as other digital media such as games or software.
Of course, the legal precedent I've mentioned doesn't apply elsewhere. The EU Copyright Directive is quite similar to the DMCA though and if I remember correctly has similar provisions regarding reverse engineering that I would image put it into the same gray area? Though I have no idea where to even to start checking to see if that's the case or where other nations stand on the subject.