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ROM sites are falling, but a legal loophole could save game emulation

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ROM sites are falling, but a legal loophole could save game emulation

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:27 pm

Story : https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/08/can-a-digital-lending-library-solve-class





In the last few weeks, a renewed bout of legal action from Nintendo has led to the shutdown of a handful of ROM sites, which previously let users download digital, emulation-ready copies of classic games. This has, in turn, led to a lot of good discussion about the positive and negative effects this kind of ROM collection and distribution has brought to the gaming community.

From a legal standpoint, it's hard to defend sites that revolve around unlimited downloads of copyrighted games. As attorney Michael Lee put it in a recent blog post, "this is classic infringement; there is no defense to this, at all." But as Video Game History Foundation founder Frank Cifaldi tweeted, "there is no alternative BUT piracy for, like, 99 percent of video game history" due to "the completely abysmal job the video game industry has done keeping its games available."

But what if there might be a middle ground that could thread the needle between the legality of original cartridges and the convenience of emulated ROMs? What if an online lending library, temporarily loaning out copies of ROMs tied to individual original cartridges, could satisfy the letter of the law and the interests of game preservation at the same time?

What if such a library already exists? In fact, it has for 17 years.







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