Should old games be legal to download?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by galaxyAbstractor, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. galaxyAbstractor

    galaxyAbstractor Community Advocate Community Support

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    I've just got in mind that I want to play some of the old PlayStation 1 games I liked when I was younger, but I haven't got a playstation 1 nor the games left. This made me thinking, as you can't buy old games anymore (except on second hand, where sony etc wont earn anything on it), so why not make it legal to download them for use in an emulator on your PC?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  2. xmaverick

    xmaverick New Member

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    If these games cannot be played anymore, so their destiny will be to die, yes, I think they can be downloaded, and played over emulators, as they will contribute to game's history.
     
  3. noerrorsfound

    noerrorsfound New Member

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    @xmaverick: Just because they're not as convenient to obtain legally doesn't mean they're impossible to play legally.

    Should old games be legal to download for free after a certain age, or just after new copies are no longer being produced?
     
  4. adamparkzer

    adamparkzer On Extended Leave

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    I've heard before that literary works over a hundred years old lose their copyright status and can be used freely as long as nobody else claims the work to be their own. Does the same apply for video games, like in this case?
     
  5. vekou

    vekou Member

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    well, if it is really old and their copyright expires, other than that, it would not be legal to share copies of it illegally.

    generally, companies earn revenue from old games. they usually port it into the newer consoles.
    one example would be chrono trigger from SNES, which was ported to PS1 years ago. others are ported into PCs.

    some versions of PS3 has a built-in emulator for PS1 and PS2 games. and some of these games can be downloaded from the Playstation Network.
     
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  6. Smith6612

    Smith6612 I ate all of the x10Pizza Community Support

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    Truthfully I would love to see some of the old games freely downloadable and able to be emulated inside of a PC. It'd bring those classics back to life that haven't been re-created in Adobe Flash or some console/PC app. Of course, the only thing you can really do is wait for the copyright to run out and hope that the maker of that doesn't re-establish the copyright.
     
  7. xav0989

    xav0989 Community Public Relation Community Support

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    I believe that it would be extremely difficult to handle such thing. All the games would have to be handled on a case-by-case basis.
    However, some companies are using the old games to make more money. For example, the possibility of downloading and playing n64 games on the Wii.
     
  8. Kayos

    Kayos Community Advocate Community Support

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    After so long some games basically lose there copyright and so it can be freely played with out any legal issues. Many of the original NES and even DOS games are with out any copyright so that means they can be freely distributed.

    As for games from newer systems like N64 and PS1 I don't think it should be legal to download them. You can still find them for rather cheap on the internet, yard sells, second hand stores and flea markets as well as the systems they play on. They are considerably cheaper now than when they were in circulation too.

    Also publishers have released many digital versions of the games that you can play on consoles. Sony has many PS1 games and soon PS2. Microsoft has released various Xbox originals and the Wii has the virtual console.

    Now that said I have played many of my games on my PC. I own the discs though. A huge benefit to doing it that way is less wear and tear on your aging consoles as well as improved visuals. Really the only way to condone using an emulator is if you own the game imo.
     
  9. changc

    changc New Member

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    All games should be free and legal to download. ;)
     
  10. ichwar

    ichwar Community Advocate Community Support

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    Close. It's 70 years after the author's death actually. The 100 years only kicks in if no one knows who the author is. Either way, if this applies the old ps1 games, they won't be freely available in our lifetime.
     
  11. ah-blabla

    ah-blabla New Member

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    As said before: if the copyright has run out, then you are free to do what you want. But, copyright tends to run out 70 years after the authors death for single author works, and 50+ years (UK: 50, America a ridiculous 120) for corporate and the like works. in western countries. There are also many games that are made FREE (as in free speech) to use by their authors, by releasing under under FREE software licenses, i.e. the GNU GPL. Oh, and I discovered in Afghanistan you are free to ignore copyright since there are no copyright laws there.

    The easiest way for the copying to become legal is for the author to release the game for free. Few do though.
    (Source: wikipedia)
     
  12. ichwar

    ichwar Community Advocate Community Support

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    Well then, let's all just move to Afghanistan! ;)
     
  13. Sharky

    Sharky Community Paragon Community Support

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    Some games are released free to download, look at GTA and GTA2, for example.
     
  14. galaxyAbstractor

    galaxyAbstractor Community Advocate Community Support

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    Well, how do copyright run out if it is owned by a company? 70 years of the death of the company or the CEO of the time it was copyrighted?
     
  15. ichwar

    ichwar Community Advocate Community Support

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    No, it's 70 years after the death of author/photographer/programmer etc. I don't know what happens if there are 2 or more programmers that share an equal role in the development of the software though.
     
  16. galaxyAbstractor

    galaxyAbstractor Community Advocate Community Support

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    So every developer of say, vBulletin, owns the copyright of vBulletin, and not Jelsoft? Or how do you mean?
     
  17. ah-blabla

    ah-blabla New Member

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    If you read my post you'll notice that for other works, not by a single author (thus meaning works made by a legal person, not a natural person, which means groups etc, also anonymous authors), it's 50 years in the uk, but 120 in the usa (years since publication that is). (We know the Americans like things big... :p) And for things like VBulletin, where presumably Jelsoft owns th copyright, it's the time after publication that counts, not author life.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  18. galaxyAbstractor

    galaxyAbstractor Community Advocate Community Support

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    Oh sorry missed that xD. Sad there isn't any 50 - 100 year old game xD.

    If I get a hold of some playstation 1 games, could I rip them and play them in an emulator on my computer if I don't own a PS1 anymore? Anybody knows about this?
     
  19. ichwar

    ichwar Community Advocate Community Support

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    Good. I was getting mixed up a bit.

    Technically, you just need a guy over in afghanistan making thousands of copies of his ps1 games and selling them to those in the US through ebay for like $1 a piece. That's legal, right?
     
  20. ah-blabla

    ah-blabla New Member

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    I doubt that would be, since he can copy them in Afghanistan legally, however to bring them in to the US the copies would probably have to have been made in compliance with US copyright laws, since seen from US legal view the copies are illegal. They are only legal in Afghanistan. I'm no legal expert though, so I'm not sure.

    On the other hand, I doubt a games company will care when you copy a no longer produced game: they no longer make any profit from trading of used games anyway... Apart from if the game has been rereleased to use on a modern games console, where they obviously want to make as many profits as possible.

    And another thing: from what I hear it is legal to download copyrighted music (and presumably videos, games etc.) for free in Switzerland. This is because of some complicated laws and some sort of tax. (Yourself distributing copyrighted content though is still illegal in Switzerland.)

    OT: I just noticed I made a typo and mentioned a previous "port" of mine... Interesting
     

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