Hello list,

On behalf of the list moderators I would like to request that everyone
stop sharing game roms immediately. This is not strictly speaking
completely legal. When it comes down to the issue of game roms and
game emulation it is a huge gray area as far as the law is concerned.
Most companies, and I'm saying most but certainly not all, have a
policy where by a rom can only be shared if, and only if, two basic
requirements are met. One, the person owns the original game media
such as disc, cartrage, etc. Two, if the person physically owns the
original console the game was intended for. If these two requirements
are not met sharing the rom in question is an act of software piracy.
As it is hard to tell who is legally able to download the rom or not
undoubtedly a certain amount of illegal software piracy will transpire
by sharing this content on list. Since we actively discurrage all
forms of software piracy on Audyssey we can not, and will not, allow
you to share the roms here on list.

So to clarify what you can and can not share here its fine to share
the game emulators themselves. Most of these like Snes9x etc are open
source emulators so are intended to be freely and openly shared
anyway. Giving people suggestions what websites to visit is probably
ok as it is up to the person to choose weather he/she is going to
download a rom for a game they actually own or not. However, bundling
up a bunch of game roms, slapping them on Dropbox for mass download,
etc isn't strictly the most legal thing to do since you have no idea
who is legally allowed to download those roms or not. Plus some of the
games for the PSX, for example,  can usually be purchased online for a
small amount of cash and played on a PSX or PS2 console. If you are
sharing a pirated rom chances are most of the people playing it via an
emulator is doing so for piracy reasons rather than legal backup or
emulation reasons. Its just one of those cases of knowing people are
pirating the game, but can't prove it without turning it over to the
legal authorities in your country. Something none of us wants to
happen right?

So, please, let's all just stop sharing the game roms etc. Some of you
may be legally sharing them among yourselves, and I'm certain some of
you don't own the games inquestion and are downloading the roms for
the soul purpose of pirating them illegally. The best thing to do is
take the rom sharing and game pirating elsewhere.


Thomas Ward
Co-Moderator of the Audyssey Mailing List

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