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Dumping ROMs without consent of machine owner

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Analogies are like dandelions. At first they seem kinda cute and colorful, but then they get all fluffy and the puffballs spread seeds to bring dandelions everywhere and then you have too many analogies and they're hard to pull up because they have long roots.

 

Cartridges! ROM files! Copyright laws!

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Double post! Like too many cars on the freeway! Like farts on a plane! Like your extra COMBAT and PAC-MAN cartridges! Like your mom would say "game tapes!"

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Posted (edited)

This is what I understood:

 

"Your wife is becoming old!!! I will take some pictures of her in the shower for the benefit of the community!!!"

 

Sorry, but there were several types of infringement right there.

 

1. Infringement of owner privacy.

2. Abuse of confidence.

3. And still ROM releases technically aren't legal without authorization of the copyright holder.

(and still releasing pictures of the wife isn't legal without authorization of the wife!!!)

 

Also I see the consequences of this for collectors, now more important unreleased arcade machines will fail because collectors will lose faith in technicians.

 

This was bad with any lens. For one ROM we lose many more.

I don't think there was invasion of privacy. The machine was probably sitting in the room he would have been working in. Now had he gone into his bedroom and gone through his drawers, that would be invasion of privacy.

 

I don't think there would be any breach of confidence. There was no confidential information leaked. A loss of trust, sure.

 

I don't think anyone cares what Atari thinks. Atari now has a copy of the game that they can sell, they should be thankfull.

 

The original photographer would have copyright on the photographs. I'm assuming he had permission to take the photos.

 

Machines failing aren't so much the issue. But once the rom fails that's it, it can't be repaired without replacing the rom. So if the owner never had the intention to backup the rom that would be the problem.

Edited by mr_me
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Akka Arrh!? Sweet. Now I have +1 to the about 2,000 other MAME games I haven't played yet but plan to before I die!

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Posted (edited)

Akka Arrh!? Sweet. Now I have +1 to the about 2,000 other MAME games I haven't played yet but plan to before I die!

 

 

And that's if you can figure out how to make Mame run.:/

Edited by Trinity

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The biggest "issue" these high-end collectors always seem to have with dumping their ROMs is that 'it devalues my investment!'. And That. Is. BULL.

 

What's the most expensive cartridge game ever sold? Why, that would be Nintendo World Championships, sold for $99k in 2014. So, one would reason that after said cart was dumped, the value would plummet… except that's completely untrue, becuase the game was dumped long before this sale! I can't find when it was dumped, but considering AVGN's episode on it released in 2012 & featured a repro cart, we know it was at least 2 years prior to the record setting sale. I would love to see any evidence of any game seeing a permanent drop in price directly after a ROM dump.

 

People care about authenticity. It's the reason why photocopies of celebrity autographs aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Having your game available as a ROM does not make your copy any less real... in fact, it's more likely to increase value by making more people aware of its existence. C'mon, how many times have we seen folks griping over 'hidden gem' videos causing price spikes on the featured games? I'd never heard of Akka Arrh before today. I wouldn't have given a crap walking by the cab at a retro event (if it was there). But now? Now I'd notice. So your 'special rare' game can now get more attention, AND if the board dies, you can put a MAME emulator in there and still get attention for having the original cab/controls.

 

Refusing to dump a ROM for value's sake has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with being a jerk who wants to force people to fawn other them & their special game, and they're deathly afraid if it's available elsewhere people wont put up with their jerkiness.

 

This is what I understood:

"Your wife is becoming old!!! I will take some pictures of her in the shower for the benefit of the community!!!"

Sorry, but there were several types of infringement right there.

1. Infringement of owner privacy.
2. Abuse of confidence.
3. And still ROM releases technically aren't legal without authorization of the copyright holder.
(and still releasing pictures of the wife isn't legal without authorization of the wife!!!)

Also I see the consequences of this for collectors, now more important unreleased arcade machines will fail because collectors will lose faith in technicians.

This was bad with any lens. For one ROM we lose many more.

 

The wife analogy doesn't work- a human being is capable of giving & rescinding permission over copies of their likeness directly. An arcade machine can't, and the owner of the machine likely doesn't own the game data anyway. Furthermore, it is considered culturally inappropriate to share nude photos of anyone, even if they were taken with the explicit intent to share.

 

It's more akin to that monkey that took a selfie, and PETA sued the guy who owned the camera saying it wasn't his photo to sell. Although even that isn't a perfect analogy, becuase software issues are rather unique to our media.

 

As far as "crimes" go, this is right up there with using a digital camera to take a photo in a museum with a sign that says "no flash photography" or tearing the tag off a mattress.

 

This is where I sit- was a crime committed? Probably, assuming the story is even true and the video can be found. Is it a prosecutable crime? Probably not. The owner would have to prove some sort of unauthorized entry into his property- and if the guy was an assigned tech, he had permission to be there. If the maid steals a necklace, she's charged with theft, not breaking & entering. As for the 'theft'- it's not like a necklace. It's a copy of data. The owner would have to prove a material loss from the copied data. Thing is, the data has no value becuase it was never available for sale, AND it doesn't belong to the owner. So, there's nothing to be gained from a trip to court. At best, the owner could go for the tech's reputation- but that involves naming the tech publicly, which opens the owner up for a slander/libel suit unless he can prove he did, in fact, take the ROM without permission. The fact that we don't know the tech's name means either A) the bit about 'checking video' is true & we'll have more info soon, or B) the whole thing is, in fact, made up and there is no tech to name.

 

In the end, the collectors still have their machines (which are still valuable), we can all play the game, and even the techs will be OK becuase collectors, despite possible trust issues, know a broken game is worth nothing & will still have their machines repaired. This is a victimless crime.

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Refusing to dump a ROM for value's sake has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with being a jerk who wants to force people to fawn other them & their special game, and they're deathly afraid if it's available elsewhere people wont put up with their jerkiness.

 

Agreed, this feels like the emulation version of the boy who owns the ball we play with, and who wants to be able to take it and go home if the others don't do what he wants.

 

I think that's the only thing that was really stolen here (if the story is true) and while it's not entirely right, I find it hard to sympathize with the "victim" as a result.

 

That said, a story like this will make him more likely to be remembered, after all. We are storytelling apes, suckers for a good story.

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Agreed, this feels like the emulation version of the boy who owns the ball we play with, and who wants to be able to take it and go home if the others don't do what he wants.

 

I think that's the only thing that was really stolen here (if the story is true) and while it's not entirely right, I find it hard to sympathize with the "victim" as a result.

 

That said, a story like this will make him more likely to be remembered, after all. We are storytelling apes, suckers for a good story.

 

The cabinet owner should write up a screen play/film draft and see if he can sell it to anyone.

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One weird side note. The guy who owns the cabinet actually DID give the Marble Man roms to the MAME team for 'archival purposes' under promise it doesn't get made public. Why wouldn't Akka Arrh be part of this deal as well? Or hell, all his proto games like Beavis & Butt-head? Why would the MAME team allegedly go rogue and release Akka Arrh yet keep a promise on Marble Man?

 

Isn't the collector also the only one with Bradley Trainer? That got put into MAME years ago. How did those roms get acquired?

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Posted (edited)

The biggest "issue" these high-end collectors always seem to have with dumping their ROMs is that 'it devalues my investment!'.

 

I think the investor's mistake is believing antique video games are a safe investment. For any given collectible game, there might be a forgotten warehouse full of pristine copies. When those copies are discovered and released to the market, it can reduce the value of the game. Nobody owes the collector a return on investment. If the value of a rare game depends on the ROM never getting released, then I think it's a flawed investment strategy.

 

Collectors should not be assume there's no risk, because all investments have risks. Most of the time it pays off for video game collectors. Sometimes it doesn't. If the investment relies on possessing a copy of someone else's copyrighted material, then maybe it was never a good investment.

Edited by azure

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Hoshi fantastic post start to finish. You capped it off perfectly, victimless crime. The only victim here is some pricks ego lording something over people like a prize, when nearly no one knew something of the sort exists/still existed at all. As you said, awareness, the three owners have that going for them now and if anything if one of them had to sell, it just brings more deep pocketed collectors to the surface willing to get into a cat fight who can throw the most green at it to win their prize. There's no loss here, other than a loss of a stroked ego, and if anything, that's a good thing. Not only a victimless crime, be a mental and financial aide tool to the one crying about it being copied, if it was copied by someone else at all.

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It is, of course, not always about money. It's also about being in an exclusive club, owning exclusive things, impressing other club members. You also have the lone Gollum-types.

 

Think of that Wu Tang Clan album. Sold with the requirement that a copy of it never be made...

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Well the title page of this new game looks like a medical diagram of a fatmans bladder and prostate!

 

Or some sort of alien artificial insemination device.

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On this front, I have to give a lot of credit for the guy who found the SNES Playstation prototype. He chose not to sell it so he could still go around to events with it, and he allowed a few people to analyze it and basically document it for all to share.

 

If only more collectors did this with their precious rare gems, I think the community might be more sympathetic to them when something goes south.

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On this front, I have to give a lot of credit for the guy who found the SNES Playstation prototype. He chose not to sell it so he could still go around to events with it, and he allowed a few people to analyze it and basically document it for all to share.

 

If only more collectors did this with their precious rare gems, I think the community might be more sympathetic to them when something goes south.

 

I agree- especially since at those events (at least the ones I went to), it was literally just sitting on a table- no glass, no velvet rope. You wanna touch it? Come touch it! Come play Street Fighter 2!

 

I think that's the right attitude- games are meant to be played. A game hoarded to one's self might as well not exist.

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I can't find any topless wife conventions.

while you won't ever see large public advertisements for them, I can guarantee you the swinger/wife swapping party/gathering circuit is MUCH larger than the retro gaming community. You would be surprised.

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One of the things I absolutely abhor about this hobby is the whole elitist collector/old boys network. This site isn't as bad as it used to be, but there are still elements of this kind of attitude and behavior on occasion. Profiteers who don't give two sharts about the games or game preservation, and only care about price gouging obsessive compulsive with too much expendable cash. Collecting for value is exploitation.

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Yup. And paying a lot of money for old "rare" games doesn't make a person more interesting.

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No it doesn't..does it? Makes'em look stupid if you ask me. OTH gotta feel sorry for them if they have to spend that kind of money to feel good. Or even enjoy the hobby.

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