The Great Mystification: A reflection upon the feebleness of the "distribution denied" policy

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Comments

  • edited November 2002
    Copyright of a video game/CD/Video is best thought of like a book.
    Only one person can read the book at any time, only one person can own the book. So if you don't retain copies of the video game/CD/Video that you are selling second hand it is not copyright violation. Also you can lend under the same proviso that one copy = one person.
  • edited November 2002
    My own feelings on this:

    Basically, companies are denying distribution because, I feel, they exist in an environment where "something for nothing" is ideologically unacceptable. Also, because they own the copyright and *can* make it unavailable (theoretically) they will.

    There is little rationality behind it, it's more about human nature than anything else, unfortunately.

    Morally, there is nothing wrong with distributing software that is unavailable any other way. ELSPA and the rest can argue that until their blue in the face as far as I care.

    Also, effectively saying that all these old titles should be made unavailable betrays a lack of love for the games themselves which sadly seems to be typical of how most companies are run these days - by suits rather than enthusiastic entrepreneurs.

    Whatever, the denying companies can only lose. Wasting resources to prevent something that will happen elsewhere anyway to protect "product" which cannot generate money is illogical and stupid.
  • edited November 2002
    Actually, the different media lobby groups (RIAA, MPAA etc) would actually love to squeeze a buck out of used CD sales, so it's probably not too unlikely that they are also considering the same thing for computer games.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20020614-9999_1b14usedcds.html
  • edited November 2002
    Just a little question (or five!) -
    What's the story with this new Amstrad E-mailer gadget, as apparently you can download Speccy games for it? Have Amstrad bought the rights to distribute these games? Do they already own the copyright for all the games they're offering? Anyone out there actually have one of these gizmos and can let us know the full story? Surely what Amstrad are doing with, what is (broadly) a commercially available Spectrum emulator (amongst other things) might effect the whole emulation scene.

    Just a thought.
  • edited November 2002
    Just a quick reply for Lars, all the denied games in the vault have been tested and are fine.

    Cheers, Steve
  • edited November 2002
    I'm sure Lars wasn't raising doubts about the quality of the vault: he was probably just trying to find an excuse so that "denied" games could be distributed... :)

    We all know you guys in the vault are professionals!
    Speaking of that: are the denied games in the vault actually "illegal" copies? I mean, is tzx'ing a denied game illegal? Or is it illegal only if you use it?

    I suppose one could make as many backup copies as he wants, but that means you guys should own all the copies of all denied games you host in the vault (which may be the case, of course).
  • edited November 2002
    On 2002-11-09 12:26, Malcolm Hope wrote:
    Just a little question (or five!) -
    What's the story with this new Amstrad E-mailer gadget, as apparently you can download Speccy games for it? Have Amstrad bought the rights to distribute these games? Do they already own the copyright for all the games they're offering? Anyone out there actually have one of these gizmos and can let us know the full story? Surely what Amstrad are doing with, what is (broadly) a commercially available Spectrum emulator (amongst other things) might effect the whole emulation scene.

    Just a thought.

    Good point, however before the eMailer Plus thingy arrived, Amstrad made the spectrum ROMs freely available to the public for use, (I'm guessing non-commercial use) so I don't think they would or could start harassing authors of emulators.

    Besides, the market the Emailer Plus is aimed at the non computer user who wants email. This market would never suffer because of the existing emulation community, as most emulation fans will already have email access on their PC, hence would not be the target market for the eMailer Plus.

    In fact, I would say the eMailer Plus would attract emulation people to it because it DOES contain a spectrum Emulator! :D

    [ This Message was edited by: Refrenz on 2002-11-09 14:53 ]
  • edited November 2002
    " he was probably just trying to find an excuse so that "denied" games could be distributed... "

    I wouldn't do that. Never in a lifetime... Not me! That would be like lying, and I never lie... ;)
  • edited November 2002
    I do understand the concern shown, after all there have been a few titles redumped recently, due to the odd error being discovered over the last few months ;)

    Anyway, back to work......
  • edited November 2002
    On 2002-11-06 01:22, Sharopolis wrote:
    Has anyone one this forum been unable to get hold of a copy of any of the games that have been denied?

    Of the games I used to own and that are now denied (probably 10 or 15 titles) I managed to find all but one.

    [ This Message was edited by: Clibanarius on 2002-11-13 11:55 ]
  • edited November 2002
    Sharopolis: Despite all the din about denied games, I'm sure most of them have managed to get into our inventory someway or the other.

    Distribution is denied I understand (that is u can't give it out to others), but does it also mean that u can't GET it for urself?
  • edited November 2002
    On 2002-11-13 12:30, Arjun wrote:
    Sharopolis: Despite all the din about denied games, I'm sure most of them have managed to get into our inventory someway or the other.

    Distribution is denied I understand (that is u can't give it out to others), but does it also mean that u can't GET it for urself?

    But can you get it for yourself if someone else isn't ilegally distributing it?
  • edited November 2002
    True, what I'm asking is distributing is illegal but is downloading illegal? probably a rhetorical question...

    nyway, wot I'd really like to know is, how many here think the distribution policy is a dead fish? All those in favour say "Aye", and those who are not, "Nay".

    I say "Aye!", 'cos illegal or not, people manage to get their hands on it one way or the other.
  • edited November 2002
    Well, I say "nay", because even if the policy isn't 100% effective (all right, it's about 0,5% effective) it shows that distribution of copyrighted games isn't approved by (some of) the copyright holders, and that is the main point I think.
  • edited November 2002
    But I do think that the theoretical legal use of .tap, .tzx files and so on puts Spectrum users of certain countries at a disadvantage.

    What I read is that it is NOT illegal to download such files if you used to own legal tapes or +3 disks with the games. But in Portugal, for instance, there were no *legal* copies of Spectrum games available (not that I knew of at least) until about 1992 (!). There were dozens of retailers selling illegal copies of Spectrum games, since software wasn't copyrighted at the time - or at least software piracy wasn't a crime. I own about 140 Spectrum games on tape, and of these I think only two are originals.
  • edited November 2002
    The old "by clicking this link you agree to ... you admit that you legally own this software in the original form and are using it for backup purposes" ?

    Jeez. That one won't stand up in court. Even if you own a defective Plus3 Disk, you *cannot* download an image of that disk from the net without the original copyright owner's permission. Full stop. Downloading *any* image that has not been expressly provided by the copyright holder or consent has not been given by such, is illegal.

    Emulation sites like to post that sort of "agreement" on their archives, but it won't hold any water if someone decides to take you to court over it.

    D.
  • edited November 2002
    On 2002-11-15 12:33, Dunny wrote:
    Even if you own a defective Plus3 Disk, you *cannot* download an image of that disk from the net without the original copyright owner's permission. Full stop. Downloading *any* image that has not been expressly provided by the copyright holder or consent has not been given by such, is illegal.

    Do you have a reference to support that assertion? The CDPA 1988 Section 23(a) defines that possession of an infringing copy is an offence only if done in the course of a business. There may be a civil case here, but not a criminal one, and in any civil case, you're going to have to prove that material damage was done.

    Of couse, this doesn't get the person distributing the copies off the hook.
  • edited November 2002
    Of couse, this doesn't get the person distributing the copies off the hook.

    Yes - sorry, my point being that any emulation site which offers the images for download is in no way protected by having such an agreement prior to downloading.

    That came out all wrong, on re-reading it.

    D.
  • edited November 2002
    On 2002-11-15 14:06, Philip Kendall wrote:
    There may be a civil case here, but not a criminal one, and in any civil case, you're going to have to prove that material damage was done.

    Indeed, and that would be nearly impossible. Even if proving the damage WAS possible, it would probably be insignificant and not enough to make the civil action worthwile.

    But don't you have "contra-ordena??es" (misdemeanours?) in Britain? In Portugal, these usually have some nasty fines attached.
  • edited November 2002
    I suppose by law it does mean that distribution and downloading of files unless explicitly authorised by the copyright owner is a legal offense.

    But does it really work in cases where the original copyright holder is not bothered or is not in a position to enforce the law?
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