Are games on WOS allowed to be copied to tape?

edited October 2007 in Games
Ok, I have download 20 or so games on here since becoming a member. I have also worked out a decent way to copy these games to tape for use on the real speccy. :grin:

What I would like to ask though but can't find a definative answer to is: "are all games in the WOS archive allowed to be copied to tape" for private use?

By this I obviously mean the ones that actually can be download and not the ones that are distribution denied. Maybe I missed something somewhere on the site but I just wanted to check the legality of copying the games to tape.:-)

Thanks,

Simon
Post edited by +2MAN on

Comments

  • edited October 2007
    I think you're supposed to own the actual tapes re: downloads. There are lots of public domain programs on WoS too!. Ask Phil Kendall about the actual legalities of the copying issue though.
  • edited October 2007
    For private use, it's about as legal as it is to download them, I'd say.
  • edited October 2007
    NickH wrote: »
    For private use, it's about as legal as it is to download them, I'd say.

    Ah, here's what I was looking for:
    http://www.worldofspectrum.org/permits/
  • edited October 2007
    ghbearman wrote: »
    Ah, here's what I was looking for:
    http://www.worldofspectrum.org/permits/

    I read all that link earlier but was none the wiser by the end of it:(

    Thing is, I was buying the originals on ebay but when I got a few disintergrated tapes that wouldn't load I began investigating making my own from the site for my own use. But I would like to know if this is legal or not first:confused: I started out thinking, if its available on WOS and you can download it and copy it to tape and it works then it must be legal but now I'm unsure:roll:
  • edited October 2007
    If you've got originals that don't load, I can't see why it's a problem to download the relevant file from WoS and use that for private use.

    It's when you don't have originals there's a problem, IMO. (alternately you can play games within your browser via the coffee cup icon)
  • edited October 2007
    ghbearman wrote: »
    If you've got originals that don't load, I can't see why it's a problem to download the relevant file from WoS and use that for private use.

    It's when you don't have originals there's a problem, IMO. (alternately you can play games within your browser via the coffee cup icon)


    Well in my case its a bit of both, I have several non working orginals that ive downloaded and made new tapes for. But I still need to know if I need to buy the orignals from ebay etc or if I can simply download and make my own Legally.

    I know I can use the java buttons to play on the site or use an emulator but neither of those match using the real thing for me anyway:smile:

    I think this could be an interesting debate! :D as there doesn't really seem to be a clear answer (that i can see) on the WOS site itself. Maybe I have just missed it:confused:
  • edited October 2007
    As far as I'm aware, the fact that you own an original tape doesn't make any difference to the legality (or illegality) of downloading it. I could be wrong on that, but I'm pretty sure that was just a myth propagated by warez sites ("we're just providing backups to people who already own it! Honest guvnor!").

    In the case of games where WOS doesn't have explicit permission, downloading is, strictly speaking, illegal. However, in practice WOS's policy of immediately co-operating with copyright holders' wishes (and making a good faith effort to contact them first) means that the chance of WOS maintainers (let alone downloaders) being prosecuted is effectively zero. Yes, even with shoot-first-ask-questions-later nutters like that Mckenna chap.

    And for the games which *do* have permits... to all practical purposes, it's clear that you're allowed to whatever you want with them, within your own private use. OK, there's no absolute legal certainty there, because most of the permission notices are informal and not written by lawyers, so there is a theoretical possibility that someone could come back and say "aha! That letter said that Martijn could put them up on his website, but it didn't say that anyone could download them!" or "OK then, people can download them, but we don't let them copy them to somewhere else on their hard drive afterwards" or "ok, they can copy them to a hard drive, but not a tape". In such cases, common sense will tend to prevail and they'll be laughed out of court, so I wouldn't worry about it.
  • edited October 2007
    Take a look at the games section of my site - those are either PD, Freeware, Shareware or "distribution allowed" ex commercial games that either I or Andy Davis of Alchemist Research have been given explicit permission by the authors to distribute FOR NO PROFIT. These games can, and have been withdrawn from free distribution status at a moments notice.

    So, if it's on MY site, you can transfer to tape.

    If it's on WoS, then I assume likewise.

    If a programs' status is "distribution denied", it'll only be on WoS by mistake, and Martijn is shit hot on pulling denienced material, so I wouldn't worry.
    Oh bugger!<br>
  • edited October 2007
    Just put them on tape - it's not like someone on here is going to report you to the FBI or CIA for doing so. When I first downloaded CPC disc images at college, I transfered them to the real thing (not having a PC at the time).

    It's better to have them on the real thing anyway - that's why I paid £50 + for a Megadrive, MegaCD and 32X (and incurred the wrath of the missus) and I still have my Atari ST and Amiga 600.
  • edited October 2007
    Exactly i would just do it. I dont feel guilty about playing some 25 year old denied game on an emulator and i'm sure the police arent that bothered if someones putting these old games onto tape. No ones going to find out and grass you up to the police
  • edited October 2007
    its only the odd download, its not like your killed a prostitute and hidden her body near some train tracks wrapped in a tarpauling.
  • edited October 2007
    gasman wrote: »
    In the case of games where WOS doesn't have explicit permission, downloading is, strictly speaking, illegal.

    Under UK law, not actually true. Copyright violations (unless done as a business[1]) are a civil offence, not a criminal one, which makes them unlawful, but not illegal. This is a slightly pedantic point, but one which is probably worth getting right: you can't be sent to jail for this, and you will be liable only for actual damages caused to the copyright holder by your actions.

    There are two further issues here: Firstly, format shifting (ie copying from tape to tape image on your hard disk, or say from CD to MP3) is a copyright violation. owever, you are permitted to make "back ups" of your computer software. As far as I know, there's no good case law on what counts as a "back up".

    The gist of it is as others have said though: unless you start distributing large quantities of games to other people, no-one's going to bat an eyelid about your actions. There are bigger fish to fry.

    [1] or on "such a scale as to be prejudical to the interests of the copyright holder".
  • edited October 2007
    The gist of it is as others have said though: unless you start distributing large quantities of games to other people, no-one's going to bat an eyelid about your actions. There are bigger fish to fry.

    Agreed.

    Another thing to note is that I think copyright law is in flux right now - GooTube have really shaken things up by making it socially acceptable to put up other people's copyrighted works for other people to download. Whilst they're currently being sued to hell and back, and I don't think they have a leg to stand on, attitudes to copyrights are shifting and the results of the GooTube lawsuits could have wide-reaching, global implications.

    My favourite example of something which needs to change is that it is illegal^Wunlawful to put your favourite love song onto the soundtrack of a wedding video and distribute that to your friends. Hopefully the GooTube fall-out will fix that.
  • edited October 2007
    mile wrote: »
    its only the odd download, its not like your killed a prostitute and hidden her body near some train tracks wrapped in a tarpauling.

    <begins to sweat>.
  • edited October 2007
    Live a little
  • edited October 2007
    mile wrote: »
    its only the odd download, its not like your killed a prostitute and hidden her body near some train tracks wrapped in a tarpauling.
    Is that a confession Myles? :p
  • edited October 2007
    Necros wrote: »
    Is that a confession Myles? :p

    *sniff* i admit it, i have been downloading games from wos for a number of years now. looks like i'll have to fake my own death, goodbye myles, hello miguel sanchez
  • edited October 2007
    The gist of it is as others have said though: unless you start distributing large quantities of games to other people, no-one's going to bat an eyelid about your actions. There are bigger fish to fry.

    I think you have all answered my question anyway. :D I just want to download games commit to tape and use on my much loved speccys for my own use and enjoyment.:smile: Just like in emulation but with the actual hardware.:-)

    I prefer to transfer on to new tapes, as I want to be able to enjoy the speccy games in years to come and not buy tapes that are near the end of there life already.

    I kind of thought that as permission has been seeked by the owners of WOS that it would be ok, as long as its personal use. All your comments have confirmed this theory.:D
  • edited October 2007
    +2MAN wrote: »
    I kind of thought that as permission has been seeked by the owners of WOS that it would be ok, as long as its personal use.

    Indeed, the permissions we seek are for having the games in the WoS archive, for free distribution. If we get permission, we can formally distribute it, and you can download/format shift it (since we already format shifted it ourselves - we don't exactly distribute physical tapes :-) ).

    An important thing to remember is that you cannot redistribute the files from other sites without getting permission yourself.
  • edited October 2007
    mheide wrote: »
    Indeed, the permissions we seek are for having the games in the WoS archive, for free distribution. If we get permission, we can formally distribute it, and you can download/format shift it (since we already format shifted it ourselves - we don't exactly distribute physical tapes :-) ).

    An important thing to remember is that you cannot redistribute the files from other sites without getting permission yourself.

    Not that we would want too. I always enjoy a visit to WOS to get a tape file.. That reminds me, got to redownload my fav speccy games - my backup disc has gone bust.
  • edited October 2007
    mheide wrote: »
    Indeed, the permissions we seek are for having the games in the WoS archive, for free distribution. If we get permission, we can formally distribute it, and you can download/format shift it (since we already format shifted it ourselves - we don't exactly distribute physical tapes :-) ).

    Thats what makes this a truley ace site I guess!:D The preservation of the old games and the seeking of permissions that allows the games to stay alive dispite the tape degridation of the originals!:-D Ive even managed to download a new copy of Submarine Strike a game that is as old as I am from 1984. In the case of this one I do actually have the original anyway, but the tape has got somewhat tempremental!:lol:

    Its fantastic that we can download these games and play on the real hardware like the days of old without needing to buy the originals, some of which have seen better days. I guess, in the end I'm paying as much for the new blank tapes as the originals can be bought for on ebay, but I'd rather have a game that loads properly and will last another 25 years!:-)
  • edited October 2007
    +2MAN wrote: »
    The preservation of the old games and the seeking of permissions

    I consider the permission-seeking one of the perks of running the YSRnRY - it's pretty cool exchanging a few words with the people behind the magazine I loved. The hunt part is also pretty exciting, especially when tracking down an obscure writer with little or no Internet or media footprint.
  • edited October 2007
    NickH wrote: »
    I consider the permission-seeking one of the perks of running the YSRnRY - it's pretty cool exchanging a few words with the people behind the magazine I loved. The hunt part is also pretty exciting, especially when tracking down an obscure writer with little or no Internet or media footprint.

    I'm sure it is, especially when you consider how long ago it was these games were made originally. Some of the companys really were very small innocent concerns too. It must be very exciting to make contact with some of those just as you thought they no-longer existed or you have almost given up hope!:)
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