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Legal information

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Is emulation really legal?

gba romsYes it is. The case of SONY V. CONNECTIX found that unauthorized emulation is perfectly legal. It was the decision of the court that CONNECTIX had the right to emulate the SONY Playstation and that reverse engineering of the Playstation BIOS for such a cause fell under fair usage. As a result of this case CONNECTIX was allowed to release it's Virtual Gaming Station for the Mac OS.

Ok, so it's legal, but is it right?

Emulation simply makes one hardware platform act like another. There is nothing wrong with making the hardware you own behave the way you want it to. That is exactly what software is for, it makes the hardware you own behave in a useful manner. Emulation is not used simply for playing console games on a PC. Emulators exist for all kinds of hardware and all types of platforms. Console emulation is only part of a very large emulation community.

Are ROM images legal?

Yes, under very specific circumstances. Section 117 of the US Copyright Law gives the owner of a software package the right to make an additional copy under certain provisions. If you adhere to the provisions then making ROM images is perfectly legal. However, legislation has been passed to prevent software piracy that makes game copying devices illegal. Using such a device to create a ROM image makes the resulting image illegal as well. Also you have to remeber that there is a large amount of freeware / public domain roms that you can download from the internet, and only way to play them is to use emulator or a flash card!

Is distributing ROM images legal?

No, not clearly. Individuals and Companies have a right to back up their software. This does not give them the right to distribute that copy to others, even provided they also own a legal copy of the software. So, in short, it is perfectly legal for you to copy a software package you own, but not for you to give that copy away.

Do you distributing ROM images?



Is Flash Advance Linker and Flash Cards legal?

That's like asking if CD Recodes are legal. Yes they are 100% legal. Flash advance linker is a Gameboy Advance backup unit and as such it is perfectly legal as long as you use it for legal purposes! You could go on internet and download all gba commercial game roms and than play them on GBA using Flash Advance Linker and FA card - that would be illegal! But if you use it to play backups of games that you own or play FreeWare and Public Domain roms from the internet than you are not doing anything illegal!

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