Update #3 [Sat 3rd Jun, 2023 01:35 BST]:
Valve spokesperson Kaci Aitchison Boyle has now issued a statement (via The Verge), noting how Valve was the one to inform Nintendo:
Given Nintendo’s history of taking action against some emulators, we brought this to their attention proactively after the Dolphin team announced it was coming soon to Steam.
Valve also shared a separate statement, providing its own explanation:
We operate Steam as an open platform, but that relies on creators shipping only things they have the legal right to distribute. Sometimes third parties raise legal objections to things on Steam, but Valve isn’t well positioned to judge those disputes – the parties have to go to court, or negotiate between themselves. An accusation of copyright infringement, for example, can be handled under the DMCA process, but other disputes (like trademark infringement or a breach of contract claim between a developer and a publisher) don’t have a statutory dispute resolution process, so in these cases we generally will cease distributing the material until the parties tell Valve that they have resolved their dispute.
We don’t want to ship an application we know could be taken down, because that can be disruptive to Steam users. Given Nintendo’s history of taking action against some emulators, we brought this to their attention proactively after the Dolphin team announced it was coming soon to Steam.
Based on the letter we received, Nintendo and the Dolphin team have a clear legal dispute between them, and Valve can’t sit in judgment.
Update #2 [Mon 29th May, 2023 23:00 BST]:
A Nintendo spokesperson has now issued an official statement (via Kotaku):
“Nintendo is committed to protecting the hard work and creativity of video game engineers and developers. This emulator illegally circumvents Nintendo’s protection measures and runs illegal copies of games. Using illegal emulators or illegal copies of games harms development and ultimately stifles innovation. Nintendo respects the intellectual property rights of other companies, and in turn expects others to do the same.”
PC Gamer has also called on attorney Kellen Voyer of Voyer Law, specialising in intellectual property and technology, to further explain Nintendo's communication with Valve:
"Here, there is no allegation that Valve is currently hosting anything that infringes Nintendo’s copyright or, more broadly, violates the DMCA. Rather, Nintendo is sending clear notice to Valve that it considers Dolphin to violate the DMCA and should it be released on Steam, Nintendo will likely take further action. Given that Valve controls what is available on its store, it made the decision not to wade into any dispute between the Dolphin developers and Nintendo and, instead, followed Nintendo’s preemptive request and took down the Steam page."
Update #1 [Sat 27th May, 2023 13:45 BST]:
Dataminer and Nintendo Life user LuigiBlood has highlighted the following quote - revealing the Wii Common Key is in the source code of Dolphin Emulator.
LuigiBlood: "the Dolphin emulator operates by incorporating these cryptographic keys without Nintendo’s authorization and decrypting the ROMs at or immediately before runtime." ...this is objectively true. I just checked, the Wii Common Key is in the emulator source code.
Game developer MVG has also shared his own summary of the situation based on this information, and even found evidence (dating back to 2020) of an individual known as 'Littlemac123' warning others about the "copyrighted code from the Wii system" in Dolphin Emulator and the problems it could cause if it was released on Steam.
Updated: MVG: "...'Littlemac123' all the way back in 2020, you had your finger on the pulse here... unfortunately Dolphin is not going to a part of Steam and hopefully that will change...on this particular one, I'm not going to say Nintendo is at fault...but Dolphin did mess this up and they really need to address it and hopefully they will."
Original article [Sat 27th May, 2023 04:05 BST]:
Back in March, the team behind the GameCube and Wii emulator Dolphin announced a release on Valve's Steam service.
In an update on the Dolphin website today, it has been revealed Nintendo has issued a "cease and desist citing the DMCA against Dolphin's Steam page". The release, which was scheduled for "Q2 2023", has now been "indefinitely postponed".
Here is the full statement from the development team, mentioning how it is "currently investigating" its options:
Updated: "It is with much disappointment that we have to announce that the Dolphin on Steam release has been indefinitely postponed. We were notified by Valve that Nintendo has issued a cease and desist citing the DMCA against Dolphin's Steam page, and have removed Dolphin from Steam until the matter is settled. We are currently investigating our options and will have a more in-depth response in the near future. We appreciate your patience in the meantime."
In Dolphin's Steam description, it was noted how the "app does not come with games" and would require players to "own an original copy of any game". The emulator's release on Steam also promised support for 4K displays, modern controllers, netplay, was fully open-source, and was a "free" download.
Other emulators already exist on Steam, like RetroArch - so there might still be a chance for Dolphin to be released on Valve's service in some way or form in the near future.
If there are further developments, we will let you know.
Dammit. This is why we can't have free game-err I mean, game preservation. Ahem.
Saw that coming a mile away.
Releasing it on an obvious high profile platform like Steam that is blatantly advertised to emulate Nintendo games was gonna get a swift kick into the shins by Nintendo.
That’s not surprising. I’m pretty impressed they got as far as they did with it, opening a page on Steam and everything.
Wow. I’m just speechless here. What a shocking turn of events.
This makes absolutely no sense since emulators aren’t illegal but then again it’s Nintendo
Who could’ve seen this coming?
In truth, I don’t even really understand what the advantage would be to releasing this on Steam.
It seems like whatever Nintendo did, they probably found some technicality that is illegal within the emulators themselves.
And now people are going to pretend to be furious at this, while you can still access Dolphin on their own website lmao.
Eh never really saw the need other than making the install/setup a little easier. Still easy to get on both PC/Deck
@ModdedInkling Nah they're obviously bullying the smaller guy here knowing they can't afford to fight back in court
Emulation is legal, piracy is not. This isn't a piracy tool, if they had the funds they could fight this legally, but it simply isn't feasible, this is corporate bullying, which is a common misuse of legal systems
Nintendo can eat a cactus.
Do they really need the Steam release? Just google the exe like a normal person.
@Shepdawg1 Streamlined updates, visibility, sharing what you’re playing with others, and some other stuff I forgot.
If Nintendo won this case then they are the rare chosen ones to finally beat the emulation scene at their own game. This would be a fight I like to see to the end, maybe the Dolphin team would triumph in the end. Remember Sony sued PlayStation emulator makers Connectix and Bleem and still lose. My other guess would also point out to Steam and their Steam Deck, Nintendo probably see Steam Deck as a potential competitor to their market if emulators like SNES9x, Mupen64, Dolphin and Yuzu released on Steam as Nintendo games could easily be play in enhance form on that hardware.
@DsheroX Yeah except Nintendo isn't going after them, Nintendo is going after Valve for allowing them to put their emulator on Steam. If they want they could sued Nintendo or Nintendo could sue them but Nintendo didn't choose to sue them yet. If they know their place then they could choose not to sue Nintendo and only their emulator will be off Steam but people could still side load it onto Steam Deck if they wanted too. If they do choose to sue Nintendo or create a ruckus for Nintendo to sue them then the Dolphin emulator could be at an even more risk of not only be removed from Steam but everywhere too. If I were them I just leave this be for now and give user an alternative way to use the emulator via other methods. Don't let Nintendo know of other platforms where Dolphin is.
Here we go again!
First problem - Nintendo didn't do anything. They are in Japan, doing Japan things. Nintendo of America, a wholly owned yet completely independent subsidiary that handles US operations, issued a DMCA take down. Because this is a clear violation of the DMCA.
"Investigating our options" - Let me help you with that! Don't try and sell software that clearly and obviously is illegal. Now this is where people generally say "but we have a RIGHT to emulate, we have a RIGHT to preserve games" or some other argument about why it SHOULDN'T be illegal. Great. Power to you and your option. I probably agree with most of it.
But I also think the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms should be legal, that doesn't mean I deserve any sympathy if I go out and try and sell them knowing full well it's against the law. The law here isn't complicated. "Circumvention Devices" that are needed to make ROMs are 100%, unquestionable illegal. Software that plays them is also illegal. And that's it. What if it's a copy of a game you already own? The law doesn't care. Also you don't own the game, you have a revokable license to play the game in a Nintendo console under conditions spelled out in the TOS (yes, even if it's a physical copy). What if there is no other way to get the game? The law doesn't care.
So yeah. Sucks we can't get a legal emulator or make legal ROMs. I would love to do that. But doesn't suck that we have a system of laws that all people must follow. Doesn't suck that individuals can't decide they don't like a given law and ignore it, because no matter who you are, I guarantee some people disagree with the "can't hurt you" laws.
Good on NOA and Steam for upholding the law.
There must be some kind of unique benefit to having Dolphin on the Steam storefront when the app was always available for download from their official site.
The trouble is, legal and ethical gray areas aside, posting up on a mainstream storefront feels like trying to fly too close to the sun. What makes the attempt worth it?
You're pretty much 100% spot on, except the Genie is already out of the bottle.
Nintendo knows exactly where you can get Dolphin. They are probably getting reasonably accurate telemetry on how many people are downloading and running it (because we willingly let dozens of companies track what software we are running), and up to this point they have been (to quote "Fight Club) "applying the formula".
Take the estimated loss of sales due to Dolphin's availability plus risk of further losses and brand exposure (A) and the cost of litigation and possible cost of negative PR (B). If A is less then B, they don't sue.
But these IDIOTS trying to list their game on Steam just increased the risk of brand exposure to infinity. The DMCA request is automated and very simply. It's step one. Step two is the Notice of Intent being drafted by NOA legal as we speak. This will continue for as many steps as it takes until everyone associated with Dolphin has settled with them.
Just a PSA that emulation is not piracy, and at least in the US, emulation is perfectly legal reverse engineering so long as no copyrighted code is used to create a given emulator. There is really nothing illegal about this at all.
That said, considering how closely linked emulation and piracy tend to be, it's no surprise that Nintendo doesn't like it. It always irks me when I ask how someone obtained a rare game and the response is "I emulated it" or "I homebrewed it". It's obvious that they really mean "I stole it" and yet they try to sugarcoat it by hiding behind perfectly legal practices. It's not cool.
Silly decision considering RetroArch is also on Steam, which emulates every Nintendo system. Been using Dolphin since the late 00s literally while still buying GameCube and Wii games, if anything I’ve probably spent more money on Nintendo games as a direct consequence of playing Super Mario Sunshine at 15 FPS on a Mac after the disc got scratched.
Piracy disguised as game preservation and harmless emulation, where everybody who owns a steam deck, also owns all these old systems and Nintendo Switch, plus all the games, and is only legally backing everything up........ Yea right.
It's almost as bad as suggesting anyone who downloads Kodi, is only using it as a media player.
Not that I have any real issue or want to demonize anyone who pirates stuff, but lets not dress it up or use mental gymnastics, to try and justify any of this, own it, and call it out for what it is.
@johnvboy Hey, I don't mind when it's hush hush and no one talks about it. (Y'know, how it used to be.) But some of the drivel folk come up with to try to think what they are doing is morally right beggars belief!
So true, then gets all judgmental when someone dares to download a movie torrent.
You should stop spreading this misinformation. Emulation is legal if and only if:
-The emulator can play ROMs that can be created without a Circumvention Device
-The emulator in question locks out ROMs created with a Circumvention Device.
As such no Nintendo emulators are legal. The misconception generally comes from a 2010 case where a judge said it was legal to USE emulators (in general).
But, owning, using, downloading, making, or in any way having a ROM of a Switch game is 100% piracy and 100% illegal. The Judge even says in his decision that one of the reasons he didn't need to rule in Nintendo's favor is that it's redundant; Nintendo can already go after people using emulators for pirating the ROMs. So if you are playing a Switch ROM, you are playing a pirated game and breaking the law. If your emulator can play Switch ROMs, it is an illegal emulator and breaks the law.
Read the DMCA or the very readable FAQs that speak to this. If there is ANY type of protection in place to prevent a ROM from being made, anything that makes a ROM is a "Circumvention Devices". They are 100% illegal in all cases.
Any software that plays something made with a circumvention devices is also 100% illegal in all cases, even if it has legitimate legal uses outside that functionality.
The DMCA was made to stop people from coping CDs, so it's pretty easy to follow this logic. The law needed to assume software to rip and burn them would always exist and always be ahead of efforts to prevent them, so the law needed to prevent the use of tools that make or play copied CDs regardless of their effectiveness or how they work.
There are actually more complicated things going on with software and TOS that make it ... double illegal? The important part is that with software in any media (including physical), the TOS simply saying "you can't copy this" is enough to satisfy anything that copies it being called a circumvention devices.
Meh, I don't really use my steam deck for emulation anyway. Already have the Odin Pro for PS2 & Gamecube and the Retroid Pocket 2 Plus for everything else. Ya gotta educate yourself on this stuff, people.
You are correct, the emulation just like Kodi is not in itself illegal, but what tends to be done with these programs is illegal, unless of course you are suggesting every only used these things to legally back up their owned game collections.
@DsheroX If it can facilitate piracy then it is undeniably a piracy tool. You can't say Dolphin does much of anything to ensure only legitimate copies are played.
You'd have to be born yesterday to believe most Dolphin users are ripping their personal games off GC Minidiscs and not just downloading illegally distributed ROMs.
@HeadPirate yet this is about Dolphin which isn't a Switch emulator and is perfectly legal, if Nintendo had any legal grounds against Dolphin they'd have gone after them years ago. They just don't want it available on a rival platforms storefront which is understandable
@dribLS let's not act like ppl haven't been bobtailing the games illegally to play them on the emulator.... Owning the game isn't exactly required
@GrailUK 'Free' or not, Nintendo loses approximately £0 for every rom you download and install. You cannot legally purchase those games directly from Nintendo anymore.
I am 100% against the idea of pirating switch titles and 100% for people being able to enjoy older titles that are no longer sold or supported by Nintendo.
(Unless they're planning on bringing out a ton of Gamecube titles on the Switch in which case shut up and take my rupees!)
@johnvboy That's not the same thing. I can still buy old movies on DVD and they work on any device. I pay some retro collector an overpriced amount for a GameCube disk and I cannot play it on my switch.
It's the locking away of artwork that is bad for society. If the Louvre locked away the Mona Lisa is have no choice but to put a jpeg online for people to look at.
Bad timing, Dolphin is edging closer to getting GB Player support, if this escalates the project could shutdown in ProjectM fashion.
On the other hand this could be like AM2R again, and they want to release GameCube titles in some form. Though, it's hard to say this without a chuckle.
"and would require players to "own an original copy of any game"
Nintendo lawyers, wryly: "Sure, which everyone does in 2023, especially for a console that sold some 25 million units"
I don't know what they expected, to be honest. Perhaps RetroArch's example reassured them but the latter didn't exactly dub itself with the emulated platform's WIP title.😅 And seeing as Steam allows to add "non-Steam" apps with blackjack and artwork (and there exist means to sideload emulators for that purpose even on Deck), I can't claim to be sure what they were going for. Worst case, it could backfire with more unwanted attention to the long-lived emulator in general.
@PtM "sharing what you’re playing with others" because having that kind of info on recurrent public display wouldn't draw attention to the programs used in its own right.😅 Besides, isn't there already dedicated stuff for boasting this, like RetroAchievements or somesuch?
You can download that DVD movie legally, or stream it... this is all piracy, no fancy way of putting it, it is what it is. DVD is a far too simple example, as it's just one format, that has had a massively long lifecycle.
All consoles have a shelf life, as do their games, if you want to retro collect, then it's the system and it's original games, for as long as it's feasible. Or something like the Nintendo online service with it's rental games.
@RadioHedgeFund I'm not convinced that's true but either way, I don't mind, I'm not Nintendo, but spare me any sort of morality doing it please. It's just video games.
The mental gymnastics and goal post moving have already started, can't wait for the inevitable defending a billion dollar company line.
I typed Switch instead of Nintendo. Thanks for pointing it out. But what point are you trying to make?
You think Wii and GameCube ROMs are any more legal? We all want this to be legal. We all want more options for playing our games. People talk about this like it's still a grey area. I get it It's easy to get misconceptions.
Why not just read up about it form a legal expect talking about it as a concept, instead of the emulator community trying to justify why it's okay to eliminate the confirmation bias? It's pretty cut and dry. Try searching for someone like "discussions of the DMCA and emulation" rather then "are emulators legal".
Emulators are probably legal as a concept. ROMs absolutely are piracy and illegal. Emulators that play ROMs are illegal, even if they have additional functionality that is legal.
The only possible fair use exception is making a ROM of your own games. Basically every ROM site, every emulator maker, every reddit discussion from the community use this argument to justify emulators. And they almost always get it wrong.
If you can make the ROM without a circumvention device, then you could make the argument that it's legal to do so under fair use. So far, no case has ever decided this point definitively, so saying "it's legal" is wrong. It's is, at this point, a violation of the DMCA to make a ROM for any reason. There is a possible fair use exception which might make this normally illegal thing legal, but until it's challenged in court no exception exists so this remans illegal.
More importantly if you need 3rd party software or hardware to make the ROM, the ROM is illegal even if you own the game. The argument that always gets brought up to illustrate this is that it's legal to rip a CD to itunes, but it's illegal to use 3rd party software to rip a CD. While this is already the final nail in the coffin, for SOFTWARE, there is another big problem.
You don't own must modern software, even if you own a physical copy. This is true for Wii games. You own a license to use it in Nintendo hardware. The license is revokable, and the TOS you agree to in using the software say you wont make ROMs and will not play it on any other hardware. As such, there is simply no legal way to paly a Wii ROM, so hardware that lets you do so is 100% illegal. You might think it's "stupid" that as soon as you take a game out of it's package you are agreeing to a 45 page bunding contract for which you are legally liable (because it's stupid). You might think it's stupid that Nintendo can sell you a physical object for $70 but then use legal magic to say all you own in the media, the game and code on it belongs to them still and they are just letting you borrow it (because that's even more stupid). But it's the unfortunate legal reality. You don't own any of your games, you don't decide what you get to do with them.
As for Nintendo "going after them" ... I clearly explain that in my 2nd post. There is no reason for them to pay for litigation unless your ROIC for doing so is positive. A DMCA takedown is free and automated.
@johnvboy i know. It must be dishonest because they can't be honest with themselves...
Well, if Nintendo would finally realease a huge chunk of their Gamecube library on switch a lot of people would lose interest in emulators. Sunshine showed that it can be done…Here‘s hoping they’ll at least do that on the Switch‘s successor.
It's Nintendo's IP's.......... Just because there is no legal way of owning them, does not mean it's legal to pirate them. Nintendo have no obligation to make these games available, outside of the original consoles lifecycle.
Weather or not they should do this is moot, and does not affect the legality of all this, like I said no issue with people doing any of this, but let's just be honest about what it is.
Doubt it, all movies are available for purchase and streaming rentals, this still does not stop movie torrent sites from existing, and lots of people downloading movies from them.
Well I for one, am shocked that this happened. Truly unprecedented things here.
I mean...I saw this coming a mile away. It was pretty stupid of them to put it on Steam. I knew it would get pulled within days or weeks.
I don't think dolphin even did anything illegal here.
They absolutely can challenge the DMCA in this case. Dolphin does not come with games, therefore it's no more infringing than buying a record player that plays vinyl.
There's only one potential reason and its if nintendo is accusing them of using GameCube's bios which in PS2's case basically means pirating the console itself but GameCube afaik you can run without stealing it. If that's the case its simply fear mongering that they let nintendo get away with that.
@HeadPirate It's worth noting that emulators are not illegal. Nintendo and a bunch of other publishers themselves use emulators (sometimes with ROMs that were generated by what you call a circumvention device, as the original source code might be lost forever). Sure, they have every right to do so, but the point stands. Emulators are perfectly legal, and there are even commercial games using community developed emulators like MAME. I believe it's the acquiring of ROMs that's illegal in most cases.
There are also differences in legislation between countries. It might be illegal in one country and perfectly legal in another. My point is, this case isn't as cut and dry as you suggest.
Soooo does this mean we're getting Wii and Gamecube games on the Switch, then?
Nintendo releases more GBA ports of older games instead
Emulators are not illegal. It disgusts me how some people attack emulators and their users on this site. I ripped my own Gamecube and Wii discs. It's super easy to do on a Wii. Dolphin is wonderful.
My question for people that don't hate or judge the people that use emulators, as someone that doesn't have a Steam Deck yet, is if you're able to install Dolphin easily without the Steam page that has been taken down. Do you need to install a different OS or something? If someone knows, thanks.
Emulators are not illegal.
You can ask an expert lawyer and they'll pretty much all say the same thing; 1) there hasn't ever been a court case regarding ROMs or emulations before even now to reference (which is why you can't find an answer anywhere on google), 2) The act of 'emulating' isn't illegal, pretty much every port is an emulation, 3) they can't catch people emulating cause again, its so broad and people who convert their own disc into ISO files are technically not copying anything and simply playing their item differently.
In order for emulation to be illegal you'd have to prove in a court case; that the person copied the disc, redistributed it, and/or obtained the item externally rather than their own purchased product. That last part is really hard to prove cause anyone caught playing on an emulator can simply just be using their own disc converted to be compatible on a different platform for themselves. If you downloaded it for free but still own the disc, they have to be able to prove/catch you downloaded it, and catch you basically getting rid of your original while still playing the free version, AND nintendo themselves have to issue a claim that there's a case (which never happens for retro typically cause they lose more money on the case since buying a discontinued game would never go to them over some ebay seller.), joe swanson can't take you to court and sue you for emulating someone else's products, only nintendo can send a warrante for that.
All cases regarding roms are related to copying and redistributing them for profit or for damaging sales of a product. The former is the most common, the later is basically when new game releases the game sells worse cause of leaks and/or people playing for free instead of buying it.
I‘d say that numbers would at least go down, I used to be a music pirate myself but Spotify eliminated that urge and made everything more convenient for a good price. Then again the key to that is that they have anything available I can think of and even more. If companies want to eliminate piracy then that‘s how it should be with any streaming service, be it music, films or games.
@Banjo- I don't think people on this site hate people that use emulators I think they're just pointing that for every one Banjo who does things the right way there are 9 to 99 other people that use emulators exclusively for piracy. It's these people that give emulation a bad reputation.
How is this a copyright issue? Or does that not matter as long as we feel it's in our interest to stop it?
This is straight up DMCA abuse from Nintendo.
I mean I have a legal Xbox and Switch emulator on this PC. They're called Dev kits. I'm not really sure how both of you missed the part in my posts where I say "emulators are legal" several times. But thanks for agreeing with me!
The problem is that ROMs of commercial software are illegal. The Dev Kits can't play commercial ROMs because they are locked out, so they are perfectly legal. Most other emulators can play them, and the DMCA says that any software or hardware that allows you to play infringing material are themselves illegal in almost all cases. When you look at something like a WIi emulator, given there is literally no possible way to make a legal Wii ROM, the emulator is illegal even if it has other legal functions.
@Araquanid I don't know what to tell ya, you're just completely wrong about ROMs. ROMs are piracy, hands down. I'll just provide you several articles to inform your option with, seeing it's a simple point of fact. Or to quote the TL:DR "under no circumstances is playing ROMs on an emulator legal."
@KoopaTheGamer The DMCA is law preposed by the US that is now part of two treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization, it is not a "US law". The treaties make it so the DMCA can be enforced in almost every country in the world. The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are the only developed nations where it doesn't apply.
@Bodatajson I don't know. Most of the times I don't bother to answer because they won't change their minds so what's the point but I have read things on this and other theads like preserving is an excuse for stealing, emulating equals being a criminal and good on Nintendo for upholding the law, as if Nintendo had good intentions. Some posters are incredibly arrogant and self-entitled. I have read people here being happy when somebody lost his job because he leaked the existence of the Switch Tears of the Kingdom Edition and Nintendo threatened his employer. I think that those comments give Nintendo fans a very bad reputation but then again, most video game players don't comment on forums at all. Sorry but I wouldn't like to be with people like that in real life. I know that most Nintendo Life users aren't like that so no big deal.
@Mgalens Nintendo simply don't want to blurt everything out all at once. It's an unreasonable request. It's also so short sighted that it kinda frustrates me. They have been releasing Gamecube games. It's like folk are oblivious. But honestly, just saying they want game X NOW is embarrassing to me. Sure, I want to replay some stuff. Sure, I've dabbled on the odd emulator. But it's pretty crass to think it's ok. I don't remember folk moaning about VHS tapes not working in a DVD player. Maybe they had more about them back in the day. Dunno.
@RadioHedgeFund One thing I have to take issue with is the idea that Nintendo don't lose money on people downloading ROMs of their games. Part of the reason Nintendo is so prohibitive with its back catalogue is so they can potentially re-monetize them in the future via remake/remaster or simply dumping them on an iteration of their own Virtual Consoles. On top of that it prevents earlier entries from long-running franchises like Pokémon from cannibalising the sales of future games. Perhaps that wouldn't ultimately amount to much in the way of lost revenue but it's really not as straightforward as 'X game is unavailable on current gen systems so there's no financial loss for the company by freely distributing it.'
@Mgalens I started reading your rather good and fair comment but it seems that you deleted it so I couldn't finish, probably because you think it's not worth trying to explain anything and getting trapped in a loop of replies 😅. Understandable decision.
iirc during the VHS tapes days there was the whole "keep circulating the tapes" mentality, quite a few pieces of media apparently only survived because people were recording it onto VHS and sharing it.
iirc one show (mystery science theatre 3k) encouraged people back in the day to tape the show and keep it in circulation due to the show being niche and likely to run into licencing issues later on.
With the advent of digital media the limitations that various formats such as VHS meant that preserving media such as music and video was much easier wheres gaming still currently has the issue with format based limitations, its becoming less of a thing nowadays due to things like steam and game engines being more adaptable.
The mention of Nintendo feeling like it was hesitant to sell their older games was more about games being delisted and NSO not offering a way to buy the games separate in a similar way to the DLC, meaning the games are at the mercy of a periodic online check (its a similar reason to why im not a fan of cloud gaming even if it was 1:1) though i wasnt saying they needed to do it just that i would love to be able to buy them.
though at least with remasters like Metroid prime and Kirby return to dreamland they are at the quality to where they offer enough of an upgrade that they are worth purchasing even for someone who emulated the original versions.
Yeah i feel like lately ive been under a lot of stress so sometimes i just delete something that even has the slightest chance of turning into a disagreement (though the person i was directly replying to is someone ive had a generally positive experience with debates even with disagreements)
@HeadPirate What are you talking about? Dev kits aren't emulators, they're actual hardware used for development. Some SDKs do have emulation included (for example, Android SDK), but with console game development real hardware is extremely important so that the developers can be sure that their game will run well on retail hardware.
@Mgalens I totally understand that, especially on the internet because people feel more empowered because they are anonymous. Sometimes it's not enough for reporting or blocking but even polite disagreement loops can be exhausting and frustrating and it's not worth the effort because none of them are going to be a part of your life. The never-ending disagreement loops are artificial, they don't exist in real life because you just walk away. So just relax and focus on the important things and do something to reduce stress like sports if you feel like. Best wishes and see you around here 😁.
Let's be honest: is anyone really surprised by this? Even though they say you have to own an official copy of the game, we all know it's going to be for ROMs that people downloaded off the Internet. That's why Nintendo is going after this.
But as I said yesterday on the article about Sony's upcoming Project Q, rival companies blatantly ripping off Nintendo's ideas damage Nintendo's brand far more than someone distributing a ROM of a 20 or 30-year-old game on the Internet, especially if that game is no longer being redistributed in an official capacity.
Frankly, Nintendo should be going after Sony right now for the Wii U ripoff Project Q, as well as going after Square Enix for that Splatoon ripoff Foamstars, rather than going after a group of GameCube enthusiasts for creating a computer program that plays GameCube games.
@HeadPirate I always thought emulators were unchallenged, not illegal or legal.
You can install Dolphin and most other emulators easily using EmuDeck. No need for a different OS, you just install it in desktop mode and it offers a range of customisation options to let you configure it for gameplay mode.
Any game that you own physically you can do whatever you want with, including extracting or modifying the code and using it however you wish.
This is why the industry is so keen to push downloads with DRM and subscription models where you actually have no legal ownership of the games.
@6thHorizon Thanks! It sounds good.
@AstroTheGamosian "Frankly, Nintendo should be going after Sony right now for the Wii U ripoff Project Q, as well as going after Square Enix for that Splatoon ripoff Foamstars"
Bad take. Can't advance without iterating on previous ideas. And the whole idea of a remote play tablet isn't a new concept nor one that's unique to Nintendo.
Well, so much for that, then.
The compete answer is complicated. I'll do my best.
Emulators are just software, are they are not illegal. Some Dev kits, for example, are emulators. It's should be self evident that a Nintendo Switch emulators officially licensed and distrusted by Nintendo isn't going to run afowl of any laws.
So can a 3rd party make an emulator? Again, software that translates the instruction set from some chip to another chip doesn't violate any laws. So there is no reason a 3rd party emulator should be illegal, given there is no law it could possibility violate.
The problems is ROMs. ROMs violate the DMCA. Now, there is a LOT of misinformation and people often say "It's never been challenged, so it's a grey area", but this is simple not the case While it's true no one has every been prosecuted for using or owning a ROM, laws that no one has violated or been charged with are still laws.
The legal status of ROMs has been determined in the jurisprudence around several cases where cease and desists have been issued to websites hosting them, and it's not complicated. The DMCA says you can't make digital copies of things if the IP holder forbids it. ROMs are a digital copies. They don't need to be specifically named or referenced, the law is extremally general by design. Case closed
Kinda! The DMCA allows for fair use, and there is where the fact that no one has been to court comes in. People often argue that their are "fair use" exceptions that would make ROMs legal in some cases. However, it's important to note that fair use is an exception. So the fact that no one has yet to prove there is a valid exception means no exception exists and it's still 100% illegal. Obvious the onus is on the user to prove fair use, not on the IP holder to argue why every possible edge case isn't.
So back to emulators. The DMCA also says that a device that allows people to make digital copies or allow for the use of digital copies, called circumventing devices, are illegal. Emulators that plays ROMs are clearly circumventing devices. As such, they are illegal. Again, jurisprudence exists around forceful takedowns of websites distributing emulators which make this very clear. This is again a case of a law still being a law even if no one has been charged with violating it yet.
So if your emulator allows you to make homebrews and locks out commercial software and illegal ROMS, it is legal. If it can be used to play illegal ROMs, it isn't.
@Dr_Lugae except it still isn't a piracy tool, it's an emulation tool. The piracy would have happened with or without the tool. The emulation step is actually after the piracy if someone were to partake in such things. Don't be too reductionist.
@Banjo- For sure some people here can be a bit overzealous in their defense of Nintendo. I think emulators are great, but I think it's fair to admit that they are controversial, because the majority of people don't use them as intended. To pretend otherwise is just disingenuous. The answer obviously isn't to ban emulators, but on the other hand you can't blame Nintendo for getting in their feelings when it comes to non first party emulators. In any case hopefully dolphin sticks around, they probably shouldn't have risked going on steam in the first place.
Nintendo not wanting people to emulate their game libraries and the games have better performance than on the native hardware.
They are starting to get super petty with these DMCA's
Here's my two cents with regards to emulation... Buying old games doesn't support developers. Pirating old games doesn't hurt developer, it only hurts hoarders and long term scalpers, and that's a good thing. Imagine paying insane amount of money for an old game? If the game is no longer being sold by their respective publishers or not being republished for newer generation of consoles, there is nothing stopping me from emulating those games.
Valve should fight this (unless they've completely sold out).
Nintendo is taking everyone to court now because Online exists.
They want to force everyone to subscribe to a retro game service.
Also, Steam Deck is a portable so that triggered Nintendo too.
Guys, again it has to be said. Nintendo has re-released exactly 2 gamecube games on the Switch. Mario Sunshine, which is no longer available, and Metroid Prime Remastered. If their plan for gamecube preservation are remasters, then so be it. However, there are MANY more gamecube games that are not available on ANY modern Nintendo consoles right now. Nintendo is doing nothing about this. That's all I have to say.
Imagine how much money Nintendo would be making if they actually worked WITH emulator developers and sold their own Roms on Steam or their own launcher. Now, they need to be priced reasonably for 20+ year old games, but still.
@HeadPirate The Nes Mini from Nintendo can play roms. Is it illegal?
@NinjaWaddleDee The thing is the part that bothers a lot of people (myself included) is when people claim their use of emulators is about "preservation" and yet we see articles, upon articles of people pirating new Nintendo Switch games (which has nothing to do with preservation as you can buy 99.99% of the Switch's library right now). The thing is as someone who grew up in the 00s when PSP and DS piracy was extremely high I learned people don't actually care about "preservation" when they use emulators. Because back then NES, SNES and N64 games were extremely cheap... didn't stop people from downloading the games online for free and I'm not talking about obscure Japanese only games, I'm talking about stuff you could get at a local pawn shop for $5-15 at the time (Contra, Super Mario Bros., Ocarina of Time, Castlevania Symphony of the Night, Final Fantasy VI) or even through the Virtual Console, Xbox Live or through the PlayStation Network.
The thing is with me is people should just be honest. The amount of times I get in these discussions and ask if people ripped their own GCN or Wii games to use with Dolphin and get radio silence really does say it all. Or when publishers do re-release their games, you always get that one snarky person who says why bother buying the collection when they can emulate them for free. And then those are the same people on these very articles talking about "if they just released the game on modern systems I'd buy them" which is a complete U-turn of their previous comments. You can find those users its not hard.
I have zero issues if people want to emulate and pirate games, just be honest about it and don't shove the world "preservation" around when that is not what you're doing.
EDIT: And to make it clear I'm not talking about people who dump their own ROMs or ISOs. That is fine and your legal right to backup your software. I'm talking about people who claim they only use emulators for "preservation" while downloading new games online and don't actually support the re-release of classic games because they can get those games free through shady websites.
please don't post so much misinformation. Your posts, even if they are as long as they are, contain tons of misinformation.
There is NO CASE about people dumping their own roms.
There ARE CASES about people pirating roms.
In many Countries, mine (Germany) included, using roms IS LEGAL as long as you made the copy yourself and didn't circumvent the DRM (which is possible).
I emulate my games for years and never downloaded any roms in my life.
A game cartridge DOES NOT count as copy protection AND even under the DMCA it is legal AS LONG AS YOU DON'T CIRCUMVENT A COPY PROTECTION which is perfectly possible for Gamecube and Wii (you don't even need to hack your GC or Wii, therefore you're not tinkering with their "security systems") with certain DVD drives.
Gamecube and Wii discs basically just were DVDs and nothing else.
Oh and your whole "I have a Switch Emulator from Nintendo as SDK" is just a lie. It doesn't exist. If you develop for Nintendo, you have a real devkit with real hardware. And sorry, but an XBOX devkit? Anyone can have that, just put your XBox Series console in Devmode and done.
So please stop spreading misinformation.
Headpirate clearly doesn't know what he/she/they is/are talking about
nintendo's nes, snes, game boy, colour, advance, n64 and GameCube patents have all expired as patents only last 20 years. that means that anybody could make a nes cartridge reader.
Backup copies for archival or if it is necessary to use the software are allowed, but they must be made using your original copies.
if your software was corrupted before you made a backup you cannot download a copy off the internet as that would be considered a separate copy.
Nintendo FAQs says that this is not legal but the only source for that seems to be... Nintendo.
A argument could therefore be made that a copy downloaded onto your computer would be allowed as it would be necessary to do so in order to play thee game on your computer.
this is what I have found looking this up, but I am neither American nor a lawyer so please take it with a grain of salt.
The interesting part is that Dolphin can be put on Steam without issue, if the team removes the Wii common key. If they do that Nintendo can do absolutely nothing against Dolphin.
and that's why I can't play my original SNES copy of Final Fantasy VI, because my Cartridge is damaged and I can't get a working rom from it
i dont know the eu or irish law on this as it is weirdly more difficult for me to find out so if any other eu people know plase do tell me.
Abandonware is another interesting but complex topic, as i do not know if each version of a game counts as it own.
for example @LynnAlices copy of final fantasy VI
The snes version is not available anymore, the only version that is still available is the pixel remaster. would the snes version count as abandonware or not?
@HeadPirate emulators are legal though as long as they don't contain any copyrighted code, ROMs are the issue and how people get them but you can't take down an emulator because people are downloading pirated ROMs, these are 2 separate issues despite their links. Playing your own discs or ROMs by other means isn't illegal in any way.
The reason this DMCA takedown has occurred is because it turns out that Dolphin contains the Wii common keys in its source code, which is copyrighted material, so in this instance Nintendo are correct to take it down. This is why Retroarch is still on Steam as it's Dolphin core had these keys removed so Nintendo has no grounds to take it down despite the fact you can play many Nintendo systems on it
While this is just about the least surprising news ever, it is a shame. Until companies actually make their games readily available to play, you can't really expect people to not use emulators. This would be a whole different conversation is we were talking about the Switch emulator.
@Wexter Yeah I totally understand that. I myself would never want to pirate a modern game that's still being sold, but I know there are those that do.
I pirate old games. Is it illegal? Sure. Is it unethical? Not if it's not available for purchase any more. There are things that are illegal which shouldn't be, and things that are legal which really shouldn't. Pirating a game that hasn't been commercially available for 10+ years shouldn't be. Want to make money off it? Keep selling it then. Otherwise make it clear it's unsupported and any security issues that arise from using old software are solely on the user.
Hello and goodbye
@GrailUK luckily it's still super easy to access and emulate GameCube games so if companies choose to never release them again for consumers to buy we still have access to them .
So many people complaining about big mean old Nintendo when it says multiple times that they stole Wii copyright code and people said for years this would happen because of it. Just read it lol
@Joelhi1 Yep. everyone just needs to keep a bit quieter about it lol. O,<
@Rooty As and when Nintendo decide to rerelease their GameCube back catalog either singular or as part of a sub I will be first in the queue. Netflix pretty much killed movie and TV piracy for a reason.
Playing games on a proper console from an official source is always better than emulation because of the quality of life improvements.
Until then? Se la vie.
@shaneoh 100% this. I emulate 3 consoles on my phone: GBA, GC and PSP.
I already pay for the GBA sub so Nintendo are getting something back. I own every PSP title I emulate either as a PSN purchase or physical copy.
The GameCube? Let me give you money, Nintendo.
@GamerDad66 I don't expect Valve to fight this with vigor. Nintendo has kind of looked the other way at the Steam Deck being used as an emulator for all Nintendo systems but in this case is saying, "Now you've gone too far. Get back on your side of the imaginary line and we can all go back to making money. If not, this is just a small taste of what will happen."
It's kind of like tolerating the neighbor parking his car in front of your house once in a while, but then when it becomes two cars you say enough is enough.
Nintendo being Nintendo, shocking.
If something can be used to play counterfeited copies of a copyrighted product and it has zero protections against running them, then it is illegal. If you don't want to go to jail, don't use illegal products like Dolphin, Windows, or the Steam Deck.
They were warned that this would happen from the very moment they decided to release the emulator on Steam.
What they're thinking releasing this on steam, of course nintendo would dmca the heck out of this lol.
@Burning_Spear Yup, nintendo is okay with this as long as steam and dolphin team didn't make a big deal out of this, but releasing this on steam is just asking for trouble.
@HeadPirate Dolphin is actually violating the law but not for THIS reason lol. It has the Wii system code keys in its code which is illegal. Emulation is perfectly legal as demonstrated in the Sony vs Connectix and Sony vs Bleem cases. The cases which you cite are related to Switch modchips which have NOTHING to do with emulation lol.
@HeadPirate Emulators are legal. Giving copyrighted code to others (such as BIOS/firmware ROMs) is not. I have a right to create my own backup ISOs of all my GC and Wii games, which can be done on a softmodded Wii. What I don't have, is a right to give those ISOs to others. Nintendo using that 1982 Atari precedence be damned. It's the same thing as ripping CDs for one's own use (as determined by 1999), Nintendo is just taking advantage that the law hadn't been explicitly updated for video games. Their lawyers would be told to pull their heads out of 1982 so fast if they went to court.
@Raifteiri Yep, Nintendo says it's not legal because Nintendo is using an outdated legal case from 1982, when Atari sued a cart copier arguing that since its ROM cartridges were a never-fail mechanism, there was no need to backup.
Of course, video game physical media had gotten infinitely more complex since 1982 with more fail points. And even then those Atari cartridges could still fail. I've heard they were still using EEPROMs then, which have an estimated life of 25 years. "Who's going to want to play these games in 25 years?" those lawyers probably argued.
Flash memory on modern consoles. Sad that, from what I've heard, NES and SNES carts will probably outlast DS/3DS/Switch cards.
This would make sense if Nintendo planned on doing anything with its vast Gamecube catalog, but like always they just sit on the classics and make no alternatives available to buy
Better download Dolphin while you still can.
Whoah, I never knew we have so many lawyers on this site.
For the Preservation
That's fine. I already have it installed via emu Deck so it doesn't matter to me.
i like to see nintendo go to court and actually lose the court case..
The irony of this is that this probably wasn't made with bad intentions but because people used it for pirating, it's going down.
The fact that the argument boils down to "Emulators are legal BUT...." says it all. The issue is that no one has the balls to actually go to court and try to defend their point. Need I remind you that ALL forms of modding is technically illegal since 1998? (Micro Star v. FormGen Inc)
@NatiaAdamo you seem to think laws in one country apply worldwide….. you American by any chance?
You mean In the “land of opportunity” there are so many laws to make sure the opportunity is for the rich and to keep the poor in check to just make them rich?!?
@Dpishere aye. I was thinking who wouldn’t just use emudeck. Takes minutes to set and up and literally does everything and makes it easy to tinker.
Emudeck is the way to go.
I genuinely have a collection of way way over 1000 games on all platforms probably now close to 5000. I have no issue with emulating any of them or any old games I can’t now get. I put enough in the game industry eco system. Way more than these arm chair moralists.
The alarming part is that this means that the Dolphin team have been distributing the Wii's common key since the 3.0 release at the latest, which was almost 12 years ago.
There is more at stake here than just the Steam release.
@RupeeClock yeah we must defend the common key of a 4 generation old defunct console.
I hope an army moves against the villains. Order a drone strike. They is so much at stake here.
@GrailUK lol true
They did it on Porpoise.
I knew this would happen and as much as I hate them for this I understand why they did it. Doesn't matter anyway I can play Dolphin on my Steam Deck right now. I have multiple Wii and Gamecube games installed and they run great. I particularly enjoy playing Kirby Air Ride even though admittedly I prefer playing it on my Gamecube.
@Stocksy I don't think that is what @RupeeClock means. The main defense of emulators is it has to be reverse engineered with 100% original code. The fact they found Nintendo's proprietary code which they've used as recent as the Wii U and was in circulation with Dolphin since the Wii was on store shelves is a big no-no and could get the Dolphin dev team in serious *****.
@Stocksy Emulation is great imo. If there is a legitimate means to buy a game I am all for purchasing it but if there isn't and I want to play it I don't plan to wait on a company to release it, life is too short. I am playing what I want to play when I want to play it and alot of these obscure games will probably never be released again.
I am really happy the Steam Deck is so good at emulation, it's a great time.
Removed - offensive remarks
I absolutely HATE this Nonstop Emulation War from Nintendo. They don't offer any way for people to play games like Custom Robo and Chibi Robo (other thank paying U$100 on a eBay Disc in a bad condition) but they want every SINGLE emulator and rom in the world to disappear.
I hope you NEVER Win this War Nintendo.
Surprised it took them this long to be honest.
Here's the thing everyone here agreed to the EULA/TOS - when you buy the game physical or digital all the same. And if you have to use ROMs or source code taken from games you don't own the source code for, what did you expect to happen. Emulation by itself is no violation but once you use ROMs/Source codes that's where it crosses the line-where it becomes illegal and copyright violation. And gets a DMCA hit.
@GrailUK Your right, I should pay Joe Shmo 3x the amount on ebay for the cartridge and the console of a game that hasnt been mentioned in nintendos mouth in over 20 years. I guess i just wanted a free game huh.
Also i assume if a game i buy 5 years ago is delisted along with its updates can be fixed with emulation, custom firmware, user made patches, communities coming together to make something there nostalgic about much better and atleast accessible at bare minimum has everything to do with wanting to play for free
Your right game preservation doesnt exist.
Also read this dudes page.. he defends nintendo hard with his posts. I just made this account....
@bojangler41 I'm glad you agree.
(Which games haven't been mentioned in 20 years?)
Not sure how to feel about this. Dislike Nintendo being Nintendo, but it's also enjoyable to see the saltiness of smug emulation bros.
Hope they don't touch dolphin on retroarch....
What trips me out is the “if i want something i should be able to have it and if the company won’t sell it to me I’m justified in stealing it” mindset.
To be fair, Nintendo is like this to everyone, including us consumers.
@bojangler41 Ah so if Nintendo sold the exact N64 version of Mario 64 for full price youd buy it? Yeah, right.
The thing is nothing is ever good enough for pirates. In the past every time game got added to VC for a fraction of the price of the original a number would come out of the woodwork to say £4.99 - £9.99 was way too much for the games they supposedly really want to play.
The NES and SNES Mini which cost was like £2-£3 per game illicited piracy advocates like Jim Sterling to say that was way too high for NES and SNES games.
I've never seen a group of people who simultaneously held playing old games in such high regard that they'd scream bloody murder that theyre not available, while also claiming the games should be next to worthless when they are available.
How can they not just want free games?
@Dr_Lugae Refusing to pay for something sounds like theft to me. If I can't afford something, I usually do something else. Communities keeping games going sounds like appropriation to me. It's nice some companies tactically ignore it for whatever reason.
I fully support Dolphin or emulation as a whole when it’s underground and a little side project. Releasing it on steam is just taking the piss and Nintendo should sue!
Smart enough to make an emulator, to dumb to understand not to put it on steam. Hahahah what did they expect!
I wonder if Nintendo was always aware of the wii keys in use, if not will Nintendo rest with dmca or shut down the team/emulator completely?
If Nintendo let me rebuy these games I would. Until then I’ll emulate in my SD.
If the software has the Wii encryption key (which it does, otherwise Wii games wouldn't work) it should be DMCA'd. Because those keys are copyrighted (owned) by Nintendo.
And that is all I'm going to say about it.
@Wexter imho emulation doesn’t need a defence but some people will always want to make it more serious than it is. To act like anything involved with dolphin is “serious” to me with everything going on is ridiculous
@Stocksy The thing is what allows 3rd party emulators to be legal is the fact they are reverse engineered and don't use proprietary code. Emulation is perfectly legal as they are used by every major publisher in some way shape or form. The unauthorized distribution or ROMs/ISOs have always been illegal. The thing is 3rd party emulation has always had to rely on the fact they use original code and not the code of other companies. However, because Dolphin has used Nintendo's copywritten code without authorization this does mean Nintendo can seek damages as the unauthorized code has allowed the execution of their software without their consent. And Dolphin was in use during the Wii-era which means Nintendo can argue the loss of profit due to the use of this code and potential further profit as they have re-released some of those games through the Wii U and Switch (Xenoblade, Skyward Sword, and Mario Galaxy being three most notable). Will Nintendo go this route? I don't think so, but they can and odds are would win the case rather easily.
AKA, if Nintendo really wanted to put the screws to them they can and that does have large sweeping consequences to emulation as a whole if they do. You should never and repeat never use proprietary code of another company ESPECIALLY one as litigious as Nintendo or even Sony.
Piracy is illegal it's not game preservation those saying so is playing fast and loose with that word. Want to preserve the game work with the company to make a archive for all to freely enjoy. But we already know those using piracy with game preservation aren't doing preservation games.
I’m playing the world’s smallest violin. 😂
I guess Nintendo insists free public access to their IP is wrong for some reason? So emulator folks will just have to content themselves with the thousands of less-guarded games out there.
Frankly this falls more on the Dolphin team than Nintendo. They were warned about the fact they were using copyrighted code but decided to put Dolphin on Steam anyway even though they should have been well aware that would be guaranteed to put Dolphin right in Nintendo's crosshairs.
It seems it was Valve that contacted Nintendo about it ( https://mastodon.delroth.net/@delroth/110440301402516214 ).
People can can chill out now.
@dribLS I guess you didn't read the article as the emulator itself has copyrighted code built in.
@Kawaiipikachu I guess you didn’t see when I commented and when the article was updated. Also Nintendo probably didn’t even know about the copyrighted code because valve actually reached out to Nintendo to ask if it was ok for dolphin to be on steam and obviously Nintendo said no
I'm generally pro-emulators, but it being proven that Dolphin contained Nintendo's keys is pretty damning. If using them at all was unavoidable, it was essential that they not be bundled with the emulator. As it is, Nintendo is within their rights to shut it down. Even the distribution that has already occurred can cause serious legal issues.
Nintendo is fully within their right to take down this release. Heck, they are fully within their right to go after the whole emulator and it’s creators now that it is known they were using copyrighted code.
They issue the same copy and paste garbage in their statements don't they. It may be true but I don't have to like it.
I'm about to go BetterCallGoomba™ here.
Dolphins isn't an illegal emulator because it doesn't itself contain illegal roms within itself.
Disclaimer: BetterCallGoomba™ (Goomba Goodman) knows nothing about legal systems, please do not trust anything he says about legality.
I'm normally anti Piracy but on this occasion I'm not so sure. Nintendo's biggest problem is they never make these games available elsewhere to play legally and atm there is no legal way of obtaining them either unless you're willing to pay a God damn fortune on ebay. Nintendo only have themselves to blame here for these issues.
Actually speaking of which I remember seeing a copy of Pokèmon Red being sold for 14 thousand pounds on ebay 🤣🤣🤣
Edit: My mistake it's in Euros not pounds and it's actually selling for over 12 thousand Euros.
Nintendo when you try to preserve games they refuse to re-release: "Hello, today we'll be playing C&D! Cease and Desist!"
Time to go back to my homebrewed Wii and Wii U!
I'm sorry but I really have no sympathy for the Dolphin guys here. You need to be unbelievably stupid to think putting it on an official storefront like Steam was a good idea. Everyone knows how overprotective Nintendo is of their IP, regardless of whether or not you agree with Nintendo's position, putting Dolphin on the spotlight like that was BEGGING for trouble.
Yeah Dolphin confirmed as either incompetent or have the desire to yeet themselves out of existence.
This now isn’t the usual back and forth semantics here of “emulation is not illegal! Just piracy! Even if it’s 99% used for piracy and not [game preservation back up of owned game]”
This is blatant theft now. No amount of the usual mental gymnastics you see in these articles can try to refute it.
Kind of funny lot of the Dolphin defenders/usual Nintendo hater regulars got really silent now especially when it was Valve that fired the signal flare.
@sanderev You can't copyright a number. You can trademark a number, but you can't copyright it.
@Arawn93 Honestly, even if they dotted their i's and crossed their t's, trying to put an emulator on a mainstream storefront still feels like flying too close to the sun.
Was Steam integration really worth the risk, or was there something else they were hoping to achieve?
Oh no, people are playing 20 year old games that Nintendo doesn't legally provide for us to purchase. The horror! The audacity!
Seriously, no revenue is going to developers, much less Nintendo, than when you buy secondhand Gamecube games on eBay. It's stupid to think that this "stifles" development, when Gamecube and Wii are dead systems from 2006, secondhand sales are as bad as piracy.
Ah yeah playing old games you cannot buy from Nintendough certainly "stifles innovation". The mental gymnastics they do to justify attacking persevation is impressive.
Coorporate greed at its finest, but hey, keep playing into it with every slightly "remastered" version at full price. They know it's easily to milk sheep now.
Owning and playing with original hardware and software is the way I enjoy it, but please Nintendo you really should rerelease Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door sometime. Maybe together with the original Paper Mario. This is a great series deserving to be played.
I do admire their integrity whilst others around them lose theirs because they want to play something they can't have yet lol.
Jim Ryan on the showcase said Sony pride themselves on innovation. But there are two types on innovation. Incremental and radical. I tend to look at Sony opting for the former. They use ideas (often other people's) and try to improve them. Nintendo are more the latter. They haven't invented the games console, but they radically innovate it (and it's not always successful). The Switch, the Wii U, the Wii, the Virtual Boy. It's much riskier (and braver.) You could argue this tact was born out of necessity but it is what it is. Now, I don't get where they get their inspiration from but heck, their innovation needs protecting as they are the only ones really doing it these days. Yes they are a huge company, but they are a million miles away from the mindset of Microsoft and Sony who tend to wait if an idea is successful before innovating it. (And of course they want to be successful, but at least they do it on their own terms. And I like that.) Nintendo like baking cakes and the other 2 simply want a piece of it lol (or as much of it as possible!)
I'm sure the Dolphin emulator will be back once they can circumvent the code Nintendo have an issue with. Then it's all fine and dandy.
@1SDANi I don't think encryption keys are copyrighted, but it's illegal to share them anyway because they are circumvention devices. I believe this is a standard practice with (commercial) software, not just something Nintendo invented.
Man I wish I lived in a world where intellectual property was looser so many creative things are in danger of being struck down. Also game preservation is just keeping a copy to be reused if the company wants it, it's not actually playing it, so pirates have it wrong.
Having copyrighted keys inside Dolphin code is one thing but accusing users of playing illegal games? Where's the evidence on that? I only play my original copies of the "inovations" that Nintendo has been re-releasing for the full price over again throughout the years. How dare they!?
@tofuman86 How do you make original copies?
@SteamEngenius How are they attacking preservation? Nintendo has a copy of every game they ever made.
@mikegamer If January 2023 you decide you cannot purchase Metroid Prime and decide to be morally right to pirate it, what do you do in February 2023 when the remaster is announced?
Delete the pirated version and buy the remaster or decide since you already have the game to spend the money on something else?
If the emulator is using a few things that it shouldn't be under the hood, I'm sure that could probably be fixed. In general though, emulators in and of themselves are entirely legal as far as I'm aware, so a fix to the emulator should fix any legal issues too.
Let's see who this plays out. . . .
Either way though, let's make sure all the source is out there and a bunch of people have it backed up, and then we all know it's still always gonna be available for those who really want to get their hands on it.
Game preservation is another excuse to defend the pirates running illegal copies on these emulators, like many say, the emulators are in themselves not illegal, but there are not many ways to use them, or indeed the way they are being used in the majority, that is legal.
But like I have said in many comments, I am not here to demonize anybody pirating games, or take the moral high ground, as we never know the full circumstances of the individuals doing this.
But I do feel we need to stop suggesting these emulators are totally innocent, and call this out for what it is in the vast majority, a way of stealing IP's and pirating games.. and stop all the mental gymnastics employed to it's defense.
Let's just admit to what it is, and judge weather or not we agree on a personal level.
@shaneoh Laws are literally the embodiment of a civilization's morale system. Every law made ever is based on a culture's consensus what is ethical right or wrong.
To call an Illegal activity ethical is a contradiction in itself.
@johnvboy I do not know how you've interpreted my comments, but the only kind of emulation I support is the hobbyist that can run Tomraider on a Gameboy.
Any other form I'm against. Especially the kind that believes that game preservation is the same thing as being entitled to playing every game ever made.
Another case of someone pushing the matter well beyond Nintendos line in the sand. (Admittedly they are way less tolerable,more protective and proactive that alot of other companies but i cant imagine Sony allowing a ps2 emulator either or sega allowing it to effect its mega drive cash cow ) but who actually thought putting it up on likes of Steam would go unchallenged.
I don't get why Nintendo goes after emulation so hard. They don't have a Wii/GameCube emulator on the switch. They don't provide us with a means to purchase the games legally. They don't make money off of Big Kev selling games for $300 on e-bay. What's the point?
@ATaco think of it this way I could buy Mario's latest game or I could go download sunshine and galaxy.
If I choose the former Nintendo loses a potential sale.
Those two examples Nintendo released on switch briefly, and other games may be released in future think of recent advance wars remake.
Nintendo as a company doesn't want it products to be available for free as it devalues them and can affect future plans.
We don't know Nintendos plans either maybe a gamecube mini or its coming to nso or twilight princess is planned for a remaster etc.
They don't want new releases competing with their old ones for free and they want to control how and when they release products.
It's a bit like the old disney vault system attitude
I can understand Nintendo wanting to protect new games such as Tears of the Kingdom but games such as the GameCube animal crossing or many GameCube games which you CANNOT get anywhere not even from Nintendo then I don't see a problem as no one is missing out on getting money for those games. If Nintendo bought a GameCube emulator to switch there wouldn't be this problem.
I was agreeing with you on the game preservation being a weak argument, and an emulation's uses in the majority are illegal.
I however do not judge, as it's not my place to do so.
That is not a rational or valid defense, Nintendo or any other game company for that matter, do not have any obligation to make these games available, outside of their original release, and source consoles lifecycle.
I get it that people want these games, but again not a valid excuse for getting a pirated copy, to play on an emulator.
This is an anti-trust lawsuit just waiting to happen.
Distribute your classic games and the appetite to emulate them will be much smaller. I bought 3D All Stars, I bought Prime Remastered. I would rather pay for every GameCube game I’ve emulated in the last year or so on Switch and support those franchises/have physical versions but if Nintendo aren’t going to do it then I’ll emulate them.
Dolphin being available on Steam was more a convenience than anything, but it runs just fine on steam machines/Steam Deck and you can still add it as a non-steam game if you really wanted to.
For legal reasons, Steam can't include Proton GE either, but it's quite easy to obtain it elsewhere, and Dolphin emulator is no different. This doesn't change anything.
I'm not a lawyer, but if companies are no longer selling the old games being potentially emulated, or if the studios that created them have since been shut down, no one can claim they're losing profits for those games, and I think that's a big factor for the case of game preservation.
Not too long ago, many game companies tried to enforce 1-time activation codes in their physical copies that would make re-selling games futile because they felt consumers weren't authorized to sell games they legally owned.
I'm probably a bit off base here, but in the age of Cloud Gaming and other shady practices where consumers gets the short end of the stick while the companies make passive income for essentially no additional effort, it just feels odd that big companies would rather pay millions of dollars in lawsuit fees rather than just selling us the games on current consoles so we can play them again legally.
The Sega Genesis Classics Collection is a wonderful example of how Nintendo could make their older games available without consumers feeling like they're getting jerked around. The Genesis collection is superior to regular emulators in almost every way, and so consumers are happy to pay to own them again rather than pirate them for free.
It stings a bit that we can't legally own NES/SNES/N64 games on Switch and that it's only available through an online service that will inevitably get shut down in a few years. It's not that people don't want to pay for these games, it's that we're denied the ability to own them legally and we're forced to either rent them for a few years via subscription/cloud service or purchase the original copies at extremely inflated prices because they're basically antiques at this point.
I'll step down from my soapbox now, thank you for coming to my TED talk.
Except there's rarely, if ever, consensus among all people. Take the U.S for example (because they're always great for presenting the extreme). Abortion is illegal in some states but not others. One of these laws is more ethical than the other but there is no consensus. Defining which one is moral automatically makes the other immoral, therefore we have an immoral law.
Then there are dictators that enforce their own desires as law, usually to the detriment of the majority of the country's population. Won't even go into the number of elected politicians that serve their own best interests (most) rather than the interests of the people.
So, no, not a contradiction.
I thought Nintendo blacklisted Kotaku; why are they still communicating?
@AlexanderDaniels They just don't give Kotaku review copies of their games before they launch anymore.
Oh....so Nintendo figured out how Dolphin worked. Even if it took them 10 years to do so? Guess we can expect the Gamecube and Wii NSO apps on Switch soon then. Alongside the Expansion pack ++ for another 40$ annually.
@johnvboy So what are we supposed to do? Just sit around for years with our fingers crossed, hoping and praying that Nintendo (or other company of your choice) decides, on a whim, to re-release some obscure game from 20-30 years ago that barely managed to sell 200,000 copies? Sorry, but that's almost never realistically going to happen.
What if there are licensing issues surrounding a game, preventing it from getting re-released? Should it just be left in the past, never able to be played or experienced by a younger generation? Unless you still own a copy or can easily acquire one, emulation is your only option in that instance.
Life is too short to just sit around and wait for things like that to happen. If somebody wants something badly enough, they're going to do everything in their power to acquire it, by any means necessary. That's human nature. While I personally only ever emulate in extreme circumstances, I'd rather play and enjoy the games I want when I want than let what I have access to be dictated by a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Also, illegal ≠ immoral.
@shaneoh In your examples e.g. US States it's clear that those are laws within those states. In other words within that society. That there are differences between societies what is morally the right thing to do is nothing new. It does not matter if this is on the level of a state or a country.
The other example is one of oppression. I hope you are not taking the example of oppression as a means to condone unlawful behavior ethical in the context of piracy of video games.
@YoshiFlutterJump It just seems wrong that in the future nobody should be able to play Devil's Third without copping $500 and a WiiU to play it. If I ask how someone played a rare game and they said "I stole it" I'd be like "cool, how did you like the fire world at the end?" Like, I'm just happy to share the experience with someone. It's way more sad to forever lock worthwhile content behind shady reseller practices.
On topic, it was really dumb of Dolphin to ask Valve to put them on Steam in general, even more so when shipping with the Common Key.
Off topic, all those against emulators and piracy should consider other than what other comments have already said that there are people like me who wouldn't be as big Nintendo and videogame fans as they are today and so wouldn't buy as many games now if they hadn't played past ones also that way back when they were kids/teens and they simply couldn't buy as many (and I was one of the lucky kids along with my siblings who got a good amount of games from my parents, there are a lot of people way less fortunate than me when they were younger).
I am entirely for the piracy and emulation of older games that are not easily accessible, and the majority of Wii and Gamecube games fall within that group.
Even in the case of re-releases, such as Mario Galaxy/Sunshine (3D All Stars) and Metroid Prime Remastered, a person may wish to play the original release, and as of now, and unless they already own it, their only option is the second-hand market or piracy/emulation. And considering a used copy nets no company a profit, piracy in such a case is practically equivalent.
Nintendo should be adopting more pro-consumer policies, such as working to make as many of their past titles easily accessible and affordable. Instead, they have been increasingly adopting anti-consumer policies, taking an almost hard line conservative approach. It is the wrong way to win the goodwill of their customers.
Stifle innovation? Playing an old game that no longer brings significant profit to it's IP holder stifles innovation? Where is the connection in that? Non-creative tough talk to Kotaku, but what will you, Nintendo, innovate for in the name of game preservation? Rather than going for low hanging fruit and stopping pirate after pirate, one by one, only for them to infinitely respawn, ask yourself, Nintendo-- Why DOES videogame piracy exists? Solve that problem, then you will deal a blow to piracy AND promote game preservation. NSO is not enough.
Except they are part of the same country, they are all bound by the same federal laws, they are all part of the same society and some parts of it have wildly different beliefs than the other. So no they aren't different societies. So it does boil down to one having an ethical view, and one not.
I'm not denying it's oppression and I'm not equating it to piracy, though I'm sure some around here would say piracy was oppressing Nintendo. The fact is that they are in control and can set the laws, and you cannot deny that some of those laws are unethical which contradicts your statement.
"A Nintendo spokesperson has provided an official statement to Kotaku"
LOL, yeah right!
A shame but I can and will still download Dolphin to my Xbox, PC and Steam Deck regardless of it having a steam store page.
Maybe I'd have fudge to give if Nintendo actually tried to preserve their games but when the only way to officially play thousand year door is to shell out for a console that's no longer in production and pay £100's to then buy the game on top of that... no.
So you guys gonna mention the part where Valve initiated the removal of the Dolphin emulator?
Also Nintendo providing a statement to Kotaku? Get real. You do know Nintendo blacklisted them, right? To the point where Kotaku kicked up a stink, to the point of an implied death threat, because Nintendo wouldn’t give them an advanced review copy of TotK.
@JohnnyMind I think my issue has always been confusing preservation with accessibility. People talk about Nintendo not "preserving their games" when out of any major publisher Nintendo is one of the best at this. The difference is having their games accessible and Nintendo has been sometimes great, sometimes not so great at this. But, I always will get my feathers twisted when people beg for certain games to get a re-release and then pirate the game anyways when said game finally gets a re-release.
I just dislike hypocrites and don't care if people want to emulate it but, at the very least support the re-releases of these games. People wanting to download ROMs/ISOs online to play on an emulator have zero to do with preservation and they should just be honest about it.
@Tober There's no need to be upset
Also you're talking about one gamecube game out of what, 400 that have been released. Nice strawman argument though. Their stance is hypocritical, because they uses emulators on NSO, but they hate it when Gamecube is emulated because they can't emulate worth crap on NSO.
@Chlocean That is indeed a disappointing reality, and ever since the closure of the 3DS and Wii U eShops, it's become a much bigger problem. I really do wish game developers and publishers would do more to keep games widely available...like porting old games, keeping digital stores open, or even releasing official emulators and stores to get its games (like Virtual Console, but with a more complete catalog). And if they're never going to touch a game again, the ideal thing to do would be to release its copyright...these 95-year copyright terms in the US are helping no one.
But the sad reality is that the law is the law, and if a company owns the copyright for a game, it's really up to that company how it wants that game to be available. And I can't help but shake my head at people who think that the law doesn't matter and that they can make their own law.
@YoshiFlutterJump Legality != morality
Like I said I do not judge, people can make up their own minds individually to weather or not they think it's right or wrong, or indeed if they use an emulator for a pirated game.
@KoopaTheGamer DVD players also need a decryption key to play DVDs, yet it's not illegal for new companies to get into the DVD player industry. Why is emulation different?
Speaking of games not available anymore, why in the blazes is Xenoblade 2 not available to purchase anywhere?
I don't want a digital copy.
@mikegamer That's true to an extent, but you'd have to have a really good reason to break the law in order to claim that your actions remain moral. Stealing old games because they're rare doesn't qualify.
@Spider-Kev Because it is currently out of print. Nintendo can only keep so many games available at a time due to limited number of factories. You can still get the game fairly easily with minimal markup on Amazon US right now if you want it (I saw it as low as $54.99 USD which is actually bellow market).
@Wexter Agree that most of the time more than preservation (although not always as not every company is as good as Nintendo at it) it's about accessibility and yeah, people should support rereleases when they happen if they can, now that I have the possibility being a young adult I definitely try to do so!
@JohnnyMind Indeed. There are unrealistic expectations in some these articles comment sections that somehow Nintendo must keep every game ever made on their platform available... somehow. The NES alone had 716 games on it and a large chunk of that was license games by studios that either do not exist or are now absorbed into larger publishers who may have no idea they even have the rights to said games.
My point is that expectation is completely unreasonable. Even the rose-tinted Virtual Console only ever released at most 95 NES games on the platform at a time. Though it comes down to what can be a reasonable expectation? How can Nintendo make these games available? Apparently Switch Online has 94 NES games on its platform so as far as that platform goes, they're about on par with the Wii.
So, as far as availability goes of their retro catalog Nintendo has been Nintendo. Though what I have enjoyed seeing is Konami and Capcom stepping up big time with their collections and the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters are no slouches either.
This industry has a major problem with accessibility, but I think they are heading in the right direction and all this hate directed at Nintendo seems at best misguided and at worse disingenuous. Though there are some much bigger first to fry as far as their retro catalogue being just unavailable... EA...
@1SDANi DVD player manufacturers have a permission to manufacture the devices and they also have to pay a license fee to the patent holders. In this case, however, Nintendo certainly has not given their permission and doesn't even offer a chance to pay license fees.
@KoopaTheGamer So you're saying it'd be illegal for me to make and sell my own DVD player? That sounds really anticompetitive and monopolistic. Do you have know of any case law backing up your claim?
Nintendo isn't above the law, SCOTUS has legalized emulation in the US, so I trust them as the law of the land before I trust Nintendo. Also this is disingenuous, they say they hate emulation, but they use NSO for emulation so yeah, double standard bull crap. People who defend big corporations don't deserve to be gamers.
Ain't our fault Nintendo doesn't give us legal avenues to obtain games that are out of print. They don't generate revenue, only secondhand sellers make money, so how is that any less illegal? Nintendo doesn't see a dime.
@1SDANi That is exactly what you have to do. To even use the DVD logo on your products you need a license. You also need a license to make a DVD player as DVD is owned by the DVD Forum which a number of different companies that own the format. To even use some formats of DVD or even the DVD logo you need to apply for a license from the DVD FLLC.
@mikegamer can you cite the case that SCOTUS has actually listened to? From what I can find there has only been four cases for emulation and most settled outside of court and SCOTUS has never made an official ruling on emulation itself :
There has never been an official ruling, but Nintendo has not go after emulators. They have only gone after illegally distributed ROMs/ISOs and the programs that allow you to circumvent their DRM software. Which is perfectly okay under the law.
It is also not about Nintendo selling certain games now, but the ability to in the future. If Nintendo wants to add GCN games to Nintendo Online lets say next generation they don't want people making money off that now. And considering Nintendo has a GCN emulator I would not be surprised if a next gen Switch will be able to. That and Nintendo has even done remasters of select GCN games such as: Zelda Windwaker and Twilight Princess, Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime and Luigi's Mansion. So Nintendo is working through their GCN back catalog.
@Wexter That's not case law. The closest thing to case law I can even find on the subject is the AACS encryption key controversy, where the American Bar Associated stated that the illegality of distributing a decryption key is dubious. It seems like the US Justice System has no existing precedent on this issue.
But I digress. They're hypocrites, they attack emulation, but use emulators on NSO. They need to stop treating users who use emulators and backups as criminals or like it's hurting their revenue on 20 + year old games. Newsflash, it isn't. Nintendo can bug off.
@1SDANi But, you still need a license to make DVD players as it is not open source which was your question.
@Wexter Do you need a license? Do you have any case law that proves your claim? Because as far as I currently understand it, it seems that it's illegality untested at best and at worst generally agreed to be dubious by the American Bar Association.
@mikegamer They didn't rule on it. You said SCOTUS made emulation legal when it was not actually heard by the Supreme Court. They rejected listening the appeal. There is not an official ruling on emulation or the use of ROMs/ISOs. Though generally emulation is considered legal PROVIDED it is reverse engineered and does not use copywritten code.
And my point is Nintendo has not gone after emulators only the distribution of ROMs/ISOs. And as far this case went it was Valve that alerted Nintendo and Nintendo responded with it should be taken down. And it is not about Nintendo releasing the games now, but the ability to do so in the future like they have with the NES, SNES, N64, GB, GBC and GBA. And Nintendo has also released GCN games through remasters like the ones listed earlier.
@1SDANi read up on the DVD Forum and DVD FLLC and get back to me.
If the distribution of cryptographic keyes is clearly illegal as you claim, then the Motion Picture Association of America would have had a slam dunk case, yet they never sued anyone who distributed the AACS encryption key.
@Wexter Read up on the AACS encryption key and get back to me.
@1SDANi But you were asking if you're allowed to make a DVD player and sell it. To make one you need a license because the format is not open source. So, your question has a very simple answer.
@Wexter You have provided no legal proof I would need a license. To the contrary, the ABA and AACS responses to the AACS encryption key controversy is proof that I might not need a license. There is not a simple answer to my question because the claimed illegality of the actions described has never, to my knowledge, been tested in court.
@Wexter Okay? And that's going to stop people? Emulators aren't illegal, deal with it. People who simp for Nintendo don't deserve to argue against it or game preservation. I don't have any damns to give what Nintendo says.
@Wexter Heck, the DVD decryption key is literally on wikipedia's page for the AACS encryption key controversy and has been for almost two decades. If the answer to my question is simple and that answer is that it is illegal, then the AACS should have a slam dunk lawsuit against wikipedia.
Mario maker is still on shelves.
One would think that with both Xenoblade 1 and 3 on shelves, two also should be!
@mikegamer When did I say I was against emulators? And if you're legally backing up your own games then you have zero issues... All I pointed out was SCOTUS didn't rule on it. Which is fine, I don't care. On a personal level go do what you want to do my personal opinion means nothing in the matter. But, from a legal standpoint emulation is legal provided it is not using anything copywritten. And as we've learned about SCOTUS it tends to change on issues over time so with a more Republican leaning court it is possibly 3rd party emulators that ship with a BIOS or encryption keys could be classified as illegal entirely. But, that is purely speculation as luckily a case involving emulation has not been heard by SCOTUS and hopefully wont any time soon.
@Spider-Kev it is on Amazon my friend. And the game came out in 2017 compared to Xenoblade DE which was 2020 and Xenoblade 3 which was last year. So, yeah it will not be as available because it is an older game in a niche series with traditionally lower sales. I also would not compare the availability of Xenoblade with a Mario game. It would be more comparable with Astral Chain or Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE.
Though I have found you a copy it is on Amazon US right now for under retail price. Go buy it have fun: https://www.amazon.com/Xenoblade-Chronicles-2-Nintendo-Switch/dp/B01MZ94DLA/ref=sr_1_1?crid=7P6JZIS0QAL0&keywords=Xenoblade+2&qid=1685383721&sprefix=xenoblade+2%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-1
@Wexter I'm done, I don't see the point in trying to provide my point and stance in why I support Dolphin and why I hate the way Nintendo handles their legacy content -_-
@mikegamer How Nintendo handles their legacy content is a different discussion. And one I'm okay having. Nintendo compared to Microsoft has been at best stingy with their legacy content past the N64. Though they are better than most, there is room for them to grow for accessibility of their content. Though from what I can tell Nintendo has treated Dolphin pretty good. They've generally live and let live and had to be contacted by Valve before they did anything. So, from what I can tell unless Dolphin wants to take Nintendo to court (probably a bad idea) Nintendo will probably leave them alone.
@1SDANi Since you posted Wikipedia links as well, I assume you're okay with it as a reference.
"As of 2002 the largest producer of DVD players is China; in 2002 they produced 30 million players, more than 70% of the world output. These producers have to pay US$15–$20 per player in license fees, to the patent holders of the DVD technology (Sony, Philips, Toshiba and Time Warner) as well as for MPEG-2 licenses."
@KoopaTheGamer and your point is?
@1SDANi I was under the impression that you needed some kind of proof to the claim about those license fees.
@KoopaTheGamer You didn't give proof that those license fees are required, just that companies generally prefer to pay them than to risk a lawsuit on an issue with no legal precedent.
@1SDANi If these payments were not required, I'd imagine that the companies wouldn't pay them for no reason.
Even if you can find the DVD decryption key somewhere (say, Wikipedia), it doesn't mean that it can be freely used on DVD players. Maybe for personal use, but not on commercial devices (or software that you share with other people).
I don't have any additional proof, and honestly I don't want to waste my time looking for some.
@KoopaTheGamer The reason the companies pay it might be because it's required, but it might also be because they don't wish to spend the money fighting a lawsuit on an issue with zero legal precedent.
Ultimately, there is no legal proof that distributing decryption keys is illegal, and while American companies prefer to pay for licenses to decryption keys where possible, American lawyers generally agree that the illegality of using decryption keys without a license is dubious at best.
Ultimately, I doubt Nintendo ever intended to sue over Dolphin. They were likely merely playing a game of chicken with Valve, and it looks like they won.
The emulator ain't illegal.
The games & BIOS are.
@Shepdawg1 Steam Deck users?
@Agent_P It’s already possible to get Dolphin on a Steam Deck. It just requires a little more work than simply installing it, which is what the Steam release would have allowed.
@ValZ it's a bit more complicated.
1) Emulators like any software are legal provided they don't have another company's copyrighted code or assets (provided it's unlicensed).
2) ROMs/ISOs and bios can be legal provided they are ones you dumped yourself and not being distributed online.
So you're kind of right. Like most things is complicated.
The amount of sanctimonious corporate shills here is unbelievable. Playing ROMs is not 'stealing', at most it's copyright infringement. The file has not been taken and completely removed from the owner. This has been proven too many times in many courts to even be a point of contention now.
Beyond that, someone downloading Power Blade II for the NES to relive some of their childhood because there's no way they can buy it isn't entitlement. Get over yourself
@PrincessKatamari not to play the semantics game (I'm actually am), but that is the definition of entitlement. Even if the game is no longer available you don't just get to have it because you played it as a kid. Not how that works considering there are a bunch of other ways to do it like buying the game used and using an after market console. I mean live and let live, but really bad example.
I don't think Square Enix is losing sleep over you downloading it online and playing it... But you can't say that's not entitlement when that legit is an example of entitlement. It be better to just argue I doubt Square Enix cares too much if you did download it online as they've not done much of anything with Taito's back catalogue.
I think people are missing the point it's not the 'emulator' itself on Steam. It is the code they used with it. BIOS/keys are important. But like many people get that and only the technical minded do not making pointless comments on the matter.
Anyone remember Starfox 2 who wanted that before the SNES classic had it clearly many people that uncovered the prototypes. How many people uncover prototypes years later and archive them because they deserve to be preserved then ignored. Same with Secret of Mana trilogy before Square made them available on modern platforms the Japanese exclusive games we get nowadays but didn't before? No one is getting Mother 3 other than the fan translation are they?
If Nintendo didn't see any interest in visual novels why would they bring Famicom Detective Club to the west they would stay in Japan still?
Then again if it wasn't for emulators for 'research' and also the GDC talk where a devs says 'were all using MAME, everyone in the commercial industry is using MAME''. Hosting the BIOS is not allowed but emulators are not illegal. They are allowed for research.
But you can see that if they themselves don't have time in the company/industry to make emulators for certain consoles because they have to make a product/have something to show for it then they well have to do that in their spare time maybe an emulator but not everyone has that time so fans step in.
I mean without emulators the Metroidvania genre wouldn't even exist as big as it is now so if you own Metroidvanias by Indie devs in the past few years you basically supported their efforts of making that genre big.
Because get this their favourite games they know inside and out with tools/emulators to learn their favourite Castlevanias and Metroids inside and out besides playing them.
They get how the systems work on that level to then make their games with those tools/emulators.
That and well fans are indirectly helping developers by making tools (just like going to a game engine that exists then making your own does) in how they can go about a rewind feature, fast forward, upscaling textures, and more sure we don't see it in commercial games as much but you do see some features not all the ones fan emulators have.
Maybe Saturn emulation made it clear how to make Cotton or the Panza Dragoon remake. Maybe the same for Neo Geo Archives on Switch? Any of the possible games we see emulated on modern consoles and PC there is many examples that may apply I don't know which do I'm just making random example that 'could be' rather than knowing 'they actually were'.
If companies can make their own emulators they will but if you have companies that specialise in making old games on modern systems like M2 or other studios with such skill then yeah they may know what their doing already or the efforts of fan emulators helps. Maybe someone wants to port a Turbo Graphx game or Atari Jaguar or some console that is less popular and not as well documented well fans may do that themselves.
How many would not be able to play the Castlevania Symphony of the Night Tiger Gamecom prototype and show that to the world hmm oh it's an IP you love then your interested right?
So the research part stands. Anyone that doesn't know any better that goes eh fan emulation I don't like that support companies. Eh get the original games well yeah if the second hand market wasn't expensive some of the games are around the same price or more then their original prices in the older eras of gaming for cartridge games or disks of the 80s/90s/00s and not being made anymore.
But at the same time if you bought Metroidvanias by Indies you technically made a point there too by supporting your Indie devs learning and then making products from their findings so you supported their efforts in research and making more games of that sort.
I mean just like the NES lockout chip or Sega being particular on EA's efforts of the Genesis reverse engineering is a big thing to consider.
Read the actual comments or videos covering this better than going oh fan emulation and Nintendo striking it.
It's the code and why Nintendo had the right to do it. It's the reason why other projects using the same source code also get taken and why others don't.
If they didn't have those keys it wouldn't have been a problem.
Reverse engineering with different code versus the same code as Nintendo is the important detail people miss because they don't read/understand how code/technology works and make pointless comments understanding nothing.
I don't even have the know how or this technical knowledge of coding/hardware (sure I can code webpages but not an emulator) and it makes sense to me being believeable of the keys used as an important detail in reverse engineering consoles.
@BlueBeemer No, really? I never realized that, amazing!
My point still stands, stop defending big corporations tenacious bull crap. Thanks.
I disagree, Phil Spencer has done a lot for backwards compat on Xbox consoles. Switch? Not so much.
@mikegamer I was completing Microsoft a fair bit. Nintendo is better than others, but could use work. Granted Microsoft has a far easier time with backwards compatibility than Nintendo as for the most part it's been similar controllers, disc-based media and similar architecture. Nintendo does not really have that benefit as the media has been vastly different between consoles. Even Wii U games cannot be just played on the Switch even if we ignore the disc v. cartridges argument. And, unless Nintendo released an official ripper getting anything from physical games from the NES-N64 or GB-3DS would be extremely difficult. Even DS games on the Wii U was rather difficult to implement because of the duel screens were rather different from eachother in implementation.
I consider Nintendo Switch a clean break and expect the next Switch to be fully backwards compatible. But, that's why I was also classifying Nintendo as stingy with GCN-Wii as the games they have re-released have been exceptionally limited. Maybe this will improve, but they have made their published back catalogue from NES-N64 pretty easily available through NSO. But, there is room to grow. Due to how Nintendo handled business in the past they have a harder avenue because of their innovation so their GCN-Wii U catalogue is harder to make available without doing native ports.
Aka... they're getting there, but they still have growing pains to workout.
@BlueBeemer Piracy isn't defined as outright theft, it's illicit duplication of copyrighted works, the original isn't gone, just illegally copied. Big difference in definition.
@SuntannedDuck2 Dolphin doesn't include any copyrighted code, it includes a cryptographic key, but a cryptographic key is neither code nor copyrightable. At best there's a DRM circumvention claim, but that legal theory is entirely untested and the American Bar Association has stated that its logic is dubious.
Here's the thing all those on here talking game preservation is just talking Piracy plain and simple. They only use game Preservation as a front to Piracy and nothing more. If they were so dedicate to game preservation here are some prime examples of those doing it.
If your not contributing two these kinda organization or similar then your contributing to Piracy. So stop with the misleading use of game preservation when it's really Piracy is what your trying to do.
@mikegamer Piracy isn't defined as outright theft, it's illicit duplication of copyrighted works, the original isn't gone, just illegally copied. Big difference in definition.
And whom is paying the original content creator or software developer? THEFT is theft Copyright Violation is also a theft of original content creator. Definition is just semantic someone stole another creators work or software they created for their own gain without paying license fee for using it or royalty to use it. Theft is a over encompassing word regardless of the definition.
@SwitchForce And who gets money when you buy secondhand games? Not the developers or Nintendo.
@SwitchForce NGL, I never understood why "copyright is theft" is the go-to tagline, "copyright is counterfeiting" is both more accurate and WAY more illegal sounding. Everyone knows someone who stole something or had something stolen from them and faced no consequences, but counterfeiting is the big time crime, that's the stuff that gets the FBI after them and gets them sent to jail. Maybe it's not used because it's a mouthful?
@BlueBeemer But I didn't steal an Apple: I took a photograph of the Mona Lisa and then put it up online for people to save to their own devices. I didn't steal the Mona Lisa.
The rules for physical objects and infinitely replicable software are not the same. This gets even more complicated when that infinitely replicable software is also artwork which, ones it's commercial viability period is over, should be out there in the world for humanity to enjoy.
Saving a copy of the Mona Lisa to your hard drive lets you look at it but it also doesn't take away from the power of visiting the original at the Louvre so you can see every brush stroke in person.
Playing a rom on an emulator is the same: sometimes you just want to have a 5 minute go to see what the fuss is about or just experience the plot for yourself. But to properly /experience/ that game you want the hardware and a physical copy. This goes double if the game is multiplayer.
Notice how nobody steals books because we have libraries you can borrow them from if you just want to read a story? But if you have ideas you buy the book to scribble down notes and then maybe talk about it in a group or write a blog about it.
Give that article a read and see why artwork, once it is no longer commercially available should not be vaulted away for a century. Culture should not be locked away.
There is also a massive upside to this idea as well: if copyright was stripped right back to just a decade of corporate ownership then the industry, addicted to its profits would have no choice but to constantly, constantly be churning out /new/ things.
We are all tired of remakes, attempts at big shared universes, tired sequels and reboots. If copyright was a decade there would be a constant search for the new which in turn creates new fanbases and new culture.
@1SDANi It's not that copyright is theft but rather that having a century or more's control over artwork and culture, something that belongs to everyone is theft from society at large.
Copyright should be limited to a decade to creators can still make money but are also then motivated to constantly create new things to do so instead of monetising nostalgia.
@SwitchForce I see it as people having to resort to 'theft' to maintain wider access to culturally significant pieces of artwork. To quote Indiana Jones: it belongs in a museum.
In the case of software, and software alone the law is wrong and needs to be updated for the 21st Century.
A good few examples of this would be how the pro-firearms groups keep mentioning their 'right to bear arms' but neglect to include the part about fighting as an organised militia. The USA isn't at war with the British Empire anymore and that law no longer applies. And yet it stays, has been twisted by the modern world and now there are children out there that have to go through armed intruder drills at school. You know how many school shootings we have in the UK since the law on gun ownership was changed in 1997? Zero.
Another good example is the amount of religious folk who read the book of Leviticus and use it to justify their own prejudices against people with a non-conformist sexual orientation. This was a series of rules written thousands of years ago as a constitution for a group of people (the Hebrews) who had just escaped a generation of bondage in Egypt and had no idea how to function as a state. These rules were not written for the modern world and yet are still twisted by the church. You know how much Jesus said about these things? Nothing, he said respect and love everyone even if you disagree with them!
Older laws need to be updated or we end up in a situation where corporations control all your access to culture and artwork, the lifeblood of a society. It is inevitable gaming will move to a 100% digital only medium meaning physical access is out the window. When that happens and your only option is to pay a subscription fee to a corporate entity to access something you do not own, what then?
It's perfectly fine to be entitled in that case. No one is harmed by the downloading of an old game no longer accessible. It's practically the equivalent of borrowing a used copy, perhaps even from a library. In fact, it almost sounds as if one could make the argument that a library is a place of entitlement given that they are sharing books and other media without anyone having to pay (except for a small amount that comes from taxes or a membership fee, although not everyone may have to pay that).
@Shepdawg1 Yea, true
Of course it's about not paying. That's the entire issue. I am fairly certain that if every pirated copy of a game was paid for by the person doing the pirating, pirating would be a non-issue. Do you really think companies would turn down the money? At that point, it would simply be another means of selling their (out of print, inaccessible) game.
And keep in mind we are talking about copies of digital items, not physical items such as your neighbor's bicycle or car, which they might mind having taken even if you were to pay for it.
Well I would say we just hold different positions. Mine is that it's fine to have access to those copyrighted materials so long as no harm is done. If the game is inaccessible, I consider it nearly the same as borrowing. If a person wants to make a payment to the company for it, even better.
@BlueBeemer yes because that's stopped people before lol
There's little chance of you going to prison or being fined if you're simply pirating old games. How many people have you heard of who were punished? Only the major players tend to be, and I believe especially those who try to make money from it.
I don't need the steam version to keep playing. Just got my RG405M and will be loading my isos on there soon.
"So it's forgery/counterfeiting which is also illegal."
Nah, a forgery or counterfeit would be trying to pass it off as the original, like the fake pokemon carts
@mikegamer And who gets money when you buy secondhand games? Not the developers or Nintendo.
Here we go again that's physical used games market. They can legally sell used games or action games on eBay. Your trying to equate two totally different aspects here. This isn't ROMs or pirated software. If what your trying say then the big 3 consoles maker would've shutdown eBay for those selling new or used games. But that didn't happen.
@SwitchForce I think the point they are trying to make is that whether you buy a 2nd hand copy or download a room Nintendo isn’t seeing a penny of it. They got paid at the original point of sale for the 2nd hand copy just as they did for whatever disc or cart got backed up that first time.
The ridiculous prices for retro titles coupled with failed battery backups, disc rot and other physical failures will mean that eventually the only way to experience many of these older titles will be via roms.
@BlueBeemer The PC I believe represents the ideal marketplace because older titles still work and are often available from stores such as Good Old Games. It’s still possible to buy those titles and recompense the original creators. Thanks to newer portables you can also play them on a variety of hardware.
The fast paced nature of the console business is the opposite. Thousands of titles lie dormant and will likely never be sold again, cutting them off forever. I don’t think anyone would bother with something like Dolphin if Nintendo just put all those titles on a sub service on Switch.
Old games need to have some ways to be played if nintendo doesn't offer it others will. Considering the price of games like FE path of radiance I don't blame them. Wii u had a great virtual console with decent pricing, easy availability of a lot of games would stop the majority of piracy. As shown with the early days of netflix
Too bad Nintendo doesn’t offer an alternative service so consumers can have easy access to buy or rent classic games and keep them moving forward on future Nintendo hardware!
@GameOtaku It would be interesting if you could borrow them from a digital library where the files self destruct after a period of time like digital library books do. This would allow access to titles without having to break laws that need changing.
The second hand market is a totally different thing.
It's the owner of the IP's decision if they want to release more copies of the game on the market. If Nintendo want to release Mario 64 30 years later to make money that's their business (literally). You don't have the right to flood the market by making illegal copies of the game.
You're only flooding the market if you're selling them. That isn't the case the majority of the time. If companies aren't willing to release their old games, people will find other ways of playing them.
@BlueBeemer Corporations aren't your friends, so stop simping for them like a mindless Nintendo sycophant
I'm not concerned with the legality of it. The used market is a good example. It should exist period and not simply because of a legal technicality. I'm of the opinion that a second-hand market should exist for digital items as well.
I'm also not concerned with having the owner's permission, given that the owners are often not the creators, and the creators may not even benefit from sales, especially in the case of older titles where the creators are likely not with the company and are probably not receiving any sort of a residual income.
@1SDANi I'm aware it was because of the Wii Crytographic keys I have seen videos on this.
DRM right I may have missed that detail that does make sense. Thanks for pointing that part out actually.
Or they could just offer the virtual console as an alternative service to switch online. They should treat it like gamepass in that you could rent and buy.
If the issue is the Wii Encryption Key, they should have just remove it...
Dolphin emulator on Steam Deck could be just for Gamecube (still amazing).
But now that Nintendo filed a takedown, it's probably too late.
Thanks for the reassurance it does help.
it can feel like the internet is a massive double-edged sword, there's naturally many wonderful things but sometimes it can get to the point where its almost anti-escapism.
@Mgalens You feel surrounded by some kind of basement policemen, lawyers, moralistics and zealots when all you want to do is have fun. I know that feeling.
Nintendo started alright with Wii, including NES, SNES and N64 games available to purchase from the start but subscribing now on Switch for running old roms is a rip-off when most companies are releasing retro compilations with upgrades that you can play forever. Nintendo is the only company going backwards regarding video games preservation. Goodbye, Virtual Console. Goodbye, Wii U shop. Goodbye, 3DS shop.
I have bought compilations with games that I already have, the few that Nintendo has released and several from Capcom, Rare, Disney, Sega, Konami, Microsoft... They are wonderful and I'm happy to support them.
I bought Super Mario 3D Almost-All-Stars but that's just three games with the critically acclaimed Wii sequel excluded. So thank you, Dolphin. Because most of us love many Nintendo games and have grown up playing Mario but it's just logical that many of us got tired of today's Nintendo corporation to the point of saying FU.
Tap here to load 269 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...