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Frankenburger

"Can't discuss emulation" - But why?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

One rule that's kind of baffled me in the past is the rule of not talking about emulating. I can understand shaky nature of the legal aspect of it and the necessity to shut down threads that discuss where to obtain ROMs and a system BIOS, but on one hand, it's not uncommon to see Linus upload videos that feature some sort of retro emulation. Furthermore, many people own the original hardware and the original software, and use emulation as a means to preserve their collection and/or play the games they already own in an enhanced manner. For example, I own the original PSX release of FF7, and while my PS1 is inoperable, my PS2 plays the game perfectly fine. Also, I own 2 copies of FF8, and bought the 2nd one because the first disk of the first copy was damaged. I don't know about the rest of the world, but in the US, it's not illegal to have backups of products you legally own.

 

I find it kind of silly to nix the discussion all together if someone is simply looking for ways to enjoy what they own in an enhanced fashion, or are looking for tips on how to archive their collection.


 

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Wait, since when is emulation discussion not allowed here? The Community Standards and the previous CoC makes no mention of emulation at all.. Are mods locking threads about it nowadays?

 

Anyways, as you said; emulation should be something we can discuss. Piracy should also be something we can discuss. Links to the latter are a no-no though, links to emulators.. A bit harder to judge. 

We as 'users' can't really judge if an emulator has been made without the use of copyrighted material and I think that is what they might want to ban.

 

The bit about owning the game/system is something I agree with. Where I live, I pay a small fee on certain devices that can hold data (like laptops, phones, external hard drives, ereaders, etc.) which entitles me to make a copy of media I own, for own use. I find it incredibly annoying that all (videogame) companies are making it increasingly more difficult (or impossible) to do that though.

 

I am someone who think preservation of data is incredibly important and find it a real shame some games might not exist in 10-20 years because data rot and publisher/companies only releasing a small portion of their library of games (think the Virtual Console, with a fraction of Nintendo's library of games).

It's also super annoying with games that can't be re-released because legal conflicts (think all the issues with some Rare games on Nintendo platforms).

 


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Where does it say that?

Quote

Any discussion on how to engage in piracy is not allowed, including the discussion of hacking or cracking.

  • Discussion of piracy in general is acceptable (e.g. "Game X becomes the most pirated game ever").
  • Hackintosh discussion is permitted.

Won't that be considered general discussion? (as long as you don't provide ways to acquire ROMs and whatnot, maybe?)

 

 


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Many emulators were made by reverse-engineering the original hardware, effectively breaching the companies' copyrights.


Write in C.

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5 minutes ago, hiitswilliam said:

So we can't discuss Wine?

Wine Is Not an Emulator (even though it actually is)


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Emulator and general aspects are withing rules. Giving advice about how and where to get ROM's, games, ISOs etc. clearly isn't as that is piracy. I've yet to see general discussion about emulators getting locked.


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4 minutes ago, Dat Guy said:

Many emulators were made by reverse-engineering the original hardware, effectively breaching the companies' copyrights.

[Citation Needed]


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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 minutes ago, Dat Guy said:

Many emulators were made by reverse-engineering the original hardware, effectively breaching the companies' copyrights.

Reverse engineering is not illegal as long as the developer of a program uses all original code. Point in case - Sony vs Bleem. Sony took Bleem to court for developing the Bleem emulator. Sony knew they couldn't get the court to shut Bleem down, so Sony just kept taking Bleem to court over and over again, forcing them to shut down by spending all their money on court fines.


 

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2 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Wine Is Not an Emulator (even though it actually is)

There's a reason it stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator, because it isn't. It's a compatibility layer that turns Windows system calls into POSIX system calls. A VM would be an emulator, or at least closer to one.


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24 minutes ago, Dat Guy said:

Many emulators were made by reverse-engineering the original hardware, effectively breaching the companies' copyrights.

Reverse-engineering hardware isn't a copyright-offense, you're mixing concepts. Distributing e.g. parts of the firmware or even the whole firmware of a console/device is a copyright-offense, but hardware can't be copyrighted per se -- you can patent specific implementations, you can trademark specific design-decisions and so on, but you can't copyright it. Also, a clean-room re-implementation of a device's firmware, again, isn't a copyright-offense since you're not distributing any part of the original code -- you are distributing code/implementation that you've made yourself.


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You can discuss pirating, emulation and such, but you cant in anyway direct or sugest ways in which to DO it.

 

For example.

 

As far as im concerned emulation is great, and if a game or console is no longer available from retail stores, as in its been discontinued, any other means of obtaining such games or consoles is fare. Be it the second hand market, or emulation.

 

To me its more akin to 'repoduction' , rather than 'conterfit' or 'pirated'.

 

Conterfit or pirated products can detract from sales of legitimate orignal products.

Reproduction, emulation in this case, is intended ,and pritty much only possible, fo older products (consoles and games) that are no longer in production and therefor cannot detract from sales and profits of the original company.

 

To much is put into 'legaility', and not enough into 'morality'.


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3 minutes ago, SolarNova said:

You can discuss pirating, emulation and such, but you cant in anyway direct or sugest ways in which to DO it.

There are perfectly legit ways of doing emulation and it'd be fucking stupid to deny people the ability to "direct or sugest ways in which to DO it."


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Posted · Original PosterOP
45 minutes ago, Minibois said:

Wait, since when is emulation discussion not allowed here? The Community Standards and the previous CoC makes no mention of emulation at all.. Are mods locking threads about it nowadays?

I've seen a few mods locking threads where people were asking for advice on what emulators to use for things like Raspberry Pi's, and also threads asking for technical assistance in getting things running properly. I dunno about recently since I've been on hiatus for a little, but it's definitely something I've noticed happening in the past.


 

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35 minutes ago, BobVonBob said:

There's a reason it stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator, because it isn't. It's a compatibility layer that turns Windows system calls into POSIX system calls. A VM would be an emulator, or at least closer to one.

You can call it whatever you want, it still emulates Windows on Linux.

 

Before you start going off on a rant, yes I do understand why it technically isn't an emulator perfectly, I just disagree.


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Technically, the definition of emulation is “reproduction of the function or action of a different computer, software system, etc.” so wouldn’t having windows 10 on your pc be emulation? Because you are putting an OS that was made for a different computer in your computer. Because windows 10 was not made for YOUR computer, it was made and tested for the computers at Microsoft so anyone with windows is emulating the OS from Microsoft’s computers, it’s simply that they sell keys for emulation. 


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The forum needs "Using BitTorrent is legal, downloading copyrighted material isn’t. Be careful of what you download or face the consequences." rule implemented. 


 

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@Frankenburger

Discussion about Emulation is ok.

Discussion on how to, and how to acquire is not.

 

As mentioned by;

5 hours ago, LoGiCalDrm said:

Emulator and general aspects are withing rules. Giving advice about how and where to get ROM's, games, ISOs etc. clearly isn't as that is piracy. I've yet to see general discussion about emulators getting locked.

 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
25 minutes ago, SansVarnic said:

@Frankenburger

Discussion about Emulation is ok.

Discussion on how to, and how to acquire is not.

 

As mentioned by;

 

I understand why it's not ok to talk about acquiring bios's and rom's due to legal gray areas, but I find it silly to stone wall the discussion of some how to's. Like I mentioned in my original post, if someone has the original hardware and the original software, then there shouldn't be any issue. People looking for advice on how to enjoy products they legally own at higher resolutions with better graphics and higher framerates shouldn't be discouraged IMO. By no means am I trying to give you or any other mod a hard time, I just find it a silly rule since the "how-to" aspect of emulators (such as using wide screen, enabling higher FPS, enhancing graphics, using shaders, how to lower input lag, etc) isn't inherently a gray legal point.


 

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Here's a brief bit on what's permitted to the best of my knowledge.

  • Discussing ROMS
  • Discussing emulators
  • Discussing how ROMS work
  • Discussing ROM troubleshooting(i.e. files acting glitchy/not starting up in their proper emulator)

Here's what wouldn't be allowed

  • Direct links to ROM sites
  • Talking about how to circumvent laws regarding ROMS
  • Discussing how to obtain a ROM

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1 hour ago, Frankenburger said:

I understand why it's not ok to talk about acquiring bios's and rom's due to legal gray areas, but I find it silly to stone wall the discussion of some how to's. Like I mentioned in my original post, if someone has the original hardware and the original software, then there shouldn't be any issue. People looking for advice on how to enjoy products they legally own at higher resolutions with better graphics and higher framerates shouldn't be discouraged IMO. By no means am I trying to give you or any other mod a hard time, I just find it a silly rule since the "how-to" aspect of emulators (such as using wide screen, enabling higher FPS, enhancing graphics, using shaders, how to lower input lag, etc) isn't inherently a gray legal point.

 

The post above this outlines my understanding of line. There isn't much discussion here because there aren't that many people who are into emulators, not because there is some hard ban on discussion. Same goes with hackintoshes, while I see those more often than for example S/NES emulator discussions.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
17 minutes ago, LoGiCalDrm said:

 

The post above this outlines my understanding of line. There isn't much discussion here because there aren't that many people who are into emulators, not because there is some hard ban on discussion. Same goes with hackintoshes, while I see those more often than for example S/NES emulator discussions.

An example of what I was referring to stems from what SansVarnic stated - asking for emulation help is a no-no. There was a thread that was locked back in November where the OP was simply asking how to change the color of GB games with a GBC emulator. Mind you, he did link to the ROM, but the topic was ultimately about how to make use of GBC's color function in non GBC games.

 

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/997920-need-help-with-emulator/

 

I recall more threads of similar nature being locked in the past, but I can't seem to locate them. Maybe my memory is going in my old age?


 

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7 minutes ago, Frankenburger said:

An example of what I was referring to stems from what SansVarnic stated - asking for emulation help is a no-no. There was a thread that was locked back in November where the OP was simply asking how to change the color of GB games with a GBC emulator. Mind you, he did link to the ROM, but the topic was ultimately about how to make use of GBC's color function in non GBC games.

 

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/997920-need-help-with-emulator/

 

I recall more threads of similar nature being locked in the past, but I can't seem to locate them. Maybe my memory is going in my old age?

 

That one is grey area of grey area. As moderation here tend to lock threads which involve piracy of any form, at any place. So since link was included, whole thread was deemed piracy, resulting lock. I wouldn't be that harsh personally with many of these, and sometimes ask for that in reports I make about ppl sharing piracy-related links in threads asking for something which isn't related to piracy. Such as advice on Windows issues.


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