How do legal ROMs Work?

How do you obtain a supposedly legal ROM of a 2d fighter? Do you buy it in an online store? Do the original publishers have any say in the process of buying and selling?

The only Legal ROMS, are usually homebrew and test stuff.

Nothing usually that is copyrighted or made for the purpose of being commercially sold (Like the games in stores)

Legal Roms are usually always those marked with PD in the names which means (Public Domain) aka free reign for anyone to use.

Technically, a ‘legal’ rom is one you create yourself using a cartridge reader, etc. There are not any developers I am aware of that distribute roms for use with downloadable emulators. The closest thing you’ll probably find are the console arcade compilations.

well… if you own the actual game(exact game) and you have obtain the rom somehow people wont ask questions. but it is technically illegal to use a rom you did not rip yourself.

Even then it depends on the country and maybe even state you live in. I’m no lawyer or anything but I’m pretty sure you can’t make a backup of a game in the U.S, even if you own a copy and dump the ROM yourself. In Canada you can dump and use your own.

Basically it’s not worth it to get legal copies anyways. No one is going to come get you if you download a ROM. And if you want to feel better about yourself for doing it just buy the game as well.

I’m not sure but I think some companies like Gametap have offered legal emulation before. There was no way to use the rom outside of the emulator it came with though.

Pretty much what he said. Nobody will think worse of you if you own the game unless they are really uptight about this stuff. None of this has been tried in court in the US and hardly anyone pays attention to the DMCA, so there isn’t really a clear answer. (Downloading roms of games you already own without dumping them yourself may or may not fall under the fair use clause of copyright law, and the DMCA contradicts that law in more than a few places. Until a court rules in favor of one or another, this will be one of those legal gray areas.)

No, it’s illegal left right and centre. Downloading a ROM of a game even if you own it is illegal, it’s just no one is going to bother to sue you or anything. Especially if you already own a copy of that game.

Fair use comes in for something like where and how you use your legal backups. Like if you back up a CD you own it’s fair use to be able to put those MP3s on a MP3 player and listen to them away from the CD. It is not fair use to download songs that you own the CD for(you have to create the backup yourself).

Honestly, if you own the actual game itself, you’re fine.

I would say your pretty fine even if you don’t own the game.

The authorities aren’t after people downloading, they are after the people uploading. Unless you plan on setting up a server and dumping every new 360/wii/ps3/ds/psp game that comes out I’d say you where fine.