The game was released as a PATCH, which requires for you to OWN the original, to able to enjoy this freeware "add on". The rom was never released. A cart is a ROM, the patch is not.
The final product is unauthorized derivative work. That makes it piracy. You just happen to be exploiting a loophole so that distributing it is not illegal.
Without making money
Money is irrelevant.
I OWN the code (hacked part) which I released.
Not if it's unauthorized derivative work. I can make a 100% original cartoon using Bugs Bunny -- but it's derivative work, which makes it illegal.
You can make a 50% original ROM hack using Zelda -- but it's derivative work, which makes it illegal.
A cart maker doesn't own anything,
Neither do you. Nintendo is the only one here with legal ownership of anything.
I never released anything owned by original authors - not even the picture of Link on a paper.
Distribution vs. final product.
All I released were ones and zeros of my personal work. I own this code. (Isn't software beautiful.)
Yes it's certainly beautiful when you don't understand anything about it.
I have copyrights of my code
Your copyrights wouldn't hold up 5 seconds in court. It's all derivative work.
It's easy to claim you have the legal high ground when you completely make shit up and misrepresent the law.