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Author Topic: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online  (Read 3059 times)

DragonSpikeXIII

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Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« on: December 08, 2016, 02:32:59 am »
This is mostly directed at people who have released fan-translations, but any input or discussion is welcome.

So, in general, people know why it's good to ask users not to upload and share patched ROMs or ISOs. How would you handle the situation where someone violates that? Do you just ask to take it down and continue on whether they did or not? Do you delay your project until they comply or even indefinitely? What would you (fan-translator or not) do?

SunGodPortal

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Re: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2016, 02:52:38 am »
If someone takes your or our illegal work and distributes it, do you/we really have a place to tell them not to distribute it? It's not as though we did said work with the approval of the original IP owner. In probably all cases we did so without asking because we know the answer will without question be "No". That being the case, I'm not sure what a "good" answer to your question would be.

Now, if I was working on something and someone distributed it in any fashion without my permission before it was finished after I trusted them with it I would probably treat that person like crap for the rest of their life and maybe even try to sabotage them in the future to retaliate for their betrayal. That's just me though. If I really wanted the project completed I would continue working on it without them. If I was helping them finish their project, well, they're fucked.
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DragonSpikeXIII

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Re: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 03:54:15 am »
As part of a fan-translation team (working on Ace Combat 3, by Namco) I don't pretend to have that nor a moral ground over anyone but surely it sets a good precedent and, for what it's worth, is a show of goodwill from those involved. I think a company would definitely act more quickly if they saw rampant piracy going on in such a project, that's one way to attract bad attention.

About responding to someone sharing a patched image, what I saw earlier today was someone offering to upload a patched image of an old release, the first time I have to actually deal with this situation. So it didnt happen, and even if it did, I still think I'll follow through with my team next release, which is right around the corner actually.

I guess it was bound to happen sometime, but it's nice to hear some thoughts on it nonetheless.

BlackDog61

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Re: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2016, 09:30:23 am »
If that person uploaded it on my project thread, I'd ask to take it down, and if the person doesn't respond, I'd just report to admins for help to do that. It doesn't have to mean the person's intentions were wrong (maybe they didn't know... well, it's hard not to know in here but it can happen).
If they did it on another site, then same answer as SunGodPortal.
- If they posted pre-release work, then I'd ask to label it as such and then be a pain for quite some time. Until I cool down. And they better not come back knocking for help...
- If they posted final work after release, then I'd ask to take down, but I can't do what's outside of my reach, right? So you do what you can, and the rest is up to the big guns.
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DragonSpikeXIII

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Re: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 10:01:39 am »
(I wouldn't hire a samurai.  ;D )

Hehehe, yea, there's no need to resort to something like that :laugh:

But seriously, I think it's as you've said, you do what you can to the best of your abilities and keep on trucking.

VicVergil

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Re: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 11:10:08 am »
I don't see how modders and fan-translators can manage something not even the official copyright holders could.
Though you could report the download link to the people running those file sharing sites, or more drastically, the actual devs, if this makes you feel better.

But that's only delaying something eventually inevitable... and being a jerk to the modders who release undubs and restoration patches only found on these rom sites (for example the Growlanser 4 and Arc Rise Fantasy undubs which weren't just file swapping but involved quite a bit of assembly hacking... imagine that lost forever). As repulsive as the idea might sound, just asking the iso site's admins might do the trick.

Mugi

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Re: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 11:10:58 am »
as far as my own experience as an author of hacks/translations go, i dont really claim to have any forms of moral standards over the matter since i fully aknowledge the fact that
modifying games is illegal as it is.

i used to distribute my work as ready isos/roms/whatevers they happened to be out of convenience, which i then later changed to distributing patches that targeted known public dumps of said games
(read: scene releases.) I generally also disregarded the thing some people around here seem to frown upon, the act of making a patch that is identical or larger in size compared to the vanilla game,
meaning that the patch essentially contained the entire game within the patch file itself. For me it was always a matter of comfort and convenience, I simply made something and wrapped it into
and user-friendly form that just happened to be the easiest for me to execute.

i generally try to avoid that nowadays though... I guess im getting all old and sentimental regarding it.

as for what comes to people further distributing something i made ? after i put it out there it's there for people to do as they wish with, i really cant nor have any desire to further control it.

of course, if someone "leaks" an incomplete project patch/iso that is not meant for public, that will instantly and indefinitely end said project in that track. i will not complete a signle project in my life that gets leaked before it's intended release. I do pick my working partners in a way though that this should not happen.
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Chronosplit

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Re: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2016, 01:52:11 pm »
I don't like it, but it's an inevitable necessity that will eventually happen.  If for nothing other than someone's differing ideal of what archival means.

Some circles have always distributed ROMs with no existing patch (for example Sonic has been doing this for years due in part to a huge amount of disassemblies) and therefore find no problem whatsoever about distributing ROMs after the patch has been released.  I'll be frank: we can't really tell them "don't do that or I'll do something bad" because any bad thing that we can do is pretty assholish.  But we can tell them we don't approve of it.

With GBA you can't stop it especially.  You'll see it's been already distributed mere minutes after release in ways which can be played directly online, meaning it's impossible to "put a cork in it" so to speak.  Which can be not only problematic from the obvious angle, but embarrassing because you know those are old as hell after you update and they probably ran into many bugs.  Kinda like repros when you think about it.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 04:13:15 pm by Chronosplit »

filler

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Re: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2016, 11:02:06 pm »
My big gripe (if you couldn't tell) is with repros. As for distributing patched roms, there are many reasons, including those beneficial to the end user, NOT to use pre-patched roms. That said, I've never asked anyone I saw distributing a pre-patched rom or ISO of one of my projects to stop. I mostly just make sure to provide patches with readmes as the official sources.

Repros on the other hand... As part of Dynamic Designs we've pursued sites selling repros of our work and requested they stop. They have complied temporarily at least. As for enforcement, I can't say that is a path I'd like to pursue vary far, but there's nothing wrong with making it clear to folks that they are using your work against your will, ESPECIALLY if money is involved.

I have yet to do this myself, but if I have an opportunity, I'll clearly license the next patch released outside of an "official" group under Creative Commons so that my/our intentions regarding the work are more explicit. I also advocate for "fansub" style "Not for Sale or Rent", style disclaimers on splash screens which we at Dynamic Designs have done on several projects. This doesn't really address pre-patching, but I hope it helps a couple people buying or making repros stop and think.

If someone takes your or our illegal work and distributes it, do you/we really have a place to tell them not to distribute it?
Kinda, yeah. https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#protect

CM30

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Re: Distributing patched ROM/ISO online
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2016, 08:55:17 pm »
I do not care if someone shares my work without my permission. Nor if they share it early.

And if you're stupid enough to share as a ROM file, then it's you who'll probably get sued if the IP owner comes calling/most likely receive a DMCA notice.
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