News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules

Author Topic: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.  (Read 8332 times)

ShadowOne333

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Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« on: June 11, 2017, 02:44:40 pm »
As of past week (Jun 5th-Jun11st 2017), Nintendo has taken down most first-party ROMs from yet another popular romsite which some might call a Paradise.

This past Monday (Jun 5th) I worked on a retouch of my Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World Redux hack to modify some sprites of the game. I went to the emulation paradise site to grab myself the same base ROM I've been using for months to make the IPS patch.

Fast forward to Wednesday Jun 7th, I was about to work on the hack some more and to my surprise...
The same ROM was no longer available in paradise anymore.

According to paradise's FAQ, it was due to a DMCA, and surely, I went ahead and checked all big major titles for the SNES, and those were no longer listed on their site.
Same for other consoles.

It seems Nintendo is going after romsites now.
Last big DMCA like this was back in 2013 when another Cool rom site removed EVERYTHING Nintendo related, all ROMs from all consoles made by them.

If this continues, the hacking community might take a big blow, as we'll be forced to scavenge for base ROMs for our projects.

I highly encourage those who can, to make backups of all Nintendo console's romsets as possible in the case of a major DMCA attack by Nintendo.

Feel free to post your thoughts on this.

KaioShin

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2017, 02:48:36 pm »
It seems Nintendo is going after romsites now.


What took them so long? I hope no one is actually outraged by this. Inconvenienced? Sure. But this isn't fan projects getting taken down, this is piracy being stopped. There'll be new places to get ROMs you need from, there always are.
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FallenAngel2387

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2017, 03:03:54 pm »
This is hardly surprising, they always were hardassed about emulation.

What did surprise me is the super old fashioned way you were doing it. You'd have to have a super tiny HD to not do the complete rom set thing, which I imagine will be harder to find now.

Starscream

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2017, 03:04:42 pm »
Might it be because of the SNES Mini?

This is hardly surprising, they always were hardassed about emulation.

What did surprise me is the super old fashioned way you were doing it. You'd have to have a super tiny HD to not do the complete rom set thing, which I imagine will be harder to find now.

I think there is such a thing as a "casual Rom downloader", who isn't even aware of complete Romsets. Just googling for a name of the game he wants to play on ZSNES etc.

FallenAngel2387

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2017, 03:09:00 pm »
^Hmmm... if it's anything like it's predecessor, they should be going after a few 3rd party titles as well

SunGodPortal

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2017, 03:15:27 pm »
I've seen this happen before and then a few months later the same site has the same ROMs back up. I think I may have even seen this occur on the specific site that I believe you are referring to. I guess it's impossible to know if this time is any different or not.
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FAST6191

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2017, 03:38:06 pm »
I recall such things happening back in the "you are allowed 24 hours" and "vote for us on the top warez sites to access the downloads" days.

Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2017, 04:15:23 pm »
I think we need a petition to take Nintendo of America to court over how abusive they have been of the laws that their lawyers do not understand. Hopefully the "protect David from the Goliath" can happen again. (for those who don't know, see why Bleem! existed"

Bonesy

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2017, 04:21:31 pm »
I think we need a petition to take Nintendo of America to court over how abusive they have been of the laws that their lawyers do not understand. Hopefully the "protect David from the Goliath" can happen again. (for those who don't know, see why Bleem! existed"

What?

STARWIN

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2017, 04:43:17 pm »
we'll be forced to scavenge for base ROMs

lmao guess you weren't around before the google days

... no, there will be no changes to the status quo and news like these have no importance at all

Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2017, 05:27:32 pm »
What?
Sony tried to take Bleem! devs to court over unauthorized usage of PS1 game images on the product's box and "Unfair Competition", but the trial favored Bleem!'s side in what was described as "Protecting David from the Goliath". Or so I recall. Think you can see Wikipedia about it.

snarfblam

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2017, 05:39:16 pm »
What?

Are you equating legal emulation to illegal piracy?

A.D.R.I.A.N

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2017, 06:36:08 pm »
Nintendo just went this:

"What a nice rom hosting site you have there, it would be a shame if something where to happen to it"  :laugh:.

But in all honesty, I don't blame them, I could do the same thing too.
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Chronosplit

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2017, 06:46:32 pm »
Eh.  Honestly you can always find the same dump elsewhere.  I believe you based it on a No Intro one anyway.

This has always been a thing.  A "cooler" place got hit even worse not too long ago if I remember correctly.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2017, 06:56:16 pm by Chronosplit »

Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2017, 07:08:50 pm »
What?

Are you equating legal emulation to illegal piracy?
Last I checked, there are no laws regarding ROM and ISO. Either that or it was in a moral gray zone.
Besides, ROM repositories acts like archives, and come companies normally forget certain countries exists (like pretty much any big name in relation to Brazil, though SEGA has been here for long). For example: I'd never know Nintendo EXISTED if it wasn't for emulation & ROMs, because Nintendo only had eyes for big countries back then. If emulation nor ROMs existed back then, Nintendo would still today be bound to Europe, Japan and North America.

Plus, the games often fares better on the real thing (for example: Star X has a random crash chance in at least every VBA I tried, but I'm nigh positive it doesn't happen on a physical copy), but in some cases fans can do better (see the cases of GBC Shantae VC crashing on 3DS. A LOT. Or the number of times people complained about Castlevania Portrait of Ruin crashing, even with a REAL LEGIT cart on a REAL LEGIT DS, when the solution requires ARM7 replacement in the binaries of the game.)

And lastly, this is about resources too: imagine if fans of Mega Man were able to data mine the Rockman World (Mega Man GB series) so hard that they could have extracted the source code? That would have been handy for Capcom when they needed it the most, back when they released Anniversary Collection, because GBA didn't get one simplpy because they lost the source code, or so sources states! Not only that, but some sounds and arts can be studied or used in the creation of harmless fangames, which the company can acknowledge, as proven by SEGA, Capcom and even KONAMI.

In conclusion, the selfish attitude of Nintendo is more likely to lead them further into ruin, as they think "laws are absolute" even when the laws have more holes than a sponge. Oh, and about the "if they don't protect, they lose it", it is a HUGE myth... Else Nintendo would have to GTFO somewhere around the 2000's.

SleepyFist

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2017, 07:15:56 pm »
Might it be because of the SNES Mini?

I think there is such a thing as a "casual Rom downloader", who isn't even aware of complete Romsets. Just googling for a name of the game he wants to play on ZSNES etc.
It's a me! The Casual Rom downloader!

I also wouldn't be surprised if this was because of SNES Mini.
Good thing I've generally got everything I need for awhile.

I used to go to a certain nation to get my roms, but they seem untrustworthy lately.

FAST6191

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2017, 08:10:49 pm »
Last I checked, there are no laws regarding ROM and ISO. Either that or it was in a moral gray zone.
Besides, ROM repositories acts like archives, and come companies normally forget certain countries exists (like pretty much any big name in relation to Brazil, though SEGA has been here for long). For example: I'd never know Nintendo EXISTED if it wasn't for emulation & ROMs, because Nintendo only had eyes for big countries back then. If emulation nor ROMs existed back then, Nintendo would still today be bound to Europe, Japan and North America.

Plus, the games often fares better on the real thing (for example: Star X has a random crash chance in at least every VBA I tried, but I'm nigh positive it doesn't happen on a physical copy), but in some cases fans can do better (see the cases of GBC Shantae VC crashing on 3DS. A LOT. Or the number of times people complained about Castlevania Portrait of Ruin crashing, even with a REAL LEGIT cart on a REAL LEGIT DS, when the solution requires ARM7 replacement in the binaries of the game.)

And lastly, this is about resources too: imagine if fans of Mega Man were able to data mine the Rockman World (Mega Man GB series) so hard that they could have extracted the source code? That would have been handy for Capcom when they needed it the most, back when they released Anniversary Collection, because GBA didn't get one simplpy because they lost the source code, or so sources states! Not only that, but some sounds and arts can be studied or used in the creation of harmless fangames, which the company can acknowledge, as proven by SEGA, Capcom and even KONAMI.

In conclusion, the selfish attitude of Nintendo is more likely to lead them further into ruin, as they think "laws are absolute" even when the laws have more holes than a sponge. Oh, and about the "if they don't protect, they lose it", it is a HUGE myth... Else Nintendo would have to GTFO somewhere around the 2000's.

Then I have no idea what book of law you have been reading. I am not sure I could put together a case for trademark infringement here but copyright all day long.
Creating and using your own backups could be a morally grey option, though most likely is not (Nintendo argues it is unnecessary and therefore wrong, part 4 on https://w2.eff.org/IP/eff_fair_use_faq.php for another take).
Out and out hosting copies on a website is facilitating infringement any way you want to cut it.

Also the ARM7 thing is not a thing for portrait of ruin. It is a broken function in the game that results in a race condition which flash carts exacerbated.

Likewise a few edge cases being slightly worse is not an argument. "My xvid copy of a film I just downloaded has some macroblocks that did not exist in the DVD form" is the functional equivalent and the only way that gets me out of court is if I sneak out while everybody is laughing so hard they tear up or something. Not to mention ROMs are often (things like the original xbox were not always 1:1) the functional equivalent of a whole DVD rip which I can then burn to my flash cart and play there.

"imagine if fans of Mega Man were able to data mine the Rockman World (Mega Man GB series) so hard that they could have extracted the source code?"
That is supposed to sell a company that makes closed source software on a concept? That might protect and individual (though it would be a fairly hard fought argument, or at least one you have to qualify quite heavily, in most courts I have seen cases in) but how it applies here I have no idea.

"Oh, and about the "if they don't protect, they lose it", it is a HUGE myth..."
For copyright it sort of is, for trademarks (what they used for all the fan games and ROM hack takedowns thus far) it is built right into it. It is called genericide and has happened many many times over the years
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27026704
Nintendo themselves were involved in a fairly important (definitely to them, in a broader legal sense kind of also) trademark case in their earlier years as a computer game company. See the whole Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd case (the king kong vs donkey kong case).

Do I think Nintendo is a bit lawyer happy? Sure. Do I think you have a leg to stand on if those are your arguments? Haha no.

KingMike

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2017, 09:34:10 pm »
That site referenced by the OP. It probably means almost nothing to them. I think the owner even said he just moved his hosting two or three times after getting legal threats.
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Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Nintendo taking down ROMs from popular romsites.
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2017, 10:17:40 pm »
So you know, I've googled for FOUR different sources to explain Fair Use. ONLY the fourth gave an answer, and cut the chase, even properly presenting examples involving gaming of when something is fair use and when it isn't. So you know, knowing those laws you linked is moot, because each court reviews fair use in a different way, with usually two approaches, in which the subtractive approach favors the defendant part, while the one where they analyze the infringement as a whole tends to favor the plaintiff. Is it fair? No. And the problem is exactly what you linked: nothing is 100% black and white, it is completely gray.
To cite and example: a parody of Cabbage Patch Kids, known as Garbage Pail Kids, got sued for trademark infringement. Even a parody, which most people mistakenly assume to be "protected under Fair Use", isn't safe from legal threats. Of course, they solved it out-of-court.

To cite Bambauer in this article: “Fair use is a fuzzy standard, not a rule,”. But that isn't all, look how the article closes it: "You’re probably starting to see a pattern here. ROMs are such a gray area because there are potential legal defenses on both sides—but no one’s truly tested these arguments before."

Despite the article concludes saying it is illegal anyways, it has already stated it is in a gray area, as both sides can defend themselves. Theoretically, let's say Emuparadise claims defense under the basis that they are simply archiving games that are no longer produced as to preserve videogame history. Nintendo could argue that Emuparadise is simply stealing from them and distributing intellectual property. It's a defense from both sides, even if it ain't the most solid. In a different scenario: imagine if someone dumps a VC game and finds out it is a named ROM similar to any rip you could have find in EP, similar to a T, to the very point you could perhaps find a hidden message by a dumper. In that case, who stole who? Who takes the guilt. That puts them in a loop: Dumper upped to EP, Nintendo took the dump and "made a game", Nintendo threatens EP over said uploaded dump, but hey! they got something illegal themselves to "make it legal", therefore it is legal and EP doesn't have to comply OR it is illegal and Nintendo would better hush it.

Plus laws ain't the same from country to country, it changes, and in some countries it changes from state to state. As for loss of Trademark, this is what the search on loss yelded:

The rights to a trademark can be lost through abandonment, improper licensing or assignment, or genericity. A trademark is abandoned when its use is discontinued with an intent not to resume its use. Such intent can be inferred from the circumstances. Moreover, non-use for three consecutive years is prima facie evidence of abandonment.

Plus, on similar subject: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/trademark-law-does-not-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet

Basically, Nintendo has become a Trademark Bully. Whether I have or not a leg to stand on my arguments, I have a sword and shield to fight for it, defend what I believe.