Research, documentation, and copyright

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asm6hackr
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Re: Research, documentation, and copyright

Post by asm6hackr »

Pokun wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:12 pm It was established earlier in this thread that emulators may even contain a leaked encryption key like Dolphin did. Partly because it is necessary to make it work in which case there is a copyright exception for it and partly because the key was questionably copyrightable in the first place (just a short string of random characters).

You own a copy of a game that you bought and can sell it if you want, but you don't own the copyright and can't make copies of it to sell nor can you steal its code or data for your own projects without the copyright holder's permission, the EULA might cover any licenses it uses.
@Pokun The problem is that anti-circumention laws prohibit decrypting encryption keys. Using a leaked encryption key is likely illegal as it was obviously not intended to be released, and it was for access control. Sadly, it doesn't matter if there was copyright infringement or not, using an leaked encryption key is illegal because of DMCA anti-circumvention laws (or outside the United States, most countries have anti-circumvention laws).

And sadly, no one will own games due to EULAs. I've mentioned again and again the quote that the software is licensed to you, not sold. And selling it would break contract laws mainly because: you didn't actually OWN the game, it was merely LICENSED to you.

Unfortunately, the Dolphin emulator might circumvent access control by decrypting an encryption key, regardless if it is copyrighted.
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segaloco
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Re: Research, documentation, and copyright

Post by segaloco »

I hate to disagree but asm6hacker I think you're looking way, wayyyy to deep into it. This level of investigation would almost certainly require legal counsel given the sort of details you're poking around in. Admittedly some of the conclusions you're jumping to make me uncomfortable with continuing this conversation because I don't want to mislead, I'm not a lawyer, and I don't want to lead you down some rabbit hole where you think my spitballing ideas is anything resembling legal counsel. For the record I disclaim that, I make no claims of being certified to know the letter of law, I'm just a guy throwing ideas around.
Pokun
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Re: Research, documentation, and copyright

Post by Pokun »

Yeah we are all laymen here and the law systems also works different in different countries that we all come from.

Asm6hacker, if you read the link regarding Dolphin (and if we trust the words and law interpretation of the Dolphin crew that wrote it), the emulator and its use of the encryption key was never considered illegal and Nintendo never tried to challenge that (although they tried to sound like they did to sound more threatening), that was a misconception people had and the point of the article was to debunk that misconception. The article includes the relevant juridical paragraphs so you can check them to make your own interpretation.

And what do you mean that you can just slap an EULA to a physical copy of a game and suddenly the person that bought it doesn't own it? Where did the law ever work like that? If that's true why are people selling their used games to used game stores all over the world and all over the internet without getting caught for EULA breaching?

Downloaded games are a bit different, but that's mainly because there is no physical copy to own and resell, you only bought the right to download a copy to your device for the life of the download service. In some countries you may still legally be able to make backup copies for private use to prevent the games to disappear when the storage memory dies and many consoles allows to move (copy+delete) downloaded games to an SD card in encrypted form (so its still tied to the console it was downloaded on).

This is probably highly unregulated in many countries, but there must at least be some legal way to backup downloaded games if you are replacing a flash-ROM chip that is about to die on a console for example (for an old console that no longer has its repair service). Otherwise you may risk loosing data that you legally downloaded and can't repair the hardware that you legally own.
asm6hackr
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Re: Research, documentation, and copyright

Post by asm6hackr »

Pokun wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 12:56 pm And what do you mean that you can just slap an EULA to a physical copy of a game and suddenly the person that bought it doesn't own it? Where did the law ever work like that? If that's true why are people selling their used games to used game stores all over the world and all over the internet without getting caught for EULA breaching?

Downloaded games are a bit different, but that's mainly because there is no physical copy to own and resell, you only bought the right to download a copy to your device for the life of the download service. In some countries you may still legally be able to make backup copies for private use to prevent the games to disappear when the storage memory dies and many consoles allows to move (copy+delete) downloaded games to an SD card in encrypted form (so its still tied to the console it was downloaded on).

This is probably highly unregulated in many countries, but there must at least be some legal way to backup downloaded games if you are replacing a flash-ROM chip that is about to die on a console for example (for an old console that no longer has its repair service). Otherwise you may risk loosing data that you legally downloaded and can't repair the hardware that you legally own.
@Pokun The EULA about only getting a license has already been slapped on the Nintendo Switch and other modern consoles. Earlier in this thread you said that people resold games even when it said "not for resale" but in that case, there is no contract prohibiting it.

For most (if not all) Nintendo consoles, the games themselves don't have license agreements. It would make sense for a company, via an EULA, to prevent people from reselling their games because they don't get profit when people resell games, they only get profit when people buy directly from the company.

Earlier in this thread segaloco said that it would be very difficult to prove that users were violating non-emulation clauses. However, if a non-emulation clause exists in the next Nintendo console (somewhat likely given that Nintendo hates emulation and they argue emulation gives way to piracy), this would impede public emulation projects (as only a few of the fans will actually be able to program an emulator).

Copy protection is another story, though. Unless specific exemptions are granted, there is no way to dump a copy-protected ROM legally.

What we can do regardless of any contracts that disallow anything Nintendo (or another company) is to broadcast, right? Unfortunately, although PlayStation consoles let you broadcast, the EULA SPECIFICALLY prohibits it for whatever reason.

Edit: If companies end up prohibiting emulation AND reverse-engineering (due to EULAs), then none of the reverse-engineering protections in an emulator would apply for anti-circumvention (in terms of is this emulator legal?), because the emulator developers would get slapped with an EULA. If all else fails, it might be better to STOP buying the products in question that have these prohibitive EULAs so companies would implement less restrictive EULAs. Because we always have consumer choice, right??
Pokun
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Re: Research, documentation, and copyright

Post by Pokun »

The EULA doesn't prevent you from selling the Switch, your physical games nor your downloaded games. Nintendo would prevent it if they could but they most likely can't.
Since downloaded games are tied to your personal account you may be leaving personal information to the buyer if you sell a Switch without deleting anything on it and the buyer might want to have his own account with his own information, so Nintendo have managed to make a system where selling downloaded games isn't really much of a thing without actually prohibiting it.


I'm not sure what you mean about an EULA preventing emulation. Emulation is hard to outlaw as established earlier in the thread and I don't see why an emulator author would have to sign any contracts.


Yeah if companies starts to include more harmful schemes an organized large-scale boycott may be in order.
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segaloco
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Re: Research, documentation, and copyright

Post by segaloco »

Well and in that situation too, knowledge is power. The more agency people have to understand when they're being yanked around, plus the more tools they have to avoid that, the less likely it is that the industry would actually be able to pull the wool over people's eyes.

The sad fact of the matter is most of those who hold the conventional power in these situations, the lawyers, bureaucrats, and politicians, don't understand the technology well enough to effectively protect the general public from abusive practices. I see parallels in the attempts to rein in the social media behemoths. Lawmakers and their agents don't even have the vocabulary to properly investigate and hold these companies accountable, so it's no wonder they run roughshod over things like privacy and rights. Granted, that's a whole debate unto itself, one this thread isn't about, so not going to belabor the point.

In any case, this is why I'm so encouraging of scrounging around for any knowledge that can be had on the breadth of factors computers are involved in. The more people know, they less likely they are to take things from industry players at face value. Most "necessities" folks are tricked into engaging with and sometimes even paying for are anything but. It's the oldest trick in the book, make like life can't happen without product <xyz> long enough and, if you're manipulative enough, one generation later people will consider the product an inherent part of life and will fight *for* the thing *against* other humans. Happened with telephones. Happened with cars. Happened with computers and smart phones. Happened with social media. The only option is to fight the root issue, the suggestion that you *need* these things at all, and that the industry is a veritable Prometheus for so magnanimously bringing us these inventions (nevermind the fact most R&D starts in publicly funded universities and is just railroaded into private hands time and time again...)
Pokun
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Re: Research, documentation, and copyright

Post by Pokun »

That's exactly my philosophy as well when it comes to basically everything, keeping information (of any subject) as open as possible to reach as many people as possible. Although it may give the bad guys a weapon to cause harm with (though which they would probably acquire anyway) it also gives the general public a weapon to defend themselves by being aware of it, which makes it harder for foul-play to succeed in general. The bad guys generally thrive on the lack of information and not vice versa.
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