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Thursday, February 15, 2001
Video Game Makers Sue ROM Archives
11:43 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

According to a report from the AP presswire, a coalition of major video game makers (including Activision Inc., LucasArts, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Midway Amusement Games and Capcom Entertainment) have come together to sue four individuals accused of operating web sites which distribute "ROMs," electronic images of video game EPROMS that can be used in conjunction with emulators. The suit seeks to shut down the sites and asks for monetary damages which could total $150,000.00 per posted ROM file that is found to be in infringement of copyright law.

While the article is frustratingly short on details or links to the sites in question, it does open up once again the debate over whether ROM distribution (for "evaluation purposes only," as many sites mention in their disclaimers) is a legitimate practice. The companies that hold the patents and copyrights for these games allege they are experiencing monetary loss from this distribution; emulation fans say the games are "abandonware" that is no longer being sold, and their actions are taken to preserve games that can no longer be played on arcade machines after the death of the 'arcade' as a cultural phenomenon.

This line of argument is watered down considerably by the more recent phenomenon of some sites distributing ROMs for current console systems such as the Nintendo64 and image files of Playstation CD-ROMs; Nintendo and Sega have successfully shut down many sites which posted ROMs for their console systems.

Additionally, several of the sites in question also offered 'warez' copies of popular PC games as well, which explains the inclusion of companies such as Microsoft. Read the AP article for more details, and be sure to voice your thoughts on this volatile issue in our forums.

Video Game Co's Sue Online Pirates

Other Mac Games News for Thursday, February 15, 2001

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 Preview5:08 PM
Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch in Development4:40 PM
Tentative Alice Release Date3:46 PM
4x4 EVO 2 Announced, Mac Version Planned1:01 PM
• Video Game Makers Sue ROM Archives11:43 AM
Red Faction Preview10:37 AM
Oni Game Guide, Apple Feature9:58 AM
Apple Outlines WWDC Plans9:52 AM
Summoner Q&A, Media9:38 AM
id Releases Team Arena Map Pack9:04 AM
Avernum 2 Interview8:49 AM
Westlake Receives Deus Ex Multiplayer Code8:45 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, February 15, 2001 on one page

Mac Games News for Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Tony Hawk Preorders; Monkey Island 4 Price Cut2:28 PM
'Return to Marathon' Debuts2:15 PM
'Alice' Coming to Mac OS!2:10 PM
Force Feedback Coming to Mac OS11:33 AM
Target Korea Movie Released9:43 AM
Exult Alpha 2 Released8:50 AM
New Mac Game Dev Book Underway8:46 AM
Myth II Maps and Units... For Myth I?8:43 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, February 14, 2001 on one page

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