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Can I Torrent games I own? (Solved!)

Toxin01Toxin01 Registered User regular
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I own several old PC games I never got around to playing, mostly because my dad bought them and I was to young to really play them well. (Soldier Of Fortune II, Crimson Skies, etc) and I would like to go back and play them.

Unfortunately, my computer cannot read CD discs, but I own all these games.


Is it against the law to torrent them if I already own them? If so I wont, but I'd really like to play games I own.

Toxin01 on
Aiden Baail: Level 1 Swordmage: 19 AC 14 Fort 15 Ref 13 Will (Curse Of The Black Pearls)
GM: Rusty Chains (DH Ongoing)

Posts

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Legally? It's a gray area.

    If you have CD keys and can find a CD-key-free/non-cracked version, I don't see why not.

  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    It's not a grey area, you're uploading a game when torrenting. It's definitely breaking copyright law, if that's what your asking. (I'm sure someone knows the correct legal definitions but essentially...)

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    And as stupid as it is, it's legal to make an image of your game disc but considered copyright violation to download someone else's image of their game disc.

    camo_sig2.png
  • Toxin01Toxin01 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I didn't really know, since I have paid for them, and have the games and the cases and the CD keys, I just cant play them.

    But if thats the case I guess I'll just stop being cheap and go buy a disc drive.

    Aiden Baail: Level 1 Swordmage: 19 AC 14 Fort 15 Ref 13 Will (Curse Of The Black Pearls)
    GM: Rusty Chains (DH Ongoing)
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    And as stupid as it is, it's legal to make an image of your game disc but considered copyright violation to download someone else's image of their game disc.

    What's the check on that? How are you able to distinguish between Joe Blow's ISO and Steven Q's ISO?

    And as long as you disable the upload portion of your torrent.

    You may be able to get the company that produced the game to give you a new copy or something like that. Hell you may even be able to get the disc buffed where it's readable again.

  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    If you have a PC, I would say just go pick up a new disc drive for like $20 at a computer store or online. They are easy enough to install and you would probably be better off fixing your computer than trying to work around the problem. Otherwise I think bowen is right. Gray area, it's probably only legal is you download a straight up image of the original game disk instead of a pirate version that's been cracked to avoid copy protection.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Even an external CD drive. I thought I had read this as "My CD Drive is busted." If you don't have one just go pick one up at walmart or something for $20.

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    bowen wrote: »
    And as stupid as it is, it's legal to make an image of your game disc but considered copyright violation to download someone else's image of their game disc.

    What's the check on that? How are you able to distinguish between Joe Blow's ISO and Steven Q's ISO?

    My understanding is that it's not having the image, but the downloading/copying that violates the law. I could be wrong, however.

    camo_sig2.png
  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Actually I'm fairly certain it's unlawful to make a copy of your own game as well. It'll at least violate the ToS.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Actually I'm fairly certain it's unlawful to make a copy of your own game as well. It'll at least violate the ToS.

    It's covered under a backup clause that a ToS cannot change. As long as you're only using it for archiving purposes. It's particularly a gray area still. No one is sure legally and judges seem to go either way.

    The best bet is to grab an external CD-ROM and go to town.

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Actually I'm fairly certain it's unlawful to make a copy of your own game as well. It'll at least violate the ToS.

    It's covered under a backup clause that a ToS cannot change. As long as you're only using it for archiving purposes. It's particularly a gray area still. No one is sure legally and judges seem to go either way.

    The best bet is to grab an external CD-ROM and go to town.

    Even an internal drive takes like 15 minutes to install. It's like 4 screws and 2 cables that you swap out. Incredibly easy.

    camo_sig2.png
  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Actually I'm fairly certain it's unlawful to make a copy of your own game as well. It'll at least violate the ToS.

    It's covered under a backup clause that a ToS cannot change. As long as you're only using it for archiving purposes. It's particularly a gray area still. No one is sure legally and judges seem to go either way.

    The best bet is to grab an external CD-ROM and go to town.

    This is bullshit that people who spread roms around claim to try and make it seem legal.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Actually I'm fairly certain it's unlawful to make a copy of your own game as well. It'll at least violate the ToS.

    It's covered under a backup clause that a ToS cannot change. As long as you're only using it for archiving purposes. It's particularly a gray area still. No one is sure legally and judges seem to go either way.

    The best bet is to grab an external CD-ROM and go to town.

    This is bullshit that people who spread roms around claim to try and make it seem legal.

    http://iplj.net/blog/2008/05/14/so-youre-an-attorney-tell-me-can-i-backup-my-cds-without-being-sued/

    Granted this only covers music CDs, but I'd find it hard pressed that it'd be any different from a data CD.

    tl;dr: it's a gray area.

  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Actually I'm fairly certain it's unlawful to make a copy of your own game as well. It'll at least violate the ToS.

    It's covered under a backup clause that a ToS cannot change. As long as you're only using it for archiving purposes. It's particularly a gray area still. No one is sure legally and judges seem to go either way.

    The best bet is to grab an external CD-ROM and go to town.

    This is bullshit that people who spread roms around claim to try and make it seem legal.

    http://iplj.net/blog/2008/05/14/so-youre-an-attorney-tell-me-can-i-backup-my-cds-without-being-sued/

    Granted this only covers music CDs, but I'd find it hard pressed that it'd be any different from a data CD.

    tl;dr: it's a gray area.

    This pretty much says no one is sure. Congrats on telling people it's ok to do something copyright lawyers are unsure of.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Actually I'm fairly certain it's unlawful to make a copy of your own game as well. It'll at least violate the ToS.

    It's covered under a backup clause that a ToS cannot change. As long as you're only using it for archiving purposes. It's particularly a gray area still. No one is sure legally and judges seem to go either way.

    The best bet is to grab an external CD-ROM and go to town.

    This is bullshit that people who spread roms around claim to try and make it seem legal.

    http://iplj.net/blog/2008/05/14/so-youre-an-attorney-tell-me-can-i-backup-my-cds-without-being-sued/

    Granted this only covers music CDs, but I'd find it hard pressed that it'd be any different from a data CD.

    tl;dr: >>>>>>>>>>it's a gray area.<<<<<<<<<<

    This pretty much says no one is sure. Congrats on telling people it's ok to do something copyright lawyers are unsure of.

    When did I say it was okay to do it? I said it was a gray area. No one's sure.

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Actually I'm fairly certain it's unlawful to make a copy of your own game as well. It'll at least violate the ToS.

    It's covered under a backup clause that a ToS cannot change. As long as you're only using it for archiving purposes. It's particularly a gray area still. No one is sure legally and judges seem to go either way.

    The best bet is to grab an external CD-ROM and go to town.

    This is bullshit that people who spread roms around claim to try and make it seem legal.
    § 117. Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs
    (a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy. — Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:

    (1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or

    (2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.

    Care to try again?

    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • Toxin01Toxin01 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm just going to head out to Wally world and grab a drive.

    Solved, and hopefully we can get this locked before a copyright argument starts.

    Aiden Baail: Level 1 Swordmage: 19 AC 14 Fort 15 Ref 13 Will (Curse Of The Black Pearls)
    GM: Rusty Chains (DH Ongoing)
  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Actually I'm fairly certain it's unlawful to make a copy of your own game as well. It'll at least violate the ToS.

    It's covered under a backup clause that a ToS cannot change. As long as you're only using it for archiving purposes. It's particularly a gray area still. No one is sure legally and judges seem to go either way.

    The best bet is to grab an external CD-ROM and go to town.

    This is bullshit that people who spread roms around claim to try and make it seem legal.

    http://iplj.net/blog/2008/05/14/so-youre-an-attorney-tell-me-can-i-backup-my-cds-without-being-sued/

    Granted this only covers music CDs, but I'd find it hard pressed that it'd be any different from a data CD.

    tl;dr: >>>>>>>>>>it's a gray area.<<<<<<<<<<[SIZE]

    This pretty much says no one is sure. Congrats on telling people it's ok to do something copyright lawyers are unsure of.

    When did I say it was okay to do it? I said it was a gray area. No one's sure.

    You're telling him to do it. So either you're saying it's ok, or you're advising someone to break the law in H/A, take your pick.

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Toxin01 wrote: »
    I'm just going to head out to Wally world and grab a drive.

    Solved, and hopefully we can get this locked before a copyright argument starts.

    In case you wanted a real, legally backed answer:

    No, you are not legally allowed to download backups of a CD you already own.
    You are legally allowed to rip said CDs to an ISO on another machine in order to use them on your CD-less machine, as granted by US Copyright Law 117.a.i above under "an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine."

    But your best solution is to get a drive. Seriously, why don't you have one? DVDRW drives are like $25 bucks. :P

    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Spoiler:
    You're telling him to do it. So either you're saying it's ok, or you're advising someone to break the law in H/A, take your pick.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=8673789&postcount=17

    read it.

    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Spoiler:
    You're telling him to do it. So either you're saying it's ok, or you're advising someone to break the law in H/A, take your pick.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=8673789&postcount=17

    read it.[SIZE]

    Are you a lawyer? Because lawyers are saying they're unsure which way it'd go, and rulings have gone both ways. It also violates almost every ToS.

  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Also and the size 7 really isn't needed.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Spoiler:
    You're telling him to do it. So either you're saying it's ok, or you're advising someone to break the law in H/A, take your pick.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=8673789&postcount=17

    read it.[SIZE]

    Are you a lawyer? Because lawyers are saying they're unsure which way it'd go, and rulings have gone both ways. It also violates almost every ToS.

    US copyright law trumps ToS.

    Just because a judge tells you it's illegal to do something unless you blow out your brains doesn't make it suddenly legal. Sometimes shit gets through and needs to be appealed. Most ToS I've seen just says "Don't share this shit."

  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Spoiler:
    You're telling him to do it. So either you're saying it's ok, or you're advising someone to break the law in H/A, take your pick.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=8673789&postcount=17

    read it.[SIZE]

    Are you a lawyer? Because lawyers are saying they're unsure which way it'd go, and rulings have gone both ways. It also violates almost every ToS.

    US copyright law trumps ToS.

    Just because a judge tells you it's illegal to do something unless you blow out your brains doesn't make it suddenly legal. Sometimes shit gets through and needs to be appealed. Most ToS I've seen just says "Don't share this shit."

    But if you violate the ToS although you're not breaking a law you're no longer bound by the agreement and no longer allowed to use said program/service.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Spoiler:
    You're telling him to do it. So either you're saying it's ok, or you're advising someone to break the law in H/A, take your pick.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=8673789&postcount=17

    read it.[SIZE]

    Are you a lawyer? Because lawyers are saying they're unsure which way it'd go, and rulings have gone both ways. It also violates almost every ToS.

    US copyright law trumps ToS.

    Just because a judge tells you it's illegal to do something unless you blow out your brains doesn't make it suddenly legal. Sometimes shit gets through and needs to be appealed. Most ToS I've seen just says "Don't share this shit."

    But if you violate the ToS although you're not breaking a law you're no longer bound by the agreement and no longer allowed to use said program/service.

    Which isn't enforceable. ToS are sort of a legal ohshitcovermytracks clause for developers. They can make claims all they want, but if they're not enforceable by law, there's nothing they can do but cross their arms and go "humph." It's not like they can confiscate your CD or anything. And since that particular clause in a ToS has been found as non-infringing use, it voids either that clause of the ToS completely or the ToS as a whole (I forgot which it was).

  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    They're a social contract and as such are enforceable to the point of at least forcing you to stop using the product.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    They're a social contract and as such are enforceable to the point of at least forcing you to stop using the product.

    I know this is getting off topic to the nth degree, but I need to beg the question.

    How?

  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    It's a contract you're agreeing to, to use said product. If you refuse to abide by this then you no longer have the right to use the product. You might be able to request your money back. But the developers have the right to request their product be used in a certain way.

  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    But if you violate the ToS although you're not breaking a law you're no longer bound by the agreement and no longer allowed to use said program/service.

    If the ToS is voided, it falls back to standard copyright. Which means "I paid for this, so I get to use it".

    Incidentally, the whole falling back to copyright is why big business doesn't want to have the GPL tested in court. They're shitting their pants at the thought of an outcome in favor of GPL, since the GPL code they've stolen now means they're copyright infringers.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Downloading a game you own (either through torrent, or FTP, or a website, or from a friend, or copying a friend's disk) is almost certainly legal as long as you have retained the original copy (for instance, a damaged disk) and not sold it.

    It may or may not violate an EULA, but the publisher has no real legal recourse against you (nor does the government). Worry not.

    The OP mentions torrenting, however, which generally implies uploading as well. Uploading even one byte of that same game is illegal. The publisher almost certainly has legal recourse against you (though they're unlikely to bother) and the government may as well.

    It may be possible to configure your bittorrent client to block all uploading while stll downloading and still complete the torrent. But this, while not illegal, makes you kind of a douchebag.

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Downloading a game you own (either through torrent, or FTP, or a website, or from a friend, or copying a friend's disk) is most definitely illegal even if you have retained the original copy (for instance, a damaged disk) and not sold it.

    Fixed that for you. Section 117 does not give you the right to anyone else's backup copy; only to make and retain one yourself. If you made said copy from your original, and then your disc was damaged, you would still retain the right to your archival copy (117.a.ii) and be able to use it as your installation media (117.a.i) since you don't have another method of using the software.

    It's like jaywalking or going 2mph over the limit on a divided highway. Rarely enforced, grey area, prosecution is the exception rather than the norm; but still illegal by the letter of the law.

    (Sidebar - Yes, I'm aware of the license vs. sale argument.)

    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Downloading a game you own (either through torrent, or FTP, or a website, or from a friend, or copying a friend's disk) is most definitely illegal as long as you have retained the original copy (for instance, a damaged disk) and not sold it.

    Fixed that for you. Section 117 does not give you the right to anyone else's backup copy; only to make and retain one yourself. If you made said copy from your original, and then your disc was damaged, you would still retain the right to your archival copy (117.a.ii) and be able to use it as your installation media (117.a.i) since you don't have another method of using the software.

    It's like jaywalking or going 2mph over the limit on a divided highway. Rarely enforced, grey area, prosecution is the exception rather than the norm; but still illegal by the letter of the law.

    I'll buy your explanation, though I suspect there's a reason it's never enforced in the digital world. Because in the digital world differentiating between two absolutely identical copies is absurd, and in a situation in which no "piracy" as any reasonable person would define it was involved (downloading a copy of a digital work you own from another owner of the same work) I can see this particular aspect of the law changing pretty quickly if it was ever pressed.

    EDIT: I'll also stipulate that situations in which no piracy is involved are, by far, the exception rather than the rule.

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I'll buy your explanation, though I suspect there's a reason it's never enforced in the digital world. Because in the digital world differentiating between two absolutely identical copies is absurd, and in a situation in which no "piracy" as any reasonable person would define it was involved (downloading a copy of a digital work you own from another owner of the same work) I can see this particular aspect of the law changing pretty quickly if it was ever pressed.

    Oh, I'm not saying that it's right or logical or anything. The problem is, as you state:
    EDIT: I'll also stipulate that situations in which no piracy is involved are, by far, the exception rather than the rule.

    For every case where it's actually as you laid out above (License Holder #1 downloads bit-for-bit identical copy from License Holder #2, with no "piracy" involved) there's probably hundreds where it's Unlicensed Warezmonkey #m downloading it from Unlicensed Warezmonkey #n. So it would have to be one hell of an argument to outweigh that.

    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Downloading a game you own (either through torrent, or FTP, or a website, or from a friend, or copying a friend's disk) is most definitely illegal as long as you have retained the original copy (for instance, a damaged disk) and not sold it.

    Fixed that for you. Section 117 does not give you the right to anyone else's backup copy; only to make and retain one yourself. If you made said copy from your original, and then your disc was damaged, you would still retain the right to your archival copy (117.a.ii) and be able to use it as your installation media (117.a.i) since you don't have another method of using the software.

    It's like jaywalking or going 2mph over the limit on a divided highway. Rarely enforced, grey area, prosecution is the exception rather than the norm; but still illegal by the letter of the law.

    I'll buy your explanation, though I suspect there's a reason it's never enforced in the digital world. Because in the digital world differentiating between two absolutely identical copies is absurd, and in a situation in which no "piracy" as any reasonable person would define it was involved (downloading a copy of a digital work you own from another owner of the same work) I can see this particular aspect of the law changing pretty quickly if it was ever pressed.

    EDIT: I'll also stipulate that situations in which no piracy is involved are, by far, the exception rather than the rule.

    He and I had a PM about that very thing. There's no way to distinguish it, and largely, it would be unenforceable. The only way I could see it getting enforceable is to disallow backups of any kind. Which, I'm afraid, would be very bad for them to do. Especially in this day and age where companies come and go like wildfire where there's no guarantee you'd get a digital copy if yours every went kaput.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Spoiler:
    You're telling him to do it. So either you're saying it's ok, or you're advising someone to break the law in H/A, take your pick.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=8673789&postcount=17

    read it.[SIZE]

    Are you a lawyer? Because lawyers are saying they're unsure which way it'd go, and rulings have gone both ways. It also violates almost every ToS.

    I would really just give this one up. It's a "gray area" according to your article with phonorecords (i.e. music). For computer programs there's a specific statutory exemption, and is most definately not a gray area. Violating a TOS is not breaking the law and the remedy for violating the TOS is for the company to find out, sue you, then issue an injunction, or ask for damages (which would be $0).

    fwKS7.png?1
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