Policy Update: ROM Hacks

Posted by DavidJCobb DavidJCobb
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Policy Update

Just a quick little update, guys.

Okay, so some of you may know about "ROM hacking". For those who don't, it's when you edit a "ROM" -- that is, a pirated copy of a video game -- and change its content. Essentially, you can create your own game using a "borrowed" game engine (and fan-made tools to edit it). It's actually a pretty decent design medium.

However, ROMs themselves are illegal. So basically, the rules for this are simple: if you wish, you may post screenshots, videos, et cetera, of ROM hacks in your portfolios. However, you cannot post any actual content: no patches, no emulators, and no ROMs. If you want to post something and aren't sure if it's okay, feel free to ask an admin.

Of course, these are just our rules for now... If any Nabble staff members feel like dropping in and overriding this with their own guidelines, listen to them instead of us.

6 Comments

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Randy 355 Randy 355
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Re: Super Mario World Beta (SMW Hack)

Okay, I noticed the update on "ROM Hacks" and see that I am unable to link to ROM Patches or Emulators. While I do not fully understand why, I will not question the rules here so I have removed the link to the SMW Beta patch.

If you want the patch contact me somehow and I'll find a way to help you out. Though, a proper Google search will do the trick.
noklu noklu
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Re: Super Mario World Beta (SMW Hack)

The policy is in accordance with Nabble policy and, furthermore, broader legal standards across the globe.

We don't want RP to get shut down and, more importantly, we don't want any of our members facing legal action because of some legal complaint. That can happen, and to prevent this from happening, the no-ROM-content policy came into being.  

Thank you for your attention.
The otters are coming with whiskers honed to razor blades.
Know this and fear.

Email me at xnoklu[at]gmail.com should you need to contact me.
Randy 355 Randy 355
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Re: Super Mario World Beta (SMW Hack)

noklu wrote
The policy is in accordance with Nabble policy and, furthermore, broader legal standards across the globe.

We don't want RP to get shut down and, more importantly, we don't want any of our members facing legal action because of some legal complaint. That can happen, and to prevent this from happening, the no-ROM-content policy came into being.  

Thank you for your attention.
That's reasonable, and I understand the concern, but is there a reason Nabble won't allow patches or programs associated with ROM hacking specifically? I'm not complaining, but I'm just curious because sites like SMW Central have hundreds of patches and links to emulators, and they have never run into legal issues. The only thing you can't do on there is post ROMs, respectively.

If you don't know it's cool. It just sparks my curiosity.
noklu noklu
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Re: Super Mario World Beta (SMW Hack)

Randy 355 wrote
noklu wrote
The policy is in accordance with Nabble policy and, furthermore, broader legal standards across the globe.

We don't want RP to get shut down and, more importantly, we don't want any of our members facing legal action because of some legal complaint. That can happen, and to prevent this from happening, the no-ROM-content policy came into being.  

Thank you for your attention.
That's reasonable, and I understand the concern, but is there a reason Nabble won't allow patches or programs associated with ROM hacking specifically? I'm not complaining, but I'm just curious because sites like SMW Central have hundreds of patches and links to emulators, and they have never run into legal issues. The only thing you can't do on there is post ROMs, respectively.

If you don't know it's cool. It just sparks my curiosity.
We have to abide by Nabble policy. They choose to abide by the law.

Now, this site you speak of has a similar policy: ROMs are not allowed to be posted. Our policy includes patches and links, but you'll have to ask Cobb for the reasoning behind those. I'm not entirely sure. My guess is, at least for links, that they fall under promoting illegal content...I'm not sure.
The otters are coming with whiskers honed to razor blades.
Know this and fear.

Email me at xnoklu[at]gmail.com should you need to contact me.
DavidJCobb DavidJCobb
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Re: Super Mario World Beta (SMW Hack)

noklu wrote
Randy 355 wrote
noklu wrote
The policy is in accordance with Nabble policy and, furthermore, broader legal standards across the globe.

We don't want RP to get shut down and, more importantly, we don't want any of our members facing legal action because of some legal complaint. That can happen, and to prevent this from happening, the no-ROM-content policy came into being.  

Thank you for your attention.
That's reasonable, and I understand the concern, but is there a reason Nabble won't allow patches or programs associated with ROM hacking specifically? I'm not complaining, but I'm just curious because sites like SMW Central have hundreds of patches and links to emulators, and they have never run into legal issues. The only thing you can't do on there is post ROMs, respectively.

If you don't know it's cool. It just sparks my curiosity.
We have to abide by Nabble policy. They choose to abide by the law.

Now, this site you speak of has a similar policy: ROMs are not allowed to be posted. Our policy includes patches and links, but you'll have to ask Cobb for the reasoning behind those. I'm not entirely sure. My guess is, at least for links, that they fall under promoting illegal content...I'm not sure.
I just asked Godly in a chat one day, both because I remembered this thread and because I also have an interest in ROM hacks. I wanted to see what was allowed.

Now, patches, patchers, and emulators are all technically legal (though the patches could theoretically be considered derivative works), but it really is a complex issue and it depends on how you look at it. We thought it best to take the safe route and prohibit all content. I won't speak for Godly, but my reasoning on the matter was that we don't know which route Nabble's taking. It would suck for us to not take the safe route and go ahead and say, "Oh, this is all allowed," only to have to turn around and have to pull a "nope.avi" because Nabble wants to take the safe route.

(I'm not saying we should go ahead and blame Nabble for being Captain Buzzkill or anything. Far from it -- they're kind enough to host the forums and they do a damn good job at it -- but we *do* have to abide by whichever route they choose to take. And since we don't know what decision they would make in this situation, we're deciding conservatively.)

Honestly, I would've preferred if you'd asked these questions in the announcement thread on the issue, so that we didn't need to derail your thread with all these buzzkill responses and policy talks...
Randy 355 Randy 355
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Re: Super Mario World Beta (SMW Hack)

DavidJCobb wrote
I just asked Godly in a chat one day, both because I remembered this thread and because I also have an interest in ROM hacks. I wanted to see what was allowed.

Now, patches, patchers, and emulators are all technically legal (though the patches could theoretically be considered derivative works), but it really is a complex issue and it depends on how you look at it. We thought it best to take the safe route and prohibit all content. I won't speak for Godly, but my reasoning on the matter was that we don't know which route Nabble's taking. It would suck for us to not take the safe route and go ahead and say, "Oh, this is all allowed," only to have to turn around and have to pull a "nope.avi" because Nabble wants to take the safe route.

(I'm not saying we should go ahead and blame Nabble for being Captain Buzzkill or anything. Far from it -- they're kind enough to host the forums and they do a damn good job at it -- but we *do* have to abide by whichever route they choose to take. And since we don't know what decision they would make in this situation, we're deciding conservatively.)

Honestly, I would've preferred if you'd asked these questions in the announcement thread on the issue, so that we didn't need to derail your thread with all these buzzkill responses and policy talks...
The thread may be derailed, but I wasn't getting comments anyway. Just another thing I made to showcase.

But your reasoning is just, and knowing why makes it all the better.

I suppose we could move the posts there too. So the information can be more wide spread.