Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
Poll: Is it OK to copy/download commercial Amiga games?
Is it OK to copy/download commercial Amiga games?
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    Thread: Do you think it is OK to copy/download commercial Amiga games?
    Harrison 10:52 5th March 2009
    Discussions about this have been going on for many years, even before the Amiga existed, with people owning 8-bit systems taping games on double tape deck hi-fi's, or BBC Micro owners copying their floppy disks.

    But we all know that game piracy really took off with the 16-bit era, and the Amiga was one of the biggest platforms for pirated games back in the day. Most Amiga users knew someone who could get them the latest games, or a playground friend who they could copy them from using X-Copy.

    But what is your personal view of copying/downloading commercial Amiga games?

    After voting, please leave some comments about your views on this.
    Harrison 11:10 5th March 2009
    My personal view is as follows:

    When a platform is still commercially successful and games developers/publishers are still actively producing games for a system, then the developers of the software should be supported as much as possible. If a game is good and worth playing then it should be purchased legally.

    However I'm also of the view that these days pirated copies of games to also serve a valuable purpose. Games cost a lot of money, and limited demos of a game never gives the gamer a true snapshot of the whole game or how it plays. Therefore downloading a pirated copy of a game is a very useful way to fully playtest a game for a few days. If the game then turns out to be worth playing then I think the developer should be supported and you should buy a legal copy of the game. Doing so not only supports the developer and keeps then going, but it also normally unlocks online abilities within a game, allowing for multiplayer internet gaming, extras for the game to get more from it, and the ability to easily update a game to the latest patch. Things that are not always possible with a pirated copy of a game.

    As for the Amiga. I personally think it is fine to download/copy Amiga games these days. A lot of Amiga games are now over 20 years old (or pretty close) and there is next to no commercial value in them any longer. It would arguably cost more for a developer to try and sell one of their old Amiga games again, than any revenue they might lose from a hand ful of people downloading the game for free.

    There is also the argument that the developers still hold the interlectual property for their games, and they might use these to port the old Amiga games to newer platforms (handhelds, or console arcade download services), and people downloading the original games for free will be impacting on the sales of the new versions. I don't personally see this argument as holding water. If someone wants to play a port of a game on a newer system most will buy the new version if it was a great game and is still worth playing. I know many people who use emulation, but stll download versions of old games for their Wii, 360 or PS3. Just because it is cool to have another version of the games.

    Developers have to realise that those downloading and running old games via emulation are doing it just for fun, and the majority of these people are downloading the games for personal use, not for commerial gain. If however commercial gain is the goal then I am completely against it. Any profit made from a game should go to the developer, no matter how old the game.
    Buleste 11:13 5th March 2009
    It's fine to download old Amiga games. The games are not being sold anymore. The original creators are more than likely no longer at the games company even if the companies exist so they're not losing out on money. If you want to buy and own an original there is still that option as most of the games are available on ebay etc. If a new game or software comes out on Amiga it's our duty to buy it to keep the development going. Especially things like ImageFX, WHDLoad, MUI etc.
    Harrison 11:21 5th March 2009
    I agree regarding new software. As I said above, we should support software developers if their products are worth buying, and something like WHDLoad is very much worth the registration fee.

    Regarding buying games from ebay. Some view that as not really being legal. You are buying the game from another user, rather than directly from the original company, so they are not actually getting anything for the sale of the item. Japan banned the sale of second hand games a few years ago for this very reason.

    However there is also the understanding most publishers and developers try to stress these days that gamers don't actually buy a copy of the software, but instead a licensed right to use it. Therefore selling a second hand game to someone else is really just passing this licensed right to use the software on to someone else.

    Selling games second-hand is still quite a grey area and could be argued either way though.
    [Reply] 12:02 5th March 2009
    I'm in the 'Yes it's fine, they don't sell them anymore' category.
    However, if commercial gain is the goal from downloading these games, I think that's a bit out of order and should require the person(s) to pay licencing fees.
    sarek2k 16:35 6th March 2009
    Yes, it's fine. The games are not being sold anymore.

    I agree with the masses here (10 votes unanimous yes)

    what narked me at the time and now with console games/movies etc people selling copied games at car boots and now computer fairs it's the same thing really just on a bigger scale. They deserve to get busted.

    copying for ones own use fair enough to make money it's just plain wrong.
    Vangar 17:30 6th March 2009
    Now I live in Canada, All my real copies and Disks are still back in Australia. Not only are the games not being made anymore, but I can't play them unless i copy the ADF's and have some fun with emulation on a dreamcast i picked up instead of using my A500 at home.

    So yeah, its all good for pirating!
    Shoonay 08:42 16th June 2009
    sure it's fine, how else could we get some lost gems
    Sharingan 21:44 19th June 2009
    The last four options of the poll probably could've been left out

    Then again, there probably WILL still be some companies or developers who'd take offense to their old games being copied.
    Harrison 16:50 25th June 2009
    Yep. Lucasarts is the main big one. But the biggest is the German company ACP&TCP who I've heard are quite strict abut not allowing anyone to have downloads of their games, or sometimes even screenshots.
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