MSXDirect web developers and help needed

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By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

11-07-2003, 02:24

Indeed.
Under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) it is illegal to make a copy of something if a copy protection has been implemented.
However, this is in direct conflict with the right of a back-up copy.
Also, there is nothing that describes what a copy protection is. Keep in mind this act was created for the most part by the entertainment industry. For example, Nintendo says there is a copy protection on a GBA, while in fact there is none. Anyone can read the contents of a GBA ROM without problems, yet Nintendo manages to convince judges (who are often not schooled technically) that a copy protection has been circumvented.

The DMCA makes reverse engineering illegal too. So uhm, that really makes a programmers job illegal too. Like what Konamiman did to retrieve his lost program code of NestorBASIC, you cannot do that legally in the USA at the moment. Hilarious and frightening at the same time.

Similar laws surround cryptography/encryption. People whose job it is to invent or test encryptions are instant criminals!

We have to be VERY VERY VERY careful this does not happen in europe, and in fact a lot of similar laws have already been suggested. It's so very sad 99% of the politicians have so few technical knowledge that they do not understand the issues.

I'm so very glad organisations like Bits Of Freedom exist!

By sjoerd

Hero (593)

sjoerd's picture

11-07-2003, 04:35

Indeed.
Under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) it is illegal to make a copy of something if a copy protection has been implemented.
However, this is in direct conflict with the right of a back-up copy.
[not in the netherlands :)Also, there is nothing that describes what a copy protection is. Keep in mind this act was created for the most part by the entertainment industry. For example, Nintendo says there is a copy protection on a GBA, while in fact there is none. Anyone can read the contents of a GBA ROM without problems, yet Nintendo manages to convince judges (who are often not schooled technically) that a copy protection has been circumvented.so what? I don't care. Do you sugguest here it's ok to copy gba roms? don't think so... Keep in mind every law is invented to protect the poeple who have the right to be protected.The DMCA makes reverse engineering illegal too. So uhm, that really makes a programmers job illegal too.I never reverse engineerd anything without perimision from the 'copyright holder', so to say a programmers job is illegal is a bit over the top here...Like what Konamiman did to retrieve his lost program code of NestorBASIC, you cannot do that legally in the USA at the moment. Hilarious and frightening at the same time.retrieve his own program is still allowed in the USA...Similar laws surround cryptography/encryption. People whose job it is to invent or test encryptions are instant criminals!do not let me get me!!!We have to be VERY VERY VERY careful this does not happen in europe, and in fact a lot of similar laws have already been suggested. It's so very sad 99% of the politicians have so few technical knowledge that they do not understand the issues.well, I have some ideas about what is wrong and what is right, and whatever law the powers that be come up with, I won't change. I think 99% of the people owning a computer don't have the 'technical knowledge to understand the issues', anyway. (If that includes me, that's OK)I'm so very glad organisations like Bits Of Freedom exist! Never heard of them, and I don't need any organisation to be free. 8)

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

11-07-2003, 11:47

*sentence removed by moderator*

not in the netherlandsThe message I was replying to spoke about the USA law, thus so did I.

so what? I don't care. Do you sugguest here it's ok to copy gba roms? don't think so... Keep in mind every law is invented to protect the poeple who have the right to be protected.This is analogous to a publisher that says the book cover is a copy protection, not allowing you to copy any of the pages. You should care.
And it IS okay to copy gba roms, everybody is entitled to a back-up copy!!

I never reverse engineerd anything without perimision from the 'copyright holder', so to say a programmers job is illegal is a bit over the top here...The permission of the copyright holder is not in question here. The whole act of reverse engineering ANYTHING is made illegal. How about reverse engineering the electronics of your EPROM burner because it broke? ILLEGAL!

And you lie: "Hehe, looking at he amounts of time putting in the games I still think Boulderdash is THE msx1 game. Not only playing the game, but finding out the way the levels were stored... Very cool..."
Apparently you reverse engineered the Boulderdash level format, I doubt you had permission.

retrieve his own program is still allowed in the USA...
I'm not so sure of that. But it doesn't matter, it's just as bad that you can't reverse engineer a friend's program if he asks you. Or in fact, reverse engineer anything you own. Because you bought it, it's your legal right to do anything with it that you please. Except under the DMCA, again going against all consumer freedom and personal rights.

do not let me get me!!!WTF?

well, I have some ideas about what is wrong and what is right, and whatever law the powers that be come up with, I won't change. I think 99% of the people owning a computer don't have the 'technical knowledge to understand the issues', anyway. (If that includes me, that's OK)Unfortunately your ideas mean SHIT when the police is at your door.
And he technical knowlegde to understand the issues is really not that much. I think many politicians just listen to the USA who are trying to get similar laws over here too, without thinking about them too much.

Never heard of them, and I don't need any organisation to be free. Apparently you have no clue of what freedom really is. If you live in a country where something you want to do is illegal(ie. you are not free to do it), then you'd better hope some organisation exists to change it, or prevent it from happening.

By Grauw

Ascended (8384)

Grauw's picture

13-07-2003, 21:13

With reverse engineering prohibited the amateur GBA programming community (used as a stepping-stone for many to become professional developers) could not exist legally. The same goes for the PS2 community, and without them I would not have been able to play DivX movies on my PS2, or play MP3's on it. And besides, I own one of those GBA's and PS2's... Why shouldn't I be allowed to create software for it myself? I am an MSX-er, developing software for cool computers is in my blood! However if I would be to use information acquired by reverse-engineering (as official documentation licenses are unaffordable for individuals), that would make me a criminal. Plus the person doing all the hard reverse-engineering work for me might end up in jail! And if I make a program for my GBA or PS2, I should have to think twice before putting it online, or find a way to do it anonymously, otherwise I can be prosecuted??? That's rediculous.

Also the MSX scene would have gotten quite a blow, a lot of programming stuff on the MSX would have never been revealed because it's by itself badly documented. Amateur products like the Sunrise IDE would also have been hard to realize because as far as I know the diskrom is pretty badly documented (I don't think official documents concerning it were ever released to the public). And indeed, your little Eggerland level-escapade would not have been permitted. Sure, the police won't know and be in front of your house in an instant, but I don't like being an instant criminal when I'm merely looking at how the innards of the MSX BIOS work (I think every MSX programmer has taken a peek at that by now).

I still don't see the objection against reverse-engineering. If a security algorithm can be reverse-engineered, you don't want to use it anyway, because it's weak. If someone with good intentions is able to reverse-engineer it, it will be made public and at least I will know not to use it anymore. If someone with bad intentions does, I doubt those intentions itself aren't illegal, and people/organizations like that are probably operating illegally anyways, and they would never live up to those rules in the first place. It's like saying 'there should be a law against knifes, for they are used to kill people'. Probably a definate fact, however totally disregarding their plenty of legal uses.

This law is an initiative of big shot industries (who are basically controlling the American government), in order to protect technologies like the CSS protection on DVD's. With this law they (supposedly) don't have to take the effort of, for instance, devising a *properly working* DVD protection technique. Aside from that, the whole idea of such a DVD protection is flawd, it is limiting the licensees of that technology to a select group of commercial companies only since such a license obviously can't be acquired for free. So, for instance, you would be quite surprised if you decided to install Linux, but then discover there is only commercial, paid, DVD player software available. If such things spread, in the end making free software would be plainly impossible for most technologies, and you would be spending a lot more money on your computer software. And that makes another point for the redmont giant!!

Oh, and please don't even consider playing DVD's from outside your region on your computer. There are still some standalone players able to play region free, but the last time I saw a computer DVD-ROM drive without region lock is getting hard to remember. All firmware upgrades disabling the region check and making your drive region free are based on reverse engineering.

Another example of what the big shot companies are with this law trying to prevent, is people from creating things like modchips, disabling the routines in consoles like the PS2 which prevents software without Sony license from running. However, using them is legal, and creating them is legal too, just not in the US with their DMCA (so in effect they're now just created in any other country but the US, what's the big gain in that?). Why shouldn't I be allowed to use homebrew software like that DivX player I mentioned, or to play games I imported from the US and legally paid for?? Since that's what I'm doing as they don't bother releasing most RPG's in Europe.

So don't defend this law saying 'it's got nothing to do with me' or 'they can't check what I'm doing anyways' because when the time comes it *does* concern you, you're in big trouble because by then it will have become a law already and there's nothing you can do about it anymore. It makes a lot of things which were legal before (and with no reason not to) illegal, while in the end it is doubtful it will truly prevent the 3v1L h4x0R1n9z mafia from doing the things they shouldn't. Arguments like these don't make it right, all they are saying is basically 'it is not my war to fight', so I don't wanna get involved. But then just don't speak up at all... Defending such a thing is basically like kicking in your own nuts in the long term.

And Guyver is right. If a lot of things you do are illegal, then you're basically depending on the mood of the people concerned, deciding whether they want to prosecute you for it or leave you alone. That's giving the companies involved way too much power.

~Grauw

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