"Pirating" a game that was never released in your country/language

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The Fire Emblem game (and i love Fire Emblem), Fire Emblem: New Mysteries of the Emblem -Heroes of Light and Shadow- (phew long name) was released in Japan a year or two back. and has basically been denied a US release. I did a little looking (because the game sounds awesome but i'm not here to pimp a FE game)and found a Fan-Made Translation patch underway and pretty much almost complete (about 75% there it seems) now i'm just curious as to what you guys think.
1) the game was never, and foreseeably WILL never be released anywhere but Japan
2) i dunno about you, but i know *I* can't read Japanese. and i'm pretty sure many more fans of such games count as well
3) for a translation patch to work you HAVE to have a ROM copy (technically pirated) and an Emulator (at least to my knowledge... of course you can use a Flash Cart instead of an emulator but it's still basically the same)

now here's the discussion value
1) is it right, wrong, or morally grey to "pirate" such a game (note this encompasses ALL JP-only games, or on the flip side if you're Japanese, US/EU-only games)
and
2) from a more legal viewpoint, CAN you even pirate such a game? it was never released in your area, or language. and the only translation is from a fan patch that HAS to have a ROM to function.

i know that personally, i'm downloading the ROM and translation as soon as it's finished. but if Nintendo happens to finally decide after so long to release it in my area, i will GLADLY part with money to buy it legitimately.

KiloFox:

1) is it right, wrong, or morally grey to "pirate" such a game (note this encompasses ALL JP-only games, or on the flip side if you're Japanese, US/EU-only games)
and
2) from a more legal viewpoint, CAN you even pirate such a game? it was never released in your area, or language. and the only translation is from a fan patch that HAS to have a ROM to function.

#2 first. Yes, it is still illegal. Nintendo decided they don't want you to have the game, you're getting it anyway. That's the way the laws work in every Berne Convention country.

As for #1, right and wrong are personal matters of morality and ethics. No one can decide for you whether doing something is right or wrong. Personally, I wouldn't condemn it, but I generally treat the whole of copyright law with disdain anyway, since it's stopped serving its ostensible purpose and has become a gift to "big content" at the expense of the actual people.

if it wasnt released in ur country i dont rly see a problem with it its the developers fault for not releasing it in that country so they apparently dont care about ur money

targren:

Nintendo decided they don't want you to have the game

Sorry but this "They don't want you to have their game" thing is BS. They didn't decide that any individual or group of infdividuals should be excluded from having their game, they just decided where they're going to sell them.

That doesn't mean they "don't want other people" to have the game, only that for some business related reason they decided to limit where it's being sold.

So please. If a game is region locked, don't come out with "well they don't want you to play it". Seriously. If it, legally, was about who they want to have their games, you'd be committing a felony by buying in Japan and taking it home with you.

It's not about "not wanting you to have it". It's about it not making enough of a profit in a local market and therefore not offering it on said market, but you can still have it if you find a way around it. They're not trying to prevent anyone from getting it.

Vegosiux:

targren:

Nintendo decided they don't want you to have the game

Sorry but this "They don't want you to have their game" thing is BS. They didn't decide that any individual or group of infdividuals should be excluded from having their game, they just decided where they're going to sell them.

..snipped defensiveness...

The context of this thread is in the frame of reference of a single individual that wants the game and is not being offered it. You claim that it's not a decision to deny him the game, then go on to list reasons why they may make the decision to deny him the game (yes, by denying it to his entire country/region, they're denying it to him).

No one but you said it was personal. They opted not to make it available where he could purchase it, and made it so the only way to obtain the game would be illegal. That decision means that he cannot have the game without breaking the law, which is what I said.

As for the rest of it, put the pom-poms away. You're off-topic.

targren:

No one but you said it was personal. They opted not to make it available where he could purchase it, and made it so the only way to obtain the game would be illegal.

They only opted not to make it available where it would be most convenient for him to purchase it.

I will confess to downloading a ROM of a game called "Ore-no Ryouri" (My Cooking; according to Google Translate) It was released as a demo on the PSX in full Japanese, there was never an english demo/full release nor a Japanese full release in the USA.

I think it is alright if you aren't able to get a legal copy that was released state-side (or whatever country you may be in) and even if you did manage to wrangle a original copy, it would more than likely be region locked.

I don't understand why the fuck people think pirates would stop if their self-justification doesn't hold up. I could tell you it's morally wrong and illegal, but you wouldn't listen.

And I wouldn't blame you one bit. I don't have an issue with people claiming to pirate. As long as you never think what you're doing is in anyway justified, I don't take issue with it (because there's just too many people to combat if I do).

LiquidSolstice:
I don't understand why the fuck people think pirates would stop if their self-justification doesn't hold up. I could tell you it's morally wrong and illegal, but you wouldn't listen.

And I wouldn't blame you one bit. I don't have an issue with people claiming to pirate. As long as you never think what you're doing is in anyway justified, I don't take issue with it (because there's just too many people to combat if I do).

well... in this kind of case anyway, it is kind of justified in its own way (not the typical justified as though you're Robin Hood of gaming...) in the sense of "it's their own damn fault they don't want my money." if they released the game in my area, regardless of whether i already had the ROM or not, i would buy the game. (honestly i'd buy it even if the game sucked on the ROM because i'm that big a FE nut) but no, Nintendo dosn't want to sell their game to me. but i'm gonna play it anyway. it's its own kind of justification that (at best) is still admittedly on shaky ground.

EDIT: i will agree though, most of the time piracy is in no way justifiable... if you don't have money to buy games, you shouldn't be spending time on games, you should be working so you CAN buy games. and various other examples. but when it's flat out impossible to get the game otherwise (or at least in your language so you can actually PLAY) then i think it's justifiable in at LEAST a slim way. i think that applies to non-localized games, and games out of print (like N64 and older, you can still find GameCubes and their games at game stores)

Captcha has a dirty, dirty mind - usedAss exemplary

I think it boils down to this:
If you want my money, release it in my country...or at LEAST in my language.

Legally still wrong. Moral grey area. Done.

KiloFox:

LiquidSolstice:
I don't understand why the fuck people think pirates would stop if their self-justification doesn't hold up. I could tell you it's morally wrong and illegal, but you wouldn't listen.

And I wouldn't blame you one bit. I don't have an issue with people claiming to pirate. As long as you never think what you're doing is in anyway justified, I don't take issue with it (because there's just too many people to combat if I do).

well... in this kind of case anyway, it is kind of justified in its own way (not the typical justified as though you're Robin Hood of gaming...) in the sense of "it's their own damn fault they don't want my money." if they released the game in my area, regardless of whether i already had the ROM or not, i would buy the game. (honestly i'd buy it even if the game sucked on the ROM because i'm that big a FE nut) but no, Nintendo dosn't want to sell their game to me. but i'm gonna play it anyway. it's its own kind of justification that (at best) is still admittedly on shaky ground.

EDIT: i will agree though, most of the time piracy is in no way justifiable... if you don't have money to buy games, you shouldn't be spending time on games, you should be working so you CAN buy games. and various other examples. but when it's flat out impossible to get the game otherwise (or at least in your language so you can actually PLAY) then i think it's justifiable in at LEAST a slim way. i think that applies to non-localized games, and games out of print (like N64 and older, you can still find GameCubes and their games at game stores)

Captcha has a dirty, dirty mind - usedAss exemplary

I respect your opinion and appreciate the time you took to write your post, so I will do you the courtesy of being honest and saying I don't quite know how to respond to your post. I think at the end of the day, what you do and how you justify it is up to you (and I don't really disagree with the response to pirate when something is actually not available, I think it's an acceptable response, just not a justifiable one), just don't try and convince me or someone else that it's in anyway "right".

Hopefully that makes sense?

I respect your opinion and appreciate the time you took to write your post, so I will do you the courtesy of being honest and saying I don't quite know how to respond to your post. I think at the end of the day, what you do and how you justify it is up to you (and I don't really disagree with the response to pirate when something is actually not available, I think it's an acceptable response, just not a justifiable one), just don't try and convince me or someone else that it's in anyway "right".

Hopefully that makes sense?[/quote]

Well, leaving right and wrong out of it, it does prove a very effective counterexample the industry insistence that illegal downloads equate to lost sales.

KiloFox:
2) from a more legal viewpoint, CAN you even pirate such a game? it was never released in your area, or language. and the only translation is from a fan patch that HAS to have a ROM to function.

The only way it isn't piracy is if you buy the original version of the game. Even if the translated version didn't require an original ROM (i.e. the ROM was included) you would still need to have purchased the original game.

If not using every feature of any given IP got you off the hook for piracy (in this case, not using the Japanese text), we'd have people not pirating games because they didn't get all the achievements or walk in every last corner of the world, and we'd have people who didn't pirate movies because they blinked while watching, and therefore missed some frames.

I don't see a problem with a morally. Legally, it's just as illegal as any other time of copyright infringement. In this case, even though the game was not released in the US, it is copyrighted in Japan and the US has treaties with Japan saying that we will respect each others copyrights.

and in what way ordering from japan is a problem today? just buy it, and the ROM it.

Yes it's still illegal as your obtaining a product without paying for it, that being said I personally believe it's okay as you really have no other reasonable way to obtain and play the game. I use the same logic for older rare or ridiculously priced games it's essentially not available and the devs and publishers wouldn't see a cent anyway because their all used sales.

The law is just a bunch of fancy word written down in really, really thick book, made up by politicians as suits their interests. It's no more sacred or whatever than the ones who wrote it. Some of it is pretty obvious stuff that everyone can agree with, and almost all of it should be followed regardless of your personal opinion. Nobody wants a society where people only obey the laws they like.

Some laws, however,(few as they are) are so fucking bullshit that you can't help but wonder if the motivation behind them really was "just because, you know, why not?". This is one of those cases.

Even so, you're always gonna find the smug bastards on their high horses in shining armor, gallantly championing their cause from the comfort and safety of their armchairs. Fuck those guys, you know the answers to your own questions, why do you bait them?

Well I think the location you pirate the game from makes no difference as to the legality. Why should you be allowed to get the game for free when people in Japan will have to pay for it? Ignoring the fact that it wasn't even released in your country. Is importing illegal btw? I don't think so, but I honestly don't know since I never checked. If it isn't, then why not import it instead? I know about the whole region locking thing, but if you really want the game legally then you better pay everything you need to in order to play it. Also I think you could get around any morality issues, if you pirated it from them, and then donated the cost of the game to the appropriate company.

Im sorry I see no grey area here at all.

If the company is active and economically viable in a specific market and they decide to not give that market X game that is their decision. You cannot predict what a company will do, so you have no way of knowing categorically that the company will not one day down the road decide to start selling it in that market.

Project Rainfall anyone?

The only time you get to violate a copy write is an extremely rare instance when there is no one left to call foul at your violation of their copy write. So developers/publishers/copy write holders who no longer remain active in a for profit business. That essentially means you need both the developer AND the publisher to be defunct as well as any other possible copy write holders no longer staking claim to profits from that IP and do so for a span no less than a decade as assets can take time to change hands. Time the average gamer does not take into consideration.

I think this kind of argument also applies to games that are simply not in production anymore. Short of downloading them, how would you manage to get your hands on them?

OT: I can say from experience that region locks and localizations have been the bane of my existence. Being born in Japan I can play the games without any trouble, but getting them to work in Australia (where I live) is a downright pain due to the region-locks, NTSC and PAL difference, framerate difference...

If all it takes is 2GB of download to avoid that much misery and problems, then I personally think it's justified. (Note how I said personal)

Just import the game, and read one of the English language FAQs along the way. Fire Emblem is simple enough that you don't actually need to know Japanese in normal gameplay, so all you need is an FAQ or Walkthrough that outlines the story.

It's perfectly clear in the moral AND legal departments, and shows support for the game in general. Win-Win.

Is it morally wrong? No. They weren't going to get money out of you anyway.

Is it legally wrong? Yes.

Make of that what you will.

way2sl0w:
Legally still wrong. Moral grey area. Done.

*tap dance* Ebee bee debe that's all folks. *continues to tap dance out.

I prefer importing but that's sometimes a pain in the ass. L4D2 (uncut) won't be shipped uncut to me by amazon so I had to send it to a friend (I live at the border to Belgium and Netherlands... so I can choose where to ship :D ). Loopholes, thy name is...

But yes, downloading the game is pirating. Disregarding if the game was released where you live.

But if this lies on the same level as pirating because you don't want to pay for your games... Let's just say there are excuses for it I'd personally accept. Game too old and nowhere copies to be found, game not released in your region.

How else was one to play Seiken Dentsu 3? (Secret of Mana 2)

It's a gray area for me.

As others have stated. Morally this is OK, legally it's not. Personally if a company doesn't want your money then they don't deserve it either. I can't believe they are actually trying to keep freeloaders or other tools to play region locked games on consoles from other regions. These tools expand their area of customers with no extra expenses in publishing.

Ziame:
and in what way ordering from japan is a problem today? just buy it, and the ROM it.

This, no gray area at all, you are pirating and it's illegal. Maybe before the internet getting a rom of an unaviliable game was gray, now? No, you are pirating a game you lova and if you think piracy is worng, then you are being hypocritical. You want the game, really want it? Order it from japan.

My japanese from highschool is a bit (A LOT) rusty, but lets see, go to amazon jp in english here:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/In-English/b/ref=topnav_switchLang?ie=UTF8&node=1094656

do a search for "Fire Emblem"

chose the right "Fire Emblem"

buy it and proceed to checkout, get it, profit.

I am not sure of the details about the shipping, but i know i can buy from Amazon US without too much hassle being in another country, you should be able too.

After that it MIGHT be a gray area if you actually use your own ROM or one from the netz, before that? Nop, regular pirate.

Edit: How can people say it's a grey area when all you need is to order it from the netz is beyond me. Well... it's a grey area for me because pirating has ALWAYS been that IMO, but if you think it's wrong to pirate a game that is on steam, or on origin, or on Gamestop, i don't see how a game from amazon.jp is ok to pirate.

targren:
The context of this thread is in the frame of reference of a single individual that wants the game and is not being offered it.

Sup mate! And he IS offered it, here is the direct link to the game he wants.

For fuck's sake.
Pirating is stealing. There's no grey area, excuses or whatever else. You took something you should have paid for in the most convoluted way possible, with whatever excuses as 'I wouldn't have paid for it anyway' and 'It's not stealing because it's not a physical item', without paying.

The bottom line is you stole something. What part of this confuses you?

Yes, it's legally wrong, and I'm a hard-ass about piracy anything, but even I will make an exception for games that you cannot physically obtain otherwise. The only games I've pirated in my life were Mother and Mother 3. (And thanks Japan, for never releasing Mother 3 to other places but still putting Lucas in Brawl.)

Sansha:
For fuck's sake.
Pirating is stealing. There's no grey area, excuses or whatever else. You took something you should have paid for in the most convoluted way possible, with whatever excuses as 'I wouldn't have paid for it anyway' and 'It's not stealing because it's not a physical item', without paying.

The bottom line is you stole something. What part of this confuses you?

I hate to be the one to call this out, but my Straw Man alert is going off. I've yet to see anyone in this thread question whether or not it was stealing, or use any of those excuses.

Tanakh:

Ziame:
and in what way ordering from japan is a problem today? just buy it, and the ROM it.

This, no gray area at all, you are pirating and it's illegal. Maybe before the internet getting a rom of an unaviliable game was gray, now? No, you are pirating a game you lova and if you think piracy is worng, then you are being hypocritical. You want the game, really want it? Order it from japan.

My japanese from highschool is a bit (A LOT) rusty, but lets see, go to amazon jp in english here:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/In-English/b/ref=topnav_switchLang?ie=UTF8&node=1094656

do a search for "Fire Emblem"

chose the right "Fire Emblem"

buy it and proceed to checkout, get it, profit.

I am not sure of the details about the shipping, but i know i can buy from Amazon US without too much hassle being in another country, you should be able too.

After that it MIGHT be a gray area if you actually use your own ROM or one from the netz, before that? Nop, regular pirate.

Edit: How can people say it's a grey area when all you need is to order it from the netz is beyond me. Well... it's a grey area for me because pirating has ALWAYS been that IMO, but if you think it's wrong to pirate a game that is on steam, or on origin, or on Gamestop, i don't see how a game from amazon.jp is ok to pirate.

targren:
The context of this thread is in the frame of reference of a single individual that wants the game and is not being offered it.

Sup mate! And he IS offered it, here is the direct link to the game he wants.

While this is a good suggestion, not all of us can speak Japanese.

Hey, look, Ubisoft designed a bench!

I'm pretty sure it's illegal to pirate anything no matter where the thing you are pirating was released, or not released. But I don't believe it's morally wrong. If a company decided not to release a game in the country someone pirates it in then they are not losing money, since there isn't a legal way for you to be able to buy the game where you live. You could import, but given how they put region locks on games it seems they would rather you don't do that either. Either way, they can't say they are losing money since the company hasn't invested any money in releasing the game in the country in question. If they really think they are losing out by someone pirating their game somewhere where it's not available then they should make it available!

Just because someone is unwilling (or too lazy) to sell you something doesn't mean you got the right to steal it from him.

Just because a game isn't "officially" released in your country, doesn't mean you should pirate it. Rather, I'm not against piracy, but if I made any exceptions, games from other regions would be the last thing I would make an exception for.

If anything, while I support piracy, of any and all games, I certainly support buying of Japanese region games. If anything, I'd be irritated if someone went out and paid $60 for Skyrim while never buying and paying a cent for a new Japanese game that was never released here on the grounds of "it wasn't mean for me anyway". Just because it's not released in your region doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it, and it doesn't give you an excuse to not buy it while you shell out money on more Western games.

Pirate Japanese games, fine. But don't stick to just pirating and go out and buy a copy. It really irritates me how people around here equate pirating with "not buying". I support pirating, and I also support buying. I especially support buying when it comes to import gaming and indie gaming.

The only time I am comfortable with not buying(I said not buying, not "pirating"), is when only used copies are available and exist. And even then it's fairly easy to get your hands on many classic titles cheaply. Japan is the inverse of the West, while in the West, new titles are often cheaper than old ones, in Japan new titles are insanely expensive, while retro games that would cost a pretty penny for a Western version, are relatively cheap in Japan.

cynicthnkr:
doesn't mean you got the right to steal it from him.

Do you have any personal thoughts of you own? Or do you only like to repeat the idiocy that goverments and corporations spoon feed you on a daily basis?

Piracy is not stealing. And the claim that it is, has got to be one of the most ridiculous and cheezy slogans ever put out by the corporate media. It's on par with those drug PSAs, and they think we're so stupid that we can be brainwashed by pathetic claims like this.

That some people actually believe, and even parrot this ridiculous claim they make, similar to how some people actually believe Glenn Beck, show how dangerous the corporate media is. And how desperately it needs to be deconstructed and destroyed.

I think at this point it's still a darker shade of Grey...It would be more expensive to try learning enough Japanese to play through the game (although honestly, if you're skipping the story getting the gameplay down is just a matter of trial and error) and importing a copy. If this game was released in Japan on the Gameboy, Color or, Advance than I could kind of see the justification for getting a rom but I honestly don't see the justification quite yet. I can see why am American player would seek out a rom of say, Bahamut's Lagoon but that would still be a grey choice whereas a Star Fox 2 rom download would be the most justified example I can think of (if justified at all).

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