3. No Piracy

Intro

This is meant to clarify why we enforce rule #3 in the manner in which we do.

Anything that breaks a law is considered against the Terms of Service of every one of our platforms.

However this one is closely tied to the Wii modding community so it comes up often, hence the difference in size.


The Simple View

First off, Hacking + Modding != Piracy

They are different. We shouldn’t need to explain this.

In short terms:

  • Providing sources, or asking for sources of software that is a) Owned by an individual and or corporate entity, b) Not a method of distribution approved by the owner.

  • Discussing piracy in any way, shape, or form in our community. Where you obtained your illegal images would be an example. Also discussing the morality, or consequences of piracy. Something I could discuss all day. But don’t, as it’s against he rules.

  • Direct links, site names, subreddit names, search engines, and private chat requests all apply.

  • Discussing circumventing a developer’s method of copy protection for reasons other than making your own personal backup.


The Law

In most cases the terms of service are intentionally vague. At this point we are interpreting it as; if it’s illegal where you live, or where we are (the United States), then keep it off our platform.

This is not meant to be a supplement in anyway for any country’s law. Please consult a LAWYER as we are not.

We don’t want to discuss the legality of it with you. Please address any issues regarding this with Reddit Administration.


Definitions

  • Abandonware: Software that has no provable ownership or the current owner has has shown, repeatedly, that they have no desire to exert ownership of said title.

  • ToS: Terms of Service - the agreement you make to use a service provided by another.


More Detail

Below is the S/Q&A section from our piracy post:

S: I can’t find that law/rule

A: I hate to immediately brush off responsibility, but we’re not your librarians. Please consult the Reddit ToS or your local laws.

We do not want to be liable for providing them, misquoting them, etc.

We also do not want to discuss them. If there is a problem in how we enforce our rules, we’d like to hear that from Reddit Administration. We’re certainly less inclined to discuss it with someone trying to get around them.

Q: Why can’t I ask where to get free games?

A: If they are protected IP, it’s illegal.

S: I own a copy and have a right to download an image from (insert piracy site here).

A: No you do not. This is a popular myth.

You have a right to make a copy of software you own thanks to an amendment in US Copyright Law.

The person who is hosting the site you illegally download your image from does not have permission to distribute it in the manner they are.

Which means they are committing a crime by hosting said software and you are committing a crime by patronizing their site.

Q: But I can just copy my friend’s game, right?

A: No, you can’t do this either for the same reason outlined above.

S/Q: The site I commented with only has the same contents you can get from NUSDownloader. S: What about using NUSDownloader?

A: NUSDownloader is what we in the modding scene call a ‘grey area’. It doesn’t do anything that your Wii can’t already do. Obtain software your Wii cannot already obtain. You are getting your software from Nintendo, in a manner in which they (partially at least) approve of, there’s no issue.

However if I were to take these obtained files and re-host them, I’d be in violation of US Copyright Law.

A: Mostly answered above.

You don’t own them. You don’t have the right to distribute them.

Simply put, you’re not Nintendo.

S: Other subreddits do it.

A: Yes, they do. We choose not to.

If you have a problem with it, and you think we’re violating Reddit’s ToS by enforcing our rules, please report us to Reddit Administration.

Again we don’t wish to discuss this with anyone but them.

Q: How can we talk about circumventing Nintendo’s copy protections but not the developers of (insert other software here)?

A: Context.

Circumventing copy protection for the purpose of making your own copy is acceptable.

Circumventing copy protection for the purpose of playing a game without a legal copy is not.

Q: Why does Nintendo care about their properties that they haven’t touched in 15 years?

A: I’d wager you’d get a better answer from Nintendo for this question.

Either way it doesn’t matter. If they own it, current law gives them dominion over it.

If you don’t like that, change current law.

S: After 15 years it has to qualify at least under Abandonware, right?

A: You are misunderstanding ‘Abandonware’.

There is a Trademark law (not applicable for software) that allows a property to fall into the public domain if not used in x amount of years. It is often mistakenly applied to software.

It doesn’t apply.

Also if a piece of software cannot have its ownership traced legally, then its ownership cannot be enforced by anyone in a court of law (theoretically).

I can assure you this is not the case for every Nintendo owned title, and most Wii branded titles.

I can assure you that 99.9% of all Wii releases currently have active ownership and would be enforced if brought up in a legal copyright claim.

Q: What about roms for older consoles/emulators?

A: Same as above applies.

We can take the time to weed out which games could legally be distributed without worry of repercussions, but to us that seems like a waste of effort.

We can either allow it and risk our community so you can have yet another source to find free games, or not.

We chose not.

S: I bought this Wii with these games, so I got them legally.

A: Well maybe…

Tragically, this is the only current way to obtain WiiWare and VC games legally.

However it’s also a well known way that people make money illegally.

Buying a Wii loaded up with WiiWare and VC titles that the original owner didn’t own, or a hard drive full of games with no originals provided to cover the entirety of the library, is illegal.

S: I just asked about my NKIT files, and didn’t say anything about piracy!

A: With poor foresight, the developers of NKIT made their software in such a way that its typically too complicated for people who are casually going through this process to understand.

That being said, it’s also a dead giveaway for those who have obtained their software from illegitimate sources.

The most commonly asked NKIT question spawns a piracy discussion literally every time it comes up.

Because of this, all NKIT posts are treated with more scrutiny and only very few are allowed.

S: Hey wait! The site I downloaded my images from is a legitimate site.

A: Then you should have reported to them that they are hosting illegal media. Or just not said anything…?

This happens regularly for all media sites. YouTube regularly has to deal with people posting copy protected IP. Don’t get me started on Pornhub.

You violate our rules as well as Reddit’s ToS by propagating this information in our community.

S: Someone asked me where I got it to troubleshoot my issue!

A: Then you were baited.

Either way, if you obtained your software from illegitimate sources, divulging that information in our community is not acceptable.

In any context.

S: But I just told someone that what they are doing is wrong! S: I wasn’t promoting piracy! S: I just told someone that piracy was against the rules of the subreddit!

A: This one comes with an apology. There are people who are literally assaulting our community regularly because our stance of not allowing piracy is ‘unacceptable’ to them.

There is a report button below every submission and every comment. You are encouraged to use them instead.

Telling someone that they are violating our rules is not your responsibility. It also violates our rules.

It’s also used regularly as a spring board to start piracy discussions and arguments in the comments and hijack posts.

So we have chosen to not allow it.

Q: Why was my post removed/locked for piracy despite it having nothing to do with piracy what-so-ever? Q: Why does my post have so many piracy arguments in it?

A: Again, this one comes with an apology.

There are some Reddit users that will try their hardest to hijack a post for their piracy soapbox.

This makes certain topics, or the way you phrase certain things will illicit this response.

We will try our hardest to keep your post up despite this onslaught of users that are intentionally trying to disrupt our community.

Sometimes that isn’t possible.

If your post causes us to have to constantly monitor it for it to remain up, the decision to lock, or even remove it will be put on the table.

We volunteer to monitor the community. If we feel our time is being infringed on, we reserve the right to remove a post for dominating our time.

Q: Why are some of these rules so crazy?

A: I know right?

Because our Copyright laws are broken.

We are trying to help you modify your Wii. Not obtain free games. There are other places that are willing to risk their platforms, or have no risk to their platform, that already provide this service.

Q: Can I help straighten this up?

A: Vote. Get to know your IP laws and learn how to get them corrected. I could have an entire post with a diatribe on this issue. I actually already have a post dedicated to that …


Grey Areas

Our community thrives on these.

What we end up cracking down on are things that we think will put our community at risk the most.

There’s no reason in arguing grey areas with us. The community exists because of them.

Community Lawyer & Erring On the Side of Safety & We’re not Lawyers

We are inflexible on our rules.

If you have violated them in one of the two posts you’ve made to our subreddit in the last two years, then we are most likely not about to listen to your argument. At all.

If you are a regular in the community … if you contribute regularly … possibly help moderate the community, then we would be more receptive to a discussion on changing the above rules.

Until the community pulls in enough money to put a lawyer on retainer to answer these questions for us, we will continue to err on the side of safety.

We intend on growing this community. Not risk eliminating it so you can get free games.

Our Philosophy on Piracy

We don’t care.

We don’t control your life.

We only control the environment of our community.

Do what you want, don’t ruin our lives with your actions.

That’s all we ask.

Where to Discuss This Issue

Wrong place would be arguing about it in the comments of a post.

We are almost completely unlikely to listen to any discussion in the comments of someone’s post. Even if it’s your post.

Please send all inquiries through modmail.

I’d also suggest you be as polite as possible as this is an area where people will prod us maliciously and regularly.

Our defenses are always up because of this, unfortunately.

Things like all caps, offensive terms, etc, will instantly turn off our reception.

We will always listen to a Civil Discussion … in modmail.

We do this for our safety as well as yours.

If you don’t want to conform to that criteria then we are not obliged to converse with you.