Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is It Really Possible to Backup Video Games?

By Vladimir Elmerson

Many users that have bought a Nintendo Wii console are curious to know how to copy Wii games. Once that is discovered, another inquiry is "Is it lawful to rip video games?"

Well, it turns out that it is absolutely legal to copy video games. That's the short answer at least. The long answer is that "it depends on what you're copying them for".

There has been a lot of debate in recent years, but the answer is found in the Fair Use Act, which in a nutshell says that persons are able to rip, copy, burn, backup, or whatever you want to call it, if you are the purchaser of the original disc.

The LOC of the US actually went further than that with their ruling. They said that this same decision applies to ALL digital media. So it applies to backing up movies and DVDs. It also applies to jailbreaking iphones, or any other device with it's own operating system. Experts immediately started weighing in and saying that, in the interest of consumer protection, anyone who buys anything on CD or DVD should make a backup copy as soon as humanly possible. The moment that you walk out of a store with your media, it is at risk of being damaged - and you cannot get a refund, obviously, if that happens.

What's more, consumer rights advocates are recommending that you put the master copy of the disc up for safe keeping - preferably somewhere fire proof and climate controlled. Then you can use the copy for daily use until it wears out, when you make another copy.

Let's address the elephant in the room though. If you want to copy video games, it's not as simple as just copying an audio CD. If you've ever tried it, you know that you have to contend with encryption on the game.

Of course, the companies that manufacture video games can't legally prevent you from copying games. They can't come and beat you up if you find a way around the DRM. However, they CAN make it as difficult as humanly possible for you to copy your games. They hope that they'll make it so hard that most people will just give up.

When these companies put DRM encryptions onto discs, they are within their legal rights to do so. However, the same law that allows them to do this also allows you to remove the DRM. Fortunately, I discovered recently that a application development company has come out with some very easy to use software that will de-encrypt, rip, and burn a game with about 4 clicks.

Just google "how to copy wii games" and you should find what you're looking for!

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