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Can someone download a BIOS file of a system no longer for sale nor made by company? Copyright

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by Miami Heat Lover, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Miami Heat Lover

    Miami Heat Lover Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Utah
    I am asking and live in the state of Utah and my question is can someone legally download, upload etc. a BIOS file of any video game system that is neither being made anymore by the company nor sold anymore by the company?



    For example PlayStation is no longer making any more PlayStation 3 nor PlayStation 2 nor PlayStation 1 which is simply called PlayStation, so can a person legally upload, download etc. a PlayStation BIOS or PlayStation 2 BIOS or PlayStation 3 BIOS?



    Thank you all in advance and my name is Jason
     
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Not without the permission of the company that holds the copyright in the software. If you don't have permission then you are infringing on the copyright.
     
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  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes, it can be done legally.

    It is also done illegally, as there are any number of websites that allow their patrons to download what you asked about and more, often for FREE!

    Seek and ye shall find, brethren.
     
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  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    If you own one of those games and the BIOS is available I think you would be OK.

    If you don't own them, why would you want the BIOS?
     
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  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so. Owning the game does not give the owner any rights to the BIOS of the machine the game ran on.
     
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  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    My old computer has a BIOS. If there's an update on HP's website I could download it, along with any updated driver's.

    That's what I was thinking.

    Same or not same?
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Not the same. OP wants to download a file to run an emulator of the system in question. It's apples and oranges (or, Sonys & Nintendos, if you will).
     
  8. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    You can download it because HP licenses you to download it.

    The BIOS is still copyright protected.

    The BIOS isn't the game itself it is the operating system of the console and I'd be willing to bet that the people wanting to emulate them don't have and maybe never had the original machine.
     
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  9. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Not the same. You have a license for that BIOS that came with the machine. That allows you to keep that one copy of the BIOS and update it.

    What the OP is wants to do is upload or download a BIOS for a machine that he does not have and that is not sold anymore so that he can run software (presumably games) on some other machine to emulate the system that the software ran on. That would allow him to run that old software (again likely games) on that other machine. That is not allowed by the licenses for console game systems or the operating systems of any major PC maker that I am aware of.
     
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  10. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    Yes, he's hoping for the principle often quoted that "abandonware" is somehow exempt from copyright. It isn't.
     
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  11. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Ah, OK, wasn't quite seeing that before.
     
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  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Interestingly, the examples he chose aren't even abandonware ;)
     
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