You wouldn’t download a car… would you?

I’m trying to get at least four entries in this month to make this place more active. It’s difficult to try to come up with topics to post up but other times you just ask yourself a simple question and then suddenly a whole entry springs from that one question.

As many of you in the community already know, I recently bought myself a Sony Vaio P netbook… so, naturally, just like everyone else I installed all of the usual programs and set it up the way I like it and have my perty wallpaper and everything all there. Along with those other things, I came to a point where I eventually put ZSNES onto it. The main reason I did this, was so I could have a portable copy of Super Metroid.

But then I stopped for a moment and suddenly asked myself. I do own a copy of Super Metroid of Wii Virtual Console, but does that make it right for me to download a ROM version of it and put it on my Vaio P?

Personally, I like to buy everything and try to stay away from piracy as much as I can. After all, these games are made by some talented people and this industry, as flawed as it may be in certain areas, is an industry I want to support… but there can be some grey areas of morality we get into when it comes to the subject of piracy.

I DON’T own a copy of the original SNES version of Super Metroid, I DO own the Wii VC version, but am I in the wrong for having the ROM version in my possession and playing it on my Vaio P? I mean, it’s not like Nintendo has lost any money from me having the ROM on my PC… and funnily enough, this line of thinking can be used to actually justify piracy for a lot of people. If I call up some guy over at Nintendo and go “I own a copy of Super Metroid on Wii VC but I have a copy of the ROM on my PC, what do I do?!” he’ll just be like “Okay… I don’t care.” and hang up.

It’s a grey area, but for me, it’s okay to have this ROM copy of Super Metroid since I already have the Wii VC version… but then I ask myself… what about that ROM copy of Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie? I don’t own a physical SNES cart of that and it’s unavailable to download from Wii VC. In fact, it’s unavailable outside of Japan altogether, but thanks to the Internet, I was able to download it and experience its awesomeness.

Just because it’s not available in my country, does that mean I have free reign to just download it and play it without paying for it? It’s not like I can do much about it… My reasoning is that it’s a very old game that you can’t get anywhere any more, so having the ROM of it is no big deal. Of course, that takes me further down the rabbit hole in terms of justifying my actions.

I’m sure I could go even further if I followed the thought, so where would I stop? I stand firm on not pirating new games, and if there is a version of an older game that’s available on Wii VC, PlayStation Network or Xbox Live Arcade, I’d definitely go for those rather than pirating them. I’m fine with people modding their consoles as much as they want just as long as they don’t use it for the sake of piracy.

I guess it’s more of a case of personal morality than anything else… Anyway, you’ve heard my thoughts about this, so where does everyone else fall on this issue? Or is it really not that big a deal and I’m just over-thinking this? Let’s hear your thoughts.

Oh, and for those of you wondering where the whole “You wouldn’t download a car” thing came from… take a look.

That VERY annoying clip used to be at the very start of most DVDs sold down here in Australia. I was able to skip it on my DVD player back in the day, but there were some DVD players which wouldn’t let you so you either had to endure it or be smart enough to realise you could fast forward through it. Obviously it never says “You wouldn’t download a car” in the clip itself, that is just another one of the many Internet jokes out there for the lulz.

That clip in no longer added to newly released DVDs and they never appeared on BDs to begin with. Not sure what they have now but hopefully it’s not as annoying as that one.