Making CD backups

Posted by: feardust

Making CD backups - 11/26/02 09:46 PM

I was just reading girlgeek's post about the exploding Sanitarium disc, and wondered how awful it would be to lose a game in the same manner.

I've never made a CD backup of my games before, but I'm beginning to think it might be a good idea. I was wondering if many Boomers already put this in practice, and if so, how effective it's been. After all, I believe some of the newer discs are difficult to make copies of because of the copy protection they have built in.

Is it legal, in any case, to make such a backup?
Posted by: fov

Re: Making CD backups - 11/26/02 09:59 PM

a friend of mine, who happens to be a lawyer, once joked that she bought a CD writer so she could make "personal backups" of her boyfriend's CD selection. she said that legally, the owner of a CD is allowed to make backups for their own personal use. i'd imagine it's the same for a game, but i bet you're right about the copy protection on some disks.

in a similar vein, i cross stitch, and there is a lot of controversy about whether it's legal to make a personal "working" copy of a chart, so when you are stitching from it you can write on it, etc., without worrying about destroying your original copy. the general consensus is that as long as it's for personal use, and you destroy the working copy when you're done, it's perfectly legal. so i'd think it's okay to back up a game, as long as you destroy the backup if you trade or sell the original.

Posted by: Cynch

Re: Making CD backups - 11/26/02 10:20 PM

I make back-up copies of all my favorite old games that are no longer available for purchase.

As long as you purchased the original copy..I'm quite sure it is perfectly legal to do this. And even if it isn't, who is ever going to know about it, as long as you do not sell/lend or give your back-up copies to anyone else. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Confused]" src="confused.gif" />

After making my back-up copies, I store my precious old games away in a safe place and only use the copies when I replay the games.
Posted by: PeggyH

Re: Making CD backups - 11/26/02 10:34 PM

At one time it was recommended that you make a back-up before using any software. I now make copies of anything that I have on the 5 1/4" floppies, partially because I don't know whether they will eventually become unreadable with age. Once I have a CD-RW at home, I will probably begin to back up the 3 1/2" floppies for the same reason.

I keep the copies in the boxes with the originals and I suppose if I ever traded or sold one of those games I would have to decide whether to include the back-up or destroy it. That would be a shame, it seems to me. Luckily I am not faced with that choice right now as I can't bring myself to get rid of any of my hard sought for "golden oldies". lol
Posted by: gatorlaw

Re: Making CD backups - 11/26/02 11:42 PM

The practical reality is of course people do make back ups of certain software and keep it for personal use - but it is a violation of the current copyright law. It is a popular myth that there is a "back up copy exception". But of course Cynch made the main point on a practical level..

Not to say that the lawyer friend wasn't in good faith when she said that - but after extensive research of existing copyright decisional law and statutes over the last year - that is the current position on such practices. smile

Posted by: nolalou

Re: Making CD backups - 11/27/02 08:32 AM

I always assumed if you make copies for you own use, and it isn't used in more than one place at a time, then it's okay. In other words, it's not okay to loan the bakup to a friend, while you play from the original one. In the case of music CD's , I have made cassette copys to play in my car. (now I have a CD player in my car, so I don't need to do that any more).

Even if it's technicaly 'not legal', I can't imaging getting in trouble for it as long as you don't distribute it to others, and only keep it for your own use.

Then again, I'm not a lawyer, so what do I know! wink

Posted by: MrLipid

Re: Making CD backups - 11/27/02 09:09 AM

As the digital rights management discussion rolls forward, I expect to see some interesting court cases. As it stands, you don't actually buy software. You buy a license to use the code. The diskette or CD or DVD is just a handy container for that code.

The license (End User License Agreement or EULA) routinely absolves the manufacturer of any liability for damage or loss caused by said licensed software.

In effect, the user owns nothing and the manufacturer bears no responsibility whatsoever when it comes to delivering the promised experience. The end user is bound by a contract -- and subject to prosecution for copyright violation -- while the manufacturer is bound by nothing other than the requirement that there be something on the diskette/CD/DVD and certainly not subject to prosecution for the failure of whatever might be on the diskette/CD/DVD to work properly.

If manufacturers are so concerned about people making backups, there is a simple solution: Every software box should ship with two copies of the software in it AND manufacturers should be required to replace any damaged or defective disks at no cost whatsoever to the user. If a manufacturer wants the power to take away the ability of the user to make copies, the manufacturer should be willing to pay for that power by taking up the responsibility of seeing to it that users lose nothing by losing the ability to make copies. That is, the manufacturer should be willing to provide as many copies as needed.

Currently, the situation is ridiculously lopsided. Be interesting to see how long it will persist.
Posted by: sqrllover

Re: Making CD backups - 11/27/02 12:28 PM

I agree with MrLipid....

Look at how many people tape TV programs or movies on TV to watch over and over. What is the law on that I wonder. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Confused]" src="confused.gif" />
Posted by: SnowMoon

Re: Making CD backups - 11/27/02 03:10 PM

Why would they even make VCR's (Video Cassette RECORDERS) if we weren't supposed to record? Doesn't make sense to me.....
Posted by: gremlin

Re: Making CD backups - 11/27/02 03:25 PM

This is a complex area, but my current understanding is this
  • video recorders should (legally) only be used to 'time shift' programs - to be watched once, as broadcast, and then destroyed
  • the belief that you can make a 'backup' of a CD as long as it is for personal use only is based on an old agreement (not a law, just an agreement not to prosecute) between media companies & the enforcement agencies, that it was reasonable to backup magnetic media (i.e. floppies & tapes) because of the limited life span of those media. Given the much, much greater expected lifespan of CDs and DVDs, there is no such agreement in place.

If you want to extend the life of your CDs... use the full install option for your game, and a NO-CD patch (which may be illegal to produce, but are not illegal to use), so that you don't keep using the disk.
The Gremlin.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Making CD backups - 11/27/02 04:00 PM

As far as I'm concerned, a EULA that you can't read until you've purchased the game is void. The first time you see the EULA is at the beginning of your install - not before you buy the game. And many shops won't accept returns of opened software.

Some game EULA's do allow you to make one personal backup of the game. EULA's aren't all the same if you actually read them. But how many people take the time to read them when they are eager to finish installing their new game and try it out?

It is easier to make CDR copies of older DOS games than it is to make copies of newer games. Before CDR drives were available, no one was able to copy CD's and there was no need for copy protection.

But not all CDRW's are capable of copying the newer forms of copy protection. The best combination of software and hardware for copying ALL CD's, both new and old, is a combination of CloneCD and one of the CDRW drives recommended on the CloneCD site.

Notice that not all the CDRW's they list are equal. They are just the ones that have been tested. The best CDRW's are the ones with 2 disks in the "Correct EMF-Encoding" column which can do "RAW-DAO 96 = 2352 bytes RAW Data + 96 Bytes P-W Subchannel Data." To copy the latest games, you need this sort of thing. To copy older games, you wouldn't.

To play your game (if it has one of the recent versions of copy protection) you may need to have a CloneCD icon in your taskbar with "Hide CDR Media" checked in it in order for your drive to read it. I have a friend who lives in Canada who told me about this. She told me that when she tried to play her "backed up" game with her LG CDROM, she had to use the icon. But when she got a new drive, she didn't need the icon to play it any more. My friend tested the Canadian version of Syberia and another game - I think it was Beyond Atlantis.

One of the settings in Clone CD is to "amplify weak sectors" (AWS). I got the impression (from what my friend told me) that this setting could overcome the deficiencies in some CDRW writers. If your computer's region settings were set to "USA," AWS is disabled by default. But if they were set to "Canada" (and probably some other countries), you could take advantage of the AWS option and copy some CD's you probably otherwise couldn't with a less-capable CDRW drive.

CloneCD has a trial version, but it expires after a while. Since I only rarely back up anything, and when I do it's an old DOS game, I didn't think it was worth the price (about $40). It might be for someone else.
Posted by: heavycat

Re: Making CD backups - 11/27/02 07:37 PM

Look at how many people tape TV programs or movies on TV to watch over and over. What is the law on that I wonder.


Universal and Disney (oh, look, Disney again, what a surprise) sued Sony in 1984 to stop them from selling Betamax machines because it allowed people to make copies of copyrighted movies and television shows for personal use.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of Sony, saying that "it was fair use for consumers to copy programs off the air for time-shifting purposes," and more generally that "private, noncommercial copying should be presumed fair use."

Since there is no appeal from the U.S. Supreme Court, that about wraps it up for the "one-copy only" business model.

But let's examine the legalities a little closer:

Title 17 of the U.S. Code, Chapter 1, Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work,


is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:"

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

A backup copy passes here. Backups are noncommercial, unless copyright law entitles the rights holder to another sale every time a disc is scratched.

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

These don't seem to apply directly to a backup copy, since it is an exact copy of the original. I'd say a personal backup fails these two tests.

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

A backup passes here, since the market has already been compensated for the original, and it is upon this point that the current argument will turn.

If the courts agree that businesses are entitled to a sale each and every time a CD-ROM is used as opposed to purchased, then backups are not fair use.

Problem is that the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken almost directly on point here, so the entire argument is academic.

Goodnight Mouseketeers. laugh
Posted by: BillyBob

Re: Making CD backups - 11/27/02 08:19 PM

Despite the long asserted point that the government is of the people, by the people, and for the people it has been my personal observation and determination that it just ain't so.....except for the making of some laws that seem to be in that direction but you can't get them implemented unless you are rich or can get a whole lot of the "common" people involved (and that ain't easy).

I'll try not to get too "long winded" on this subject despite the points I could make to show this a valid statement. We see it all around us. Cameras on the highways with built in radar (got them here). Jobs lost due only to the technology that makes people obsolete, etc.

When you discuss this about the laws against copying CDs, etc. ask yourself this question. How many songs on records, CDs, etc. did you get for the price of said record, CD, that you really wanted? Were you not subsidizing the other so called artists whose songs were on that CD.......whether you wanted to or not?

Enough of that. I won't be around when it gets really bad but that doesn't mean I like seeing what's coming. I can only "feel" for those of you who will suffer from the lack of freedom that is being gradually taken from you in the name of "the better good" (but for whom?) frown
Posted by: Witchen

Re: Making CD backups - 11/27/02 09:05 PM

Hi Gang........This is definitely one of those discussions that can (and probably will be) tossed around just short of eternity.

As far as Gameboomers is concerned, it might be a good idea along in here some place to take the time to review Gameboomers' Software and Copyright Law FAQ\'s and Posting Guidelines .

I am fairly sure that we will see changes in the existing situation in the not too distant future. After all, this is one unique market where the manufacture has no liability whatsoever and generally bears no burden to issue even the slightest glimmer of a warranty on the product sold. "If you open it, you bought it" may be rapidly becoming an edict of the "olden days."
I hope so.

Love, Witchen =O)
Posted by: feardust

Re: Making CD backups - 11/30/02 03:08 AM

Those were all very interesting responses; many thanks for writing, and also to Witchen for pointing out the existence of a Gameboomers guideline I hadn't spotted before.

It does say "Please don't post a request for a copy of a disc that seems to be missing from your game box." I might be mistaken, but haven't postings of a similar nature occured in the past? And haven't 'boomers responded with offers of help, for say, damaged discs?
Posted by: Witchen

Re: Making CD backups - 11/30/02 10:38 AM

True, Feardust, wink that's probably happened more than once. But, requesting a "copy" in this sense, means some kind Gameboomer is offering to loan an original disk pressed by the distributor/developer. smile (That is the intent anyway!)
Posted by: feardust

Re: Making CD backups - 12/03/02 08:07 AM

Thanks for clearing that up, Witchen.

And I hope those laws change soon! smile
Posted by: Witchen

Re: Making CD backups - 12/03/02 10:42 AM

Yuppers, its a "sticky wicket" for sure, Feardust.

As usual the technology is way ahead of the legal curve.
Posted by: mbc841

Re: Making CD backups - 12/03/02 03:20 PM

This confusion is only going to get worse now that DVD recorders are becoming available. I myself have almost 100 Video Tapes I've collected over the years, and since Video's have a definite life expectancy, I'm just dying to get my hands on a DVD recorder, so I can start copying all these videos over to DVDs. Will I be breaking laws by doing that? I even have some old Beta movies I eventually want to copy over to DVD - anyone remember Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video? I have the Beta video "The Making of Thriller". It's 20 years old, and I'm afraid to watch it for fear that the video will deteriorate in the machine. laugh
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Making CD backups - 12/03/02 07:39 PM

I've bought videos on ebay that were more than 20 years old and now out of print. They play OK videowise, though the sound usually has hiss. I'm not sure whether the original movie had hiss or not. I don't play them often, but I don't see any sign that being played a lot over the years did them much damage.

I'd say go ahead and copy the videos you really want to save. If they're reissued on DVD, they'll probably be cleaned up and much nicer to look at and listen to and you can buy the DVD's. But there is a lot of old stuff on video that will never be released on DVD and I think it's far more of a crime for it to be lost forever than that you make yourself a backup copy.
Posted by: gatorlaw

Re: Making CD backups - 12/03/02 10:17 PM

The law in regards to back up copies only applies to software. Movies copied for home use from broadcast and other medium has been permisseable according to the courts for some time. Many felt that the courts would apply the same logic to copies of software for personal use and also MP3 downloads - but they distinguished the two mediums and stated that due to other laws - software was different.

Unless the courts rule otherwise at this point making back up copies of videos is a whole different thing and should be legal as long as it isn't for sale or broadcast, in other words for profit.

Posted by: Howard the Doc

Re: Making CD backups - 12/05/02 03:38 PM

2030 - The Supreme Court has finally ruled on making backup copies of your children. Essentially, Justice Bush IV, writing for the majority, stated that keeping one frozen embryo, cloned from DNA acquired at birth for the FBI databank, is permissible provided it is used only to replace a minor child in case of death or for the creation of spare parts in the case of accidental disfigurement or dismemberment or autologous transplant in case of disease. Use of DNA material to make more than one clone for use in farm or factory work is way unacceptable. lol
Posted by: taf4

Re: Making CD backups - 12/06/02 07:15 PM

Gatorlaw and Others:

Copyright Act Section 117(a) speaks directly on point:

Making of additional copy or adaptation by owner of copy of Computer Programs

It says it is not an infringement to make a backup copy of a computer program if one of two requirements is met:

1) It an essential step to use the program.
2) The new copy is for archival purposes only and all archival copies are destroyed in teh even that continued possession on teh computer program should cease to be rightful.

In addition, Section 1201 imposes a different requirement that you cannot circumvent a technological measure controling access to a protected work. Meaning that you can't use other programs to circumvent copy protection, like Jenny100 was talking about.

On audio recordings, you can make a home copy on an analog recorder or digital audio recording device (like a DAT player), as long as its for non-commercial uses (meaning you can't sell it) and its by a consumer. They allow this because they have placed a tax on blank medium that goes to the copyright holders. This is in Section 1008.

So my understanding of the bottom line is that YES, you can make a copy of your cd-roms AS LONG AS you don't cirucment any copy protection and your original copy NEVER leaves your possession.
Posted by: Jenny

Re: Making CD backups - 12/06/02 10:16 PM

This is all academic for me, since I don't own a CD burner, but I distinctly remember when I installed Tony Tough just about ten days ago that there was a clause in that agreement saying you could make a single copy for a backup, for personal use only...