Back to Arcade Index

Page 3

prev     -1-     -2-     -3-     -4-     -5-     -6-     -7-     -8-     -9-     next

Wikipedia has this to say about it. The full quotes can be found in this article.

Freely licensed ROMs

The vast majority of computer and video games from the history of such games are no longer manufactured. As such, the copyright holders of some games have offered free licenses to those games, often on the condition that they be used for non-commercial purposes only.

Unlicensed ROMs

While some games which no longer make any profit fit into the category above, the vast majority are no longer available in any form. The legality of obtaining such games varies from country to country. Some countries have special exceptions in copyright laws or case law which permit (or discourage less) copying when an item is not available for legal purchase or when the copying is for non-commercial or research purposes, while other countries may make such practises firmly illegal. There is often a distinction drawn between distribution and downloading, with distribution being seen as the greater offence.


It is often the case that games which are still in copyright are no longer sold or marketed by their copyright holders. This may be due to the perceived lack of demand for the game or for other reasons. Some of those engaged in ROM trading claim that such games should be deemed abandoned by their copyright holders and that the game, termed Abandonware, can be freely traded by users.

Commercial Distribution

Commercial distribution of copyrighted games without the consent of the copyright holder is generally illegal in almost all countries, with those who take part in such activities being liable for both criminal and civil penalties.

24 Hours Claim

Some ROM websites claim it is legal to download and keep a ROM of a game one doesn?t own for as long as 24 hours, after which it is ones responsibility to delete it. Although this claim is widespread, it has no basis in the law.


Many have argued that it would be irrational for a company to spend money prosecuting for games that they are no longer making profit from, as there would be no damages to speak of. Even so, this has not deterred Nintendo from pursuing a number of lawsuits against ROM distribution websites via non-profit subsidiaries.

All clear on ROM usage then? Let's get on with the cab.

So here it is in all its glory. Well, excuse the condition but it had been living in a stable in North Yorkshire, and that would test the mettle of any man, and indeed the metal too. Do you know any metal men?

Earlier I mentioned that the ideal scenario would be to get a cab that was no longer functional then I wouldn?t have the guilt trip of sacrificing a piece of history. Now this is hardly The Antiques Roadshow I know but it is still a piece of history none the less and as it was indeed no longer working it fitted the bill perfectly. Originally the cab had been the eighth Solitaire Challenge cab sold by US Company Valley Dynamo in 1994 to a UK company, but somewhere in its lifetime the game had been removed and had been replaced with a PC running M.A.M.E.. However, once the then owner moved out of his parents house, his brother kindly stole the PC and the cab was abandoned until I rescued it.

When I brought it home the PC was no longer present but the monitor was, all 15 inches of it. The first thing I would be looking to do was upgrade that to a more respectable nineteen inch model but judging from the original bezel around the screen though it was clear that the original game had only contained a 15 inch monitor. While authenticity is one thing, squinting while playing games is another so a bigger monitor was the order of the day.

The Control Panel still contained the original controls of the Trackball and Fire buttons, but more had been added to create a single player three button setup along with an 8-way joystick. I would be looking to install a two player layout with two joysticks and four fire buttons for each player. As you?ll see from my prototype panel I had originally planned on having just three buttons, but playing Defender for example with three buttons is not the best way to appreciate it so I added a fourth button to my design.

prev     -1-     -2-     -3-     -4-     -5-     -6-     -7-     -8-     -9-     next

back to top

Enjoy my articles? Please leave me feedback