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According to the rules, questions relative to game piracy are not allowed in here.

However, there is a tag emulation which confuses me.

Isn't the essence of emulation to use games you (most likely) don't own? Aren't game emulators condoning game piracy?

Thus shouldn't all questions tagged emulation be flagged as piracy related?

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    Emulation itself is not illegal. We make a good faith assumption that the user has bought the game in question. – Frank Feb 1 '15 at 15:14
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    Buying the game does not give you a legal right to download a ROM for it. – GnomeSlice Feb 1 '15 at 15:18
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    What assumption is being made that you downloaded a ROM? Last I checked, every modern console uses discs that can be read by a PC. We get into iffy territory for cartridges, but it's still possible to rip them yourself, which is totally legal. – Frank Feb 1 '15 at 15:21
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    I'd've agreed with you much more wholeheartedly before I used dolphin to take my (purchased, from a store, legitimate) copy of xenoblade on the road with me and play it in HD. I'm somewhat more ambivalent at this point. – LessPop_MoreFizz Feb 1 '15 at 15:25
  • There are also 'official' emulators that people might be having trouble with, such as Nintendo Virtual Console or the PS1 emulator on the PS3. – Robotnik Feb 1 '15 at 22:34
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    Also: so you don't get dissuaded about the votes: downvotes on meta generally mean disagreement, not necessarily poor quality (and don't count toward reputation anyway). – Robotnik Feb 1 '15 at 23:37
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Isn't the essence of emulation to use games you (most likely) don't own? Aren't game emulators condoning game piracy?

No, the essence of emulation is to run software in environments that are not or no longer supported. Consider the case of DOSBox:

DOSBox is a DOS-emulator that uses the SDL-library which makes DOSBox very easy to port to different platforms. DOSBox has already been ported to many different platforms, such as Windows, BeOS, Linux, MacOS X...

I could keep around that 486SX with MS-DOS for running an old game, sure (double speed CD-ROM reader, FTW!). But a decent emulator saves me that trouble.

Local consumer protection laws may allow people to make private copies of software they have purchased or licensed, or may allow them to reverse engineer parts to make it run in new or uncommon environments, even if expressly forbidden by their license.

The use of an emulator, or trouble in using such an emulator, is not evidence of piracy. That's not to say that there are no shady individuals using emulators to facilitate piracy—that'd just be naïve—but we shouldn't automatically presume guilt based on this. Judge case by case.

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