I know that legally you are allowed to backup your own games(at least in the USA), and for some systems I know how to do this. I would like to learn how to do so on other platforms, and searching the web on this topic is cumbersome at best. However, I also know that this can be quite the grey area. I support backing up one's own games, but I would really like to avoid stepping on any toes(especially since I'm new).

Is it alright to post such a question to the non-Meta site?


Just don't ask about the legality. If you're asking about something neutral — e.g., "How do I back up X?" rather than either "Is backing up X legal?" or "Can you help me copy my friend's copy of X?" — then you should be OK.

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    It should be noted that you should also only ask about things which are legal. Which is not the same as asking whether they are legal. To be more clear: Circumventing copy-protection or encryption (as is required to, for example, backup most cartridge based and other console titles) is, in most countries, illegal thanks to the DMCA or it's various equivalents by treaty. Given that most of the remaining questions once you exclude that class are generally trivial, the category becomes somewhat moot. Oct 26 '11 at 22:28

That would seem to be what the tag is for...

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    This tag is currently mostly in use for questions dealing with the backup, recovery, and migration of various saved games and user data, rather than game files themselves. Oct 26 '11 at 22:32
  • @fredley - the tag's been removed entirely, probably during one of the purges. Is this answer still worth keeping around?
    – Robotnik Mod
    Mar 13 '14 at 13:17

As I've noted in my answer to this question, it is not legal, at least in the USA, to make backups of your games in most cases.

Asking about any kind of protection circumvention should be avoided to keep the site legal.

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    Oh, it's perfectly legal to make a backup. It's just not legal to circumvent copy protection in order to do so, which renders it impossible. Put another way: It's perfectly legal to eat venison, but unless you're explicitly licensed to go hunting for deer, killing one yourself in order to get the meat will not end well for you once you cross paths with law enforcement. Oct 26 '11 at 22:28
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    @LessPop_MoreFizz Still, describing the steps would be illegal since they would directly encompass circumventing copy protection.
    – user56
    Oct 26 '11 at 22:35
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    Yeah, I'm just being a pedant and making the point that, for example, I can perfectly legally make a copy of my old Diablo II CD's. There's no encryption, and I can even explain how to do it to you if you'd like. Though I'd opine that we should steer clear of 'How do I burn a copy of a Diablo II CD' being considered on topic for a variety of other reasons. Oct 26 '11 at 22:37

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