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Video games and the law

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Came across an article in the June 1983 issue of Video Review magazine that offered several scenarios and asked if it constituted breaking the law: http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/magazines/video_review/video_review.html

Here's 2 video game-related ones.  The "copying a video game" question is actually asking about videotaping a video game, as copying games was and is still illegal (except if you're making one backup copy for yourself).  Ron Goldman from Mattel seems to think videotaping games could be illegal if copies of the tape were sold.  And yet, the year before, Vestron released their 3-volume "How to Beat Home Video Games" VHS tapes: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/49167/late-movies-how-beat-home-video-games-1982


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Man, I use to record my game playing all the time in the NES days.  It was used as a tool to learn the games.  I remember commercial VHS tapes on video games loaded with reviews, tips and tricks to then popular games. Charging someone to play your game on your system? That's a new one.  Would have made getting new games a bit easier if it worked.  

I have a few disk games for my XEGS and one of them encourages making back ups.  I think the Micro prose ones do but I can't remember for sure.  I try not to play those too often for fear of wear and tear.  I don't want to play them so much that they no longer work.

Interesting topic. I can see it being illegal to copy a game on cartridge and optical disc, not floppies as long as.the copy is for personal use and not to bootleg it.  Unless it's shareware.  I miss those days.  It was a.great.way to get new games without worrying too much

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This article from the February 1982 issue of Video magazine is but one of countless examples back then of how some towns passed laws and ordinances regulating or outright banning video games, even though usually there wasn't anything but unfounded rumors regarding the negative influences they had on kids.


Edited by Scott Stilphen
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