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Microsoft pulls illegal NES ROMs from Marketplace

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NES titles still being sold in the Marketplace with new ones added [Updated]

Remember last week when we covered the situation surrounding ROMs being sold on the Marketplace using an emulator that has been dead for a while? Microsoft still hasn't acted yet by removing these ROMs that shouldn't be sold or even made available for purchase. The games in question are Golf, PunchOut, Metroid and now Zelda, which was added only yesterday.

So not only are the ROMs still available on the Marketplace, but new ones seem to be being accepted without question and the developer behind the submissions is racking up the sales. Hopefully by the time Microsoft deals with this problem the revenue earned will be moot and account rights revoked. Don't hold your breath however. We were tipped soon after publishing the previous article that the team has been informed and are looking into removing the offending apps. Fast-forward a week and here we are with new ones being approved and old ones being updated to join already published ROMs. 

Update: We've received word from a reader who got in touch with Brandon Watson about the legality issues surrounding these ROMs being sold on the Marketplace. We're told that while Brandon understands the cause for concern, they can't remove the apps in question from the Marketplace without Nintendo's request. So for now the developer can continue to launch and update these poorly ported ROMs as he so pleases and earn revenue from purchases.

We will look to get in touch with Nintendo and bring this situation to their attention.

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Comments

There are 14 comments. Sign in to comment

selfcreation says:

lol , i saw zelda this morning , its almost tempting but i dont want to get in trouble or lose my cash if i pay for it :(i hear they are HORRIBLE ports as well.

theefman says:

Pretty poor of MS. Maybe they are waiting for a lawsuit from Nintendo before they do anything...:)

walnutcrunch says:

It seems to be Microsoft's policy to reject apps in certification for copyright/trademark infringement only if it is infringing on Microsoft IP. Everyone else has to submit a formal takedown request.

poddie says:

I wonder if they believe that if they protect some of other companies IP (like Nintendo) that they will be liable if they accidentally let through some other companies IP?In other words, if they believe that pulling Nintendo's ROMs without Nintendo's request will form a precedent that they need to pull ANY such content... so some little "xyz studio" could sue them for accidentally letting their content through via one of these lowlifes?

Nudua says:

Wow that is pretty ridiculous, no wonder Brandon Watson didn't reply to my tweet. Maybe I should try to submit my emulator?

nanoware says:

come on guys. this has been happening on android for years and google hardly cares.

mattbettcher says:

I'm 99% sure that this is the code I released under GNU GPL v2 license. So any lawyers out there can contact me and sue this guy for charging $ for the software and not releasing the code. So maybe I will release a bunch of NES games this weekend just to make a few $.

I wont try and be some whiteknight here and scream illegal. some of these old school games are fun to play. If Nintendo isnt complaining (do they even know or care?) then no one else should be.

Nudua says:

So you don't see the problem in stealing someone else's open source emulator, pirating games and selling them for a quick buck? Many of these games are still being sold on Nintendo's own systems trough Virtual Console, so I'm pretty sure they mind.

I dont, and apparently MS doesnt either or they would have been pulled. I'm able to play some cool old games on my phone for just a couple bucks.welcome to the internet.

mydefposse says:

To be honest, if I hadn't heard that they are pretty rubbish ports, then I would have got them too. Seriously what's the big deal if Nintendo aren't doing anything about it?

DavidinCT says:

I guess I would not buy these unless Nintendo approves. Could MS yank games off your phone if Nintendo requested it? Not sure but, it's possable.Till there is an offical statment from Nintendo, treat these as illegal. I do know for a fact (if you look on Nintendo's site), that backups or roms are not legal in any form according to Nintendo, so it's a shock they have not said anything yet.Besides, if you were talking about just playing NES roms on your WP7 device look up vNESLight on XDA, plays about 95% of the games but, still in beta. You do need an unlocked device tho... BTW: It's freehttp://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1144561

DavidinCT says:

If anyone wants to read Nintendos legal standing on Emulators and "roms" spend an hour or so here...http://www.nintendo.com/corp/legal.jspThis person could be end up broke after Nintendo's legal team gets to him. They have very deep pockets and these type of things are they stuff they go after.

Hopefully this shows Nintendo to port some NES games over, but even if it doesn't these roms aren't hurting there pockets. I will say that snitching on dude to Nintendo is a douche move. Let that man live and eat. Hopefully Mario gets ported!