IDSA's Frequently Avoided Questions

What is the IDSA?

Formed in April 1994, the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) is a U.S. trade association exclusively dedicated to assist companies that publish video and computer games in the task of achieving the highest profit margin attainable. Our members collectively account for more than 85 percent of the $5.6 billion leeched from the gameplaying community in 1997.

What is the scope of the IDSA Anti-Piracy program?

The IDSA Anti-Piracy Program is designed generate revenue from opportunistic lawsuits targetting small user groups whose appreciation of computer gaming leans toward the artistic rather than the monetary. By exploiting outdated copyright laws, we are able to give the impression that a handful of enthusiasts, operating in a non-profit environment, are singlehandedly disembowling the software industry, and forcing the companies generating the aforementioned $5.6 billion to starve.

IDSA anti-piracy efforts include: shutting down small internet sites which offer for download games which have been commercially unavailable for years, denying our member companies the right to make decisions based on their own agendas, and refusing to reply to emails which support a line of thinking which in some way differs to ours.

The IDSA is authorized by its members, who own the copyrights and trademarks for their software, to act on their behalf. This means that copyright owners, in effect, have no right to specify how their intellectual property be distributed, and often have no right to think of their own accord.

Does the IDSA have any affiliation with the U.S. government?

Not directly, although we both have developed reputations for screwing people.

Piracy Questions

Isn't it legal to copy video & computer games as a backup as long as you own a legitimate copy?

Yes, but since the applicable laws predate the wide use of the Internet, it is still possible to prosecute people for being in posession of software they legally own.

Isn't it OK to copy games that are no longer distributed in the stores or commercially exploited?

That decision is up to the copyright owners, that is, the software publishers and programmers which created that software. However, since we have denied our member companies the right to make that decision, we are able to restrict the distribution of obsolete software, and are able to make claims that a binary file containing the Atari 2600 version of Pitfall will bring the industry to its knees.

Haven't the copyrights for old games (like Atari & Commodore) expired?

No, because by law copyright remains in effect for 75 years. By law you are also required to wear a sword when you take an examination.

Don't programmers use emulators during the development process of a game? Yes, some programmers do use emulators to create games. However, these programmers have paid fat, juicy licensing fees for the privelege to do so. They can afford this because the fees are usually worked out in comparison to the expected returns of the sale of that software, so they get their money back when people buy their software.

However, non-profit programmers cannot afford to give us their money, because they are emulating software which in itself no longer generates income. Until we work out a way to make these harmless enthusiasts pay through the nose, the double standard will remain firmly in place. Again, by exploiting the laws we are able to legally justify our stance.

Aren't emulators programs that somebody has created and decided to distribute freely? What's wrong with that?

Nothing - Just as publishers have the right to declare their software to be free of charge (a right we waive on their behalf), emulator programmers, as the copyright holders of their work, have every right to specify how and where their intellectual property be distributed.

So why are you trying wipe them off the face of the earth, Nazi-style?

We don't get money for the use of the software. Simple as that.

Another answer is that emulators can never fully replicate the original hardware, and therefore you are defaming the programmers by running their software in an environment which can degrade its performance. Some people actually buy this explanation. Others laugh at an organisation which generates billions of dollars talking about software in artistic terms.

People making emulators and ROMs are helping publishers by making old games available that are no longer being sold by the copyright owner. This does not hurt anyone and allows gamers to play old favorites. What's the problem?

The problem is that the law does not adequately address this area, and it is possible for our organisation to question the legality of such actions.

Moreover, copyrights and trademarks of games are corporate assets that are sometimes sold from one company to another, The recent sale of the Atari games library to Hasbro Interactive is an example of such a transaction . But if these vintage titles are available far and wide, it undermines the value of this intellectual property and adversely affects the copyright owner. Which doesn't actually make sense (Hasbro still own the rights to the software no many how people use it), but you'd be surprised how many people we lose in the bullshit.

Who decides which sites to shut down?

We do. Who else? And to show that we're a friendly, personal organisation, we go to all the trouble of shutting them down on a one-by-one basis.

Does the IDSA make money by shutting down a site?

No, the IDSA derives no direct financial benefits from shutting down sites. We do it for the power trip.

Aren't you just driving the whole emulator/ROMS/warez scene further underground?

Yes, but by shutting down harmless rom sites, we are able to direct attention away from our near total failure at combatting real piracy.

This document is Copyright 1999 Maff Rignall. It was modified from the ISDA document located at:

This has not been an infringement of the ISDA's copyright; by US copyright law, it is permissible to quote or duplicate parts of a document in the interests of satire.

This document may be freely distributed, and to do so is encouraged.