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Downloaded games to ISO - legal?

Last response: in Video Games
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September 15, 2011 12:38:48 PM

Hi all.

Can I buy a download version of a game - Crysis2, etc.
Then create a disk image of the game.

Copy the disk image on a notebook, activate using the valid serial #,
then play offline?

All 100% legal, ethical, moral, etc if I have the game only activated on one machine per serial number?

How can I create a disk image from a download game with no DVD ?

Some download versions of games cost half or less than the DVD versions.

thanks!

Best solution

September 15, 2011 12:48:11 PM

Yes, it's the way to generally do it if you don't have internet access on the machine you wish to play on. The general rules are:

1. You MAY NOT sell a copy of the game for any money whatsoever.
2. You may only have ONE copy of the game installed with the valid serial at any given time.

You can backup the game files using Steam or (in Crysis 2's case) Origin and it saves the backup in a convenient installation file you can copy wherever you wish - it only requires a legal serial to install and play with.

EDIT: Many games I've bought and shared the files with friends. Left 4 Dead 2, Darksiders, Team Fortress 2, Duke Nukem Forever, etc. I buy the game, install and update everything. Create a backup of all the files, give it to a friend who also bought the game (but doesn't want to download the files due to extreme bandwidth limits in South Africa) and they simply install the backups onto their legal serial. Works wonders.
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September 15, 2011 12:51:24 PM

It'll still be illegal. The minute you resort to means to by-pass the DVD copyright, it's resorting to piracy. No different from what 'pirates' do all the time. Creating disc images is also a means to such ends.

Also, are you trying to play Crysis 2 on your laptop?
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September 15, 2011 12:59:35 PM

Toxxyc said:
Yes, it's the way to generally do it if you don't have internet access on the machine you wish to play on. The general rules are:

1. You MAY NOT sell a copy of the game for any money whatsoever.
2. You may only have ONE copy of the game installed with the valid serial at any given time.

You can backup the game files using Steam or (in Crysis 2's case) Origin and it saves the backup in a convenient installation file you can copy wherever you wish - it only requires a legal serial to install and play with.

EDIT: Many games I've bought and shared the files with friends. Left 4 Dead 2, Darksiders, Team Fortress 2, Duke Nukem Forever, etc. I buy the game, install and update everything. Create a backup of all the files, give it to a friend who also bought the game (but doesn't want to download the files due to extreme bandwidth limits in South Africa) and they simply install the backups onto their legal serial. Works wonders.


The copyright doesn't apply only to the serial key. It applies to the software/ program as well. Distribution of the software/ program is also governed by copyright. Because if somebody had the files but not the cd-key, the latter could be achieved by various 'other' means. The cd-key is only required to 'activate' the product. The product itself is the rightful property of the developer which is distributed through licensed entities. People who transfer/ share files (sans cd-keys) are doing so without the requisite license from the producers.

So, imho, even the distribution of game files to other people (irrespective of whether they already own the game or not) would be illegal.
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September 15, 2011 1:55:53 PM

Thanks for the posts.

I never sell CD-Keys and Only copy for myself on ONE computer. Yes, I will never allow a image or key to get out of my hands. I will activate online, then play offline later.
I will also un-install and de-activate any game when I move from one PC I own to another -I own.

Again, is what I described 100% legal and how can I make a disk image from a game downloaded? A crack will never be used.

Or do all download games work like Stream so there is never a need to make a disk image anyway - just download all I want??
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September 15, 2011 2:25:20 PM

one thing you may need to consider is that many games (not sure about Cyrsis2) is that on start of the game it may require an internet connection to validate your account with origin before the game even starts.
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September 16, 2011 5:40:36 AM

namelessonez said:
The copyright doesn't apply only to the serial key. It applies to the software/ program as well. Distribution of the software/ program is also governed by copyright. Because if somebody had the files but not the cd-key, the latter could be achieved by various 'other' means. The cd-key is only required to 'activate' the product. The product itself is the rightful property of the developer which is distributed through licensed entities. People who transfer/ share files (sans cd-keys) are doing so without the requisite license from the producers.

So, imho, even the distribution of game files to other people (irrespective of whether they already own the game or not) would be illegal.

Yes, but, how would you justify buying only a CD-Key online (like over Steam) and then having to download the game anyway? Formatting your PC means you have to download it again. Copies are racking up. Sure, producers and distributors are worried about actual content, but the content cannot be utilized without the activation key, and as such programs such as Steam has the "backup" option to allow for distribution of the files, completely useless without the person installing it having a Steam account with the game already bought on it. So, the guy getting the files did pay the correct people for the game, he's just not game for being limited by another company, in our case an ISP, for actually acquiring the files to be able to play the game.

I do think it's more intense than simply saying "it's piracy" or "it's not piracy" though, but in all good faith we can assume that the studios selling the game only want their money by copies sold (note the wording used: a game copy :) ) and not the means by which the end user gain access to the product they paid for. :D 
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September 23, 2011 4:06:37 AM

Best answer selected by enewmen.
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