While researching about legal issues, a question came into my mind: is PCSX2 legal in US?

United States Code Section 1201 states that circumvention of access control constitutes violation of the law (DMCA).
Obviously PCSX2 circumvents at least 2 types of access control in console: region control and copy protection.

What do you think?

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Really? How does pcsx2 circumvent the copy protection of your console? Or mine?
(12-08-2009, 12:33 AM)rama Wrote: Really? How does pcsx2 circumvent the copy protection of your console? Or mine?

In genuine copies of PS2 game media, access control of copyrighted material can be found in forms of region control and copy protection. It can be considered as digital rights management. In PS2 console, copyrighted contents (i.e. games) cannot be accessed unless DRM allows so or is bypassed (like using mod chip). Basically pcsx2 can provide access to the such content, skipping the DRM part. According to my research, that counts as "circumvention." I'm not a lawyer or a judge, so I cannot guarantee though.

The point is, there seem to be no need to deal with actual console to be circumventing.
Did you factor in that you need to own a ps2 to run pcsx2? Without it's BIOS, pcsx2 wouldn't run anything.
Not a lawyer, yadda yadda yadda.

If PCSX2 was illegal in any way shape or form, Sony would be all over it like a fat dude at a bake sale. They (and most other major corporations) have legions of attorneys that are well-versed in copyright law, and would not hesitate to shut the project down if they thought they could.

As far as I know, no emulation software has been shut down on DMCA grounds. The only case I'm aware of that even came close was Sony suing VGS for selling a PSX emulator that allegedly used proprietary BIOS code, but they lost. Didn't prevent them from getting a injunction against it so it couldn't be sold, but that was unrelated to the DMCA claims.

I believe the logic for their legality goes something like this: even though the discs may have access-prevention mechanisms (which are illegal to circumvent under the DMCA) the use of Sony's BIOS makes it alright. You have a legal right to use the BIOS code for pretty much any personal use you can think of, including emulation.

e: I should note that, as far as I know, a BIOS replacement that uses absolutely nothing from Sony is still legal. Clean-room reverse engineering is excepted from much of the DMCA, especially if it's for interoperability purposes.
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