Resolved Just got the rare Mac version of Halo 1 using a torrent. Is this entirely legal?

Red Cube

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Original poster
Feb 17, 2013
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Iowa
EDIT: It's over. If you want to discuss the Halo 1 Intel binary, make your own thread about it. Yes, it's illegal to torrent it, but no one cares anymore to do anything about it.



The mac port of Halo: Combat Evolved was published by MacSoft, which is now out of business. It was developed by Westlake Interactive, which used to do mac ports, but now are developing iPhone games (only 1 total in the past 4 years. it was on the iPhone 2g, and you can't find it on the iTunes store anymore)
Basically, both of the companies that developed and published the mac port have dropped off the map. So essentially, this is legal, right? The only other way to get it is by hard copy, but most sell for $200 plus because they're very rare.
An answer by someone who knows the law well would be much appreciated!
 
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Huntn

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May 5, 2008
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Technically it's probably not, but practically, who cares? I don't think anyone has lawyers ready to defend this old software. I wonder what the latest version of the MacOS it would even run on?
 

Red Cube

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Original poster
Feb 17, 2013
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Technically it's probably not, but practically, who cares? I don't think anyone has lawyers ready to defend this old software. I wonder what the latest version of the MacOS it would even run on?
I run it very well in 10.6.8.
 

Huntn

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May 5, 2008
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I love halo's coop. There are still multiplayer servers for Combat Evolved and Custom Edition, many of which are usually full :). Have you heard of HaloMD? it uses a separate game lobby and you can install mods in-lobby. more info below
http://www.halomd.net/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page
Thanks for the info, but usually I am doing local network cooping, although now, it's been a while. :)
 

Red Cube

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Original poster
Feb 17, 2013
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Thanks for the info, but usually I am doing local network cooping, although now, it's been a while. :)
Yeah, the amount I know about first person shooters for the mac is terrifying. I even made a list of all the FPS games for mac (really - ALL of them)
list
It's going to take a while for you to read that list...
 

Mackilroy

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2006
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It isn't legal, but odds are nobody's going to do anything about it.

I have a copy I bought at the now-defunct CompUSA years ago--2007 or so--and boy was I glad to find it. It was even the Universal Binary version.
 

Dirtyharry50

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May 17, 2012
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I just played the PC version recently using Wineskin which worked well. You have to use a specific engine when creating the wrapper but this is documented I believe on AppDB.
 

50548

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Apr 17, 2005
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Currently in Switzerland
The mac port of Halo: Combat Evolved was published by MacSoft, which is now out of business. It was developed by Westlake Interactive, which used to do mac ports, but now are developing iPhone games (only 1 total in the past 4 years. it was on the iPhone 2g, and you can't find it on the iTunes store anymore)
Basically, both of the companies that developed and published the mac port have dropped off the map. So essentially, this is legal, right? The only other way to get it is by hard copy, but most sell for $200 plus because they're very rare.
An answer by someone who knows the law well would be much appreciated!
It is not legal but, as others have already said, probably nothing is gonna happen since the copyright owners are presumably out of business or uninterested in enforcing their rights.

I would simply note that a good number of jurisdictions around the world (Brazil, Switzerland, other European countries etc.) DO ALLOW for personal downloads of media content (like music and videos), but this does NOT extend to software as such (like games)...

Although people don't really care much about abandonware, one can't forget that old games are now getting a kind of revival under mobile platforms. So Halo may potentially be one of those games, where the publisher's interest is rekindled by the business opportunities mentioned above.
 

Solomani

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It is not legal but, as others have already said, probably nothing is gonna happen since the copyright owners are presumably out of business or uninterested in enforcing their rights.
MacSoft was the publisher (and Mac porting company) back in the 1990s and early 2000s. However, I'm sure Halo is still a Microsoft franchise and trademark, and a franchise that Microsoft cares deeply about.

So technically.... "nothing's gonna happen" until Microsoft hears about this, and decides that they have something to gain by using the Enforce Hammer.
 

50548

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Apr 17, 2005
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Currently in Switzerland
MacSoft was the publisher (and Mac porting company) back in the 1990s and early 2000s. However, I'm sure Halo is still a Microsoft franchise and trademark, and a franchise that Microsoft cares deeply about.

So technically.... "nothing's gonna happen" until Microsoft hears about this, and decides that they have something to gain by using the Enforce Hammer.
It depends on whether copyright has been transferred to MacSoft or not...and we are not talking about trademarks anyway, but simply about possible copyright infringement.

But you are right anyway - nothing happens until it gets visible in the eyes of the legal departments concerned.
 

ScottishCaptain

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2008
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No, it's not legal.

I would say "who cares?", but that is basically the question. I doubt anyone cares. Halo is owned by Microsoft and 343 Industries. Any code written for the Mac port likely belonged to whatever company formerly offered that port, but since they went bankrupt that code might have been returned to Microsoft/343 Industries, or it might have been bought out by someone for pennies on the dollar, etc. Whoever owns that code now likely doesn't have the rights to distribute it anymore because Halo still belongs to Microsoft/343 Industries, and the porting company likely had some sort of a contract that gave them the rights to produce and sell the Macintosh port (which anyone else wouldn't have access to).

I've attempted to purchase this game on several occasions and have found out the same thing as you- it's overpriced and impossible to find the proper Universal Binary version that runs on Intel (but it's bloody easy to torrent). I made my attempt to buy the game. Nobody sells it anymore. I have no quirks pirating it given the above.

-SC
 

Jethryn Freyman

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Aug 9, 2007
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I'll just echo the "illegal, but nobody is going to care" chorus.

Not sure why you think it's rare at all though; you just downloaded an easy-to-find pirate copy of a game.
 

Solomani

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Sep 25, 2012
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Strangely enough... there's growing rumors day-by-day of Microsoft hinting at bringing games like Halo to iOS (presumably targeted for iPad). No word on making its way to modern (Lion/MountainLion) OSX, tho.
 

Huntn

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May 5, 2008
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This discussion brings to mind why game companies don't want you to own their product, but to bascially rent it (for free) until they pull the plug. Games like Diablo3, the new Sim City, and all of Steam content with online requirements.
 

gkarris

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Dec 31, 2004
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It isn't legal, but odds are nobody's going to do anything about it.

I have a copy I bought at the now-defunct CompUSA years ago--2007 or so--and boy was I glad to find it. It was even the Universal Binary version.
I had the chance to buy it when it was out on sale for $20 - should have as Halo stuff is highly collectible...
 

saturnotaku

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Mar 4, 2013
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I've attempted to purchase this game on several occasions and have found out the same thing as you- it's overpriced and impossible to find the proper Universal Binary version that runs on Intel (but it's bloody easy to torrent). I made my attempt to buy the game. Nobody sells it anymore. I have no quirks pirating it given the above.

-SC
Since you cannot buy the Universal Binary patch any more, I think it's perfectly OK to torrent it as long as you actually own the physical game in some form.
 

cgk.emu

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May 16, 2012
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MacSoft was the publisher (and Mac porting company) back in the 1990s and early 2000s. However, I'm sure Halo is still a Microsoft franchise and trademark, and a franchise that Microsoft cares deeply about.

So technically.... "nothing's gonna happen" until Microsoft hears about this, and decides that they have something to gain by using the Enforce Hammer.
Didn't Bungie put out Halo 1?
 

Solomani

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Didn't Bungie put out Halo 1?
Bungie was acquired by Microsoft during the early Halo era. Then Bungie made a series of Halo games which helped popularize Microsoft Xbox. And then finally when Microsoft felt that they exploited Bungie as much as possible, Microsoft allowed Bungie (in 2007) to go on their own as an independent developer once again. Except for the fact that Microsoft got to keep all rights to the Halo franchise.

Wikipedia quote:

On October 1, 2007, Microsoft and Bungie announced that Bungie was splitting off from its parent and becoming a privately held Limited Liability Company named Bungie LLC. As outlined in a deal between the two, Microsoft would retain a minority stake and continue to partner with Bungie on publishing and marketing both Halo and future projects, with the Halo intellectual property belonging to Microsoft.


So let's recap for the OP above. If ANYONE has the impetus to go after Halo-related piracy, it would not be Bungie (who no longer own the rights to Halo), and it would not be the defunct MacSoft. The only lawyers that would theoretically go after Halo-related piracy would be those employed by Microsoft.
 

saturnotaku

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Mar 4, 2013
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Incidentally, I recently picked up a copy of the Universal Binary version complete with box and manual for less than $50.