"The Library of Congress has recently granted copyright exemptions in the Digital Millenium Act to obsolete games. The exemption applies to games that require the original hardware as a condition of access, and if the game is “no longer manufactured or reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.” This means that old, unsupported PC, console and arcade games will now be legal to own (so your illegal copy of Mame roms are now legit). The only muddy side is if publishers consider their old games to be “reasonably available” and plan to release classic games as bundles or bonuses, then the copyright protection still stands.
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act, or DMCA was passed on October 12, 1998 to address piracy and copyright concerns specifically pertaining to software and the internet properties. Some of the notable provisions included the outlawed circumvention of anti-piracy laws and distrubition or sale of code-cracking devices. Brewster Kahle from the non-profit company Internet Archive petitioned the US Copyright office, and to the delightful surprise of many, the petition was approved.
While game companies will undoubtedly cling on to as many of the old games as they can, many of the older unsupported titles are now free game. Those who have been downloading such games can now keep them in their hard drives with a clear conscience. "
In due parole, tutte le roms e gli abandonware ora sono legali al 100%, eccetto per quei giochi pubblicati in eventuali "retrocompilations".