ROM Hosting

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Solution 11889: Permission for Copying ROM Code From Texas Instruments Calculators to the Computer.

Do I need TI's permission to copy the ROM code from my calculator to my computer?

The software contained in the TI calculator's ROM memory is protected under copyright. The provisions of the copyright act allow calculator owners to keep one copy of the ROM code in any format, but only for archive purposes. Copies of the ROM code may not be decompiled, disassembled, or distributed any. Also, if the ownership of the calculator ceases, then the copy made of the ROM must be destroyed.

Texas Instruments realizes that the need may arise to use a copy of the ROM code with 3rd party emulator products. Texas Instruments does not authorize such use except under the terms of the Software Development Kit license. Under the license calculator owners are permitted to copy the ROM to use an emulator for program debugging purposes, provided the ROM code copied from the calculator exists only on one machine. If an owner wanted to copy the ROM to distribute via a network, the owner would be in violation of the copyright act, and subject to possible legal action.

If calculator owners are looking for a program to recreate many of the functions of a TI graphing calculator, TI InterActive! PC software is a great alternative tool. TI InterActive! software is a Windows program that is based off of the TI-83 Plus and TI-89 Calculators. TI InterActive! can create graphs, lists, perform statistical analysis, and many more functions. There is a Free Trial version of TI InterActive! , available for download from the Texas Instruments website.

Please Note: Texas Instruments does not provide any utilities or programs to copy the ROM code from the calculator, nor does Texas Instruments offer support for copying the ROM code. If you need to make a copy of the ROM code it would be necessary to use third party utilities or programs.

For more information on copyright laws, please check visit the third party site for the United States Copyright Office.
86 Central - Optic2000's TI-86 Assembly Page
Matt Johnson of ACZ

I took down rom central because TI wrote an e-mail asking me to remove it. Given Cease-and-Desist Letter by TI — 31 August 2000

I can understand taking the rom images off but wanting him to get rid of the domain name? They can't make him give up He payed for that site and if TI wanted it so that nobody could use it they should have bought it. Besides tinews was doing them a favor! This is just rediculus!

For those who aren't aware, TI is upset because TI-news has _already_ been given a cease-and-decist letter for the posting of ROMs, and after removing those once they have posted them again. TI doesn't see this "fan" site as a such positive force, and seeing as these ARE their trademarks, they have every right to do so.

And if TI really wants to be finicky, they can even demand that the phrase "Texas Instruments" be removed from the temporary shutdown page.

TI isn't doing this out of sprite, they're only trying to protect these ROMs that are, lest we forget, _commercial_ products. I know that I used my handy VTI for several months before getting my actual 89, and I wouldn't hold it above anyone to use an emulator rather than buy a calculator.

Ok, I see you know it all Scott. For your information, we were never given a cease-and-desist before this. I'm sure you'll insist we did, but we didn't. Maybe you should get your facts straight first. Anyway, it seems that TI doesnt actually have a trademark on TI News, although they do have a trademark on the word "Good". I may be infringing on their trademarks in this post. From here on out, noone say the G-word.

I don't see why TI is getting mad at people for
distributing rom files. Here are a few reasons why:

Simple. The ROM images are copyrighted, the same as any other binary image can be copyrighted, such as the ROM image from Nintendo cartridge.

1. It's not the actual calculator.

Irrelevant. It is still copyrighted.

2. You didn't buy the rom, so it isn't illegal todistribute.

You did buy it, as part of the calculator. However, the license under which it is released determines the distribution terms, not whether or not it is sold.

3. It's letting people see how the calculator works and how
good it is for people to see if the really want the calculator or not.

Irrelevant. The ROM is still copyrighted. Whether or not you think this may help TI, it is still their decision, not yours.

4. TI will give old rom's to anyone who asks.

Whether or not this is true, this does not change the fact that the ROM is copyrighted. Just because TI sent me a free calculator for being a part of their SDK beta program, does that mean I am free to distribute the ROM from the free calculator? No, of course not. The license still applies.

5. With the 89/92+, people get them to see if their programs
will work with all the AMS', and it could be prevented by not
screwing up ASM programs with the new AMS'.

Again, while this may be beneficial to TI, it is still their decision. They hold the copyright and thus choose the license under which it may be distributed.

So it itn't a matter of their doing something bad, but TI wants
them to stop them in their selling of calculators. Another thing,

This comment makes no sense whatsoever.

TI has a monopoly of the AMS' on the 73/83+/89/92+ calculators,
and we cannot put our roms on them without a special program.
And since TI won't release their 512bit encryption codes to put
AMS' on the calc, or tell us how to take them off, they are
abusing their monopoly.

This is not a monopoly. I am not a lawyer, but I believe this comes under the classification of protecting propriety technology. A restriction on monopolies only applies to an open platform, such as a PC. For example, ever since the original NES, Nintendo has used hardware lock-out mechanisms on their game systems to prevent unlicensed developers from manufacturing and selling carts. All games must be approved, licensed, manufactured and distributed by Nintendo. Yes, Nintendo has an exclusive monopoly. And they can do this because it is their system. In fact, they have sued other companies such as Color Dreams who sold carts without Nintendo's blessing. The precedences set by these cases should give you a good idea of how the legal system works in cases such as these.

Kerm Martian's new online Javascript TI-83+ emulator called jsTIfied (URL:

(Taken from related Cemetech news article)

First, the legal hurdles. It is illegal to distribute ROM images, so I couldn't make an emulator with a ROM image hosted on Cemetech. I couldn't even let people upload their own ROM images, or in any way let ROM images touch the Cemetech server. HTML 5 offers a solution to this conundrum in the form of what is called DOM Storage. Cemetech gives the javascript for my z80 core to clients, and they load their (legal, I hope) ROM image from their own personal calculator into their browser, but still entirely client-side. No ROMs are distributed in any form.

This is an example letter that TI sends out to people that attempt to host the TI ROM images on their site.

From: "Herbert W. Foster" <||retsof-h>
Subject: copyright infringement
To: es.uil|retsambew#es.uil|retsambew, es.uil|esuba#es.uil|esuba,||retsof-h,||kuzcierfunoj,


Dear Sirs:

Texas Instruments Incorporated of Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. is the
publisher, and owner of the copyright in the TI-89 calculator ROM
image(s). I, the undersigned Herbert W. Foster, am authorized to act on
behalf of the copyright owner, Texas Instruments Incorporated.

The TI-89 ROM image(s) is distributed commercially for purchase embedded
in our calculator, through authorized distributors. Distribution
without payment results in financial harm to Texas Instruments

It has come to our attention that one or more copies of our ROM image(s)
has been downloaded from your site at:

I am sending this notification of copyright infringement to you, the
creator of this site and to the responsible agents at es.uil|esuba#es.uil|esuba.

Loading our ROM image(s) from your site is an infringement of our
copyright. Permitting people to copy our ROM image(s) from your site is
another infringement. Each copy of our ROM image(s) made (downloaded)
from your site is an additional infringement.

Please immediately remove, and disable all access to, all copies of our
ROM image(s) from your site.

Please reply promptly, confirming that you have ceased both copying and
distribution of TI-89 ROM images, and that in the future you will not
permit TI ROM images to be copied or distributed from your site.

I have a good faith belief that use of TI ROM images in the manner
complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or
the law.

The information in this notification is accurate, and under penalty of
perjury I state that I am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an
exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. You may contact me at the
address, telephone number, or electronic mail address listed below.

Texas Instruments Incorporated
Herbert W. Foster
Manager, Business Services
Educational & Productivity Solutions

Texas Instruments Incorporated
7800 Banner Drive M/S 3918
Dallas, TX 75251

(972) 917-1522 /||retsof-h