Yeah, you're right: the translation is a derivative work. In that case the only fully legal options you have are:
– learning the language or doing the translation yourself.
– translators asking and getting permission for translating the game.
However I have yet to see Nintendo sending cease and desist notices to people who are solely translating region exclusive games (and not doing other things Nintendo does have a big problem with at the same time). Some things are tolerated by copyright holders. Like you said you can try.
But when it becomes clear the copyright holder doesn't want you to make those derivative works you should stop. The best course of action is to actually ask (something I rarely hear about people doing).
Indeed it's a grey area, if you don't want to discuss that further we can stop doing so.
it is one of those that helped preserved gaming and still does now.
Preservation isn't a justification for piracy either as you can preserve games without using the preservation copies or publicly distributing them. Copying for the purpose of preservation rather than use can indeed be defended under fair use law. However, public distribution is not an action that is in line with just preservation.
I would not at all argue that continued illegal copying, distribution, and downloading of games is helping preserving games (let alone gaming). There are plenty of game musea and other efforts that are preserving all kinds of games – even ones no one is very interested in. On top of that, nowadays many publishers and developers also preserve their own masters and other, development stage material. We don't need piracy to preserve games. Piracy is preserving the ability for anyone to play games whenever and however they want even if they don't own an original copy. But I'd argue there's no justification for that.
So the argument "I'm/It's preserving the game" is also a bad justification for illegal copying, and especially illegal distribution – aka pirating.
While I agree that you can't get anything you want always, that doesn't mean that you can't try to get it and that's when people are bound to do stuff that many others will want.
That's just changing the phrasing. I said people should learn to accept they can't have anything they want.
Of course you can try to get it. In a legitimate way that is. One of the "try" options is buying an original copy from someone. Another is asking the company for a rerelease. But Sometimes all legitimate ways are impossible. That is no justification to try to get it in a illegitimate way instead. Then you're crossing the line. Rather it's time to accept you can't have anything you want (and hope you might get to in the future).
In the end DRM is copyright protection. It's main purpose is to be anti-thief. Sometimes DRM places heavy restrictions on regular users. In those cases it's placing a burden on usability and user experience. Heavy DRM is a result of continued piracy. People who steal games are mainly to blame. However, degrading the user experience to much is a bad thing and it's not good for the product either. I don't know if I would call it anti-consumer because that's not inherently the goal of the protection. It's not a way to make more money over the back of the legitimate consumer.
But if products are outdated to the point that they are ludicrously expensive or if there are games where the companies that made them have gone bankrupt, there's almost no reason to get them legally.
I'd say there's "almost no option" rather than "almost no reason". And I'd also say that there's no reasonable justification to then instead get them illegally. I'd say that that's the point where people need to learn to accept they can't have what they want all the time.
By the way, in case of bankruptcy the IP is transferred depending on the situation and the laws in place. You can try to track the current owner down.
I agree there's a lot of appeal to steal the games if there's no way to buy them legitimately. Especially when there doesn't seem to be a direct and personal consequence to doing so. But appeal also doesn't justify it. ;-)
– to be fully legal a translator should get permission, otherwise translations are indeed a grey area.
– (Continued) illegal copying, distributing and downloading of games – piracy – is not significantly helping preservation efforts of games or gaming. There are plenty of alternative public and private preservation efforts that are legal and don't have the bad aspects of piracy attatched.
– Not being able to get anything you want indeed doesn't prevent you from trying to get a game legitimately in various ways. However, not being able to do so in a legitimate way is no justification to resort to illegitimate ways. Rather that's the moment for acceptance.
– DRM isn't inherently anti-consumer. It's copyright protection that's inherently anti-thief. Piracy is the main reason for DRM and holds the blame for it's existence. Heavy DRM that degrades the UX is indeed problematic, unquestionably! But DRM is not inherently for financial gain over the back of consumers.
– The difficulty of obtaining something in a legitimate way (be it because of age, cost, or inaccessibility due to bankruptcy) can't justify the action of stealing it instead. Even though it might indeed be appealing.
Like I said, sometimes there's things you cannot have (Legally). People need to learn to accept that. (And not turn to illegal ways to (try to) get what they want.)