Answer by Mike_Linux_NL · Oct 20, 2010 at 07:11 PM
Emulators themselves are not illegal. Neither playing games on the specific emulator is not illegal. However, downloading, and playing games (ROMS) from the internet, without having the original game in your possession for the system that you are emulating, is illegal.
You are also allowed to backup your original gameconsole cd's or cartridges with special hardware, to play (emulate) them on a computer. this only, when you are an owner of the game.
Answer by Bloxxer · Oct 20, 2010 at 07:16 PM
It is not illegal to USE an emulator. It depends on if you have the game or not, and the EULA/agreement the company (like Nintendo) had made.
Nintendo says it's illegal to use an emulator for their games, but copyright laws say you can emulate any game as long as you have it in a physical format (disc, cartridge, etc.)
You can still use emulators to use homebrew ROMs that are available for download. Any commercial homebrew goes under the law, though.
Answer by Justin · Oct 20, 2010 at 09:34 PM
The emulators themselves are not illegal, but downloading any ROM IS.
Most people say that if you own the game, it is okay to download the ROM. That's not true. You only paid for your ONE copy. Downloading extra copies is illegal.
Answer by Alastor Moody · Oct 20, 2010 at 06:21 PM
I know that you can freely download the games for these emulators, that in itself is illegal because they cost money originally. There might be something in a EULA about emulating a game on a non-standard console/system.