I didn't knew that it wasn't legal to make a backup copy of the games you own in US.
I don't think it's officially illegal. Prior to the DMCA it would definitely have been legal, but the DMCA made it illegal to circumvent DRM even for stuff that you own that would comply with fair use. So in the US you can make a copy for format shifting fair use, but at the same time you cannot make a copy because that would require circumventing the limited DRM on the cartridge. Fortunately, I don't think anyone has been brought to court over this.
Exactly. And they only meet once every 3 years to discuss exceptions. Biggest one last year, or year and half ago really, was jailbreaking the iPhone. Now the question is what is the difference between that and a PS3 with the geohot jailbreak thing (or hacking any other game console for that matter). Both computer. Both network capable. Both play games. Both communicate with friends. But the carve out for the DMCA for iPhones is very specific for smart phones, definitely not in the language for anything else. Can't even back up a DVD, format shifting as WS said, and put the original away so it doesn't get damaged, technically. Using only one copy at a time for personal use should be fair use, fuck the DMCA. They haven't gone after end users so much doing thing because they can't really tell who is doing it if you are indeed doing it for personal use. Mostly they try to go after the people who make the hardware to circumvent DRM or any software such as that which cracks DVD/Blu-Ray encryption. They have even gone after various DVR technologies through the years. Most have been deemed legal but some, such as those that automatically cut out commercials as they record, are not considered time shifting as deemed legal in the Sony Betamax case (God Bless you Mr. Rogers) because they alter the content instead of merely shifting the time. Real world reason is the broadcasters didn't want sponsors getting pissed people were not seeing commercials and would pay less money. At least if you have to press FF, the theory goes, you still see them fast or don't always FF every time. I know sometime I can't find the damn remote until the last commercial of a recorded show and then it's kinda like "fuck it" so I can understand that a bit I suppose.
Bottom line is DRM is supposedly to help stop piracy, to protect an authors rights in the digital medium. What it really does is hurt the end consumer, restrict products, and allow manufacturers unfair control over products that should be able to be hacked, messed with, or backed up as per the first sale doctrine and fair use copyright laws in the US. All the damn lobbyist for the game console companies get a boner for the DRM for WAY more than piracy. Great tool to threaten a lawsuit with when you have no legal standing, or shouldn't. And it doesn't matter because the little guy always loses. Bleem WON their case against Sony, helping pave the way for the legality of emulators in general (ROMs on the other hand...), but the cost of litigation bankrupted them.
@Kolden - There is actually a carve out in out copyright laws specifically for renting video games, jukebox machines and Arcade games/coin machines.
Edit: On topic. I think this would be PERFECT for Craigix and Co. to help with. With their connections to suppliers and manufacturers they could probably get it cheaper and to look "cleaner" than it does. Any word from the big boys?