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Video Games

Preserving Old Video Games Will Apparently Bring On the Apocalypse

Or the destruction of the video game industry, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

EFF, along with law student Kendra Albert, is asking the Copyright Office to give some legal protection to game enthusiasts, museums, and academics who preserve older video games and keep them playable. We're asking for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention provisions (Section 1201) for those who modify games to keep them working after the servers they need are shut down. Many player communities, along with museums, archives, and researchers, want to keep the games they own playable after publishers shut down the servers the games depend on. Section 1201 creates legal difficulty for these communities, which is why we've asked the Copyright Office to give them an exemption.

Section 1201 is often used by the entertainment industries not to prevent copyright infringement but to control markets and lock out competition. So it's not surprising that ESA (the trade association for the largest game producers), along with MPAA and RIAA, have written to the Copyright Office to oppose this exemption. They say that modifying games to connect to a new server (or to avoid contacting a server at all) after publisher support ends--letting people continue to play the games they paid for--will destroy the video game industry. They say it would "undermine the fundamental copyright principles on which our copyright laws are based."

If they aren't going to maintain the servers and no longer want to make money off the games, why shouldn't people who already own it have a way to keep playing that game? How many times have you gone back to play Super Nintendo Zelda? Yeah, mebbe some people would make some money selling it to people who didn't originally own the game, but how does that compare to how much video game companies already made on the old, unmaintained game and will continue to make on newer games? Having the ability to play an older game isn't going to make people suddenly decide they are done buying new games. Exactly how will it destroy the industry?


By min | April 9, 2015, 8:53 AM | Liberal Outrage & Video Games | Comments (4)| Link



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