Update – EFF: “Videogame Publishers: No Preserving Abandoned Games”

This week the Electronic Frontier Foundation updated followers on their on-going crusade to fight for the rights of gamers and communities looking to keep their favorite games and communities going after publishers shut down servers and means to access said games.

We brought up this battle awhile ago, at it seems that the EFF’s fight has only been met with stark resistance from the publishers, specifically the Entertainment Software Association. This blog like both the EFF and the ESA, as they’re both doing some great things on the front of video game struggles and research, so it’s  unfortunate that they haven’t found common ground.

Let’s go over their update:

The EFF recently petitioned for “legal protection to game enthusiasts, museums, and academics who preserve older video games and keep them playable”. Specifically, they’re seeking exemption in certain cases from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions.  Their petition has been strongly opposed by the ESA, whom is arguing that any exception will send a statement to would be hackers that some forms of piracy is lawful. Damn pirates, always wanting to try do something ridiculous like play the games they bought online after they’ve been abandoned. What a bunch of jerkos!

This issue is an important one for gamers and researchers seeking to preserve gaming history. As we approach a time in which video games are slowly making their ways into museums and dedicated  channels, such a blanket stance against communities trying to keep certain games from falling into obscurity is counter-productive and harmful to the industry. As it’s been mentioned on this blog before, certain games only exist playable in some form because of the efforts of hackers and pirates; without, it’s unknown whether we’d still have these games.

This isn’t a closed case, and the EFF is still fighting for the rights of these groups. I’ll try and update this and the case goes on,


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