The preservation activities of video games including online games are subject to exemption from the 'Digital Millennium Copyright Act', but limited to those obtained legally

by Rob Boudon

On October 26, 2018, the Library of Congress and the United States Copyright Office issued a ruling " Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies ( Exemption on Prohibition of Prohibition of Copyright Protection System for Access Control Technology )" Announced. Among them, it is reported that the possibility of being subject to exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as fair use is clearly indicated in the preservation of video games, and it is reported that it seems that it will be a big boost for future game preservation activities.

Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies
(PDF file)

Copyright Law Just Got Better for Video Game History - Motherboard

This ruling enumerated over 85 pages for various exemption subjects of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the United States federal law, ranging from electronic control software of aircraft to farm equipment diagnostic software. Among them, mention is also made of video games, "Records indicate that the preservation agency legally owns the server code and local code of the video game, and in a relatively discrete situation the expansion is allowed In such a situation, there is a high possibility that it is fair use. "

Motherboard of overseas media evaluates that it is a big victory that the US Copyright Office decided that "museums and archives may avoid online authentication of games." Kendra Albert, a supervisor at the Harvard Law School's Cyber ​​Lecture lecture, said: "The exemption granted this time is potentially more broadly interpretable than the 2015 legal amendment." doing.

by Tarcil Tarcil

For example, this ruling refers to server code, and online games as well as offline games can be subject to preservation activities in fair use. Online games require not only software that the player runs on their computers, but also software that runs on the server. There has been a move to save online games like " Everquest " and " World of Warcraft ", but making the server software run independent from the official has been sued by the manufacturer in the past There were cases, and there was something very difficult. In this ruling by the Library of Congress, server code is mentioned as well, so there is a high possibility that exemption from fair use will be applied to preservation activities of online games.

by Joi Ito

However, this award covers only "complete" games for exemption. In other words, those who wish to save online games need to be able to use both original game code and server code. Furthermore, it is impossible to permit public access from the outside of the physical exterior of a storage facility such as a library or a museum, and it is necessary that only researchers and visitors can play. In this ruling Motherboard points out that the meaning of archiving MMORPG "to access thousands of people at once and play at once" such as "World of Warclaft" will be damaged.

Also, emulation and recording of online game server code is not subject to exemption from DMCA, it is illegal as before. John Hardy , director of the National Videogame Museum, says, "There are few people who store server code, so far there is no case that the company has said that" Yes, this is the server code " Server code is something that is not often saved, most likely being formatted or discarded with the server. "

Albert said about this movement "Although there are still many legal issues concerning the preservation of video games, this ruling resolves some ambiguous situations, the game preservation activity becomes easier The victory this time is the preservation activity of the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) and The Software Preservation Network has been fruitful.The Entertainment Software Association which is the lobbying organization of the game company has long been against the exemption Although it was not always right, "he says.

in Note,   Game, Posted by log1i_yk