If you follow people on YouTube you have almost certainly heard about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA. This act, meant to act as a copyright protection, often causes some complications for users. YouTubers are particularly vulnerable to it when shady companies decide to try use it to censor bad reviews.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has in the past raised the banner to try and protect fair use and tackle the concept of archiving old games. Today the EFF is reporting that the Librarian of Congress has renewed and expanded on the protections for fair use of media. What does that mean for us? I’ll let your favourite YouTubers dissect how and if this applies to them exactly.
The most important thing is the exemption to preserve abandoned video games.
From the post:
Archiving and Preserving Video Games
The Librarian granted part of EFF’s new proposal for an exemption to preserve abandoned video games. The new exemption allows players to modify their copy of a game to eliminate the need for an authentication server after the original server is shut down. Museums, libraries, and archives can go a step further and jailbreak game consoles as needed to get the games working again. Disappointingly, the Librarian limited the exemption to games that can’t be played at all after a server shutdown, excluding games where only the online multiplayer features are lost. Still, this exemption will help keep many classic and beloved video games playable by future generations.
This means that people in the US can legally bypass the DRM in order to access single player and local multiplayer on games but sadly the provision doesn’t yet cover MMOs. Here’s hoping that the EFF might be able to continue that good fight and gain a method for some much beloved closed games to come back from the dead.
You can read about this exemption and more on the others in the Library of Congress DMCA exemption document.
Source: EFF BlogRelated: City of Heroes, Closure, News, Star Wars Galaxies