The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) and the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) are currently having a legal argument over a copyright provision submitted to the U.S Copyright Department that pertains to abandoned video games no longer supported with online functionality by its creator. The ESA argues that it’ll open a loophole to piracy, and the EFF argues the provision will help in the preservation of gaming history.
The EFF argues that the provision they submitted would allow consumers to preserve video game history. It gives the legal freedom to do modification as necessary to the software, hardware, or create a server in order for the game to be played online. That as a consumer, we have the right to pick up where the original creator has essentially abandoned. This move will allow for the preservation of older titles, and is important for future titles that have become more heavily tied to online play.
The ESA argues that this provision if approved is a legal loophole to piracy. That it leaves open a situation for those with the knowledge to modify a console in order to play an older title to in-turn, use such knowledge to use the modified device for piracy. They site that the majority of console software/hardware modification in the past was done to allow the use of pirated material.
So, what do you think? Is the ESA, or EFF right? What can be done to resolve this so it’s fair to both gamer, and game maker? Leave your thoughts below!