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Doomkid

The ESA's archaic stance on video game preservation

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Please forgive me for linking to IGN.

So... If I have this right, this is basically a pathetic attempt to prevent people from modifying/updating hardware or dumping ROMs from cartridges for the sake of preservation.

I simply do not understand the point. Copyright law is out of control in the modern day - if a product is no longer being manufactured/sold/endorsed by it's creators, who is actually suffering a financial loss from dumping ROMs and modifying older hardware?

Laws are meant to be made by the people, for the people.. (I know, I'm living in a fantasy world) In this instance, the law is in need of change, as it is protecting no one and hindering our ability to preserve cultural history. Eventually, data needs to be transferred from aging cartridges to ensure there is no data erosion..

Obviously, 100% of humankind will ignore this bullshit and carry on as always, but I thought it was fairly relevant for most of us oldschool gamers.

This further enforces my opinion that copyright law should only cover content that is currently in production/available for sale, in regards to media especially. All it does aside from that is ruin lives with billion-dollar lawsuits spawned from nothing but GREED.

Thoughts?

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Implying rom dumping, emulation, copying, etc. isn't preserving and perpetuity software.


The bullshit they feed us...

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Capitalism is seriously getting out of hand and so it is creating unjust or plain moronic conditions. There is no other way to preserve many old games than to rip them from their chip, chips which are near death, rotting, rusting...

Even Gameboy cartridges are breaking down and they are not even the oldest things around. An example would be the first pokemon games which inspired the series, their save game batteries are dying. (yes i know... but its from my childhood.)

If they could destroy a poor person who makes a backup, then why would they care about preserving that which is near its end. Hell nobody even cares about the planet and life because of the money loss it brings with it.

And for that reason i should end the rant here or it will keep going into anything slightly related.

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FireFish said:

And for that reason i should end the rant here or it will keep going into anything slightly related.

I understand where you're coming from, I often have to cut myself off as I want to avoid a rage-induced aneurysm...

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So the ESA said that "hacking s1 1ll3g4l and it s1 wr0ng l0l"? What next?

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Reactions like those is what makes piracy legitimate, because you want to see the awful people who spout these awful opinions go bankrupt so they can stop lobbying to have awful laws passed.

If you are a company part of the ESA, please leave it or go bankrupt, TIA.

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Technician said:

Implying rom dumping, emulation, copying, etc. isn't preserving and perpetuity software.

Technically, it's still hacking, and in breach of that accursed DMCA.

I suppose the ESA's opposition to software preservation stems from the fact they've no way to make money from it. When your business model basically boils down to recycling old products (with some cosmetic changes) to run on new hardware, the last thing you'll want to see is a bunch of troglodites falling in love with your back catalogue.

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GreyGhost said:

Technically, it's still hacking, and in breach of that accursed DMCA.

Didn't say it wasn't. Just don't go passing it off as some kind of video game preservation act.

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FireFish said:

Even Gameboy cartridges are breaking down and they are not even the oldest things around. An example would be the first pokemon games which inspired the series, their save game batteries are dying. (yes i know... but its from my childhood.)

Those batteries can actually be replaced. ;)

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IGN said:

The ESA suggest that researchers should use cloud computing to conduct their research, rather than hacked PlayStation consoles.

How is that supposed to work?

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I've long been an opponent of the ESA's stances on IP (a decade), but this just gives me another reason to hate their guts.

Da Werecat said:

How is that supposed to work?

I don't know. I don't even think they know. Best I can think is maybe they're suggesting that they develop a cloud-based emulator instead of modifying the real hardware, but that wouldn't make any sense, I'm pretty sure they aren't too keen of emulation either based on how they're acting about this particular issue.

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They probably believe one can get access to the ROM Chips their data by means of magic and wonders where a peer to peer computer network can cast a spell to suddenly get the ROM data inside a processing loop between client server peers without ever touching or ripping it from one of the hundreds of different chip types.

And obviously the cloud, i mean client server architecture, peers magically do everything.

To be honest, i truly believe many politicians and organizations do not even know what they are going on about and just spout some buzzwords to fit in. Peer to peer, client server, cluster computing, uploading a photo to a server, stuff one did 20 years ago (and now) with FTP... they just call everything ''the cloud'' to hide their incompetence.

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Doomkid said:

So... If I have this right, this is basically a pathetic attempt to prevent people from modifying/updating hardware or dumping ROMs from cartridges for the sake of preservation.

I don't think that's what it is at all and I think you've completely misread the article. The headline and the introductory paragraph are slightly misleading.

You can get a good feel for what this about by reading Jason Scott's statement in the EFF's Gaming Exemption Request (page 19 of the doc). The Internet Archive has been steadily proceeding with its web-based emulation which now has a pretty huge library of games for an assortment of different systems. The older systems are inevitably easier to emulate just because they're simpler, but now they're reaching the point where they want to emulate more modern systems. Quote:

The Internet Archive is interested in continuing to digitize and make available games to the public. However, as we come up to more current operating systems, and more modern examples, authentication servers start becoming part of the picture. The problems start changing and begin to include DMCA ยง1201.

In the Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 era programs, by 1996 and 1997, we start seeing pretty coherent phone home schemes. Usually the company who produced the software will augment them with a phone number you can call or a code you get, but most of them want to use a server. And then over time, the companies get rid of the phone all together and they make the server a more important part.

The newer the games get, the more elaborate the copy protection schemes. The most effective forms of copy protection will not allow the user to play the game unless it can connect to an Internet server to confirm the game is properly registered (think about Quake 3, Steam, or the latest SimCity). For oldish games these servers might not even exist any more and so the game has to be hacked to bypass the copy protection.

But bypassing copy protection is illegal under the DMCA, so they want to put an exemption in place where it's legal to hack games to remove the copy protection if there's no other way to play them.

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Better idea: remove the circumvention clause entirely. What kind of free country is this that I'm not allowed to do what I please with software and hardware that I already paid for? So long as I don't distribute copyrighted materials to other people, I fail to see the problem!

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Sodaholic said:

What kind of free country is this that I'm not allowed to do what I please with software and hardware that I already paid for? So long as I don't distribute copyrighted materials to other people, I fail to see the problem!

Whenever the Big Brother (*cough*DRM*cough*) doesn't fully control you, you're considered a potential cheater. Professional businessmen will always take all possible actions to make a maximum possible assurance of not losing any potential money.

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fraggle said:

[...]For oldish games these servers might not even exist any more and so the game has to be hacked to bypass the copy protection.

But bypassing copy protection is illegal under the DMCA, so they want to put an exemption in place where it's legal to hack games to remove the copy protection if there's no other way to play them.

Thanks for the clarification - The way you've explained it makes a lot more sense. Reading the article again though, they really didn't make that clear.

Either way, I'm glad no one will give two shits about this and continue to mod their games as necessary.

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