ESA opposes proposed changes to DMCA that would see abandoned online games preserved

ESA opposes proposed changes to DMCA that would see abandoned online games preserved

US video games trade body ESA has challenged potential changes to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that would see the preservation of abandoned online games.

As reported by Torrent Freak, this follows the three-yearly changes the US Copyright Office makes to DMCA, after listening to arguments to the public.

The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) in California has argued that the existing exemptions that sees the archiving of games in libraries and museums via emulation and other means should be extended to online games. This argument was made last year,

“Although the Current Exemption does not cover it, preservation of online video games is now critical,” MADE said.

“Online games have become ubiquitous and are only growing in popularity. For example, an estimated fifty-three percent of gamers play multiplayer games at least once a week, and spend, on average, six hours a week playing with others online.”

But the ESA has opposed these changes, arguing that this would see the release of server code that was never intended to be public.

There's also a financial incentive for the publishers represented by the ESA.

"The proponents fail to establish that current law adversely affects efforts to preserve video games for research and study, for several reasons," the organisation wrote.

"First, video game publishers have strong economic incentives to preserve their own games, which are often issued and re-issued in patterns common to other forms of creative content, such as film and music."

Remasters and re-releases. That's what they're talking about, in case you are wondering.

The trade body's full opposition can be read here

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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