The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) wants archiving of abandoned video games, such as Internet Archive’s ever-growing library, illegal, calling the practice “hacking”, which is “associated with piracy”.
The ESA’s statement follows a move by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to have abandoned games exempted from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions (Section 1201) by the Copyright Office in order to allow those games to be archived as historical artefacts.
The EFF claims that Section 1201 is routinely abused by the entertainment industries to “control markets and lock out competition,” rather than prevent copyright infringement as it was designed to do. The ESA is now formally opposing the EFF’s exemption application on the grounds that it would “undermine the fundamental copyright principles on which our copyright laws are based,” and that it would send a message that “hacking—an activity closely associated with piracy in the minds of the marketplace—is lawful.” Way to obfuscate the point, ESA.
The EFF maintains that its position is to protect and preserve cultural works that would otherwise become abandoned when they cease to become profitable to the developers. The ESA’s stance against this smacks of childish spitefulness – ‘If we can’t make money out of these games, then you can’t not make money out of them, either!”
The US Copyright Office is still considering any potential exemption to DMCA Section 1201.
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation