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Emulation and the Law

Techdirt tries to sort through the implications of the news this week that publisher Atlus shut down a fan-created project to emulate Persona 5 on PCs. They note that in spite of sounding bogus on the surface, this may be a legitimate us of the DMCA, opining that this is an example of messed up the law is. Boing Boing also chimes in with a look at the big picture, saying the being able to take down an emulator has chilling implications on the ability to preserve gaming history now and in the future. Here's part of their write-up:

Video game company Atlus just sent a sent a copyright takedown over the Patreon page for open source Playstation 3 emulator RPCS3, by invoking section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a $500,000 fine to bypass DRM.

Atlus's theory -- which is hard to discern, thanks to a legal word-salad the company has thrown up as chaff in its wake -- is that because it's possible to use RPCS3 to play PS3 games that you have pirated rather than paid for, and since Atlus once made a PS3 game, it gets to decide whether anyone, anywhere can make or use a tool that lets them play their old games after the hardware they came with was retired.

Emulation is a critical part of software development. Open up a terminal on your modern computer and chances are it'll say "tty" at the top. That stands for "teletype," a technology whose origins date to the early 1900s, that early computers interfaced with. Over the years, as teletypes turned into screens and then into windows, the software interfaces relied on layers of emulation and abstraction to continue to talk to them.

It's impossible to overstate the importance of emulation to games development. Prior to the advent of emulators, games were the only art-form without a past: unless developers had the foresight (and care) to preserve successive generations of antiquated hardware (a process called pickling), they literally had no way to refer to the works of art that had influenced their own creations, the entirety of games that had gone before them.

The emulator gave games a history. Guaranteed: every Atlus developer learned about the history of their artform with emulation. The idea that anyone who's ever shipped a game for a platform gets to decide whether it continues to be part of the discourse, the living history of the medium, is grotesque. It's like the idea that a single sculptor would get to decide whether marbles were preserved for the ages or smashed into rubble when they were through with them.

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24 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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24. Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 20:17 Rigs
 
Suppa7 wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 15:52:
Mordecai Walfish wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 15:39:
"DEYYY TOOK AURRR GAMMEEEEESSS!"

They did, why would anyone wish for quake champions to be what it is? Does anyone with have a brain really think quake without the ability to mod and level edit it is "the best gaming has evar been?!"

Oh, christ, here we go with the whole Quake Champions shit again!

=-Rigs-=
 
Avatar 14292
 
''...and not getting to kill Hitler in a Wolfenstein game is like hiring an expensive prostitute to come to your hotel room and massage your kneecaps.'' -Yahtzee
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23. Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 18:12 DarkCntry
 
Suppa7 wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 15:50:
DarkCntry wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 03:54:
All I can see here is "hey you kids, get off my lawn" rhetoric.

It has nothing to do with it, if people didn't fall all overthemselves and gave money to mmo's they would have been completely local pieces of game software, mmo is a marketing term, both UO and wow have private servers that were made via reverse engineering. You and the stupid masses are just butthurt you are too stupid to understand your stupidity. You don't give a rats ass you feed these companies corruption you are such cult like corporate ball lickers. The reality is games are being destroyed because cunts like you are too stupid to understand the world around you.

Anti intellecutalism and gaming go hand in hand, everything bad that has happened to games is because the average gamer is a fucking idiot which you prove in spades.

Telling someone they are too stupid to realize their own stupidity while they don't realize their own stupidity is pretty much what I am getting here...

As I said, MMOs weren't the first to create a subscription-style system, nor where they first to be wholly controlled remotely...the fact that you seem stuck on this shows that you've had an MMO touch you inappropriately somewhere and might find help in talking to someone about it.

Here's the thing about "intellectualism"...the failure to differentiate between an emotional response and a logical response is why you fail at your attempt to seem superior.

I mean, how can you remove emotion from your argument when you litter it with calling people 'butt hurt', 'ball lickers', 'cunts', and people 'too stupid'?

Simply put kiddo...this is a luxury resource that we choose to buy into...everyone who does it can be labeled 'stupid' simply because it's not a necessity.
 
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22. Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 17:53 Task
 
I think regardless of what occurs with this, I would think PS3 emulation will be far more common in a few years or more when support and game development for the system is fully abandoned and not made for it anymore. People are still going to spread around the emulator and update it. There's also the possibility Atlas will release it on PC, or maybe not, but Persona 5 is definitely the game I want to buy if I get a PS4.

Admittedly I also use emulation for other old systems. I just completed a Raspberry Pi 3 project for RetroPie, so I'm able to play a bunch of old games instead of paying exorbitant amounts of money to find an nes/snes/sega and rarer games for them - which I got rid of years ago (all of those systems). I still regret that mistake. This weekend I was finally able to play the fan-translated Mother 1 for the first time, so that was pretty cool. Also got PSP-emulation working on it too for the Final Fantasy 1&2 re-make and Final Fantasy Tactics re-make (War of The Lions).
 
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MekPak Variants Mod - BattleTech Beta
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21. Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 16:58 RedEye9
 
Suppa7 wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 15:50:
DarkCntry wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 03:54:
All I can see here is "hey you kids, get off my lawn" rhetoric.
intellecutalism and gaming go .
Look folks, we got ourselves a real intellecutalist, right here in river city.
 
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https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andy-borowitz
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20. Re: Morning Tech Bits Oct 1, 2017, 15:52 Suppa7
 
Mordecai Walfish wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 15:39:
"DEYYY TOOK AURRR GAMMEEEEESSS!"

They did, why would anyone wish for quake champions to be what it is? Does anyone with have a brain really think quake without the ability to mod and level edit it is "the best gaming has evar been?!"
 
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19. removed Oct 1, 2017, 15:50 Suppa7
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Oct 2, 2017, 08:16.
 
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18. Re: Morning Tech Bits Oct 1, 2017, 15:39 Mordecai Walfish
 
NKD wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 13:04:
Mordecai Walfish wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 12:14:
Fuck Yeah! Lock Atlus up! Lock Origin up! Lock Blizzard up! Lock Valve up! Crooks, the lot of 'em!

Kill the Coastal Elites!! Rabble rabble rabble

"DEYYY TOOK AURRR GAMMEEEEESSS!"
 
Avatar 56178
 
         
"No, let me clarify - if you don't watch it, I'll be wearing your ass for a shoe."
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17. Re: etc. Oct 1, 2017, 15:19 deqer
 
RedEye9 wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 13:18:
Rilcon wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 21:08:
Suppa7 wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 20:55:
No one who paid for mmo or steam infected drm games gets the right to complain about drm effecting game preservation. If you bought Everquest, World of warcraft or played any mmo, paid for any skins in a drm'd game or any microtransaction you set the foundation for all this shit.

MMO's were the original drm'd online game with a subscription fee and the gaming masses ate it right up. To suddenly get all teary eyed about preserving game history when most people are still buying drm infested games is quite the bit of hypocrisy.

I'd jest with the old "you must be fun at parties" quip, but I kinda doubt you get invited to any.
He thinks that if he repeats the same dreck post after post, thread after thread and day after day that it will mean something or possibly have a chance at changing the future of gaming.

PS It doesn't and it won't.

"The squeaky wheel gets the oil."
 
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16. Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 13:18 RedEye9
 
Rilcon wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 21:08:
Suppa7 wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 20:55:
No one who paid for mmo or steam infected drm games gets the right to complain about drm effecting game preservation. If you bought Everquest, World of warcraft or played any mmo, paid for any skins in a drm'd game or any microtransaction you set the foundation for all this shit.

MMO's were the original drm'd online game with a subscription fee and the gaming masses ate it right up. To suddenly get all teary eyed about preserving game history when most people are still buying drm infested games is quite the bit of hypocrisy.

I'd jest with the old "you must be fun at parties" quip, but I kinda doubt you get invited to any.
He thinks that if he repeats the same dreck post after post, thread after thread and day after day that it will mean something or possibly have a chance at changing the future of gaming.

PS It doesn't and it won't.
 
Avatar 58135
 
https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andy-borowitz
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15. Re: Morning Tech Bits Oct 1, 2017, 13:04 NKD
 
Mordecai Walfish wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 12:14:
Fuck Yeah! Lock Atlus up! Lock Origin up! Lock Blizzard up! Lock Valve up! Crooks, the lot of 'em!

Kill the Coastal Elites!! Rabble rabble rabble
 
Avatar 43041
 
The solution to the toxicity of identity politics surely isn't to add white identity politics to the mix.
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14. Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 12:28 WaltC
 
I have etched in my neutronium memory bubble interstice the frozen image of a triumphant, boastful Steve Jobs [rip] toasting the passage of the DMCA with champagne--they threw a party to celebrate many more customer-directed lawsuits to come! How Apple loves to sue at the drop of a hat--but when Apple breaks agreements and copyrights, don't ya' know, why, it's all just done out of "tribute" and to pay "homage." (Jobs' actual words.) Go ahead, take another bite from the poisoned Apple, a company dedicated to n00bs staying n00bs, forever...;) Ugh.  
Avatar 16008
 
It is well known that I do not make mistakes--so if you should happen across a mistake in anything I have written, be assured that I did not write it!
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13. Re: Morning Tech Bits Oct 1, 2017, 12:14 Mordecai Walfish
 
Fuck Yeah! Lock Atlus up! Lock Origin up! Lock Blizzard up! Lock Valve up! Crooks, the lot of 'em!  
Avatar 56178
 
         
"No, let me clarify - if you don't watch it, I'll be wearing your ass for a shoe."
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12. Re: Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 11:56 Bill Borre
 
Maybe we should just have term limits for profit?  
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11. Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 08:45 Rigs
 
DarkCntry wrote on Oct 1, 2017, 03:54:
Suppa7 wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 21:49:
Rilcon wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 21:08:
I'd jest with the old "you must be fun at parties" quip, but I kinda doubt you get invited to any.

I could care less about your insult, the reality is all these things exists because the masses are morons. Anyone with any intelligence knew mmo's were scams from the get go. This all happened because of the normalisation of being fucked by game companies because the masses are too stupid and tech illiterate to participate in the videogame market. That's reality.

That league of legends and dota 2 are even pieces of game software entirely controlled by game companies held hostage on their servers is overwhelming proof the masses are idiots.

Pre high speed internet the stupid fucks couldn't fuck up PC gaming, post high speed internet penetration companies can simply force games to be server locked because we are nowhere near close enough to the business for there to be any fear of offices being stormed. That's the reality.

The market is a myth could only work if there was genuine way to hold these companies accountable so they couldn't produce games in this hostile way to begin with.

All I can see here is "hey you kids, get off my lawn" rhetoric.

Albeit, it's also about as asinine as you can get, seeing as MMOs were not the first server-controlled variations of gaming out there, nor was DRM some new-fangled device thought up in the last couple decades.

I also do dislike it when people resort to calling others illiterate of a subject when they, themselves, seem to be pretty lacking on knowledge in the subject.

How TF did you just write exactly what I was just thinking?! GET OUT OF MY HEAD!


=-Rigs-=
 
Avatar 14292
 
''...and not getting to kill Hitler in a Wolfenstein game is like hiring an expensive prostitute to come to your hotel room and massage your kneecaps.'' -Yahtzee
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10. Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 04:52 Slick
 
Oh man, did I get invited to the party?  
Avatar 57545
 
(Regarding SW:Battlefront II) Frostshite is a horrible piece of shit engine that makes games look artificial as if you were playing on a movie set instead of the actual location. -CJ_Parker
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9. Re: Emulation and the Law Oct 1, 2017, 03:54 DarkCntry
 
Suppa7 wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 21:49:
Rilcon wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 21:08:
I'd jest with the old "you must be fun at parties" quip, but I kinda doubt you get invited to any.

I could care less about your insult, the reality is all these things exists because the masses are morons. Anyone with any intelligence knew mmo's were scams from the get go. This all happened because of the normalisation of being fucked by game companies because the masses are too stupid and tech illiterate to participate in the videogame market. That's reality.

That league of legends and dota 2 are even pieces of game software entirely controlled by game companies held hostage on their servers is overwhelming proof the masses are idiots.

Pre high speed internet the stupid fucks couldn't fuck up PC gaming, post high speed internet penetration companies can simply force games to be server locked because we are nowhere near close enough to the business for there to be any fear of offices being stormed. That's the reality.

The market is a myth could only work if there was genuine way to hold these companies accountable so they couldn't produce games in this hostile way to begin with.

All I can see here is "hey you kids, get off my lawn" rhetoric.

Albeit, it's also about as asinine as you can get, seeing as MMOs were not the first server-controlled variations of gaming out there, nor was DRM some new-fangled device thought up in the last couple decades.

I also do dislike it when people resort to calling others illiterate of a subject when they, themselves, seem to be pretty lacking on knowledge in the subject.
 
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8. Re: Emulation and the Law Sep 30, 2017, 21:49 Suppa7
 
Rilcon wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 21:08:
I'd jest with the old "you must be fun at parties" quip, but I kinda doubt you get invited to any.

I could care less about your insult, the reality is all these things exists because the masses are morons. Anyone with any intelligence knew mmo's were scams from the get go. This all happened because of the normalisation of being fucked by game companies because the masses are too stupid and tech illiterate to participate in the videogame market. That's reality.

That league of legends and dota 2 are even pieces of game software entirely controlled by game companies held hostage on their servers is overwhelming proof the masses are idiots.

Pre high speed internet the stupid fucks couldn't fuck up PC gaming, post high speed internet penetration companies can simply force games to be server locked because we are nowhere near close enough to the business for there to be any fear of offices being stormed. That's the reality.

The market is a myth could only work if there was genuine way to hold these companies accountable so they couldn't produce games in this hostile way to begin with.
 
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7. Re: Emulation and the Law Sep 30, 2017, 21:08 Rilcon
 
Suppa7 wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 20:55:
No one who paid for mmo or steam infected drm games gets the right to complain about drm effecting game preservation. If you bought Everquest, World of warcraft or played any mmo, paid for any skins in a drm'd game or any microtransaction you set the foundation for all this shit.

MMO's were the original drm'd online game with a subscription fee and the gaming masses ate it right up. To suddenly get all teary eyed about preserving game history when most people are still buying drm infested games is quite the bit of hypocrisy.

I'd jest with the old "you must be fun at parties" quip, but I kinda doubt you get invited to any.
 
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6. Re: Emulation and the Law Sep 30, 2017, 20:55 Suppa7
 
No one who paid for mmo or steam infected drm games gets the right to complain about drm effecting game preservation. If you bought Everquest, World of warcraft or played any mmo, paid for any skins in a drm'd game or any microtransaction you set the foundation for all this shit.

MMO's were the original drm'd online game with a subscription fee and the gaming masses ate it right up. To suddenly get all teary eyed about preserving game history when most people are still buying drm infested games is quite the bit of hypocrisy.
 
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5. Re: etc. Sep 30, 2017, 19:35 jacobvandy
 
killer_roach wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 18:22:
MacLeod wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 17:34:
Rilcon wrote on Sep 30, 2017, 17:00:
Atlus kinda extremely sound like high-level assholes... I mean, they're not selling any more copies of PS3 games, so this reeks of lawyers doing something assholish and ultimately detrimental to everyone affected and involved just to justify their absurd paychecks.

Well, Persona 5 was just released this April (for PS3 and PS4) so it is a new game... but it seems odd that they could DMCA an emulator that doesn't emulate their hardware.

Mind you, they were the company that threatened people if they were streaming their game earlier this year (Persona 5 as well).

From what it sounds like, Atlus sent the C&D because the emulator was showing images of their emulator running Persona 5, which means they were using Atlus' IP to solicit donations.

It's exactly that. Atlus are within their rights to protect their IP when it's being used for promotion without their permission. Plus they claim they used DRM that would prevent the game being played through unofficial means, so if the guys behind the emulator had it running as they say, somehow they are or were circumventing that, which would be illegal whether you're using a legit copy of the game or not.

Anyway, the whole article is pretty nonsensical. The emulator isn't "shut down," they came back immediately with references to this particular game removed. Glancing at their site, though, it looks like they're begging to be slapped around by many more lawyers real soon... Now they've got RDR headlining the front page, both art and the logo, in the context of "check out this popular game we've almost got working, send us cash to get it done quicker!"
 
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