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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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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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    Date Subject Author
  1. Sep 30, 16:04 Re: etc. deqer
  2. Sep 30, 17:00  Re: etc. Rilcon
  3. Sep 30, 17:34   Re: etc. MacLeod
  4. Sep 30, 18:22    Re: etc. killer_roach
  5. Sep 30, 19:35     Re: etc. jacobvandy
  6. Sep 30, 20:55 Re: Emulation and the Law Suppa7
  7. Sep 30, 21:08  Re: Emulation and the Law Rilcon
>> 8. Sep 30, 21:49   Re: Emulation and the Law Suppa7
  9. Oct 1, 03:54    Re: Emulation and the Law DarkCntry
  10. Oct 1, 04:52     Re: Emulation and the Law Slick
  11. Oct 1, 08:45      Re: Emulation and the Law Rigs
  12. Oct 1, 11:56      Re: Re: Emulation and the Law Bill Borre
  19. Oct 1, 15:50     removed Suppa7
  21. Oct 1, 16:58      Re: Emulation and the Law RedEye9
  23. Oct 1, 18:12      Re: Emulation and the Law DarkCntry
  16. Oct 1, 13:18   Re: Emulation and the Law RedEye9
  17. Oct 1, 15:19    Re: etc. deqer
  13. Oct 1, 12:14 Re: Morning Tech Bits Mordecai Walfish
  15. Oct 1, 13:04  Re: Morning Tech Bits NKD
  18. Oct 1, 15:39   Re: Morning Tech Bits Mordecai Walfish
  20. Oct 1, 15:52    Re: Morning Tech Bits Suppa7
  24. Oct 1, 20:17     Re: Emulation and the Law Rigs
  14. Oct 1, 12:28 Re: Emulation and the Law WaltC
  22. Oct 1, 17:53 Re: Emulation and the Law Task




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