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"Games as a service" is fraud.

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In my understanding it's like cracks. Making them is illegal (unless you are a museum and yada yada), but once you have them - use of them for own use is not illegal. Though yeah, it needs some more knowledgeable input.

I literally brought this question up in a discussion I did yesterday on the topic:

 

link

 

It's a long video though, bottom line is, reverse engineering appears to be completely legal if it doesn't use any copyrighted data without consent.  The company can easily give that consent for the "minimum effort" option upon releasing that data on its own terms without compromising its IP ownership in other areas.

 

So I would like to re-pose my earlier question:  As a developer, in your opinion, how long do you estimate it would take to perform the actions listed in one the "minimum effort" options?  NOT a full server replacement, NOT a functioning games, JUST what's listed on that slide (releasing packet documentation, disabling encryption, etc.) for an online game that was being shut down?  If it makes a difference, you can use the arena game v. MMORPG examples again.

 

 

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If Google's Deepmind can (in a sense) reverse engineer the old game Breakout from looking at how the pixels on the screen behave, maybe it's not inconceivable that some future program can look at how an online game behaves and where and when information is transferred, and will derive a free open source client and server from that, which may use a different low level approach, but will provide close to the same user experience. So if you are willing to accept ANY improvement over the existing situation, the vague notion that things get better in the future (from the user's perspective) might cheer you up.

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2 hours ago, AllTinker said:

Just on reverse engineering - a minor point to throw into the melting pot which I haven't seen/heard mentioned (at least directly) in the discussion so far is the concept of "clean room" reverse engineering. Wikipedia covers this under the term "clean room design", for whatever that's worth. 

The thing is - it will be almost practically impossible to clean room reverse a sufficiently complex game protocol. It would take a lot of data to disassemble and there will be lots of trial and error, etc.

 

I don't see how it's much better than having encryption.

2 hours ago, Ross Scott said:

copyrighted data without consent.  The company can easily give that consent for the "minimum effort" option upon releasing that data on its own terms without compromising its IP ownership in other areas. 

Of course, if they give you a license to reverse, it's legal to reverse. But they will never do that. It's basically opensourcing a big part of the game and if they use say voip - which is usually third-party - they can't do that as they will be limited by voip software license. Same goes with any game using say unity - they just can't give you permit to do so, as they don't own all rights to all code.

 

2 hours ago, Ross Scott said:

So I would like to re-pose my earlier question:  As a developer, in your opinion, how long do you estimate it would take to perform the actions listed in one the "minimum effort" options?  NOT a full server replacement, NOT a functioning games, JUST what's listed on that slide (releasing packet documentation, disabling encryption, etc.) for an online game that was being shut down?  If it makes a difference, you can use the arena game v. MMORPG examples again. 

1. Giving encryption keys (it's easy easier than disabling and don't compromise anything) is just ctrl-c/v. No effort.

2. Protocol documentation - depending on how bad the code is it will take from a week to a month to write it. Almost never they will have it outright. The documentation will have mistakes.

3. Disabling drm, anti-cheat and whatnot is basically publishing developer build. So no effort.

 

So yeah, it's basically just protocol docs and if you assume cooperative behavior they can just publish dev build with cheats, console, logs and various debugging features that would make writing the server emulator a lot easier. It won't take any effort from them either, as it's again just developer build.

 

But I am still not convinced that it may work legally. I know that WG before they bought BigWorld would not be able to allow you reverse engineering, as for half of pre-release development of wows we didn't have full server code and were not allowed to reverse it.

 

Also it doesn't take "reconstruction, not repair" issue into account, unless you will also demand developers to allow derivative works as part of this minimal effort.

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1 hour ago, NightNord said:

2. Protocol documentation - depending on how bad the code is it will take from a week to a month to write it. Almost never they will have it outright. The documentation will have mistakes. 

What you're saying here flies in the face of what I was told by other developers.  Could you clarify?  Look at my post at the bottom of page 2, it specifies exactly what I'm talking about.  We're not talking about complete code documentation.

 

I think there's not as many barriers as you're making out.  Here's the thing: as I understand it, (in the USA anyway) the right to reverse engineer IS legal and protected under federal law as long as it's not using copyrighted material.

 

So say they turn off the DRM + and encryption + release the protocol documentation for "non-commercial and research purposes only, all rights reserved by (name of company)".  That language isn't giving explicit permission to reverse engineer, but they don't need to either.

 

I watched parts of it, and I 100% believe what GAS does is 100% fraud.

It's not fraud under the law though, best I can tell.  I agree completely that this shouldn't be legal, but since it is (in the USA), I was looking at it from the perspective of "does this violate any laws?"  It looks like no, and while this is still technically a grey area, it's more about subtle definitions rather than seeing any opening to actually challenge this legally.

 

It's less about "finding a reason" so much as finding a precedent.  If there's no precedent to protect preservation under legal terms and the existing laws block any interpretation of enforcing laws that way, then literally the only option is to propose new laws, which requires action through representatives in Congress.  If that's the case, then it's like in the video: I see that as almost impossible.  We can't even get Congress to get lead out of the water in the USA, I sure wouldn't count on this.

 

That said, other countries aren't nearly as hopeless.  France especially is showing real promise.

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I watched the Lenard video and holy shit it got derailed. I mean the whole discussion about is it legally "fraud" or not is like "who cares, is it legal?" and the last part about art work. Games are not art for quite a while now, imo. It's a product and yes, it must be under consumer protection laws even if restricts "artists". Being an artist is not a free pass on anything.

But
the main part I get from what he said is basically that if there is a company that invented a flying car that works on a very special fuel (totally justified) that only them can produce and then after some period stops producing that fuel because they've got better car that requires different fuel (again totally justified) and everyone got that better car and it's just no longer viable to produce old fuel - they can totally do that. Yes, your old car will be a brick, because there is no old fuel left, but you are not entitled to it. You are entitled to some period of having a fully working car after purchase, but once they've stopped selling old cars they may shutdown the fuel production given that period have passed since the last car was sold.

What you saying basically is that they should be legally forced to either transfer fuel production technology to another company that would produce old fuel in lesser quantities to still be viable, or release that technology and any patents to the public domain, or at least publish the fundamental principles so everyone else can have a chance at figuring it out.

What I am saying that in that "at least" case they also have to remove patents. Because recreating the fuel with violate their patents and you can't make a law that expects that as reasonable outcome. IMO, of course.

 

1 hour ago, Ross Scott said:

What you're saying here flies in the face of what I was told by other developers.  Could you clarify?  Look at my post at the bottom of page 2, it specifies exactly what I'm talking about.  We're not talking about complete code documentation.

You probably talked to non-game developers? I can tell you that if you would ask Wargaming to release just the network communication documentation on WoWS or WoT - they don't have it and it will take quite a while to write it. Because it's a mess.

Game development is a mess. Hell, even at Yandex most internal protocols were coded without any documentation or even design or even sometimes version checks.

What you call "packet description" is not "packet" as in TCP/IP packet or "game packet". It's "message". One packet contain many messages and each message contain different data. See the huge post I've made above. Basically if you think that reverse is allowed, then just removing the encryption would be enough. If it's not, then nothing short of complete protocol documentation with all the messages and communication quirks will be enough.

 

And if we are talking about "how hard it will be" - figuring out the overall packet structure from dumps is easy-ish, figuring out messages is much harder and will require a much bigger data dump to analyze. Figuring out quirks is so-so - client may just crash, it's simple to notice, may be hard to understand why (especially if you are not allowed to reverse). Or it may desync. If a game that may desync just by itself, because it's poorly written - that would be a hell to find out.

 

2 hours ago, Ross Scott said:

I think there's not as many barriers as you're making out.  Here's the thing: as I understand it, (in the USA anyway) the right to reverse engineer IS legal and protected under federal law as long as it's not using copyrighted material.

No, I believe you understand it wrong. It's only allowed to circumvent the DRM (including online DRM) AND it's for museums and such. Preservation does not imply individual play, from what I can get.

Also what Lenard was saying (and it was quite painful to watch tbh, because clearly both of you have not enough technical expertise on the topic, so your questions and his responses were all over the place and never actually covered the actual problem core) - basically if the only thing you are making is the server code and just it - then maybe it's legal (though I am still not convinced you are free to reverse the client to do so), but if you are also producing anything else (any asset) - that is covered by copyright and you can't do that.

That's what I get from there - i.e. if you have say a Quake style server that basically just relays the messages everywhere and does some simple movement/shooting logic - it's fine. But if it's say Destiny server that have quest definitions only on the server (while all the dialogs, cutscenes, etc are on the client) - if you reproduce them, you actually infringing their copyright on those quests - even if you've never seen the actual server data (and if you not copy them you probably making derivative work, which is also forbidden by the license).

2 hours ago, Ross Scott said:

So say they turn off the DRM + and encryption + release the protocol documentation for "non-commercial and research purposes only, all rights reserved by (name of company)".  That language isn't giving explicit permission to reverse engineer, but they don't need to either.

At least in Russian law you can't much such a law as a law. Basically you need a goal of the law. Goal of the law is - games have a chance of being restored by reasonable effort. Sanity check: do conditions and restrictions proposed by the law reach that goal? No - because you can't consider illegal actions being taken as part of restoration process - so unless you are ruling party or just a nice guy or managed to bundle it with some other law that everyone want - that law won't make it through.

Now what Lenard says is that you can make it a certification mark. If you can hype-up some certification mark (which is kinda hard/impossible, but let's assume it is) or provide some incentive in using it - say persuade some countries to give tax cuts on sales of objects with that mark - you may demand practically anything as part of certification. Including such gray area stuff as just publishing docs "for research" while understanding in full that it will he used to create possibly illegal works. The only problem is - I think you'll have hard times proposing anyone to create incentive for using that mark with such unclear goals.

Maybe you want to shoot further. I don't really understand that obsession with half-backed minimal effort solution - it's not really working for 99% of games simply because there will be not enough people caring about them to actually create the emulator. Nor it's any different for developers from just freaking releasing the server if they have it. If they don't (i.e. server is very complex or something), then they will circumvent your restrictions anyway by fancy license wording.

 

They won't bother with providing documentation, because even if it's 2 days, it's still longer than 1 day needed to change text on a site (probably copy-paste from someone else) saying "by pressing that button you agree with EULA and your license is renewed by 6 month"
 

2 hours ago, RaTcHeT302 said:

I watched parts of it, and I 100% believe what GAS does is 100% fraud.

From what I get from there - under US law (well, actually it's the same in Russian law) you are allowed to cheat people if you tell them in advance that you are going to cheat them. Basically if you are starting a financial pyramid and telling everyone applying that it is a financial pyramid and it will collapse at some point - that's not a fraud. It's just you being an asshole and using people stupidity.

On other hand - some other laws may forbid financial pyramids anyway, no matter what, just because they protect people from being stupid. Like forbidding gambling.

So you can have a consumer-protection law that will say "you are not allowed to do X" and in that case you'll face penalties steaming from that law if you do X, but most probably it's going to be some sort of economical punishment - a fine, or something like that. And some companies may decide to just bite the bullet and pay the fine and ignore the law and do X anyway (while telling everyone that they do X, so it's not fraud).
 

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Okay, I wanted to post this back when the video was released, but when I made it to my PC I found out that other people have brought this topic up already so I decided to not repeat what’s already been said, but then I watched Ross’s Lecarde playsession and I changed my mind again, because Ross has said this:

 

https://youtu.be/b_mxZfNClp0?t=3380

 

so here goes.

 

I can’t believe Ross missed (and misses) such an obvious reason of why publishers are tripping over themselves to migrate to GaaS/streaming. I mean, gaming inflation and “the backlog problem” have long since become proverbial. For God’s sake, Ross himself has even talked about it on multiple occasions. Just listen to this:

 

https://youtu.be/pa29EM-YTwo?t=29

 

Yeah, it’s such a great time to be a gamer! We’re freaking set, aren’t we? It’s just a pity that in order for someone to be able to get an AAA game for $5, the other side of the barricade should be forced to sale their AAA game for $5, because of the monstrous competition.


It’s so glaringly obvious that publishers are desperate for any way to control this inflation. And now they found it! Guess what: now you can’t wait for 5 years to buy a game for a fraction of its price. You either buy it today for its full price, or don’t! It’s such a perfect solution, almost a dream come true!

 

Compared to the otherwise expertly crafted and painstakingly researched video, this enormous oversight on Ross’s part was baffling. To quote Ross himself, it was like watching an Olympic athlete train vigorously, eat a perfect diet, only to watch him forget to tie his shoes before the race.

 

It’s not even like the existence of this argument diminishes Ross’s points in any way. When I started watching the video, I was 100% sure that Ross will talk about this in the rebuttals section, and say that although this practice admittedly helps combating gaming inflation, that does not change the fact that it’s a scam and destroying art, or something along those lines.

 

Instead, the main takeaway of Ross’s video ended up to be “publishers are killing games even though they can easily not do that, they just want to avoid this tiny amount of work because they can, since even though this amount of work is tiny it’s still some work”:

 

https://youtu.be/tUAX0gnZ3Nw?t=2483

 

which is absolutely not true. Game publishers – like any proper, textbook capitalists – are greedy, ruthless and immoral douchebags, but they are not short-sighted idiots. They did not spend a metric fuckton of research and development to create all those GaaS/streaming platforms for nothing.


They did that exactly for killing games.


So when Ross repeatedly said that we should just apply some pressure for them to end this practice, because killing games is not the intended purpose of GaaS/streaming, to me it was like a punch in the stomach. The whole point off Ross’s rant, the whole video that he has put so much effort in, just fell apart.

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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On 5/3/2019 at 10:35 PM, RaTcHeT302 said:

Also, if game developers are stupid enough to devalue their own games, that's their own problem.

Developers have nothing to do with neither pricing nor DRM/EOL/GaaSing. They are usually victims of the publishers just as much as we are.

On 5/3/2019 at 10:35 PM, RaTcHeT302 said:

Hey, I don't care if you bundle your game for one buck, your loss, my gain.

The choice is between selling your $60 game for $60 and receiving nothing because nobody buys it, or selling your $60 game for $5 and receiving something. Say hello to the Invisible Hand of the Market.

Edited by ScumCoder (see edit history)

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but… how do I get my translation approved on YouTube? I've already translated the title and the description of the video (into Ukrainian), and hope to get the subtitiles translated by the end of May.

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Yes, I'm the subtitles guy (but I'm behind on things!  Augh!)

 

You can post it to the Ukrainian section of the forums, but Ross has now opened the channel up to community contributions so you could add them that way.  I think Ross still has to approve them, but you can still submit them.

The Official Accursed Farms Subtitles Compendium: https://goo.gl/aTBvzj

--

Project Manager for Ross's Movie

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On 5/3/2019 at 8:46 PM, ScumCoder said:

I mean, gaming inflation and “the backlog problem” have long since become proverbial.
It’s just a pity that in order for someone to be able to get an AAA game for $5, the other side of the barricade should be forced to sale their AAA game for $5, because of the monstrous competition.

Guess what: now you can’t wait for 5 years to buy a game for a fraction of its price. You either buy it today for its full price, or don’t!

I agree there is too much competition for new games but I don't think it comes from old titles.
Looking at Call of Duty, each seaquel sold close to 20 million copies in first few months in years 2009 - 2013. Usually was at the top of best selling games that year (quick look at wikipedia).
Compared to recent situation, Player Unknown Battlegrounds sold on steam alone 30 million copies in march 2017 to february 2018 (https://www.polygon.com/2018/2/15/17016332/pubg-sales-xbox-pc-active-players).
At the same time there were other major releases such as CoD WW2 (1 billion dollars revenue ~= 14 million copies in first few weeks), Middle Earth Shadow of War (almost 1 million copies first week), Resident Evil 7 (5 million copies april 2018) and others.

The numbers seem to point out that people are still willing to drop old games and buy new games close to their release. Rather than from old titles the competition comes from the fact that steadily more games got released each year. We are saturated with new games, even though playerbase was growing as well.

 

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Game publishers – like any proper, textbook capitalists – are greedy, ruthless and immoral douchebags, but they are not short-sighted idiots. They did not spend a metric fuckton of research and development to create all those GaaS/streaming platforms for nothing.

Yes. While I don't think killing games is anything more then useful byproduct of GaaS, the goal is the same - get secure flow of money from players.
It is a way of increasing profits. You get people hooked up on your game and you keep it alive and relevant with updates. People who buy stuff in game through microtransactions are compelled to stay with the game since they invested a lot of money and time into it which gives publisher somewhat secure stream of money. Also releasing new content for existing game requires less developers than making a whole new game so you can drop a lot of them thus increasing profit since running servers is less costly than paying developers.

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On 4/30/2019 at 9:58 AM, NightNord said:

Ok, it's going to be a long one. I will go slightly out of order with your questions, just to make sure it's coherent[-ish]

 

Before all, I should clear some possible misunderstanding here. You are talking about legal enforcement, not some "gentlemen agreement" between fans and developers. And that means couple things:

  1. Any proposed "minimal effort" should be enough so fans can "repair" the game legally. You can't make/interpret a law in such meaning that to repair the game an owner needs to break another law. Reverse-engineering is illegal and it holds in courts. So all those ideas "just give us encryption keys and we'll do the rest" imply reverse-engineering of the client, which won't hold in a court. License you get might be perpetual, but it's limited. It does not allow you to reverse-engineer the game. And developers will fight to the death against that - a loophole that will allow players to legally reverse-engineer the game is practically open-sourcing the code. And there will be legal problems with third-party.
     

Reverse-engineering is not illegal. The Library of Congress ruling specifically grants an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for people to modify their software as necessary to continue using it after official support has ended.

 

On 5/2/2019 at 2:57 PM, NightNord said:
On 5/2/2019 at 12:25 PM, Ross Scott said:

I think there's not as many barriers as you're making out.  Here's the thing: as I understand it, (in the USA anyway) the right to reverse engineer IS legal and protected under federal law as long as it's not using copyrighted material.

No, I believe you understand it wrong. It's only allowed to circumvent the DRM (including online DRM) AND it's for museums and such. Preservation does not imply individual play, from what I can get.

Also what Lenard was saying (and it was quite painful to watch tbh, because clearly both of you have not enough technical expertise on the topic, so your questions and his responses were all over the place and never actually covered the actual problem core) - basically if the only thing you are making is the server code and just it - then maybe it's legal (though I am still not convinced you are free to reverse the client to do so), but if you are also producing anything else (any asset) - that is covered by copyright and you can't do that.

That's what I get from there - i.e. if you have say a Quake style server that basically just relays the messages everywhere and does some simple movement/shooting logic - it's fine. But if it's say Destiny server that have quest definitions only on the server (while all the dialogs, cutscenes, etc are on the client) - if you reproduce them, you actually infringing their copyright on those quests - even if you've never seen the actual server data (and if you not copy them you probably making derivative work, which is also forbidden by the license).

 

No, it's you who've read it wrong, and Ross is correct: The Library of Congress authorizes the bypassing of DRM protections and the backing up and modification of video games for the sake of continued use of the software programs by the people who have bought it.

 

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-23241.pdf

 

Here's the proposal:

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Accordingly, the Acting Register recommends renewal of this exemption and will consider proposed expansions below in the discussion on Proposed Class 12.


8. Video games requiring server communication – for continued individual play and preservation of games by libraries, archives, and museums. Multiple organizations petitioned to renew the exemption for video games for which outside server support has been discontinued. The petitions stated that individuals still need the exemption to engage in continued play and libraries and museums continue to need the exemption to preserve and curate video games in playable form. In addition, the petitioners demonstrated personal knowledge and experience with regard to this exemption through past participation in the 1201 triennial rulemaking relating to access controls on video games and consoles, and/or representing major library associations with members that have relied on this exemption. Accordingly, the Acting Register recommends renewal of this exemption and will consider proposed expansions below in the discussion on Proposed Class 8.

 

 

And here's the ruling:

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201.40 Exemptions to prohibition against circumvention.


* * * * *
(b) Classes of copyrighted works. Pursuant to the authority set forth in 17 U.S.C.
1201(a)(1)(C) and (D), and upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, the
Librarian has determined that the prohibition against circumvention of technological
measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works set forth in 17 U.S.C.
1201(a)(1)(A) shall not apply to persons who engage in noninfringing uses of the
following classes of copyrighted works:

(12)(i) Video games in the form of computer programs embodied in physical or downloaded formats that have been lawfully acquired as complete games, when the 82 copyright owner or its authorized representative has ceased to provide access to an external computer server necessary to facilitate an authentication process to enable gameplay, solely for the purpose of:

(A) Permitting access to the video game to allow copying and modification of the computer program to restore access to the game for personal, local gameplay on a personal computer or video game console; or

(B) Permitting access to the video game to allow copying and modification of the computer program to restore access to the game on a personal computer or video game console when necessary to allow preservation of the game in a playable form by an eligible library, archives, or museum, where such activities are carried out without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage and the video game is not distributed or made available outside of the physical premises of the eligible library, archives, or museum.

 

The part you're talking about, being archived by a museum or similar, is (B), whereas the part Ross mentioned, being able to bypass DRM or modify the software to keep playing it, is part (A).

 

The allowance is for people to modify their software in any way necessary in order for them to continue accessing it in the way it was designed to be used when it was bought. That means that not only may people in the US back up their software and bypass any of its DRM, but they may also do what else is necessary with it in order to continue to use their purchased software.

 

As Ross said, though, copyrighted material cannot be used in the modification. As the Library of Congress ruling says:

 

Quote

(A) For purposes of paragraph (b)(12)(i)(A) and (b)(12)(ii) of this section, “complete games” means video games that can be played by users without accessing or reproducing copyrightable content stored or previously stored on an external computer server.

 

 

Outside of the Library of Congress ruling, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows people to reverse-engineer software under limited situations.

 

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-105publ304/pdf/PLAW-105publ304.pdf

Quote

 

‘‘(f ) REVERSE ENGINEERING.—(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a)(1)(A), a person who has lawfully obtained the right to use a copy of a computer program may circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a particular portion of that program for the sole purpose of identifying and analyzing those elements of the program that are necessary to achieve interoperability of an independently created computer program with other programs, and that have not previously been readily available to the person engaging in the circumvention, to the extent any such acts of identification and analysis do not constitute infringement under this title.

 

‘‘(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a)(2) and (b), a person may develop and employ technological means to circumvent a technological measure, or to circumvent protection afforded by a technological measure, in order to enable the identification and analysis under paragraph (1), or for the purpose of enabling interoperability of an independently created computer program with other programs, if such means are necessary to achieve such interoperability, to the extent that doing so does not constitute infringement under this title.

 

‘‘(3) The information acquired through the acts permitted under paragraph (1), and the means permitted under paragraph (2), may be made available to others if the person referred to in paragraph (1) or (2), as the case may be, provides such information or means solely for the purpose of enabling interoperability of an independently created computer program with other programs, and to the extent that doing so does not constitute infringement under this title or violate applicable law other than this section.

 

 

"a person may develop and employ technological means to circumvent a technological measure, or to circumvent protection afforded by a technological measure... for the purpose of enabling interoperability of an independently created computer program with other programs" - this sounds to me as though it already on its own and without the Library of Congress ruling protects reverse-engineering for the purpose of getting a game to interoperate with an OS, in other words, to run properly.

Edited by Delicieuxz (see edit history)

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:05 AM, Delicieuxz said:

The Library of Congress authorizes the bypassing of DRM protections and the backing up and modification of video games for the sake of continued use of the software programs by the people who have bought it.

We've already discussed that above (based on EFF article). Yes, it does allow bypassing DRM, but that's it. But again, I am not a lawyer, I am just plain-reading that stuff.
 

Quote

(A) Permitting access to the video game to allow copying and modification of the computer program to restore access to the game for personal, local gameplay on a personal computer or video game console; or

I.e. you can't restore MMO with that, you may only circumvent online DRM (for local play).

Can you convert MMO to single-player experience maybe? Well, no, because as you've quoted

Quote

(A) For purposes of paragraph (b)(12)(i)(A) and (b)(12)(ii) of this section, “complete games” means video games that can be played by users without accessing or reproducing copyrightable content stored or previously stored on an external computer server.

I.e. you can't use copyrighted material on the server (say quests) and, as per EFF, Library of Congress explicitly disallowed reconstruction of that material.  In other words - if you somehow got the server data, you can only use it if you are a library to enable playing the network game only within physical bounds of your library; and if you didn't get server data, you are not allowed to reconstruct it.

I.e. unless we are talking about just DRM, but some actual server-side logic you are screwed. Say even Diablo 3 is already out of reach.

 

Quote

‘‘(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a)(2) and (b), a person may develop and employ technological means to circumvent a technological measure, or to circumvent protection afforded by a technological measure, in order to enable the identification and analysis under paragraph (1), or for the purpose of enabling interoperability of an independently created computer program with other programs, if such means are necessary to achieve such interoperability, to the extent that doing so does not constitute infringement under this title.

This is interesting bit, but I can't plain-read it. It's a bit too much legalize here. It does sound like it would allow reversing game protocols to "achive interoperability" with "independently created computer program" (i.e. custom server emulator), but I think the problem of "infringement" still stands - you may create an emulator, legally, but not fill it with contents.

Though even if that's it - this is still a loophole - you may create an emulator and then contents will just happen to be created totally independent and who cares if they are illegal - the emulator itself is not.

Yet the idea was to somehow force developers expose information required to make process of creating an emulator easier and I do believe that convicing judges to consider that loophole will be problematic. Plus Ross already gave up on US anyway, because US is a land of crony capitalizm and corporation is always right :P

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EA Announces New Revenue Model Just Deleting Everyone’s ‘Anthem’ Characters Unless They Send Company $300 In Next Hour

 

Though this article is satire, it almost feels like something not even too far outside the norm in a more dystopian future as far as consumer rights go for games. In either case I still found it funny even though it unfortunately had to remind me of the whole GAAS garbage.

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Hey, thought people here would appreciate this.

 

There isn't even a debate about ownership with GoG - they outright say on their website that you own the games you purchase from them.

 

"You buy it, you own it".

 

1994362067_GoG-youownyourgamespic.thumb.png.45d3ef7ffe3960bf18d2697d45628564.png

 

 

Keep in mind that many of the games sold on GoG are the same ones sold through Steam and other platforms, and by the same publishers.

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Thing is, that's how perpetual licences work... As long as you don't make copies to resell, that's how any perpetual licence works. If you are only required to pay once of software, not a subscription, no matter whether they call it a service or not, it's a perpetual licence. Any software you have to pay for on a regular basis to play is a limited licence, and they can terminate the licence at any time legally.

 

If you only pay once for unlimited access: Perpetual licence, and legally they can not stop you from doing anything you want with it for your own use.

If you have to pay more than once: Limited licence, and they can terminate your access to it at any time, without legal consequence.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Some are actually improving the software though... It's just not always done.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Only just got you in my recommendations, and unfortunately, you've made a big legal slip up regardless of where you are. The big thing is, you still own the "body" as you kept refering to it as, the companies running the brain never take the body away from you. Ever. If you excersise your right to modify and reverse-engineer the product you paid for, after signing an EULA (which is legally a contract, if the law can be bent to accomidate the contract, it is), they revoke your connection to the brain, they revoke the service part. The caveat is, you DO still own your licence, and software. You can modify, change or reverse-engineer all you want. That licence still works to make the software you own yours, just not in a full capacity. You pay for both a good (the licence to the software part) AND the service (to the server software). They can take the service away at any point, as per their EULA. They are not obligated to give you that part (the server software) at the end of the service's cycle, as it is NOT part of the good your licence gives you.

HOWEVER, as a consumer, a lot of this is obfuscated and there may be (depending on location) laws about the "reasonable person" to expect such an ending to a games cycle, I'd love it if businesses posted source/unencrypted server software but i doubt they'd do it without incentive. I'd guess the best way to do this, it to incentivise them to get paid to end the games life, and leave it with the community. I'm pretty sure a campain for "oh hey, raise (£/$/....) 100,000 and we'll give the code out for all to use/change/adapt/redistribute without the need to buy it!" OR "we'll licence the server software for £/$/....X000 per sale" they'd be much more on board with it.

 

I'm just a random guy on the internet, I hope this information doesn't dissuade you from fighting, but without a legal footing, I'm sorry to see you defeated.

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3 minutes ago, RaTcHeT302 said:

This is all pointless, the product I paid for, was sold to me with the expectation that it would actually work, and what the hell, software isn't like a car which you just chuck into a junkyard, once it starts to break down, software cannot decay, there's absolutely no excuses as to why this practice should exist in the first place, you can overly complicate it all as much as you'd like to, but in the end, I bought something, that's broken by default, this is what games as a service tells me more or less.

 

Hell, it's as if the car dealership, arbitrarily decided to go into my home, rob me blind of my money, take my car keys, steal my car engine, but hold on! The contract says that they can do that! Stupid me! I should've known!

 

Of course they can just rob me blind for no reason at all, when they feel like! BECAUSE THAT'S NORMAL.

 

No. Just, that's complete bullshit. I think there are a ton of legal angles this can be approached from, it's just that most people aren't exactly creative enough to think out of the box, I think a competent lawyer would 100% have a good case. We can make the law work for us.

 

I don't care what some dumb pretend YouTube lawyer says, those guys don't care about us anyway.

 

SOFTWARE SHOULD NOT STOP WORKING, ONCE AN ARBITRARY AMOUNT OF TIME HAS PASSED. IT'S BULLSHIT.

 

Either give me my money back, or you pretty much just scammed me.

 

Of course, I agree with you. But this is a new state of product selling, it's a product with an end point, and the service with that is free as long as you abide by their rules. We CAN make the law work for us, but law is slow (2003 consensual act, yes it is that late) especially digital laws. The problem here now isn't "can we make the current law work for us" because it doesn't, now the problem is "how can we add/modify laws that exist, to protect the consumer" and that's not a law student problem, that's a high court, and a government problem. Our best shots are: Incentivise companies to place source code (minimum effort as posted in video) OR community outcry, be vocal, but as usually happens, it sticks around, and then it gets boring (microtransaction, day 1 dlc, season passes, etc). Loot boxes got fought against because people were loud. Loud enough, that investigations were made, and laws adapted. We need that again. Jimquizition (for all his faults) is still angry and live services, but he's the kind of person we need. Keep being angry, keep fighting back cause if we stop and suffer in silence, it'll get worse.

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