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Abandoned Video Games Get New Life Thanks To DRM Circumvention

by Matthew Kato on Oct 28, 2015 at 05:16 AM

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The Library of Congress has issued exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Consequently, it will be slightly easier to legally circumvent aspects of DRM for lawful fair use such as the preservation of old video games.

The exemption lets players remove server authentication if the game's original server is shut down. An important caveat to this, however, is that this exemption only applies to games that cannot be played in any way after the server shut down – i.e., multiplayer-only games without an offline single-player component.

The exemption also states that libraries, museums, and archives can jailbreak consoles to play games with inactive servers.

Here's the Library of Congress document if you want to wade through it.

[Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation]


Our Take
As the EFF notes, the exemption process is arduous, the DMCA needs an overhaul, and other aspects of DRM are still a larger problem, but it's at least a step forward to help preserve some aspects of video game history.