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What does this mean for games like SWG or Vanguard? Can players now LEGALLY run servers?

Bane82Bane82 Member UncommonPosts: 1,242
Just as the title suggest, I came across this article this morning, and it got me thinking. They mention Starcraft 2 Online (did they mean Warcraft online?) but can this now be used to legally run servers for abandoned games like SWG? Vanguard? To take it a step forward, if these games can be legally considered "abandoned", can players with access to the source code, choose to further advance the game themselves? as in, create patches and dungeons without repercussions?

article link:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/10/u-s-govt-grants-limited-right-to-revive-games-behind-abandoned-servers/

Quote from article:
After nearly a year of debate and deliberation, the Library of Congress (LoC) has granted gamers and preservationists a limited legal method to restore access to games that are rendered unplayable thanks to defunct, abandoned authentication servers.

In new guidelines published today, the Librarian of Congress said that gamers deserve the right to continued access to "local play" on games that they paid for, even if the centralized authentication servers required for that play have been taken down. So if Blizzard, for instance, decides to take down the authentication servers required to verify a new copy of StarCraft II online, players will now be legally allowed to craft a workaround that allows the game to work on their PCs.

Does this quote say it's not allowed? or is it mentioning online games that are originally single player, that just happen to have a multiplayer capability? (FPS shooters et al.) if so. Can a small victory like this lead to include abandoned mmo's in the future?

The LoC placed some important limitations on this new legal right, though. For one, gamers can't legally work to restore online gameplay in titles that required a defunct central server to coordinate such play. Creating third-party matchmaking tools, the LoC argued, would necessarily run afoul of the DMCA's "anti-trafficking provision," which prevents the wide distribution of tools that circumvent DRM and TPM. That means efforts like those to restore online gameplay to the Wii and DS are still illegal under the DMCA.



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Comments

  • makasouleater69makasouleater69 Member UncommonPosts: 1,096
    edited October 2015
    Bane82 said:
    Just as the title suggest, I came across this article this morning, and it got me thinking. They mention Starcraft 2 Online (did they mean Warcraft online?) but can this now be used to legally run servers for abandoned games like SWG? Vanguard? To take it a step forward, if these games can be legally considered "abandoned", can players with access to the source code, choose to further advance the game themselves? as in, create patches and dungeons without repercussions?

    article link:
    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/10/u-s-govt-grants-limited-right-to-revive-games-behind-abandoned-servers/

    Quote from article:
    After nearly a year of debate and deliberation, the Library of Congress (LoC) has granted gamers and preservationists a limited legal method to restore access to games that are rendered unplayable thanks to defunct, abandoned authentication servers.

    In new guidelines published today, the Librarian of Congress said that gamers deserve the right to continued access to "local play" on games that they paid for, even if the centralized authentication servers required for that play have been taken down. So if Blizzard, for instance, decides to take down the authentication servers required to verify a new copy of StarCraft II online, players will now be legally allowed to craft a workaround that allows the game to work on their PCs.

    Does this quote say it's not allowed? or is it mentioning online games that are originally single player, that just happen to have a multiplayer capability? (FPS shooters et al.) if so. Can a small victory like this lead to include abandoned mmo's in the future?

    The LoC placed some important limitations on this new legal right, though. For one, gamers can't legally work to restore online gameplay in titles that required a defunct central server to coordinate such play. Creating third-party matchmaking tools, the LoC argued, would necessarily run afoul of the DMCA's "anti-trafficking provision," which prevents the wide distribution of tools that circumvent DRM and TPM. That means efforts like those to restore online gameplay to the Wii and DS are still illegal under the DMCA.



    I hope so:) [mod edit] has been in the burner for I dont even know how long, and it still from what i see has no release date in sight. I gave out hope on vangard, when i looked at the site.....
    Post edited by Amana on
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,227
    edited October 2015
    It means nothing for games like SWG and Vanguard:

    "The LoC placed some important limitations on this new legal right, though. For one, gamers can't legally work to restore online gameplay in titles that required a defunct central server to coordinate such play. Creating third-party matchmaking tools, the LoC argued, would necessarily run afoul of the DMCA's "anti-trafficking provision," which prevents the wide distribution of tools that circumvent DRM and TPM"


    They did not mention Starcraft II Online. They mentioned "authentication servers required to verify a new copy of StarCraft II online". Online refers to the online authentication of Starcraft II, it's not used as a part of the game's name.
     
  • makasouleater69makasouleater69 Member UncommonPosts: 1,096
    Vrika said:
    It means nothing for games like SWG and Vanguard:

    "The LoC placed some important limitations on this new legal right, though. For one, gamers can't legally work to restore online gameplay in titles that required a defunct central server to coordinate such play. Creating third-party matchmaking tools, the LoC argued, would necessarily run afoul of the DMCA's "anti-trafficking provision," which prevents the wide distribution of tools that circumvent DRM and TPM"


    They did not mention Starcraft II Online. They mentioned "authentication servers required to verify a new copy of StarCraft II online". Online refers to the online authentication of Starcraft II, it's not used as a part of the game's name.
    Now you gone and dashed all my hopes, I knew i didn't read his links for a reason haha. Before i had a slight hope;) Now its all gone thanks ;)
  • nbtscannbtscan Member UncommonPosts: 862
    Sounds like they're limiting single player games with authentication to local play only.  Reverse engineering code for a game like SWG probably doesn't fall under these guidelines.
  • ste2000ste2000 Member EpicPosts: 6,194
    You misunderstood.

    What that means is that for example if you bought Skirym on Steam, and Steam goes suddenly out of business, you are allowed to find a way to play it without the need to go through Steam authentication Servers.

    I think this apply to Single Player games (stand alone) not MMORPGs which cannot be played stand alone.

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    Now you gone and dashed all my hopes, I knew i didn't read his links for a reason haha. Before i had a slight hope;) Now its all gone thanks ;)
    Don't worry, the OP didn't read his links either. (The final paragraph of his own OP answered his question.)

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,303
    edited October 2015
    IDK it sounds a bit cloudy to me.

    I think it is a great decision because we do pay for these games and have absolutely no say when a publisher shuts it down.Pointing at you SOE who shut down it's TCG abruptly  and imo without any effort at all to keep it going.Problem is i have no hard copy of that game,i don't think there ever was one,digital only so likely could never play that game again.However i do have a hard copy of Vanguard.

    The problem is that this law is VERY limiting.I know and understand that you can't start up a commercial server but it also seems unclear as to any server that is not just your own personal use.I say this because it seems to be mentioning that multiplayer is not doable so that leads me to think your own server only.

    So i "think" it is basically saying you could start up the Vanguard game IF you know how but would only be playing it by yourself "legally".What is likely to happen however is it opens the door wide open to hack into these games and likely will open up several servers for multiplayer "illegally".Then if too many cases come to courts the LOC will likely in 3 years retract it's decision.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,303
    SO what this law does is open the door that people will open up a site and release the code to be able to play these games and that would be perfectly legal.Their hopes by doing so would be that some others would open up illegal servers.It is because of this that i don't see this lasting past the 3 years.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    Wizardry said:
    IDK it sounds a bit cloudy to me.
    Er, this topic isn't 'cloudy' at all. The OP's own final paragraph points out that it specifically does not change rules for games with centralized servers. ("For one, gamers can't legally work to restore online gameplay in titles that required a defunct central server to coordinate such play")

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • AmanaAmana Moderator UncommonPosts: 3,912
    Just a quick note that while we had a recent community vote with regards to discussion of unofficial servers for games, we haven't yet announced any rule changes, so please don't mention private server names and such at this time.

    To give feedback on moderation, contact mikeb@mmorpg.com

  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 6,266
    edited October 2015
    Maybe we can start a petition, to have the laws changed to be allowed to have private server's for closed down MMORPG's

    Maybe if some private servers are opened that make money, a percentage should be given to the copyright holder.

    Could be a win for everyone. 

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • RhoklawRhoklaw Member EpicPosts: 6,888
    Very interesting to see what happens with this. I for one think abandoned games should be allowed to be resurrected by interested parties so long as no monetary gain is involved. It would strictly be a "historical preservation" of games no longer in operation by it's original owners. I wouldn't mind seeing Star Wars Galaxies, Auto Assault or City of Heroes making a limited comeback.

  • psiicpsiic Member RarePosts: 1,625
    edited October 2015
    It is still a very big step. I will add Earth and Beyond to that list.

  • BurntvetBurntvet Member RarePosts: 3,465
    edited October 2015
    This is just a response to companies like EA, which a lot of the time required single player play through EA servers, closing them down and not letting people use the products they "paid for". EA has shut down a lot of games falling into this category. The key word in the whole thing is "authentication".

    It has nothing to do with MMORPGs in the least, and specifically said so.


    But, as an interesting side note, it seems that this is something of a low key hit on the concept that software is "licensed" and not "sold", as many software makers would have people believe. The logic behind this whole thing is that that people have a right to use the product they "bought" even when the producer stops offering the ability to use it through "authorized servers".

    If it were wholly accepted that software was "licensed", then people would still be bound by the decision of the company to shut down the servers and end use of the product. The US government says that is not the case.
  • anemoanemo Member RarePosts: 1,883
    he Librarian of Congress said that gamers deserve the right to continued access to "local play" on games that they paid for, even if the centralized authentication servers required for that pla...


    Even in that article it specifies local play.  After looking in other areas multiplayer games are explicitly forbidden.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 7,935
    "right to continued access to "local play" on games that they paid for"

    You need to look up what local play means. The basics is you could do a work around to play it on your PC and your PC alone. You could not publish the game to have people come play with you and you would not have access to peoples accounts so they could play their chars with you.



  • Bane82Bane82 Member UncommonPosts: 1,242
    Vrika said:
    It means nothing for games like SWG and Vanguard:

    "The LoC placed some important limitations on this new legal right, though. For one, gamers can't legally work to restore online gameplay in titles that required a defunct central server to coordinate such play. Creating third-party matchmaking tools, the LoC argued, would necessarily run afoul of the DMCA's "anti-trafficking provision," which prevents the wide distribution of tools that circumvent DRM and TPM"


    They did not mention Starcraft II Online. They mentioned "authentication servers required to verify a new copy of StarCraft II online". Online refers to the online authentication of Starcraft II, it's not used as a part of the game's name.
    Thank you for answering this, I guess the lingo just got a little confusing. But this then begs to ask the question. Should abandoned MMO's not fall into this category? Maybe it's just me, but I don't see that much of a difference in terms of reasoning. Yes, one is a single player game, the other is an online game, but when you get down to brass tacks, was the process from customer's end not the same? did the customer not also go to a store/retailer and purchased said software? Why should customers only have access to the game if it's a single player game, but not an online game? at the end of the day, they're both games, right? or am I missing something?
  • CooperstownCooperstown Member UncommonPosts: 32
    This will change everything !  I'm glad the supreme court got their act together
  • BurntvetBurntvet Member RarePosts: 3,465
    Bane82 said:
    Vrika said:
    It means nothing for games like SWG and Vanguard:

    "The LoC placed some important limitations on this new legal right, though. For one, gamers can't legally work to restore online gameplay in titles that required a defunct central server to coordinate such play. Creating third-party matchmaking tools, the LoC argued, would necessarily run afoul of the DMCA's "anti-trafficking provision," which prevents the wide distribution of tools that circumvent DRM and TPM"


    They did not mention Starcraft II Online. They mentioned "authentication servers required to verify a new copy of StarCraft II online". Online refers to the online authentication of Starcraft II, it's not used as a part of the game's name.
    Thank you for answering this, I guess the lingo just got a little confusing. But this then begs to ask the question. Should abandoned MMO's not fall into this category? Maybe it's just me, but I don't see that much of a difference in terms of reasoning. Yes, one is a single player game, the other is an online game, but when you get down to brass tacks, was the process from customer's end not the same? did the customer not also go to a store/retailer and purchased said software? Why should customers only have access to the game if it's a single player game, but not an online game? at the end of the day, they're both games, right? or am I missing something?
    Because an MMO client can not be played on its own. The server side of the MMO provides the rest of the code needed for the game to work, and that is still copyrighted IP that the company owns in its entirety. An MMO game client by itself is worthless/useless. Whether or not an MMO is running, or abandoned, the individual player has no right to the server code.

    Compare that to a single player game client that would work on a player's PC just fine, except for the fact that the company required the game client to login / be authenticated on company servers. Company closes the servers, players can't play the single player game they paid for.


  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    ste2000 said:
    You misunderstood.

    What that means is that for example if you bought Skirym on Steam, and Steam goes suddenly out of business, you are allowed to find a way to play it without the need to go through Steam authentication Servers.

    I think this apply to Single Player games (stand alone) not MMORPGs which cannot be played stand alone.
    Well, it probably includes games that allows you to run them on private servers as well (like Sword coast legends) but the only MMO I heard of allowing that will be Shards and it ain't out yet.
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Member EpicPosts: 6,888
    Yes, this does not include MMO's, but that doesn't mean consumers can't push for something in regards to being able to run a private server. If emulators are currently possible, than I think a few passionate players could manage to resurrect old MMO's for the sake of playing a game you paid for. It will just be a matter of time before the courts decide that all software paid for is an owned copy for personal use. I look at it the same way we use other media, such as music and movies. So, if WoW shuts down and someone manages to emulate a server. I highly doubt the courts will defend a shutdown by the developer if they are no longer providing access themselves.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,774
    laserit said:
    Maybe we can start a petition, to have the laws changed to be allowed to have private server's for closed down MMORPG's

    Maybe if some private servers are opened that make money, a percentage should be given to the copyright holder.

    Could be a win for everyone. 
    Not really ... because if the original dev let you run their game, there may be liability issues (which drives a lot of business decisions).


  • AethaerynAethaeryn Member RarePosts: 3,087
    It means that if this was in place when SimCity was launched you could have still played :)

    They did say online authentication and played locally.  This looks to me like just DRM for an old single player game.  I would love to see this extended BUT...

    Companies should certainly have a set amount of time to sell the property to someone else before it is a free for all.

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

  • HorusraHorusra Member EpicPosts: 4,176
    My question is when you buy a copy of an MMO are you actually buying the code that would allow you to create a server or just the, lets say, terminal access code to allow you onto the server.  If that is the case then you would be hard pressed to make a company turn over the server code for free and if you back engineered it then you are technically stealing their intellectual product.
  • AethaerynAethaeryn Member RarePosts: 3,087
    Horusra said:
    My question is when you buy a copy of an MMO are you actually buying the code that would allow you to create a server or just the, lets say, terminal access code to allow you onto the server.  If that is the case then you would be hard pressed to make a company turn over the server code for free and if you back engineered it then you are technically stealing their intellectual product.
    You don't have the server side code on the disks.  "other" servers have to create their own code for that and you are just accessing the client side files.  They are not reverse engineering generally but creating new code to make it as close as they can.  That is my understanding anyway.

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

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