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US Copyright Office: Abandoned Online Video Games To Possibly Receive Exemptions

Video Games developers and publishers like Ubisoft, Nintendo, Electronic Arts and other major companies have acted out against the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as libraries, museums, and their affiliates might exploit such rights.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a legislation that protects the copyright infringement of the products of the copyright owner, in this case, video games.

To control the theft and the piracy of the intellectual properties. If you guys remember last year the video game developers Blizzard filed a lawsuit in a federal court of California, against Bossland for copyright infringement and violating the company’s DMCA policies.

This is pretty much similar, the only difference here is that the games that have been abandoned are under consideration.

Exceptions are granted every three years by the U.S. Copyright office to the DMCA that allows various museums, archives, and libraries to preserve the abandoned online Video Games.

Last Year multiple organizations, as well as a non-profit Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, filed a request to add more exceptions for those games which have been shut down by the publishers.

MMORPG games like Star Wars Galaxies and City of Heroes that still have a large fan base but the servers have been shut down and so the games can’t be played online.

According to the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, preservation of online video games is something that is becoming crucial day by day with the growing gaming industry.

The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment has been arguing to allow archivists to operate servers for such abandoned games so the games survive in the long run.

Although Entertainment Software Association (ESA) that represents all of the major companies in the Video Games industry like Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and others have opposed this request by the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment.

According to them, extending the DMCA exemptions to online games will reach out too far which will let these archivists exploit the rights.

As hosting of servers would then allow the players to play these games for free which can be considered to be a form of competition for existing titles.

With that, ESA also adds that the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment also charge an admission fee which pretty much amounts to the commercial enterprise.

The U.S Copyright office is currently considering arguments of both the parties and has not made any decision yet regarding whether the exemptions should be given or not.