A Conversation About Video Game Preservation In The Gaming Industry Is Long, Long Overdue

from the we-need-some-speed dept

There has been quite an uptick recently when it comes to the conversation around video game preservation. There are probably several reasons for this. First and most notably, the confluence of the trend toward the gaming public primarily purchasing digital games rather than shiny disks, and the emergence of the latest generation of video game consoles has brought the question of what happens to older games into stark relief for many in the gaming public. Second, America has been in something of a love affair over the last decade or so with all things "retro". And, finally, the concept of video games as works of creative art, rather than wastes of time to be sneered at, has found firm purchase within our society. All of this has combined to make the public much, much more interested in preserving antiquated video games. And, frankly, very disappointed at how often the gaming industry doesn't take preservation at all seriously.

Well, it's happening again. In the near future, Electronic Arts will be shutting down the servers and online portions of several Need For Speed games.

Today, via Reddit (while most the English-speaking world is on a holiday), it’s been announced that Need For Speed: Carbon, Need For Speed: Undercover, Need For Speed: Shift, Shift 2: Unleashed and Need For Speed: The Run will be “retired”. Which I suppose is an apposite word, given they’ll be limping off the tracks as they leave digital storefronts today, and their servers switched off come the end of August.

The reasons given are the usual: that maintaining servers for the few remaining players is prohibitively expensive, and hey, look, they’ve released loads of (astoundingly poor) NFS games since then, so you could buy those instead!

Note a couple of things on this. While the offline portions of the games will still be playable for those who have already purchased them, new buyers will no longer have a place to legitimately buy them. Also, while there is a single player component, a big draw of the games was and continues to be the ability to race against friends online. Finally, note that this announcement comes with absolutely no plan to make the game or online play available in any other way.

Which is where the preservation conversation comes in. Once again, we have a game publisher that enjoys full rights controls over its property choosing to simply deprive the public of some or all of that property. A more perfect antithesis of the concepts of the public domain and copyright law generally probably can't be found. While EA explained away its decision to "retire" these games as the expense that comes along with maintaining servers and backend infrastructure for relatively fewer players -- along with a suggestion that disappointed gamers simply by new games in the Need For Speed series -- it's not like there aren't steps it could take to play nicely with its fans if it wanted to.

It’s always this way. “Shrug! What else could we do?!” Well, here are some other things they could do:

They could release the source code for the 10-15 year old games, and allow others to continue their development in the public domain. They could release the server code for the games, to allow enthusiasts to continue to host the few dedicated players remaining. They could offer to upgrade players to one of the many NFS games of the 2010s (although this may be crueller than just nothing at all). They could recognise that last year EA made a revenue of $5.5bn, and it’s likely they could just about afford to leave the servers on with minimal maintenance, without taking too big of a hit

Delisting them from stores just seems... petty! Sure, they don’t offer all the available features when the servers are off, but come on. Quarter the prices—hell, be decent enough to make them free—and let people buy them as single-player artefacts of the past.

In other words, either preserve the games for fans yourselves, EA, or let the fans do it for you. Either option is viable. But simply switching off the servers and making the games no longer available for purchase at any price is probably not so much a petty thing to do as it is a callous thing to do.

And when a company starts acting callous towards its dedicated fans, well, that's not a good plan for building either goodwill or more buying fans.

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Filed Under: archive, need for speed, preservation, video games
Companies: electronic arts


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  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 2 Jun 2021 @ 6:13pm

    Ironic…

    I find it ironic that even Lucasarts released some of their source code after the Disney Transfer but EA is still too stubborn to do that.

    Considering how some Disney games are DRM-free on GOG, it feels weird seeing Disney out of all companies embrace any sort of openness and Nintendo and EA embracing closed systems…

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Paul B, 2 Jun 2021 @ 8:28pm

      Re: Ironic…

      Your not thinking like an executive in the gaming industry. The suits at EA care about 1 thing only, making money. Planning to close servers and shutdown old games means those old games are no longer competing with your shinny new game.

      More over, the issue of community was a major issue and splitting the community over old and new games also means less eyeballs looking at your new stuff.

      I am totally sure some bean counter said, "If we shutdown X at the same time as we launch Y then we get 5% more sales at full MSRP".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2021 @ 8:49pm

        Re: Re: Ironic…

        Basically the Tero Pulkinnen philosophy of game development. Of course, considering the one espousing said philosophy has contributed a range of titles numbering between jack and fuck all, it goes to show how healthy that school of thought is.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anon, 2 Jun 2021 @ 10:42pm

    dead game news

    You should check out Ross Scott's dead game news videos on youtube. He's been railing against killing games for many years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PatrickH, 2 Jun 2021 @ 10:58pm

    If AAA publisher like EA are only remembered for their greed and abuses it will be a fitting punishment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tp (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 12:11am

    Experiences as an author...

    The preservation activity is very good. They (some kind of preservation society) seem to be the only folks available who actually ask for permission before publishing my game to their servers. So given that they already asked for permission, I have no other choice than declare that preservation activity is very good activity and I will support their cause.

    There are only very few elite organisations in the world that asked for permissions. Preservation-folks just happens to be one of them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      christenson, 3 Jun 2021 @ 6:36am

      Re: Experiences as an author...

      TP, your post is super-vague, needs more detail...what kind of games do you author for what kind of distribution model, and what preservation society are you talking about??

      Also, there are most definitely alternatives to having your game published on their server -- including whether that game from the server advertises you and/or your newer work.

      EA: Dang, you can't just mark a game as unsupported or volunteer supported only and still collect some fees for it?? You execs are leaving money on the table!

      As for games and copyright, I have a request for our dear congresscritters, and it's pretty simple: If it's out of print, or no longer for sale at the original price, that should be the end of a copyright. And pretty please, no copyright without a (C) affixed please!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 6:53am

        Re: Re: Experiences as an author...

        "TP, your post is super-vague"

        Of course he is, which he is whenever he's not posting outright fiction.

        He's stated before that he makes games to publish on itch.io, then whines that they're not massively successful simply by virtue of being on there. Of course, the issues surrounding an out of print game riddled with licensed content are going to be vastly different compared to his experience, but as he's regularly demanded that old games be completely removed from history in order to reduce his potential competition, you shouldn't take him too seriously.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        hegemon13, 3 Jun 2021 @ 7:45am

        Re: Re: Experiences as an author...

        " If it's out of print, or no longer for sale at the original price, that should be the end of a copyright. "

        I totally agree with this, except for the "original price" part. Prices change, and that's okay. If the audience is now smaller, and the copyright holder only wants to sell a higher-priced edition, that's okay. However, if what you mean is that it is only available from a third-party collector market, then yes, I agree. I think there should be a fairly short expiration period where if the copyright holder stops making a work available, they lose their copyright. It is, after all, an exclusivity contract with the public. If you aren't making a work available, it's not in either the public's or your interest to maintain that exclusivity.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          christenson, 3 Jun 2021 @ 9:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Experiences as an author...

          I used "original price" as a sort-of guard against the law of unintended consequences .... otherwise, EA, having decided to kill its creation, simply jacks up the price to $150K or so and continues to hold the copyright.

          Annual re-registration fees also would not hurt.

          Not that these proposals alone will be sufficient to force the bad actors to do the right things, or not do the wrong ones to game the system.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2021 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re: Experiences as an author...

        If it's out of print, or no longer for sale at the original price, that should be the end of a copyright.

        That does not help for non published server code, especially as the only copies could have been on the wiped servers.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tp (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 11:07am

        Re: Re: Experiences as an author...

        your post is super-vague, needs more detail..

        The game I'm talking about is my amiga game done in 1994: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQygH64LBHU The preservation activity is obviously for the old stuff. Some kind of software preservation society was the first entity ever who asked for permission of that 1994 game. See http://www.softpres.org/games for what they're offering. I'm pretty convinced that they asked permission for all the games in their catalog, given that I myself received permission request from that organisation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 2:42pm

          Wow, that looks…boring as hell, even for a action-puzzle game.

          Also: ha ha, oh wow — nearly 20 years later and Meshpage still can’t make anything that looks more impressive than the crack group tag on that video.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2021 @ 10:13pm

            Re:

            Never mind that his assurance that permission was sought is nothing more than a "I'm pretty convinced", same way he assumed that Disney asked for permission from every public domain work upon which they built their collection of content on.

            We're not dealing with a permission culture. The rules of copyright law apply, sometimes retroactively, depending on how much of a bro you are with the likes of Cary Sherman. Some people get pinky swears while others have to sacrifice their firstborn.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            tp (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 10:28pm

            Re:

            Wow, that looks…boring as hell, even for a action-puzzle game.

            Yes. But consider the position of the software preservation society, when they spend their valuable time for asking permission to publish the boring game on their web site... All their competitors that published "Roms" of the games, never bothered to reach out for the authors for a permission. But this society decided that following copyright is important enough activity that even these boring games need the permission before placing it to the web page...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 5:46am

              consider the position of the software preservation society, when they spend their valuable time for asking permission to publish the boring game on their web site

              I’m sure ROM sites that host Atari games have E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. That fact alone doesn’t make the game any better than it was back in its day.

              True preservationists don’t give a fuck about preserving only “good” culture. They give a fuck about preserving all culture, regardless of what people think about it. Don’t mistake their archival of your game as a judgment of quality; they don’t care if it sucks, even if they actually believe it sucks.

              this society decided that following copyright is important enough activity that even these boring games need the permission before placing it to the web page

              I’mma get back to those last six words in a moment…

              An archival/cultural preservation group will usually ask for permission because it’s easy and it’s always nice to have. But if permission either can’t or won’t be granted, such groups don’t always play by the rules you think they’re forced to play by. Consider the case of the archival of Flash movies/games in the wake of the death of Flash: Do you really think the archivists on those projects asked thousands upon thousands of people — some of whom may not be alive any more — for permission to archive works from the infancy of Flash animation to, say, last year?

              Copyright is why archival efforts such as ROM packs are in a precarious position: The companies/people who published those games still hold copyrights on them, even though many of them are long out of print and will likely never be sold again for a myriad of reasons. (Hi there, Whomp ’Em for the NES!) Archiving such games still violates copyright, regardless of whether the archival is meant to be a true preservationist effort or just an excuse to distribute ROMs.

              Do you want the archiving of culture to be made easier? Help change copyright law so it can be made easier. If you don’t? Fight to make copyright law so strong that not even your explicit and expressed permission would let someone archive your game. Your choice.

              Oh, and one more thing: “placing it to the web page”? That phrase sounds an awful lot like…y’know…what you claim your Meshpage software does. Does that mean you’re admitting that this “teleporting” technology you keep ranting about isn’t some new “innovation” you pulled from your anal cavity?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            tp (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 11:57pm

            Re:

            nearly 20 years later and Meshpage still can’t make anything that looks more impressive than the crack group tag on that video.

            Well, this whole pattern of "attaching" demos/intros to the cracked computer games is one of the dangerous places for meshpage. If meshpage's demos/intros/animations are cool enough that some piracy group decides to use them for this "attach-to-pirated-games" kind of operations, then meshpage as a whole has failed in its mission. While we subscribe to the idea that demos/intros are important art form, we cannot accept the usage pattern where this art is attached to pirated games.

            But when designing a site like meshpage, how exactly do you prevent piracy group from using the animations for piracy use cases? Happily html5 and web pages have the solution -- the php files that generate the content are private and cannot be read by users of the web site. This limits the usage to video grabbing only, and none of the piracy groups have yet tried to take a video of our demos/intros and attached it to some pirated games or movies.

            So meshpage's current status is that this dangerous pattern isn't powerful enough to break meshpage's copyright protection schemes.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2021 @ 4:19am

              Re: Re:

              This limits the usage to video grabbing only, and none of the piracy groups have yet tried to take a video of our demos/intros and attached it to some pirated games or movies.

              That is a badge of failure, your stuff being so worthless that it isbeing ignored by the pirates.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                tp (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 4:43am

                Re: Re: Re:

                That is a badge of failure, your stuff being so worthless that it isbeing ignored by the pirates.

                Getting sued by the entertainment industry is somehow better alternative? Any technology that helps criminals to do their evilness can be sued, our demo technology included.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2021 @ 6:51am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Getting sued by the entertainment industry is somehow better alternative?

                  That is not an alternative to having your stuff pirated, but that statement is another example of you dodging any point you do not want to address.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    tp (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 9:13am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    That is not an alternative to having your stuff pirated,

                    There are many different kinds of technologies that are in danger of being sued by the entertainment industry:
                    1) torrent clients / bittorrent protocol software
                    2) movie players / movie editing software
                    3) youtube-dl / stream rippers
                    4) debugging tools for handling binary files / decompiling tools
                    5) movie subtitle software
                    6) settopboxes that can search/display movies from the internet
                    7) computer games DRM cracking tools / decss
                    8) music players like napster or limewire
                    9) tools for creating demos/intros for the purpose of distributing pirated games
                    10) web browsers and other tools that allow "downloading" material from the internet
                    11) web sites that contain large catalogs of content, like youtube or software preservation society
                    12) video cameras that help pirates record movie files from movie theater...

                    I might be forgetting some of the dangerous areas, but if you figure out something that isn't on the list, please add it.

                    Anyway, authors of software in the above categories, need to be extreamly careful of not stirring the soup... I

                    f your product is in above categories and pirates do not bother to use it for evil, then it's clear that the product has been correctly designed. It's not a badge of shame, if your copyright protection features are working well enough that pirates do not bother to crack it.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 9:47am

                      There are many different kinds of technologies that are in danger of being sued by the entertainment industry

                      Okay, let’s run down this list and—

                      1) torrent clients / bittorrent protocol software

                      …you’ve already lost the game.

                      Bittorrent, like many data transfer/communication protocols, is content agnostic. The protocol can’t tell whether the content you’re seeding is violating a copyright — nor should it be able to tell.

                      2) movie players / movie editing software

                      Ditto for VLC, Windows Media Maker, Source Filmmaker, and any other software that allows for the viewing/editing/creation of video files. To strip those apps of their primary functions because their primary functions could enable some form of copyright infringement — a stripping that you have endorsed in the past as a necessary part of a truly maximalist copyright scheme — is to make useless all of those apps.

                      3) youtube-dl / stream rippers

                      Fair Use. ’nuff said.

                      4) debugging tools for handling binary files / decompiling tools

                      As I’ve mentioned before: Taking the primary function out of an application because of copyright concerns is to render that app useless. Go ahead and help destroy all the code editors you use right now — then see how far you can get with Meshpage when you can’t even code it because the editor you used is rendered useless thanks to your own efforts.

                      5) movie subtitle software

                      Fair Use. ’nuff said.

                      6) settopboxes that can search/display movies from the internet

                      Well there goes every Roku device (and every TV with Roku functionality built it).

                      7) computer games DRM cracking tools / decss

                      Fair Use and format shifting. ’nuff said.

                      8) music players like napster or limewire

                      did you…did you seriously just…

                      …oh my fucking god you’re a full decade behind the times, minimum

                      neither of those apps were even “music players”, and neither of them have been a thing in years — hell, napster even went legal years after its original shutdown and nobody cared

                      jfc, tp, get your shit together in a backpack

                      9) tools for creating demos/intros for the purpose of distributing pirated games

                      The same tools used to create animations and games are often the same tools used to create those intros. Besides: To my knowledge, nobody does that shit any more. That was an ’80s/’90s thing, and it was largely limited to the PC scene for obvious reasons.

                      10) web browsers and other tools that allow "downloading" material from the internet

                      Two things.

                      1. Love the scare quotes around “downloading”. Really brings out the ignorance behind your eyes.

                      2. You can’t remove that functionality without removing the ability to download legal content — including documents such as pre-filled tax forms, utility bills, and the like — that a not-zero number of people would need to download.

                      11) web sites that contain large catalogs of content, like youtube or software preservation society

                      Well, then, say goodbye to Standard Ebooks. And the Internet Archive. And abandonware sites. And other similar archival efforts that are perfectly legal but must fall to appease the gods of Copyright. I mean, why give a fuck about saving our disappearing culture — music, books, games, video broadcasts, whatever — when Disney needs to make sure only Disney can still legally distribute nearly century-old cartoons?

                      12) video cameras that help pirates record movie files from movie theater...

                      yeah good fucking luck with getting rid of video cameras just because a few assholes use them to camrip the latest Marvel movie

                      authors of software in the above categories, need to be extreamly careful of not stirring the soup

                      So long as their apps have even one legal use and aren’t intended to be used as an engine of infringement, no court would (or should, at any rate) dare to say “yeah someone used this app to download an episode of a Netflix show, so you need to kill the app”. That you believe people using software with plenty of legal uses as part of an unlawful act is a good enough reason to annihilate that software — some of which you’ve likely used to code your own projects and even browse this site — speaks more to your sociopathic belief in copyright maximalism at all costs than anything else. None of what is being said makes you look even remotely good.

                      If your product is in above categories and pirates do not bother to use it for evil, then it's clear that the product has been correctly designed

                      No, what’s clear is that the pirates have better (or at least more preferred) apps at their disposal. A pirate using a video player app other than VLC to rip a YouTube video doesn’t mean VLC can’t be used to rip YouTube videos — it means the pirate doesn’t use VLC for that purpose.

                      It's not a badge of shame, if your copyright protection features are working well enough that pirates do not bother to crack it.

                      Every kind of DRM can be cracked. All it takes is time. But if nobody bothers to crack your DRM and pirate your app, the reason probably isn’t “the DRM is uncrackable” — it’s most likely that your app sucks more than a Hoover and nobody wants to even bother with it.

                      Again, tp: Bringing up the fact that pirates haven’t even bothered with Meshpage is a gigantic self-own that you probably don’t want to keep bringing up.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                        icon
                        tp (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 10:28am

                        Re:

                        yeah good fucking luck with getting rid of video cameras just because a few assholes use them to camrip the latest Marvel movie

                        you don't need to make video cameras useless. Its enough to prevent the piracy use case. For example video cam that allows recording <20 second clips clearly works fine for many legal use cases, but using it to record full length movie is giving very bad result. Movies generally are longer than 20 seconds.

                        This kind of copyright innovation is giving us many cool technologies that would be illegal if those copyright protections would not be used.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2021 @ 10:47am

                          Re: Re:

                          When you think about and crippling tools and therefore punishing creative people for the sins of piracy, remember that you will also end up with only crippled tools.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 11:20am

                          you don't need to make video cameras useless. Its enough to prevent the piracy use case. For example video cam that allows recording <20 second clips clearly works fine for many legal use cases, but using it to record full length movie is giving very bad result.

                          And if video cameras were only used by people making 20-second videos, you might have a point. But they’re not. They’re used by people making music videos and movies, filming police officers doing their jobs (or not), and many many other legal uses. Crippling a tool with numerous legal uses because someone might use it for an illegal act at some nebulous point in the future is lunacy — a move designed to placate the most hardline copyright maximalists for no reason other than “we make shitloads of money so do what we say”. You’re really that kind of bootlicker, huh, tp.

                          This kind of copyright innovation is giving us many cool technologies that would be illegal if those copyright protections would not be used.

                          Name ten technologies that were created exclusively by this “copyright innovation”. Note that shorter/more limited uses of existing technologies — e.g., Vine and its six-second videos — do not, I repeat, do not count as an “innovation”.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • icon
                            tp (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 1:11pm

                            Re:

                            Name ten technologies that were created exclusively by this “copyright innovation”.

                            1) short message service (SMS) has 120 character limit which is clearly for two purposes: extracting money from the markets, and keeping large copyright infringements outside of the system
                            2) twitter with their 200 character limit -- they've copied this pattern from SMS
                            3) web browsers download features
                            4) blocking of dcc transfers in irc networks
                            5) (c), (r), TM characters in fonts
                            6) "quotes" for marking borrowed text
                            7) bibliography entries in scientific papers
                            8) copyright notices
                            9) youtube's contentID content recognition system
                            12) computer games copy protection systems
                            13) user reputation systems in sites like stackexchange/stackoverflow
                            14) cryptocurrencies / bitcoin mining / proof of stake
                            15) ability to ban users from facebook or twitter
                            16) login systems in nearly all computers on the planet
                            17) pirated content removal systems based on DMCA notices
                            18) Are you a robot -tests in many web sites
                            19) adverticement banners in many web sites
                            20) user-generated content systems like youtube and wikipedia
                            21) image fingerprinting technologies
                            22) online casinos "house always wins" practices
                            23) trademark/copyright trolling
                            24) technology investments
                            25) user identification systems like cookies in browsers
                            26) author name display in youtube, itch.io, sketchfab and other content sites
                            27) names of humans, gadgets, projects and attaching marketing messages to the names
                            28) stock market identifiers for each company
                            29) the printing press / copy machines / vinyls / vcr's / cd-roms / dvd-disks / floppies / hard disks / etc...
                            30) social security identification systems

                            Basically the whole world is based on copyright innovation. Copyright rules has been available for hundreds of years, so many good innovations were invented.

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 2:30pm

                              Jesus. You really couldn’t resist making an ass out of yourself, could you.

                              short message service (SMS) has 120 character limit which is clearly for two purposes: extracting money from the markets, and keeping large copyright infringements outside of the system

                              SMS exists because of technical limitations of text messaging at the time. Nobody at the time — and certainly nobody now — even gave copyright infringement a second thought. Copyright limitations have nothing to do with that.

                              twitter with their 200 character limit -- they've copied this pattern from SMS

                              Twitter’s initial character limit was copied from SMS to make it easier for people to transition from texting to tweeting. Copyright limitations didn’t have shit to do with that.

                              web browsers download features

                              Not an “innovation” so much as a logical step in thinking, and copyright limitations had nothing to do with it (obviously).

                              blocking of dcc transfers in irc networks

                              That’s not an “innovation” so much as it is a denial of a specific functionality on a specific IRC network. Not even remotely relevant here.

                              (c), (r), TM characters in fonts

                              Copyright in and of itself isn’t responsible for the existence of Unicode characters in fonts. That those characters exist in fonts has more to do with getting accurate symbols in fonts and making them available to the masses (thus negating the need for substitutes like yours) than it ever has to do with copyright limitations.

                              "quotes" for marking borrowed text

                              you gotta be fucking shitting me son

                              bibliography entries in scientific papers

                              you seriously gotta be joking here or else you’re just completely ignorant

                              youtube's contentID content recognition system

                              okay maybe I can grant you this one

                              computer games copy protection systems

                              and this one

                              user reputation systems in sites like stackexchange/stackoverflow

                              but now you’re being facetious

                              cryptocurrencies / bitcoin mining / proof of stake

                              and ridiculous

                              ability to ban users from facebook or twitter

                              and now I’m fucking done hahahahahaha holy shit are you really this fucking ignorant oh my god someone else gonna have to handle the rest of that shit I’m gonna laugh myself to death if I keep going aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 2021 @ 3:23pm

                              Re: Re:

                              Copyright rules has been available for hundreds of years, so many good innovations were invented.

                              So, the world got on fine with no copyright until after the Printing press was invented. Indeed in its first form, it was a license granted by censors to a publisher to allow the printing of a book. Copy right became an authors right only in 1710, but there was no lack of creative works prior to that, as that lack would have resulted in a very small and stunted printing industry.

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • icon
                              Lostinlodos (profile), 5 Jun 2021 @ 3:41pm

                              Re: re: not correct

                              SMS stems from buffer limits in analogue signalling.it pre-dates cell phones by 12 years in communications use. It’s 120 ascii instructions. Not characters, btw.
                              SMS uses 8-bit ascii. The actual limit is 140 but 10 bytes were used at the beginning and 10 at the end.

                              Twitter simply reproduced text messages on a hosted server. Twitter switched to INTCP before moving to Unicode. The limits was initially arbitrary and today is used to intentionally keep messaging short

                              Web browser download features simply automated what people were already doing.

                              4) is a simple choice on a simple network

                              The fonts were created to allow press of the symbols.

                              6) "‘a? How ignorant. The double quote “ comes from 400-450 ce in early use. It was a variation of single ‘ quote to interject a second quote inside another one. It was sunset, not raised, btw.
                              The single quote for relating someone else’s statement dates to early modern, or late early, Greek. The mark was imported from pre-gothen languages in north-central Europe. Is is derived from « and » and < and >. Taken from the the pre-sari - which means of or from. That was taken from the runic ^ or ⃤ which had the same meaning.

                              7 is not required by law and is done of respect.
                              8 and 9 clearly come from copyright law.

                              10 and 11 are missing

                              12) copy restrictions, not created by copyright but by developers

                              13) quality and consistency, not copyright

                              14) wait, what?

                              15) is granted by 230 or the CDA, not copyright.

                              16) privacy, not copyright

                              17) yes, a correct statement

                              18) stops automation

                              19) advertisement, pays the bills for free content products. Keeps sites online. Not copyright

                              20) the opposite of copyright

                              21) security

                              22) monetary policy. And only scam casinos win more than they pay out.

                              23) another correct answer

                              24) monetary policy

                              25) monetary policy

                              26) recognition of creators

                              27) recognition, and marketing

                              28) identification in monetary policy

                              29) The printing press? Lol. The “printing press” predates copyright systems by 100 years.
                              And semi-automated printing dates back to 790ce in Na Fe (China today) to print texts in temples for Monks. Then again typesetting goes back the the mid-200s bce, so that’s long before copyright.
                              China didn’t even recognise copyright as a legal system into the second boxer rebellion. When shutting down presses was one of many mandates on the government by foreign nations. No National law until 1962!
                              The very country that invented every aspect of mass print over 2.5 millennia didn’t have copyright until Lauder 100 years ago.

                              30) identification of individuals by databaic numbering

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        Samuel Abram (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 10:28am

                        Re: The Demoscene

                        FYI

                        The same tools used to create animations and games are often the same tools used to create those intros. Besides: To my knowledge, nobody does that shit any more. That was an ’80s/’90s thing, and it was largely limited to the PC scene for obvious reasons.

                        The demoscene had a brief resurgence in NYC as Synchrony and now it's an annual event. Back in 2016 or so, I used my time there to create "The Washington Post (Is A Shitty Newspaper)", for which I won third place in the music contest and earned a pair of NYC Subway socks!

                        Ahem. So even though the demoscene is not at its heyday, there are still pockets thereof as well as the chiptune scene that descended from it leading to acts such as Chipzel, Anamanaguchi, and Aivi & Surasshu.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        tp (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 11:12am

                        Re:

                        it’s most likely that your app sucks more than a Hoover and nobody wants to even bother with it.

                        Yeah, but the whole point of this thread is that the software preservation society bothered to ask for permission, even though the content sucks more than a hoover. There's always competition between people asking for permissions from copyright owners and pirates who are using the same content without permission. Pirates are just taking shortcuts because they're lazy bastards... The content involved is sucking the same amount in both cases. It's just how lazy the users are.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 11:34am

                          the whole point of this thread is that the software preservation society bothered to ask for permission, even though the content sucks more than a hoover

                          No, the point is you think preservationists asking to preserve your game is a signifier of quality or worth. It’s not. Hell, if you want proof that preservation does not indicate the subjective quality of what is being preserved, I have one movie title for you: Manos: The Hands of Fate. That film is regarded as one of the worst films ever made, but someone still spent a shitload of time and money to restore a long-lost workprint of the film and present said restoration in high definition. (Incidentally: Manos is a public domain film.)

                          What a preservationist thinks about your game is irrelevant. The only reason they’re preserving your game is because it exists, not because they think it’s somehow “worth preserving” due to its quality. When your only argument for the quality of your work is “someone saved it because it was there”, you’re owning yourself so hard that the only possible analogy I could make here would likely sound racist as fuck.

                          There's always competition between people asking for permissions from copyright owners and pirates who are using the same content without permission.

                          …fucking what

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 5:48am

              Admitting that pirates haven’t bothered to steal your shit is a huge own-goal, tp. You might want to reconsider making that point ever again.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 2021 @ 6:55pm

                Re:

                For Tero Pulkinnen, making the "Publish" button on his app so children and teenagers can't find it to accidentally infringe copyright isn't a bug, it's a feature.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  tp (profile), 8 Jun 2021 @ 5:16am

                  Re: Re:

                  so children and teenagers can't find it

                  Why would publish button be so important that teenagers need to find it immediately? They will just make a fool of themselves if they find publish button too early and try to publish material that wasn't properly designed. Steam had the same problem and they solved it with 2 year delay in the publish operation, so if I hide the publish button to different web page, is that any worse than what steam is doing with their 2 year greenlight delay?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2021 @ 8:24pm

                    Re: Re: Re:

                    You're not preventing them from finding it immediately. You're preventing them from finding it at all. All while trying to promote your tech as some child-friendly tool. It's hardly a surprise why you haven't found an actual publisher for your garbage.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      tp (profile), 10 Jun 2021 @ 12:53am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      It's hardly a surprise why you haven't found an actual publisher for your garbage.

                      My garbage doesn't need a publisher, when it's a web site that I can easily publish myself. What I need more is marketing gurus, who would announce the existence of the web site to customer segments. But publish operation I can do all by myself.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 1:07am

    Imo.

    From the past are allot of things to deal with.
    So many Odd protection schemes, ended up failing.
    Allot of groups have come to an understanding that after about 2 years, a Game is done. You want to create a new one, improve the old one as graphics have changed, Tons of reasons to remake or create NEW.
    But Consoles? Want to hold on to everything.
    To many console makers Think, just because they Have a new machine, even if it dont work with old progs, they should KEEP the old games and programs. The problem went like, and Goes like. New hardware and make it work with old games, and recently, some, Dumped the Compatibility with the past games, and TRY to FORCE you to rebuy that Old game to let it work.
    The BIG one is Atari. Remaking their games to work on current machines, Over and over, Since the 1970's.

    Then there is the idea that games Dont have a creator. they are OWn by the corp, not a person. So when does the IP END?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Melvin Chudwaters, 3 Jun 2021 @ 6:27am

    Copyright reform fixes this problem entirely.

    One of the most desperately needed (and justified) reforms would be to grant no protection to any work that uses DRM. That is, if a work is ever released commercially with an intact or partially intact DRM system, the work instantly and irrevocably becomes public domain.

    IP "owners" would be forced to choose between copyright protection and DRM protection, never getting (or deserving) both.

    How does it fix this problem, you ask? Subscription-based games are, by definition, a method of DRM. If the only way to play the game is to play it online with an authenticated account while they deign to run the online servers necessary, this is in effect DRM (if that's not obvious enough to you guys, it could be written explicitly into the statute that such counts).

    Most likely this incentivizes them to write games such that there are single-player modes that require no online authentication, but possibly they sulk around and refuse... and amateur hobbyists get to work dissecting and providing open source alternatives (bnetd for Starcraft).

    These problems are all problems created by bad law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 6:56am

      Re:

      "Subscription-based games are, by definition, a method of DRM. If the only way to play the game is to play it online with an authenticated account while they deign to run the online servers necessary, this is in effect DRM"

      Of course but, also by definition, those services are rental services with no reasonable expectation of owning the titles, so the standards applied will be different.

      "Most likely this incentivizes them to write games such that there are single-player modes that require no online authentication"

      The problem here is not the authentication, it's the removal of servers. This means that no new digital copies can be purchased, and online game modes go away. Making games solely single player will help with the problem of losing online content, but it won't help with the fact that new purchases with unlicensed content must be illegal.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 3 Jun 2021 @ 12:05pm

      Re:

      Anti-squatting provisions.

      A copyrifht holder MUST make available copyrighted content at fair market value, or else after 1 year they lose their right to pursue infringement claims, and after 3 years the material irreversibly becomes public domain.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Melvin Chudwaters, 3 Jun 2021 @ 9:53am

    I don't think you understood a single word in my comment.

    Removal of the servers is a non-issue. Servers have been reverse engineered and open sourced before, and Blizzard put the kabosh on that.

    What's needed is reform to copyright law, so that they can't do that. Not only did I explain that, I proposed a meaningful reform that could withstand judicial scrutiny and is implementable as a statute.

    Sometimes I am amazed at the ability for you people to willfully misunderstand everything that is said in the hopes that it will make your own opinions seem intelligent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2021 @ 3:55am

      Re:

      The onus of understanding lies with the author of speech, but of course someone of any intelligence would know that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 3 Jun 2021 @ 11:51am

    The focus of this article is on the online servers for multiplayer and to a smaller extent, being able to buy digital copies of the game. That overlooks the fact that buying a copy of the game on a physical disc is no better.

    Games today are often seriously broken in their retail release. The first thing every game wants to do is to go online and download patches. How do you preserve those patches when they're downloaded and installed directly by the service and you're not allowed to truly back them up?

    Then there's DLC which is delivered the same way and comes with the same restrictions. How do you preserve that?

    When the consoles that the games are on, are declared obsolete and no longer allowed to connect to the network, how will people obtain the patches to make their physical copies work properly, or the DLC that can make up large portions of the game?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 5:37am

      Re:

      Games today are often seriously broken in their retail release.

      Depends on whether you're talking about AAA games (excluding Nintendo games, which are usually extremely polished) or independent games.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 4 Jun 2021 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re:

        Depends on whether you're talking about AAA games (excluding Nintendo games, which are usually extremely polished) or independent games.

        Pretty much all games today get patched. Back in the days of the PS2 and original Xbox, connecting them to the net wasn't as common, so companies did their best to make the games as bug-free as possible. Once connecting them to the net did become common, companies realized that they could release broken, unfinished games on disc and just patch them later.

        And regardless of whether the version on disc is broken or not, there's still the DLC, which can often make up a substantial portion of the game experience. If you look up some game series on MobyGames, the DLC alone takes up a couple pages of the listings.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    silentsceu (profile), 5 Aug 2021 @ 6:34pm

    EA has made great progress in this area. You can check their new game FIFA 22: https://www.ssegold.com/fifa22-coins then you will understand what I'm talking about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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