Gaming News

ESA Says Preserving Gaming’s Past Is Illegal Because It’s ‘Hacking’

The Entertainment Software Association wants to prevent the preservation of old games because they believe the process of restoring them to be similar to “hacking.” The ESA and Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization are ‘battling’ over the preservation of gaming’s past.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions (Section 1201) prevents users, including communities, museums, archives and researchers, to legally modify games to keep them playable after publishers shut down the servers.

EFF staff attorney Mitch Stoltz says Section 1201 is a serious issue for academics and gaming history museums like Oakland, California’s Museum of Art and non-profit organization the Internet Archive, according to IGN.

The EFF is asking the Copyright Office to give academics, museums and archivist an exemption from Section 1201 and legal protection to preserve old games and keep them in playable condition.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Mitch Stoltz” author_title=”EFF staff attorney”]

Thanks to server shutdowns, and legal uncertainty created by Section 1201, their objects of study and preservation may be reduced to the digital equivalent of crumbling papyrus in as little as a year. That’s why an exemption from the Copyright Office is needed.


On the other side, ESA says that an exemption from Section 1201 would bring increased piracy and that many users will abuse it to avoid paying the customary cost of existing works or devices.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– The Entertainment Software Association”]

Here is abundant evidence that the primary reason many users seek to hack video game consoles is not to create new and different works, but to avoid paying the customary cost of existing works or devices.


According to Game Spot, The ESA has some of the biggest players in gaming among its ranks, including Nintendo, Square Enix, Microsoft, Sony, Take-Two, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard. The group is also responsible for oganizing E3 every year.

All we can do is wait and see how the dispute will resolve. Recently on Immortal News, we reported how Blizzard Entertainment blocked and other services in Crimea.

What are your thoughts about games and history of gaming; is it worth to preserve old consoles such as Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega in working condition for future generations to see and play?

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