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    blur the line between preservation and play

    There is no line! Play is preservation. If the public can’t play a game anymore, it’s dead, so it’s not preserved.

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      Yeah, that part struck me as odd. People can preserve the binaries for inspection but not get them to run?

      I can see one part of their worries, that if unofficial servers are created by legal restoration efforts in museums/libraries, someone might leak the code and then people “out in the wild” will set up public pirate game networks with it. Those servers themselves could still be shut down, but the ESA wants to avoid the code being written in the first place.

      The other part is weirder: They seem worried that even without the public-pirate-servers scenario, if a tech museum gets old games working in-house, people will flock to the tech museum and play games there instead of staying home and playing current-gen online games. I’m not sure that’s very likely to happen, but is it even bad culturally if it does? You can already do the equivalent with many generations of games. There are old arcades in both museums and bars, which are totally legal and haven’t killed the current-gen game industry. For several generations of games you can even run multiplayer servers locally, e.g. if you wanted to set up a museum LAN party with Doom-era games you don’t even need this DMCA exemption. So it would just extend the ability to do something similar to another generation of games.

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        All the restoration efforts I know of are public! And legal. None of them need any copyrighted server side content that was never revealed to players. Clean room reverse engineering is not illegal.

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          If it was illegal then the laws need to be changed.