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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:18 pm
quote : #1
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Posts: 5889
Type: NTSC-U/C
Quote:
https://torrentfreak.com/game-companies-oppose-dmca-exemption-for-abandoned-online-games-180 217/

"Electonic Arts, Nintendo, Ubisoft and other major game publishers have asked the US Copyright Office not to make an exemption to preserve abandoned online games for future generations. The companies argue that libraries, museums, and their affiliates might exploit such a right for commercial purposes, competing with other games."

Just so everyone knows where we stand in all of this. Even if you wanted to pull the legitimacy card by saing, "but.. I'm a historian", NOPE. Lawyers and Copyright owners do not care.
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Xiden
rank 5
Posted:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:12 am
quote : #2
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Posts: 34
Reverse engineering falls under fair use. It was a supreme court ruling long ago when emulators came into question. Also there are many reversed/preserved servers out there and its bad PR to try and go after people playing a old ass game online. In fact many companies have embraced the dc community's reversing with open arms Smile
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:07 pm
quote : #3
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Posts: 5889
Type: NTSC-U/C
All that matters is if a company has reason to submit a takedown notice, and if they are willing to take you to court. I don't consider things like fair use or supreme coart rulings to have any significance unless you have the cash to counter the opposition in a legal setting. Most are unable to put up a fight. Lawyers know this, companies know this, which is why its never about right or wrong. Its about having the cash and legal muscle to force the enthusiast community to shut their operations down.

Blizzard recently torched the WoW Legacy server, and Mario 64 Online caved quick to DMCA takedown. In almost every instance, when a DMCA takedown notice is served, the user will comply and pull their code. In the instance of WoW Legacy they didn't have to. Github themselves nerfed the entire repo on request by Blizzard based on the DMCA takedown. Exceptions (often hilarious ones) are those where the developer lives in a region outside the US, and their email response is a terse "fuck you" to the corporate lawyers.

Obviously, its possible to have a positive experience when communicating with a company over such topics. I had a very pleasant email exchange with Marc Rein of Epic before, and was surprised he took the time out of his day to answer my questions. Sometimes open sourcing code is even a part of their business model.

I just don't trust that these situations are everlasting, especially when any manner of copyright is involved. Things can change, much like the weather. Intellectual Property can change hands, and lawyers can get new marching orders.

So a part of me is always prepared to go underground to keep the software alive, should the situation escalate.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
dxtriad
rank 1
Posted:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:34 pm
quote : #4
profile : pm
Posts: 4
You should play Ooga Booga with us before I turn off the server Wink
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:14 pm
quote : #5
profile : pm
Posts: 5889
Type: NTSC-U/C
dxtriad wrote:
You should play Ooga Booga with us before I turn off the server Wink

Well don't do that lol, then its like 2003 all over again. I was online when Ooga Booga was shutdown the first time. It wasn't a fun time. Well the night before the shutdown was a blast, but the next day wasn't hehe.

I am really excited about Ooga Booga and other games having services restored. I know you guys want me to hop on and play, but my consoles have been all boxed up.

I did a lot of construction work at my new house in the space where my equipment will reside before I move in. I custom ordered denim insulation in late November to soundproof the cielings which took weeks to arrive, and it took almost all of January to install the insulation and put up netting to hold it in place. We finally finished it about a week ago Smile

I am still in the process of moving. Where I am typing this from now, I have tons of Dreamcast games here, but my consoles are still at the old house awaiting migration. Just last night I was packing and moving a full car load from 8:30pm until 6:30am the following morning, and still had to head into work today.

Anyways, I am doing my very best to get to where I can interact with the Dreamcast and Sega communities again with greater regularity. I hope everyone can understand.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:41 am
quote : #6
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Posts: 5889
Type: NTSC-U/C
This is the type of scenario I was describing above in the thread:

https://yro.slashdot.org/story/18/04/17/0036243/19-year-old-archivist-charged-for-downloading-freedo m-of-information-releases

An Archivist is being taken to court and has to defend himself against charges that could amount to 10 years in prison for incrementing numbers on URLs at a Freedom of Information site. In this case the Government is using its legal muscle to cause problems for others, and single out a scape goat in an effort to cover their butts. The Archivist was clearly in the right, as just changing a number in URL query strings is not "hacking".

Emulating a server is not stealing code and should fall under fair use, yet companies still try to bring down legal action onto those writing all original code in their effort to secure more profits.
  _________________
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Dreamcast ™
rank 39
Posted:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:50 pm
quote : #7
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Posts: 916
Type: NTSC-U/C
Playing devil's advocate here about the URL manipulation to show how it could be determined as a hack.

The word "hacking" is defined as:

Google (Define: Hacking) wrote:
use a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system.


For the person in the article to receive the URL variable he received, specific information most likely had to be provided which the server used to return the URL variable value unique to the query. His reception of this value was authorized since he provided the correct information associated with it.

Where things went wrong was the manipulation of that number. If he had queried the server using different information, he most likely wouldn't have received the URL variable he originally received and most likely not the ones he manually entered either. Therefore, by manually manipulating the URL variable itself until it returned valid data, he was receiving data he wasn't authorized to view.

To use a relevant example to the Dreamcast, let's look at PSO's authentication. I don't know exactly how bypassing it was accomplished, but let's assume it was as simple as telling the block of code that determines if the authorization request from the server was successful was modified to always return success. Since the code is compiled into machine code, the change made is numerical as the modification to PSO was either to return a 1 vs 0 or to jump to the block of code that handles successful authorizations using a new address (again, numerical).

In both cases, a number was changed. The PSO modification may seem to be more involved or "hackish" than the other since we all use address bars on a daily basis and, usually, no special tools are required for their manipulation, but in both instances, something was accessed that would otherwise have been unauthorized, going back to the definition of "hacking."

Do I agree that, while both cases fit the definition, they should be treated criminally? No. In the article's case, the modification of the URL variable was used to expedite receiving FOIA requests which I also would have assumed to be OK (I had no idea personal FOIA requests contain unredacted information). I find it reasonable that he could have overlooked 250 unredacted requests among the 7000 he obtained.

I also don't find any problem with restoring the online services of a 15+ year old game whose services were terminated and platform abandoned by its creator.

What I think the focus should be on is intent. I agree with the publisher's point about monetization, but I don't think that by itself should be grounds for closing the doors on private or non-commercial public use.
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:46 am
quote : #8
profile : pm
Posts: 5889
Type: NTSC-U/C
My point was that its not about right or wrong, but about legal muscle, who has it, and how it can cause problems for the historical preservation of digital information. What seems like innocent preservation of files from an FOIA site, is now a 10 year prison charge.

Emulating a game server, even with the help and support of a former developer, to create a totally open source solution doesn't matter unless you are willing to exert the time, money, and legal resources to combat the company in court. History has proven few are willing or able to go this far. So when Blizzard torches repos off Github with DMCA claims, if one wants to persist the technology beyond the reach of the company, careful measures need to be taken on the part of those emulating server tech to ensure it lives on.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
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