Video Game Exec Wants DMCA Everywhere

from the some-people-are-never-satisfied dept

CNET is reporting that Entertainment Software Association president Mike Gallagher argued in a recent speech that "very few countries follow the path of the DMCA." Which is a bit of a head scratcher; the EU passed its version of the DMCA in 2001, CAFTA included provisions requiring that Central American countries adopt the DMCA, and the US has also signed "free trade" deals requiring adoption of a DMCA clone with Chile, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, and other countries. Japan has a limited DMCA. Canada doesn't have a DMCA yet but politicians there are hard at work trying to change that. Now obviously, that doesn't encompass the whole world, but it certainly encompasses the most important markets where video games are concerned. What Gallagher doesn't mention is that the DMCA has had a stifling effect on third-party experimentation with videogame consoles. Console makers have pretty much been able to lock their consoles down so that only "authorized" software manufacturers could produce games. It wasn't always that way. Some of the most important precedents concerning reverse engineering and copyright law arose from the creation of unauthorized games for consoles in the late 1980s. Back then, courts held that third-parties didn't need the console manufacturers' permission to create games for their consoles. Now, thanks in part to the DMCA, it's much harder for third parties create unauthorized games for modern consoles. That harms consumers by limiting competition in the video game market.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Kiba, Oct 4th, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    Why would you want to do that?

    It limit your market size when you don't let everyone who want to produce games can.

    I am puzzled by idiotic CEOs who think more restriction on stuff lead to more profits. I have no idea why incompetent people are promoted to run businesses.

    I supposed when you're big and have a marketing budget the size 100 salaried workers, it is easy.

     

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  2.  
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    chris (profile), Oct 4th, 2007 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    it's not about increasing profit, it's about consolidation of wealth.

    see, a small pie shared by only a few players means it's easy to keep control of the pie because there you only have to collude with one or two other players to control the majority.

    a big pie shared by many competing players means that you can't control the pie, regardless of big your slice is, because you have to collude with many players in order to control the majority. it's hard enough to get one competitor to collude with you, let alone 3 or 4.

    open platforms are open to competition, and everyone but the consumer hates competition.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2007 @ 12:36pm

    I'll laugh when someone makes an unrestricted console and helps unknown developers get their games out on it and reaps in the profits. Not only will they have spent less on their console (not paying for the research and implementation of restriction technologies) but as everyone who is fed up with stuff like the DMCA flock to it, as long as the games are passing decent.

     

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  4.  
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    Danny, Oct 4th, 2007 @ 1:36pm

    Re:

    That would be funny indeed. If an open source console released it almost be like going back to the 80s when literally anything could be passed for a video game. But that would be countered by the fact that word gets out a lot faster with professional and non professional reviewers being everywhere now, thus saving people the agony of paying top dollar for a game that is bottom of the barrell.

    However if something like that were to happen I would very much hope that the party behind this open source console has their legal stuff in check. And one more thing. Most stores that sell games won't touch AO titles which mean they are paying attention to the ESRB. If the developers who make games for this console don't go to the ESRB for review they could find themselves with out any brick and mortar shelf space.

     

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  5.  
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    Kyros, Oct 4th, 2007 @ 1:42pm

    Peter Principal

    The Peter Principal, or quoting from wikipedia, "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."

    This is clearly what has happened here with the majority of Game industry CEO's. Hopefully, it is purely a matter of time before we have the linux of the game console world.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2007 @ 2:23pm

    They don't make money on consoles, the real revenue is in the games.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    mkam, Oct 5th, 2007 @ 6:04am

    Re:

    'll laugh when someone makes an unrestricted console and helps unknown developers get their games out on it and reaps in the profits.




    I thought that Microsoft was trying to do this with XNA platform and the XBOX. The idea being you can develop a game and get it featured on live, or something like that. I don't have a 360 but I thought this was going on.

     

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  8.  
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    jLl, Oct 5th, 2007 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re:

    I thought that Microsoft was trying to do this with XNA platform and the XBOX. The idea being you can develop a game and get it featured on live, or something like that. I don't have a 360 but I thought this was going on.

    XNA Games get listed with the demos on the console. But, yeah, that's the idea.

    It's already built up a decent sized development community and has had quite a few contests for "Featured" spots on XBox Live.

     

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


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