ESA Annual Report: Game Industry Policy to “Push Back” Against Fair Use

The ESA’s 2008 Annual Report indicates that the video game industry hopes to uphold the controversial Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) against critics who claim that it restricts Fair Use of copyrighted material.

Based on the following passage from the report, the industry’s position seems to be that gamers can create user-generated content only to the extent that in-game tools allow them to do so:

The interplay Between Fair Use and Digital Rights Management User generated content (UGC) is a high-profile policy issue in the copyright community, sparked by the phenomenal success of social networking sites like YouTube.


Influential policy papers from the U.K. IP Office and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) cite UGC as a tremendous social benefit of the Internet and call upon policymakers to tweak current legal regimes to better accommodate UGC. This issue has captured the imagination of critics of the current U.S. copyright system, who argue that Digital Rights Management restrictions confound legitimate fair use.


ESA IP Policy staff is bolstering its ability to push back against this assertion. In discussions with domestic and foreign IP officials and the OECD, ESA emphasized the rich and varied UGC-features currently incorporated into DRM-protected games.


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. j0k3r says:

    Thanks good job;

    Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing travesti or little and need to start saving costs. and dizi izle


    Now I don’t have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

    Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

    Wait… I think that sounds like a good idea.

    But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God’s Sake… least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

  2. oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  3. ZippyDSMlee says:


    The more they try to restrict content to the “chip’d” paying customers the more the customers are going to remove the middle man (retail packages) and consume thing a bit differently, you’re not going to lose much if anything in a consumer driven market by having a full fair use and gray zone for people to play in, look at the money sony is making from DVD burners and blank media, they want their soylent green cake and eat it too yet refuse to let consumers have alil leeway, to that I say AARRGG MATTEY!


    The trouble is pulling a hypocritical hippie does not work so well when you have record profits in the industries your are “protesting”….


    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  4. Zero Beat ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    OMG, PIRATE!  Kidding, kidding.  This is about more than piracy.  This is about buying stuff and then not being able to use said stuff however you want as long as it doesn’t cause direct harm to another person or another person’s property.  As far as I can tell, the one’s causing harm (such as crashing computers) are the purveyors of DRM.

    Their strategy to recoup the losses from piracy are not to stop the pirates, it’s to ream their paying customers.

  5. TheEggplant ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t think everyone here is quite grasping the far-reaching  hand of the above statement. They aren’t just talking about backups but also modding. They basically want the the law behind them if someone comes out with a mod for a game that the publisher doesn’t like. Some of these independent projects us other tools besides ones that came with the games and so could fall under this umbrella. I believe this is the real reason EA cancelled Madden on the PC, because the hardcore fans were providing a better product than they wanted to.

    This is exactly why I and many others rail against DRM. Yet people on messages boards, many on this very one, and journalists continue to take the attitude that these corporations are justified in their actions. These people seem to think that these HUGE businesses will stop just because they know there is a point when they cross over from protecting their livelyhood to totally reaming their customers. One more time: NO THEY WON’T! They will take and take and as long as hardly anyone stands up to them with consumer purchasing power they will take everything.

    Yet you can’t make such statements without being shouted down as a pirate. This, like most issues, isn’t a duel-point view. Whey you scream against piracy it is a safe bet that the corporations definition is far broader than yours.

  6. Alteffor says:

    I used to like the ESA, they used to stand up for their rights. Now they’re standing against the rights of citizens.

  7. Alex ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Need to get a login account so I can use the edit button…

    Stardock is definitely a good example of a successful company that relies on exactly zero copy protection. They were proven a success with GalCivII, as I recall.

  8. Alex ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    ^What he said. I own all of those games legitimately. They have a CD key and that’s it. Heck, the expansions for Starcraft and Diablo don’t even HAVE CD keys.

  9. Mycroft says:

    Actually, when renting the only people who get paid are the stores.

    For movie rentals; stores are forced to buy copies that are over 3 times more exspensive than the ones normal citizens can buy.  Publishers have no system set up like this.  Thus, one "sale" to a rental store is often the loss of multiple sales.

  10. Brokenscope says:

    Valve has steam, blizzard provides a multiplayer only game.

    Not the best examples.

    Better example. Stardock released Sins of a solar empire with no DRM or Copy protection what so ever. Rather sucessful game.

  11. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, ’cause I’m sure the only way to combat piracy is by treating every customer as a potential criminal.  Smooth moves ESA.

    Notice how the companies that support these measures are those whose games had lackluster sales, like Crytek?  They act as if piracy is the reason that they didn’t make so much money rather than, you know, pumping out a graphically demanding game with mediocre gameplay.

    Yet companies that have wildly successful IPs, such as Valve and Blizzard, don’t seem to need to resort to such draconian methods.  Interesting how that works…

  12. shady8x says:

    So Fair Use Rigths are nothing more than piracy?

    While every other industry has realised that we no longer live in the industrial age where you could just make stuff and people would buy it, the game software industry doesn’t seem to have realised this yet…

    All other industries are investing heavily into CRMs customer relationship management databases so they could personalise and improve experiences for all their customers, in the mean time ESA members have decided to adopt an us vs them mentality. As in the game publishers/makers vs customers(pirates are unaffected by this fight)…

    They battle their PAYING customers at every turn by infecting/brekaing their computers and keeping them from any chance of a bug free product or in some cases from using the product they PURCHASED at all… By doing this the notorius pirates that where once known as untrusworthy and virus spreadking, have become the only way to get a bug free experience… this is a bad thing but oh well…

    So what is the result, the publishers/makers are succeeding in theit war against customers, then they complain about decreased sales… gee I wonder why the sales are low…

    Lets have an equvalent example:

    You come in to a store and buy something, the clerk/owner sells you the item(with inflated price) then tells you that you must spend about 10 times as much on something else just to use it and that you can only use the item 5 times, then as you are about to leave, the clerk/owner pulls out a gun and strip searches you to make sure you didn’t steal anything… the next day you walk buy the store and see some guy handing out better items for free from the back of his truck.

    Do you take those items, walk by or go into the store for its ‘Unique’ experience? and then the clerk/owner starts calling the cops on you because you are obviously the one destroying his business…

    Personally, I would walk by but I don’t think most people would go in… and guess where some others would go?

  13. gs2005 says:

    Color me surprised…NOT.

    The ESA can go to hell for all I care, along with "Hollywood Howard Berman."

  14. Nick says:

    I make movies/games for a living and there’s nothing more obnoxious than the DMCA. The DMCA is what happens when old slow media companies can’t function anymore and need to sue to stay afloat. They lobby for an unfair law that limits people’s rights then shout "Ahah! See! You’re all trying to kill our business!" when it’s really their lack of innovation that is killing them. The DMCA is the dieing breath of old media.

    The fact of the matter is, they can make breathing illegal but there’s no way to enforce it. When you make an act like the DMCA which is far to broad and unwavering you end up with the same problems as they had during prohibition in the US. You end up with people who are essentially moonshiners making profit off something you made illegal (like ripping DVDs and to another extent the ad revenue collected by piracy sites).

    The ESA shouldn’t be wasting it’s money defending the DMCA. It should be adamantly looking for an alternative.

  15. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Technically, if you knowingly purchase or download a copy of a game with intent to never purchase the game legally, you are a pirate. The key word being "knowingly". Someone who buys or is given a game from a friend with out knowing that it is a pirate copy is not committing piracy. That is comparable to someone buying a tv from a pawn shop that ended up being stolen.

    But there are varying levels of pircay. Each more malicious than the last.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  16. mogbert says:

    Yeah, there are three issues here.

    1. Piracy

    2. Fair Use

    3. DRM

    These are not one issue. Piracy isn’t Fair Use. The opposite of Piracy isn’t DRM. DRM ONLY affects legitimate users. The Pirates have DRM stripped in a matter of hours.Fair Use isn’t in either of these subjects. Fair Use is like web videos of kewl tricks, glitches, or how to get past hard bosses. We’ve already had one video sharing service pulling all game footage because it might have problems. Putting up a 50% of a TV show or a movie might fall under piracy, but putting up a NON-INTERACTIVE video clip of 1% of a game shouldn’t set off anyones piracy alarm.

    And now that you mention it, I still believe there is a difference between real Piracy and Copy Right Infringement. One is selling someone else’s product which was illegally duplicated for personal gain, thus taking sales away from the original owners, the other is usually from people who wouldn’t have paid for it in the first place. Since actual Piracy requires the end users to still pay for stuff, be it movie, music, or video games, then you are removing actual customers from the pool. It’s often done by organized crime, and often done without the end user knowing what they purchased isn’t official. Copy Right Infringement is often done by young people, lending a CD to a friend, or in the olden days with a tape recorder and a radio. It’s low end, it doesn’t have a 1:1 ratio of lost sales.

    It’s the difference between a parking ticket and vehicular manslaughter. But to get support for one, they often mix it together with the other.

  17. Binarygeek ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So now I can expect what when I buy new titles? more intrusive anti-piracy measures when I pay for a game? more problems because of said measures? or I don’t actually "own" the software since I can only install it a limited amount of times on my own system. Wow, way to consider the consumers’ wants and needs ESA, and you wonder why you’re losing members, but hey, you still have a few publishers left as members…for now

  18. Keith K says:

    Someone should tell them that battling fair use means fighting their legitimate customers. That’s about the stupidest thing you could do.

    You should be doing more to expand the perameters of fair use and making it easier for people to use THEIR media in more ways with fewer restriction. The best way to increase sales is by incentive. Give paying customers value for their purchase. Reward them. Don’t make piracy the best option available.

    It seems so logical to me.. but I guess I dont stand to exploit millions of dollars from honest paying customers, so my perspective may be skewed.

  19. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    Basically, every last solution they give involves giving them more money. You want a backup? Buy another copy. Want to try it first? Rent it so we get some of the money.

  20. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I am as big a fan of the DMCA as the rest of the readers here (ie not much) I do understand their concerns over piracy and wish the best of luck in battling it. I battle it myself. I don’t condone nor do I like piracy. I tell that to everyone I know.

    What I don’t like are methods used to "fight" piracy that intrude on my personal actions with products I have legally purchased. I don’t like intrusive DRM that has the possibility to break my computer and doesn’t offer any benefit to me the legal puchaser. Being able to install my legally purchased game 3 times does not benefit me. Dialing home everytime I play the game does not benefit me. Offering me patches and DLC does benefit me, although, I would prefer games to not need to be patched.

    I don’t like not being able to back up my legally purchased games incase the real disk gets damaged. It was said by someone in the movie industry that they feel that being able to buy another copy at the store should be back up enough. Not likely.

    I do like being able to try a game before I buy it. Trailers and reviews can only go so far. It is the gameplay that sells me on a game. Not the graphics. Graphics only peak my interest. It is the gameplay that reels me in. If I cannot try out the gameplay before buying a game, I am less likely to ever buy the game. Give me a demo so that I can try the game before buying it. I don’t think renting a game for $8 is a good enough replacement for a good demo.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  21. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    Ok ESA, we get it, you freakin hate those who make sure you get paid. You don’t need to keep proving it.

Comments are closed.