Petition Closed

Include clause for older versions of online games for archival and preservation.

This petition had 1,236 supporters

Currently the DMCA clause for fair use on "orphan works"(Currently, US copyright law does not recognize the term or concept of "abandonware" while the general concept "orphan works" is recognized, henceforth "Orphan works" will be called abandon-ware) does not include server emulation for MMO games. (Article on current archiving allowed)  ( saving apple II games.)( saves almost all windows 3.1 programs) This petition is to revise the current clause to allow non-profit organizations to emulate server side abandon-ware for preservation, educational, and archival purposes. Abandon-ware is defined by software/games that are no longer supported by the copyright owners.

Currently the only Archival process to experience these older versions of a game companies no longer support is to break current copyright laws. I will use two very popular subjects: World of Warcraft and RuneScape. These two games have evolved over their years of existence. The underdog understood some players want to experience the older version of the game no longer supported (abandon-ware). Instead of throwing a DMCA at the private server, they instead listened to their fan base and made RS2007. Blizzard on the other hand (Copyright owner of World of Warcraft) condemns bringing the abandoned code and software back to life for the fan base. (Forum post on staff's idea on legacy servers) (Developer's standpoint on it).

I urge a clause in the current fair use for non-profit organizations to preserve these games in their old state for not just nostalgia purposes, but as archival, preservation and research purposes since the owner of the content doesn't want to take a stand on making them. It would be horrid for a previous state of an MMO be lost in time. I would be as bad as Atari burying every copy of E.T. they could so no one knew the history of a game.

This is what Blizzard is doing is trying to make their legacy of an ever evolving game have it's old content be lost in time instead of allowing some sort of archive for players to experience how the game evolved. This doesn't limit just to World of Warcraft. Not having this archival clause would allow a bunch of older MMOs that have closed down due to resource issues, loss of profits and other factors make their games also be lost in time due to the current Fair use clause not allowing server emulation of said games.

As it stands right now, there is no legal way for someone to experience the older MMOs until a clause for fair use is put into place. I agree, no one should make money off the reproduction of abandon-ware, but non-profit organizations will get DMCA shutdowns with the law the way it is now. is one of these non-profits that wanted to just archive and preserve the game in one of it's previous states and recently got a DMCA even though they made no money and never wanted to make money.

Today: Michael is counting on you

Michael Sullinger needs your help with “Linda S. Geisler Chief, U.S./Anglo Division Library of Congress Washington, D.C. 20540-4270: Include clause for older versions of online games for archival and preservation.”. Join Michael and 1,235 supporters today.