Interoperability for games is fundamentally flawed reasoning
Posted Aug 24, 2005 19:43 UTC (Wed) by Ross
In reply to: Interoperability for games is fundamentally flawed reasoning
Parent article: On the defense of piracy enablers
I replied to a very similar message from you on this subject via email, and you failed to address the points I made rebutting your statements.
First of all, I do not view a game server and a game client as a single work. Therefore there is a very real reason to be talking about "between". Saying that a game protocol doesn't communicate between two different things is astoundingly silly -- that's the very purpose of network protocols.
You seem to want to apply different rules based on the domain of the communication. I see no need to do so. Remember, we are talking about copyright over computer programs. What the programs do have nothing to do with the legitimacy of their copyright. Unless you are claiming that things like office applications have no creative or expressive value, which I personally do not.
Your laundry list of "negative effects" is moot. I could address each of them but there is no point. The "negative effects" have no legal force in the debate. I could say that Microsoft puslishing Windows XP has had dozens of negative effects. That does not and should not allow me to use the legal process against them.
Things like cheating are problems, but they are not something which copyright is designed or intended to prevent. Trying to bootstrap the temporary exclusive rights granted by a copyright to include things outside of those rights is not only unfair, unworkable, but is abuse of copyright. As I explained copyright protects the work (your client and your server), but does not guarantee protection against other works by forbidding them to exist.
I fail to see the point about Blizzard's relunctance to use copy protection technologies (I see you have corrected your statement since writing it in email), but they have used them, for example, forcing the CD to remain in the drive at all times during game play for absolutely no reason. Copy protection is not user-friendly. Saying that Battle.net is both a de-facto copy control and that it was intended as one are mutually exclusive statements. And if it was intended to be one or not is beside the point. If I say that the lack of a certain Web browser to read this site is a control over who can read this comment I do not suddenly get the force of law to prevent that browser from being fixed or for other browsers to be used. Copyrights are not to protect business models, they are about the progress of the arts and sciences through the growth of the public domain through incentives via the grant of temporary molopolies. Bad business models will eventually be replaced by better ones, and will fail with or without the additional rights granted in your proposed law.
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