Digital liberty advocates want the right to resurrect old online games

It's great that many games have strong online components, but there's a dark side to that connectedness: if the developers (or their partners) shut down necessary servers, those titles are likely to break. You won't have to worry about your favorite game going dark if the Electronic Frontier Foundation has its way, however. The liberty-minded advocacy group has filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act exemption request with the Library of Congress that would give Americans the right to keep online play alive in old, abandoned games by modifying the code to point to unofficial services. While the request wouldn't cover games where most of the content is stored online, it would address single-player releases that demand internet-based activation just to run.

The Library has yet to respond to the request, but it may be more open to the idea than you think. The DMCA already includes clauses that allow reverse engineering in the name of preservation, and archivists have already argued that game creators should provide their content in easily readable formats. It's easy to see the Library allowing homebrew servers for the sake of the historical record, even if game studios aren't always fond of people messing with their code. You'll know who to thank if you can still sign on to Destiny a decade or two from now.

[Image credit: Supastarrio, YouTube]