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Copyright exemption lets you modify old games to keep them running

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You no longer have to dread the day that a game developer shuts off its servers and renders your favorite title unplayable. As part of a series of DMCA copyright exemptions, the US Library of Congress has granted long-sought permission to disable authentication server requirements in games where a server's shutdown will completely break the experience. Historians can even hack the consoles themselves, if necessary. This doesn't allow you to tweak games where you'd only lose multiplayer modes, but it does mean that at least some aspects of a classic game will live on.

There are other important reforms, too. There's now an exemption that permits bypassing access restrictions to fix and modify cars, so long as you're not touching the entertainment or telematics software. You'll also have to wait a year after the regulation takes effect to get cracking. Beyond this, the Library has expanded its jailbreaking exemption to include wearable devices and tablets. The US still isn't a fair use paradise, but you're less likely to flout the law while tinkering with the devices and software you paid for.

[Image credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]

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