Wired has a report on some new exemptions that will be added to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If you own game that needs to talk to a defunct authentication server in order for (offline) single player to function, you will be allowed to circumvent that mechanism. In addition, libraries and museums will be allowed to jailbreak consoles if doing so is necessary to get a game up and running on ancient hardware. The author reached out to Origin Museum curator Joe Garrity to get his take on the changes:
Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum -- a private collection dedicated to preserving the history of Origin Systems Inc. games such as Ultima and Wing Commander -- told WIRED that the ruling was "more about what gamers cannot do, rather than what they can do."
"The DMCA does not allow people to copy games. It does not allow gamers to play shut down MMOs. This is simply a ruling that allows an exemption to copyright law for the specific use of preservation by libraries and museums. While yes, a gamer can now legally back up their old games, they have to have a physical copy of that game, and they can only back it up for their own personal use. Anyone who thinks that they can now run free [Ultima Online] shards legally is mistaken".