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View Full Version : The Unfair Competition Prevention Act Bans Save-Editing Programs and Editing Your Own Save Data - or Anyone Else's



Nz17
02-02-2019, 02:12 AM
Sometimes, I really hate what Nintendo, etc. get passed in Japan. First it was the banning of renting video games in the 1980's ("It'll destroy the market!" they cried.) and now it is the outlawing of the following:


Distributing tools and programs for altering save data
Offering services that modify save data on the customer's behalf
Selling serial numbers or product keys that are unauthorized by the maker of the software in online auctions

The last one about product keys I can understand, but banishing those other two is a very bad thing! If nothing else, imagine the legal precedent that this law sets. Corporations could basically argue that any program / app that they don't like which could be used to edit their proprietary file / data formats is now illegal! Actually this might also apply to common and open formats too...

The retribution for such now-illegal activities ranges from civil claims for damages to criminal fines of up to $45,000 USD equivalent, up to five years in prison, or both.

Thus products like the Pro Action Replay, Cyber Save Editor, etc. have been discontinued and outlawed there starting this year.

Source:
https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-01-03-reselling-game-keys-now-illegal-in-japan

Aussie2B
02-02-2019, 08:17 AM
It should be on the developers of competitive games to prevent cheating within their games. If they do a bad job of it, don't waste your time playing their game, same if they do a bad job with any other aspect of the game. But if it's a single-player game, people should be able to do whatever they damn well please with their save files.

WelcomeToTheNextLevel
02-03-2019, 11:32 PM
If a company wants to make money, make good games. Using the law to restrict our freedoms is the worst form of cheating. I'm glad we don't have that law in the USA.

Nintendo has and makes plenty of money.

Bypassing regional lockout shouldn't be illegal either. If you make a game that people in a certain market want, but don't make it available in that market, don't be surprised when people import.

WulfeLuer
02-04-2019, 02:20 AM
The third point involving product keys is understandable, but take the other two ideas, combine them with some of the more obnoxious DRM floating around out there and you could have some scary stuff for gamers and gaming. Imagine that your save data for Gungeon Crawler was being monitored by that 'always connected' DRM and for whatever reason your connection goes out, the game autosaves a bare few seconds after the connection loss and the DRM lockout. A case can be made that the data was altered without Big Company's approval, and by golly it must have been for shifty business!

Aussie2B
02-04-2019, 08:33 AM
Bypassing regional lockout shouldn't be illegal either. If you make a game that people in a certain market want, but don't make it available in that market, don't be surprised when people import.

Is that illegal anywhere? Obviously if you alter a system to play imports, you're voiding your warranty, if that still applies, but I've never heard of it being against the law anywhere. And, yeah, Japanese games say "For sale in Japan only" on them, but I don't think that's legally enforced either. For the US at least, it's perfectly fine to buy games while in Japan and bring them home with you, and it's also fine to order them and have them mailed from Japan to the US.

I do understand why the industry wants to discourage importing. There's no knowing when a game will be localized. Sometimes it's not even within the same gen as when the original version of a game came out. I mean, look at Monster World IV. It was originally released in 1994 in Japan and wasn't officially released in English until 2012. There are countless other games where years passed before a localization happened. When people don't wait for a localization and import (also when they emulate and use a fan translation), they often then have the mentality of "I've already played this game, so why would I buy/play it again?" when an official localization is announced. So localizers lose sales to importing. I'm not say people shouldn't import, and I'm not going to stop either (but I also make it a point to support localizers), but I get why the industry prefers that people buy games released in their own region.

Rickstilwell1
03-04-2019, 01:45 PM
I was wondering if that means stores can no longer sell old cheat devices for old systems to the USA from Japan on ebay. Like Gameshark for PS1. Was that ever released in Japan?

Niku-Sama
03-06-2019, 07:44 PM
just think about the wins we have had in the states recently though.

in all honesty how is this enforceable?
i imagine they need probable cause in japan for search and seizure still...

gbpxl
03-13-2019, 06:56 AM
Japans government/economy is propped up by the tech industry and they are at their bidding. Its kind of like how gun manufacturers are here in the States.

Edmond Dantes
03-14-2019, 02:12 PM
Considering Japan's history, I'm not surprised they would pass a law like this.

Nz17
03-15-2019, 06:12 AM
Considering Japan's history, I'm not surprised they would pass a law like this.

What do you mean?

Zthun
03-18-2019, 12:44 AM
Good ol' esports. This should be hardly surprising.

Edmond Dantes
03-29-2019, 04:23 AM
What do you mean?

Sorry I'm late answering this question, I've had internet issues for almost the entire month and they only got fixed yesterday afternoon. I also forgot this topic.

And what I mean is Japan was never really a country about civil rights or personal freedoms. Historically they (And most Asian countries really) have been all about the authority. The emperor being divine and all that, and going so far as to consider it heavenly or virtuous to kiss up to authority no matter how bad said authority is.

To put it another way... let's not forget whose side they were on in World War II.