Publishers of games that have an online component may be forced to hand them over to gamers if they cease to support them.
Gamasutra reports that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed legal paper seeking six exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, one of which seeks exemptions for games "that are no longer supported by the developer, and that require communication with a server".
If approved, the result would be that gamers would be legally allowed access to the code of games that have had their servers shut off for the purposes of "continued play, preservation, research, or study".
The claim legally hangs off the fact that server communication protocols are not covered by copyright protection.
MMOs with a ‘persistent world’ are not included in the legal paper.