The South Korean parliament has passed an amendment to a law on promoting the games industry that will make manufacturing and distributing programs that break the Terms of Service set forward by games companies.
This makes circumventing end-user license agreements (EULAs) a criminal act punishable with up to five years of jail time or a fine of 50 million KRW (£33500 or thereabouts.) This means creators of aimbots, scripters, hacking programs or other trainers banned by the ToS punishable with criminal charges.
This is a big step for gaming companies, who now won’t be forced to rely on obscure or indirect laws to try to punish makers and distributors of malicious programs, which will be a big benefit to eSports companies set up in Korea, particularly Blizzard Korea – Overwatch has seen a massive amount of hacking in the country and these new measures will give Blizzard a new weapon far more powerful than just handing out bans.
It’s also good news for players that aren’t in Korea, as many of the malicious programs are created for the demand seen in Korea, hopefully meaning that less will make their way to the global market, although it’s too early to say whether or not this will have any impact on the creators of hack software – it is after all, a lucrative industry and operations could merely shift overseas.
The rules change does unfortunately mean that making a non-malicious program that violates the Terms of Service in the form of certain mods could lead to jail time too, which is more troubling, but all in all it’s a positive step towards pushing back on hacking.