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Japan makes it illegal to mod consoles and save games

Thaldor
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Source: Gamespot

             Act (in Japanese)

 

Unfair competition act was revealed in December in Japan. Now illegal in Japan:

Quote
  • ■ What has become illegal under the revision of the law 
    All the following acts become illegal competition and become illegal
  • Act 1: Transfer of tools and programs to remodel saved data of game software etc. 
  • Act 2: Serial code and product key that software maker does not license alone 
    Sell it on Internet auction, etc. or post it on the internet 
  • Act 3: Perform remodeling of save data, substitute remodeling of game machines

As of wording for the translation it seems that this doesn't only concern selling said products or services but just making them available. Affected are products like Action Replay, Cyber Save Editor, RetroArch (used to add games and mod Nintendo Classic consoles), clearly extends to general console modding tools (Jungle Flasher comes first mind, because modded Xbox 360) and so on.

 

Even more alarming is the second node that bundles product key distribution without developers permission as bad as modding save files and/or consoles. It most probably makes services like G2A and Kinguin (note from OP: don't support them, stay away and in clearly legal sources) illegal in Japan but might also touch just normal game trading like giving your friends product keys gained from Humble or IndieGala for products that you already have illegal (because you don't have developers permission to do so). As now it's quite hard to say how far this will reach and hopefully this doesn't reach as far as making it illegal to gift digital games, but only time will tell.

 

These acts are punishable with 5 million yen fines (about $46,000) and/or 5 years in jail depending on the severity of offence.

 

Personally I see there's a good basement there, making services like G2A and Kinguin illegal because they are not the most clearly legal places to get games and software in general. Modding consoles is also kind of grey area for me, like I do have soft modded Xbox 360 and I might have downloaded some "Linux Distributions" from "Sweden" for my Xbox 360 and I know how that stands in front of law, also adding quite possibly illegally gained ROMs to classic consoles is what it is, but then again there's situations where console modding is far from illegal like modding your PS3 so that you can use it as Linux machine or generally modding your console to do something it can do but wasn't really build to do and then there are the homebrew games (knowing how expensive and serious console game development can be, I can really see some indie developers modding their own consoles to try out their own developments before deciding going more serious and getting the developer statuses and dev kits). Save game hecking/editing goes couple hundred kilometers over my head, like yeah, you could unlock DLCs and stuff with them and gain advances, but rarely you can do it so that it would affect anything else than single-player games (online and multiplayer game hacking usually is direct memory hacking meaning editing bytes in RAM, like trainers do). Of course there are cases where save game data may affect the multiplayer gameplay, but out of my head only Borderlands and partially MGSV come to my mind and then the games that make me put my tinfoil hat on, Pokemon at least on Nintendos handhelds, but there you need to do some console modding before you can start playing around the save game data and even then you really need to know what you are doing so you won't be catched and banned from tournaments.


E: Changed the quote from Siliconera/Gamespot translation to one from @Syntaxvgm

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How interesting.

 

Given how huge consoles are in Japan I'm not surprised they're the country that decided to do something about it, but it still seems a bit.. overly harsh. I can understand not allowing to profit from mods (though even that is legally and morally grey imo), but free software should be available and allowed to private users.

I can understand tournaments and stuff, but that's already regulated anyway

 

I'm very interested in the reactions of the Japanese gaming community about this ruling.

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Illegal to modify a device you own to play games offline that affect no one. 

 

Kay. 

 

muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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12 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

Illegal to modify a device you own to play games offline that affect no one. 

 

Kay. 

 

from how i understand it, it's not illegal to mod you own console, it's illegal if you offer the service to mod someone's console and charge money for it.

 

Appears as though i was wrong, OP might need to link a better source

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Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

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6 minutes ago, Arika S said:

from how i understand it, it's not illegal to mod you own console, it's illegal if you offer the service to mod someone's console and charge money for it.

■ What has become illegal under the revision of the law 
All the following acts become illegal competition and become illegal 
Act 1: Transfer of tools and programs to remodel saved data of game software etc. 
Act 2: Serial code and product key that software maker does not license alone 
Sell it on Internet auction, etc. or post it on the internet 
Act 3: Perform remodeling of save data, substitute remodeling of game machines 
 

 

It's illegal to modify or makes and transfer tools that modify save files or other parts. 

http://www2.accsjp.or.jp/activities/2018/pr6.php

muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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3 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

■ What has become illegal under the revision of the law 
All the following acts become illegal competition and become illegal 
Act 1: Transfer of tools and programs to remodel saved data of game software etc. 
Act 2: Serial code and product key that software maker does not license alone 
Sell it on Internet auction, etc. or post it on the internet 
Act 3: Perform remodeling of save data, substitute remodeling of game machines 
 

 

It's illegal to modify or makes and transfer tools that modify save files or other parts. 

http://www2.accsjp.or.jp/activities/2018/pr6.php

OP should of posted that source instead.

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Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

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1 minute ago, Arika S said:

OP should of posted that source instead.

yes it's more clear what's happening here. Image they did this for say stuff like Windows instead of games. Tools to make windows 10 less shitty like winarea tweaker would be illegal to distribute. 

muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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2 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

yes it's more clear what's happening here. Image they did this for say stuff like Windows instead of games. Tools to make windows 10 less shitty like winarea tweaker would be illegal to distribute. 

that would be crazy. i can only imagine this was done because it was pushed by Nintendo, they have always had issues with people hacking their consoles to load custom ROMs to play any game you can download, more so than any other console manufacturer

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Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

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Disgusting. It's as if audio editors were illegal because you could modify copyrighted music with them.

24 minutes ago, Thaldor said:

Modding consoles is also kind of grey area for me, like I do have soft modded Xbox 360 and I might have downloaded some "Linux Distributions" from "Sweden" for my Xbox 360 and I know how that stands in front of law, also adding quite possibly illegally gained ROMs to classic consoles is what it is, but then again there's situations where console modding is far from illegal like modding your PS3 so that you can use it as Linux machine or generally modding your console to do something it can do but wasn't really build to do and then there are the homebrew games (knowing how expensive and serious console game development can be, I can really see some indie developers modding their own consoles to try out their own developments before deciding going more serious and getting the developer statuses and dev kits).

Honestly, if I buy a piece of hardware what I do to it should be my own damn business. It's fair play to ban my online account, after all a mod could allow me to cheat, but that's it. From how this is worded it looks like I couldn't even replace the power button with an RGB one... not that I would want to, but you get my point.

 

And the same goes for game codes; if I buy a game from a store, then decide to resell it and/or its key it should be my right to do so. Selling counterfeit or stolen keys is already illegal, so there is no good reason for this.

29 minutes ago, Thaldor said:

Save game hecking/editing goes couple hundred kilometers over my head, like yeah, you could unlock DLCs and stuff with them and gain advances, but rarely you can do it so that it would affect anything else than single-player games (online and multiplayer game hacking usually is direct memory hacking meaning editing bytes in RAM, like trainers do).

This """problem""" would solve itself if they didn't ship games with paywalled content already sitting on the disc. Day one DLC is ridiculous to begin with, "DLC" that is already on the disc but requires you to pay to be unlocked is asinine. And let's not forget, pirates won't care about this. What they're doing is already illegal.

 

This is just an excuse to hold your save files for ransom and sell you stupid cloud save services you don't need.

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As tech savvy as Japan is...... Why are consoles so big over there compared to PC gaming?

 

You'd think that would be the epicenter of PC gaming really.

 

Also f**k this law, yaaaar matey!

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11 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

■ What has become illegal under the revision of the law 
All the following acts become illegal competition and become illegal 
Act 1: Transfer of tools and programs to remodel saved data of game software etc. 
Act 2: Serial code and product key that software maker does not license alone 
Sell it on Internet auction, etc. or post it on the internet 
Act 3: Perform remodeling of save data, substitute remodeling of game machines 
 

 

It's illegal to modify or makes and transfer tools that modify save files or other parts. 

http://www2.accsjp.or.jp/activities/2018/pr6.php

Adding and editing the post. I don't understand Japanese so I'm bound to translations and most of the news about this use the translation that I quoted from Siliconera.

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I don't buy nasty fake modded consoles. Thankfully I can get all my favourite games on my Souja Boy console legally, don't need to mod any console to get that quality!

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26 minutes ago, Trik'Stari said:

As tech savvy as Japan is...... Why are consoles so big over there compared to PC gaming?

 

You'd think that would be the epicenter of PC gaming really.

 

implying that tech savvy people should only be playing on PC is tip toeing into the "PCMR" circle which makes no sense. you can be tech savvy and still only play games on console.

If all i games i played were available on console, i would probably primarily play that so i dont have to worry about specs of my PC and if i need to upgrade to get the best out of the game, worrying if my CPU is the issue, or the GPU. I would be perfectly content with playing on console and just have a tablet/laptop for my computer/browsing needs. But alas, that likely will not happen.

 

Arcades & console parlors very common in Japan, much more so than they are in the west. so they will stick with the hardware they are most familiar with if they want to play at home. Japanese publishers very rarely port their games across to PC because the console market is so big in japan. since most people play on console, there's little to no reason to play on PC if you want to play with friends.

 

There's also a vast majority of games on steam do not have Japanese as an option, if you cant understand a game, you wont play it.

 

Another aspect being that some of the more popular genre's in japan, JRPGs, Dating sims, Visual Novels, fighting games etc are primarily made as console exclusives. they only make their way onto PC when they are brought over to the west since there's very little market and therefore profitability in Japan for PC games.

 

and now with mobile gaming taking off in Japan, there's even less reason for developers to release anything on PC

 

Generally the only games that you will find are primarily played on PC in japan are MMOs but with something like FF14 also being on console they likely will play mostly on that

 

EDIT: there is also a bad stigma attached to people who game on PC, and nobody wants a bad stigma in Japan due to their culture. If you game on the PC you’re not one of the "flock", you’re an outsider, and nobody wants an “outsider” tag attached to them

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25 minutes ago, Arika S said:

that would be crazy. i can only imagine this was done because it was pushed by Nintendo, they have always had issues with people hacking their consoles to load custom ROMs to play any game you can download, more so than any other console manufacturer

I also put my tinfoil hat on for Nintendo pushing this, because Nintendo seems to be the most affected one. Like modding Switch is something but Nintendo has had problems with modding since forever because they are not that wise (anyone remember R4-cartridges for Nintendo DS and 3DS?). Mainly that's why I added Pokemon there, because... let's just say that I have gone through quite some hoops to have my Mew in every Pokemon game that I have bought (he's been a good companion since original Blue and gained without hacking, although keeping him with me has taken quite a lot of hacking).

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Buys next gen console, reads laws "its illegal now"...  mods his console and saves games anyway, no one ever finds out... so much for illegal

 

 

 

drm is cancer

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so basically everything that made akihabara big 

One day I will be able to play Monster Hunter Frontier in French/Italian/English on my PC, it's just a matter of time... 4 5 6 7 8 9 years later: It's finally coming!!!

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2 hours ago, yian88 said:

Buys next gen console, reads laws "its illegal now"...  mods his console and saves games anyway, no one ever finds out... so much for illegal

 

 

 

drm is cancer

If you're only playing local games sure the chances of you being found are really slim. I think this is more aimed at online games.

 

In the UK, until Oct 2014, it was illegal to transfer music from cd  you brought to your pc/phone/iPod due to the copywrite law.

 

I haven't found any cases where a person was actually prosecuted under thst section because like you said how would they know?

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As if it would stop US/Chinese hackers.

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I do not give a fuck! I live in a country where 98% of computers run on pirated windows. Even government has pirated windows. Pirated programs, movies, music, games and so on. Here no one gives a shit what you do with your computer. This is how it must be in the world! Here everything works great here.

 

You buy windows key and EVERY SINGLE UPDATE does something wrong. Either deletes your files, resets settings, reinstalls programs and ads that YOU have deleted, and so on. It's laughable how insecure you are! I have only bought 14 games in my life. Have spent about 30$ (on steam summer sale) There is no way in hell i would spend anything else on any software, let alone windows. Windows is shit, spyware, malware, fuck MS. I use linux 8 years already, 4 years ONLY linux, before i had dual boot.

Computer users fall into two groups:
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.

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Corporations payed for this. *sniff sniff*

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Yeah... They can simply fuck themself. I bought a PS2 Slim and it is in my damn right to do whatever I want. I mean, they already have received their fucking money!!!! And I also have Action Replay Max and no one is getting hurt and it stays offline! WTF do they want more????

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