Yin Harn Lee (Sheffield University) not only guides us through the articles of the Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, but also provides an insightful analysis of the history behind this Directive. He discusses how the initial objectives gradually disappeared to the background and the Directive became the present often-debated regulatory instrument. Keywords: copyright, enforcement, intellectual property rights, trade marks
Yin Harn Lee
Despite the economic and cultural importance of videogames, the copyright issues they raise under UK and European copyright law have yet to be the focus of sustained legal enquiry. As a response to this, the present chapter aims to highlight those areas of copyright law that are most significant for legal scholars with an interest in videogames, to provide an overview of the existing literature within each of these areas and to suggest avenues for further research. It focuses on the following six areas: the protection and classification of videogames as copyright subject matter; ‘game cloning’, or the replication of a videogame’s design and gameplay using different software, graphical and sound elements; the resale of ‘used’ digital copies of videogames; technological protection measures applied to videogames; issues surrounding the preservation of videogames; and videogame-related user-generated content.
Yin Harn Lee
The continued accessibility of older videogames is threatened by the obsolescence of the hardware and software platforms on which they operate and the degradation of the physical media on which they are stored. This has made videogame preservation a topic of increasing concern to cultural heritage institutions. However, established preservation techniques, such as migration and emulation, raise numerous issues under copyright law, as they implicate rightholders' exclusive rights as well as protections against the circumvention of TPMs. This is exacerbated by the difficulty of locating the rightholders for a given videogame. Notwithstanding this, cultural heritage institutions may still take advantage of some flexibilities within the current copyright framework, in particular the exceptions relating to reverse engineering, decompilation, cultural preservation and orphan works, in order to begin the work of videogame preservation. In the longer term, it may be necessary for the sector to collaborate more closely with the videogame industry and to lobby for legislative reform.