Japan Makes It Illegal For Distribute Save Data Changes
Japan modders now face an extreme punishment of 5 years of imprisonment if save data is altered in anyway and Reselling Game CD Keys.
Japan has revised their “Unfair Competition Prevention Act” which serves as copyright protection for developers and manufactures of video game software and products. According to the revision which has been announced on the ACCS (The Association of Copyright for Computer Software) website, an exanpsion has been made to prevent the unauthorized copying or viewing of content that falls under the following categories; music, movies, game software, business software etc.
All the official info on the changes to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act is currently only in Japanese, but details have started to come out among English sources including RetroArch developer Brad Parker, Switch modder OatmealDome, and blog Nintendo Soup. The latter reports that potential punishments could include fines up to 5 million yen (just under $46,000 USD) or a prison sentence just under five years.
The restrictions on reselling game keys is potentially even more notable, at least for end users. Key resale has always been a gray area in the industry, but users could count on at least having the option to sell keys on an open market. With these laws in place, that’s a much riskier proposition for Japanese players.
The good news is that this law applies exclusively to Japan, so the rest of the world should be unaffected. It does highlight the potential dangers we could face going forward though, particularly as platform holders further seek to clamp down on any and all opportunities for piracy or the reselling of games and keys.