New Japan Law Bans the Resale of Digital Games, Save File Modding Tools

New Japan Law Bans the Resale of Digital Games, Save File Modding Tools

Tough luck, G2A.

LizardRock by LizardRock on Jan 04, 2019 @ 09:53 AM (Staff Bios)
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New legislation will outlaw the resale of digital game keys in Japan, putting a complete stop to key resale services.

Reported by James Batchelor, Japan is introducing a revision to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act that would prevent resale of game keys without the creator's permission. It would also disallow sharing save game altering software or services.

Translated from Japanese, the amendments would ban the following three acts:
  • Distributing tools and programs for altering save data
  • Reselling software product keys online without the creator's permission
  • Offering services that modify save data on the customer's behalf
In short, you cannot sell game keys, you cannot share software for editing save data, and you cannot edit someone else's save data for them. Punishment for breaking these laws range from damage claims to five million yen and five years in jail.

The Unfair Competition Prevention Act of Japan recognizes data as a protect-able property, allowing creators and representatives to protect what people are and are not allowed to do in a public forum. While they cannot force people to stop modding their data, they're within their rights (in Japan) to limit the sharing of modification tools.

It's important to note that this will not affect official, authorized online stores, such as Steam. Any distributor that has formal permission for resale may continue to do so. Physical game stores, including retro and used game stores, are also unaffected, as this is in regard to digital sales.

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