Japan has revised its Unfair Competition Prevention Act, introducing several changes which will significantly affect the modding scene and, potentially, several wider gaming circles, too.
Essentially, game save editors and console-modding services are now declared illegal, with offenders potentially facing fines of up to five million yen or imprisonment for up to five years, as well as the reselling of game keys which are not authorised by the software owner. As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, official information on the changes is only available in Japanese at present, but several translations all point towards the following three acts now being entirely banned:
- Distributing tools and programs for altering save data
- Selling serial numbers or product keys that are unauthorised by the maker of the software in online auctions
- Offering services that modify save data on the customer's behalf
The law appears to have been revised in order to help combat illegitimate serial code sales in online auctions, an act which has seen an increase in recent times, and also thanks to electronic data now being considered as something which should be protected by law. As well as impacting the reselling of unauthorised keys, products such as the Cyber Save Editor for PS4 and Action Replay devices (which can be used to input cheat codes to alter game saves) have reportedly been forcibly discontinued.
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