As near as I can tell, all it does is let you edit locally stored game data files - to lower a boss's stats and so on. Why this is illegal, I have no idea. JP news reports all mention "bypassing data protection", so I guess that means the data files were encrypted (for some value of "encrypted"). But according to the app's instructions it works on non-jailbroken iOS, so it's not like it's defeating OS protections - it's just getting files from storage and overwriting them. I don't grasp all the details but it seems pretty chilling.
Edit: I am indeed wrong. The criminal penalties are spelled out here: http://www.cric.or.jp/english/csj/csj5.html
I don't have time to see when it changed, but this is a pretty big modification from the last time I looked. Sigh...
Is there copyrighted content that is being distributed without license?
I don't follow the details but the famous test case was apparently in the late 90s when Konami successfully sued companies for selling memory cards pre-loaded with save data for a particularly hard game.
When exactly does "hacking" a game become illegal? What about people doing it for research like the machine learning mario guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv6UVOQ0F44. Or tool-assisted speedruns? Or the starcraft broodwar ai?
Is it only when you breach the TOS or copyrights? Just curious since it never even occurred to me that such things are punishable.
Some of the more famous involve Blizzard, with the biggest example being a suit against the creators of WowGlider, a bot for World of Warcraft (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDY_Industries,_LLC_v._Blizzar...)
The DMCA's anti-circumvention section appears to be the only thing that preserved parts of the original finding. Perhaps the next time this law is up for review, some less onerous terms can be placed for reverse engineering for the purpose of interoperability.
There is always push back by companies, but it seems that the general trend is always in favor of the consumer (see, rooting your phone is found legal, this video concerning the legality of modifying cars and tractors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nps24EqiZjY )
No, not really.*
> What about people doing it for research
§ 1201 has lots of exceptions including "Nonprofit library, archive and educational institution exception (section 1201(d))."
* Yes, technically the laws here in the US are broad enough that if you did something that the US DOJ or local LE became very concerned about, they could at the very least arrest, detain, and charge you with a crime if not convict you of it.
>Unlike most other countries, filesharing copyrighted content is not just a civil offense, but a criminal one, with penalties of up to ten years for uploading and penalties of up to two years for downloading.
I've done my fair share of trying to get vintage animation via Winny some 10-12 years ago. At one time a Galaxy Express 999 uploader just disappeared. Later on there were reports of his trial, sentenced to jail for uploading videos of cartoons that aired between 1978-81. That is, 25 years ago at the time of the events.
Also see Nintendo's case against M2 and R3 card manufacturers that are now basically illegal in the country. You could be stopped by police on the street and retained if they saw you with a Nintendo DS and a non-standard game cartridge.
1. Japan has the world's oldest population, which means there's a pretty high level of unfamiliarity with and suspicion of many modern technologies. Fax machines remain more popular than email, for example.
2. Video games are a much larger and more mainstream part of Japanese culture than they are in America, and consequently they're seen as "serious business" to a much greater degree than they are here. It could be that hacking a game in order to cheat is viewed similarly to how we'd view cheating at gambling or professional sports. (Especially if the game is played competitively, and/or the cheat is intended to get around in-app purchases).
3. Very, very strong cultural emphasis on honesty and following the rules. Japan is consistently, by a wide margin, the world's most honest and law-abiding country, and those who aren't are viewed quite harshly. Like all things, this can be taken to extremes.
Based on the experience of female friends: don't believe everything you hear about Japan. If you are a gaijin being mugged or harrassed by Japanese men, even police will question your word when describing the villain. They will honestly ask if you have "not just seen him wrong, because Japanese people don't do such things. Must have been a foreigner."
Also, witnesses reject to help, look away and mind their own business. Sometimes not even moving away on a train, just sitting there while a woman gets harrassed, mugged or raped. These women do not always report such crimes due to the shame of something like this happening to them, and other people not even helping. The logic goes so that they themselves must have deserved it, since noone came to their aid. For more, see schoolgirl gangs beating and raping single bullied targets in public places like restaurants. People just sit and look away. Some take videos and pictures to post online.
In court, the judges do not question the legitimacy of police findings and accusations, so if the police presents evidence that would accuse of you wrongly but which is half-assed or plain wrong, judges take those evidences at face value. The onus is on you to prove thee two biased parties wrong.
Don't believe Japanese stereotypes without a couple years spent in a big city there.
This is a huge overstatement. Fax use is still common, but in no way is it more "popular" than email.
(Also, I was sure I remembered a game by the same name from the '90s, which I thought was a trivia quiz game with a D&D-ish theme. A brief search hasn't turned up any evidence, though. Anyone else remember that?)
If you stay out of the ranking dungeons it's hard to argue that a hack negatively impacts other players, but making the game easier does means you're less likely to pay them money to progress faster.
It's copyright because they see the ability to update monster stats as proprietary technology. Only they can do that and users of this software are stealing from the developers and ruining the game for themselves.
At least, that seems to be what's going on.