William & Mary Business Law Review


Video game modifications (mods) have had a tremendously positive impact on the game industry, both in terms of commercial success and evolution of the medium. But the present court doctrine, enabled by Micro Star v. Formgen and abetted by restrictive End User License Agreements, greatly underserves the mod community and undermines the principal tenet of copyright law: the fundamental right to reap the benefits of what one has created. This Note examines and critiques the current doctrine and its ethical pitfalls. It also explores the pros and cons of current methods of mod monetization, including remakes, developer partnerships, and donation systems. Finally, it advocates for a more equitable and ethically sound paradigm of mod rights through a proposed open licensing standard modeled after the tabletop gaming industry.