PtoPOnline was founded in August of 2005, with the goal of becoming an online e-zine for gaming content. That format proved to be ineffective, so it was moved to a blog style format shortly thereafter. It was founded by Andrew Borman (Hey, that’s me!) and has since been run solely by himself, with a few articles by other members on occasion. For the most part, the content featured is early beta and unreleased video games, with some other interesting stuff thrown in as needed.
The site briefly transitioned to SuperiorVersion, where the goal was to cover more content in HD quality, for current generation consoles. Costs were too high to maintain, so it eventually faded, only to be reborn as Past to Present Online once more in 2012.
There have been a few copyright complaints over the years, and in August of 2012, it resulted in the closure of the official Youtube account. Unfortunately, it is difficult to challenge Youtube takedown requests, which allows for copyright holders to go unpunished for wrongful DMCA terminations. I believe it serves an educational purpose, and I often offer my own personal commentary on the content which also is protected under Fair Use.
It is my belief that Past to Present Online operates under the Fair Use in the United States. It reads :
Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
- The nature of the copyrighted work
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
Of note is the first part, PtoPOnline operates at a loss. No profit is ever made in covering of games here. The third section would also be allowed, as only small portions of potential content for these games is covered. For the forth, the use of this content, if anything, enhances the value of the games, as it draws attention to the process of making games, the developers, and helps show interest in things like cancelled games, as with Star Wars Battlefront 3, which spawned multiple articles showing that people would pay for the game today, even in its unfinished state. It enhances the value of a property, and proves to be a valuable marketing tool for businesses for what gamers really want.
As a graduate student working to become a librarian, archival is extremely important. This website provides a way of accessing material in a safe manner that would not harm the copyright holder. I plan on using the content created here to further archival systems, and I believe that its very nature lends itself to protection under the United States’ Fair Use. This material serves an educational purpose, as I continue to use it in my studies, while offering commentary on game development and its process.