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So in October a game publisher sent out a beta over Steam to which people who preordered the game could play. This beta had a fraction of the features that the full game had but a couple of clever people managed to alter the one line of code restricting people with the beta access to the full game. These people know have the full game and are posting screenshots from it but these screenshots keep on getting requested to be deleted saying that publisher will send a dmca for copyright. Is this correct?

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Absolutely. Copyright exists when the work is created, publication is immaterial.

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    In fact, lack of publication often works against fair use.
    – D M
    Apr 16, 2018 at 18:39

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