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DRM and Piracy: The Vicious Circle

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August 19, 2008 3:46:44 PM

Article by Travis Meacham.

In this week's edition of Side-Quest Travis looks at the implications of the continuing battle between game publishers who support the use of DRM as an anti-piracy measure and the pirates who would thwart them.

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/08/19/sidequest_drm_pi...
August 19, 2008 4:46:16 PM

Only pirates object to EFFECTIVE DRM. (note emphasis on EFFECTIVE) What other objections could there be? Effective means it prevents piracy while not creating other problems for the end user. That may not be the state of the art today but I'm sure it's the publisher's goal. I couldn't care less if my game sortware is required to obtain validation every time it opens. As I said, only a pirate would object.
August 19, 2008 5:11:49 PM

I'm sorry, your opinion does not hold water for PC gamers. If this was a console, by all means do whatever you like DRM wise, for PCs, you are really punishing the Legit users, Pirates who will crack the DRM anyway will have a much better and hassle free experience than legit users.

Take the DRM EA is applying to their games. Mass Effect is a mess. You have 3 licenses for the game, and you have NO WAY OF REVOKING LICENSES. At least Bioshock provided a way by uninstalling the game, you can't do that with Mass Effect or Spore. EA is truly going to suffer from their arrogance by seeing a huge surge in the piracy of their games because people don't want to deal with their 3 license mumbo jumbo. If you are going to impose such limits at least give users the ability to get their licences back. Even the music industry which is far more uptight on protecting their IP is moving away from DRM simply because people will go elsewhere or use other means. DRM does not work.

As a PC Gamer, I reinstall my OS twice a year and upgrade my Hardware every year, with the restrictions EA puts on their game, I will run out of licences for my game within a year. And No, I should not have to call EA at my own cost for something I already paid for to see if they 'might' give me another license.

And for the record, I don't pirate games, I own over 300 PC games and over 50 Console Games, I don't advocate Piracy, but I also won't let a publisher bully me around. I refused to purchase Bioshock until they removed their activation limit, I continue to refuse to buy Mass Effect and as much as I want Spore, I won't purchase it with their limited licenses. EA can kiss my big fat wallet goodbye.
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August 19, 2008 5:12:37 PM

Double Post due to a crappy login system on these forums.
August 19, 2008 5:34:23 PM

Well I've finally come to the conclusion that I'm in favor of DRM. I realized in debating the issues of Piracy and DRM in another thread that neither can really be stopped so I'm rooting for DRM. Piracy is here to stay, but obviously you can't just expect developers and publishers to just stand by and accept it. So DRM is inevitable also.
I firmly believe there is no other answer to Piracy. People try and come up with all different kinds of justifications for why Piracy happens and what else can be done to deter it. Really though there is only one reason - money. As long as people have the ability to get something for free they will. There's only two real deterrents to that. Either make it too risky or too difficult to do so. Since trying to go after Piracy from a legal/criminal standpoint is too troublesome itself DRM is the best answer - AND IT WORKS!!!
Cases were DRM works:
- Consoles are basically just big DRM boxes and always have been. People don't seem to care much and buy both hardware and software in droves.
- Low level DRM is highly successful. Just simply requiring a CD to be in the drive deters most users from Piracy.
- The most successful PC games use some of the most restrictive DRM. And I'm not talking about Bioshock or Mass Effect. WoW, along with most MMOs, and Steam games like The Orange Box and HL2 have the most restrictive DRM of all but they sell very well and have very low piracy rates. People bitch about the activations of SecuRom but these games require that you authenticate every single time you play. Even more restrictive is the fact that these games are tied to an account basically restricting use to the original owner only. I sold my first copy of Bioshock after one activation and the person I sold it to had no issues. But the second copy I bought on Steam is permanently tied to my account with all my other Steam games. Why don't people bitch about this more?
To be completely honest I've had my fair share of issues with the above listed forms of DRM. Every time a consoles of mine has bitten the dust all of the games become obsolete because newer consoles won't play them. Scratched or lost CDs have forced me to rebuy more than a few games. And MMOs and Steam games are always at the whim of my internet connection along with their servers. But none of this has every been such a huge hassle that it really bothered me, so I don't see why a little more will.
August 19, 2008 5:45:59 PM

I'll just throw my internet weight behind Voodoo128. I'm another PC gamer that was very interested in Mass Effect and Spore and won't be purchasing either due to this new licensing model.
August 19, 2008 5:50:19 PM

Voodoo128 said:
I'm sorry, your opinion does not hold water for PC gamers. If this was a console, by all means do whatever you like DRM wise, for PCs, you are really punishing the Legit users, Pirates who will crack the DRM anyway will have a much better and hassle free experience than legit users.


Totally agree, people who want to pirate games always will and the genuine users always suffer. I too refuse to buy games (and music) with this kind of nazi drm. For every piece of DRM invented by someone, there are many more enthusiastic people who enjoy the challenge of breaking it and it's those people that will ALWAYS win in the end.

Just look at DVDs for the best example - companies protect dvds so that even legitimate users can watch them on dvd (pc) players, hackers tear up the protection within moments. Every time the dvd protection is tweaked, so is the hack. DRM is an ultimately futile effort which in the end frustrates people into investigating more shady means to get their media as it is simply much less hassle than fighting with DRM all the time [/rant]

Though I do agree that some people will never buy anything if they can get away with it.
August 19, 2008 5:57:44 PM

Purplerat, the reason consoles are so popular is because people like simple. They like to know that they can go to walmart, pickup a box that says XBox on the side, plug that into their box that says XBox, and it'll work. The same cannot be said for PC Games...
And perhaps it's not as easy to copy console games, but you hardly need to when you can just hand your friend your copy with the firm instructions to 'bring it back when you're done'.

August 19, 2008 6:15:08 PM

Voodoo128 said:
And for the record, I don't pirate games, I own over 300 PC games and over 50 Console Games, I don't advocate Piracy, but I also won't let a publisher bully me around. I refused to purchase Bioshock until they removed their activation limit, I continue to refuse to buy Mass Effect and as much as I want Spore, I won't purchase it with their limited licenses. EA can kiss my big fat wallet goodbye.


That is exactly the right approach to take. If you disagree with DRM you don't buy the game. And if enough people do that you might see companies back down from DRM. The problem is when people opt to not buy the game AND to pirate it instead. That gives publishers ammo to pursue DRM.

purplerat said:
The most successful PC games use some of the most restrictive DRM. And I'm not talking about Bioshock or Mass Effect. WoW, along with most MMOs, and Steam games like The Orange Box and HL2 have the most restrictive DRM of all but they sell very well and have very low piracy rates.


I originally mentioned MMOs in the article but I thought it was getting a bit too long. All the hysteria about Mass Effect's online authentication is nothing compared to what MMOs do. World of Warcraft requires you to authenticate with a username and password every time you play. And all the complaints about, "How will I play Mass Effect when they turn off the authentication server?" were just static to me. This has already happened in the MMO market. Break out your old copies of Earth & Beyond, Asheron's Call 2 and Auto Assault and try playing them. Where was the outrage then? Anyone who owns a copy of Earth & Beyond paid full price for a game with a monthly fee attached and was able to play it for less than two years.

Comparisons to the music industry don't necessarily hold up. We're talking about PC games here that exist alongside console games. The music industry does not have an alternative release channel with complete control over hardware and the operating system with a much lower rate of piracy. Game publishers have that with the consoles. If piracy continues to grow on the PC and we continue to "punish" publishers for employing DRM by pirating their products, they are only going to develop games for the consoles where they can control distrubution better.

purplerat said:
Consoles are basically just big DRM boxes and always have been.


That's exactly right. A console is just a big DRM machine. Don't think so? Try dropping a PS3 game into an Xbox 360 and see how far you get.
August 19, 2008 6:44:10 PM

tmeacham said:
Try dropping a PS3 game into an Xbox 360 and see how far you get.


Consoles are not DRM. They in no way inhibit you from handing your content to a friend. They are vendor lock-in, but that's different. My VHS recorder wouldn't play Beta tapes either.

MMO's are also different, just as any subscription service is different. I can buy a DVD (like a game) and take it home and enjoy it, or I can have a cable subscription that provides me with more content for a monthly cost.

Quit trying to shoe-horn obviously different things into your argument.
August 19, 2008 6:47:49 PM

Quote:
Comparisons to the music industry don't necessarily hold up. We're talking about PC games here that exist alongside console games. The music industry does not have an alternative release channel with complete control over hardware and the operating system with a much lower rate of piracy.


Satellite radio?
August 19, 2008 6:56:57 PM

lets put it this way.. DRM is bad for everyone. if you put DRM in music or movie, i dont really care as long as it work. if DRM stop my DVD movie from playing, guess what?? i return it.

now for PC, computer aren't only gaming machine, they also hosting alot other data such as business document, person email, password and possible banking information. it didnt matter if DRM not sending those data across internet or not. the fact that DRM will create a security hole alone would stop buying any game that whoever publisher offer. is that little 50$ game worth of security risk of countless nightmare? i love play game, but not enuff for me to put DRM in my pc. that is one major reason i shift to PS3

also, if you reading tomshardware most likely you build your own PC, i like control every hardware and software this pc of my what it can and can't do. DRM is unwelcome piece of software that i dont plan to ever put it on my computer.

i like the idea of copy protection, but DRM is wrong way to go for pc market. if pc only for gaming then so be it, but when it hosting important infomation such as bank account and such? i would risk on it.

ohh.. what i talk about is sony DRM that happen some time ago.. they recall every DRM music CD but the damage is already done. read the sony DRM story and tell me you welling to put DRM in to you computer!
August 19, 2008 7:14:39 PM

I have never purchased a game I did not get to play first. Many times that means download, sometimes I have played on a freinds machine. There are many titles I wanted to try but haven't because I can't try them first. Too many games have been a huge disapointment for me to shell out $50 or more on one I haven't tried!

Edit:

I should mention that I have purchased many games and I don't continue playing games past a few minutes that I am not buying.
August 19, 2008 7:33:41 PM

tmeacham said:
That is exactly the right approach to take. If you disagree with DRM you don't buy the game. And if enough people do that you might see companies back down from DRM. The problem is when people opt to not buy the game AND to pirate it instead. That gives publishers ammo to pursue DRM.


The problem is that most of these "vehement opposers" of DRM do just that - they pirate the games anyways.

This problem would not even EXIST if people weren't blatantly pirating software (not just games) en masse; as then companies could have a realistic market share for their product instead of playing pure guess work all the time.

Piracy does very little more than ensure that less and less games get to PC - if the market isn't lucrative and viable, then why bother? Hence the developers flock to consoles and PC is just an afterthought if the game can/is worthwhile to port to the PC.
August 19, 2008 7:37:39 PM

In all the threads on this topic I don't ever recall seeing a post where somebody actually claimed to have one of these horrible DRM catastrophes happen to them. Seriously where are all the claims that games have been rendered useless or security breaches. Seems like more hysteria than anything.
I also think a lot of people have a poor understanding of what DRM is. Thinking a subscription service like cable or a console gaming systems are not DRM is being completely misinformed. Both are actually pure DRM, maybe so much so that you can not even notice, but the truth is they are. Just because they allow you some liberties that only means it's part of the management of their content to allow you to do so. For the most part almost all digital content is controlled by some sort of DRM so get over it.
For those of you who really hate DRM though I hope you've never bought a Steam game.
August 19, 2008 7:44:29 PM

I haven't pirated a game since the early '90s (god bless Amigas!) - I wouldn't pirate a game now (whats the point when nearly every game is played online?), but some DRM is a royal pain in the ass. I would love there to be a way that games could be legally stored on the hard drive without having to go through the archaic copy protection of inserting a DVD every time I want to play - it's not as through 4.7 / 9gb is a lot to store on a hard drive any more - oh wait, there's STEAM. I can download my games legitimately on my laptop and my desktop. I can only play on one at once, the DRM is intact, I can't lose my games, it's a great model. If only I could transfer my STA-SA license to a steam version now it's out on that system so I wouldn't have to find the disc for it each time I want to play...

My perfect condition CnC Kanes Wrath DVD regularly fails it's copy protection, in either of my DVD drives - I shudder to think how bad it must be for people that don't look after their discs as religiously as me...
August 19, 2008 7:49:47 PM

Well folks, if piracy is indeed unstoppable (or at least reducible to acceptable levels) then we might as well all go out and buy a console or two. I've been in the business world too long to believe that any business is going to invest time and money without a reasonable expectation of a significant return on that investment. Would you? Pirates are their own worst enemy. They want something for nothing (who doesn't) but aren't smart enough to see the handwriting on the wall.
August 19, 2008 7:51:29 PM

purplerat said:
In all the threads on this topic I don't ever recall seeing a post where somebody actually claimed to have one of these horrible DRM catastrophes happen to them. Seriously where are all the claims that games have been rendered useless or security breaches. Seems like more hysteria than anything.
I also think a lot of people have a poor understanding of what DRM is. Thinking a subscription service like cable or a console gaming systems are not DRM is being completely misinformed. Both are actually pure DRM, maybe so much so that you can not even notice, but the truth is they are. Just because they allow you some liberties that only means it's part of the management of their content to allow you to do so. For the most part almost all digital content is controlled by some sort of DRM so get over it.
For those of you who really hate DRM though I hope you've never bought a Steam game.


You should go read the Mass Effect Forums then. Lots of people who ran into problems with licensing issues. Additionally, the same thing started happening to people who bought the Spore Creature Creator.
August 19, 2008 7:54:49 PM

Ok, lets see if we can clear up a bit of the muddying going on here. The objections of most are not against DRM in general, it is certain types of DRM in specific.

Consoles ARE DRM machines, but they do so in ways that are acceptable. They require the media in the drive and they lock you out of great online features if you try to hack it. This is completely justified and very effective.

MMOs have logins so that you can access the character you have on their server. The DRM here is required not just to protect the content provider but also the player. If you have ever had your character hacked you know what I am talking about. The repeated activations are accepted because you are accessing their servers for more than just activation. As for the MMOs that die. They die because they suck and are very unpopular. Don't delude yourself into thinking there was no outrage, just that the outrage was contained to a very small number of people.

Steam is acceptable DRM for several reasons. 1, it is effective, very effective. I am perfectly willing to accept DRM if it bloody well works. But when it is proven to not work it is frustration for no reason. ALSO it allows you to play the games offline for quite a while with no preparation or extra fees. ALSO it provides a very valuable online service that you lose access to when you crack it.

Impulse (Stardock) contrary to popular belief IS DRM. It is just very very customer oriented DRM. And it works. Again it works by requiring you to register in order to access patches and updates and it provides once again a very valuable service that you lose access to when you pirate it.

Notice a trend? A pattern perhaps? In all instances where DRM is widely accepted it is both effective and provides a valuable service. THIS IS THE SOLUTION! Is it 100% effective? No. But it does work wonders. Many people who pirated Sins ended up buying it because they couldn't get the patches that provided many interface enhancements and such otherwise.

Now, for the DRM that neither is effective, nor provides a valuable service. See Securom and Starforce. These are the ones that get gamer ire. They are no more effective than a basic CD check and they greatly restrict the legitimate user without inconveniencing the pirate or providing anything to the legitimate user in return.

If you don't believe me just ask Blizzard, Valve, and Stardock. They would pretty much agree with everything I have said here and in fact have said about the same thing at various points. Supporting incompetent DRM is not the solution to the problem. Supporting effective DRM is. That is why I continue to support Impulse (Stardock) and Steam.
August 19, 2008 7:59:29 PM

infornography42 said:
Ok, lets see if we can clear up a bit of the muddying going on here. The objections of most are not against DRM in general, it is certain types of DRM in specific.

Consoles ARE DRM machines, but they do so in ways that are acceptable. They require the media in the drive and they lock you out of great online features if you try to hack it. This is completely justified and very effective.

MMOs have logins so that you can access the character you have on their server. The DRM here is required not just to protect the content provider but also the player. If you have ever had your character hacked you know what I am talking about. The repeated activations are accepted because you are accessing their servers for more than just activation. As for the MMOs that die. They die because they suck and are very unpopular. Don't delude yourself into thinking there was no outrage, just that the outrage was contained to a very small number of people.

Steam is acceptable DRM for several reasons. 1, it is effective, very effective. I am perfectly willing to accept DRM if it bloody well works. But when it is proven to not work it is frustration for no reason. ALSO it allows you to play the games offline for quite a while with no preparation or extra fees. ALSO it provides a very valuable online service that you lose access to when you crack it.

Impulse (Stardock) contrary to popular belief IS DRM. It is just very very customer oriented DRM. And it works. Again it works by requiring you to register in order to access patches and updates and it provides once again a very valuable service that you lose access to when you pirate it.

Notice a trend? A pattern perhaps? In all instances where DRM is widely accepted it is both effective and provides a valuable service. THIS IS THE SOLUTION! Is it 100% effective? No. But it does work wonders. Many people who pirated Sins ended up buying it because they couldn't get the patches that provided many interface enhancements and such otherwise.

Now, for the DRM that neither is effective, nor provides a valuable service. See Securom and Starforce. These are the ones that get gamer ire. They are no more effective than a basic CD check and they greatly restrict the legitimate user without inconveniencing the pirate or providing anything to the legitimate user in return.

If you don't believe me just ask Blizzard, Valve, and Stardock. They would pretty much agree with everything I have said here and in fact have said about the same thing at various points. Supporting incompetent DRM is not the solution to the problem. Supporting effective DRM is. That is why I continue to support Impulse (Stardock) and Steam.



Here Here.... very well put. I buy tons of games on steam, even some that I've never thought of picking up because it's convenient, I will never loose my CD, never require a CD Check, and I don't have to deal with LICENSING! I can install it on as many computers I want, but I can only play it on one at the same time. I don't mind the hassle of having to log into steam to play my games, and steam takes it a step further by allowing you to play games offline as well. If all games were distributed through steam, PC Gaming would be in a better place.
August 19, 2008 8:05:37 PM

purplerat said:
In all the threads on this topic I don't ever recall seeing a post where somebody actually claimed to have one of these horrible DRM catastrophes happen to them. Seriously where are all the claims that games have been rendered useless or security breaches. Seems like more hysteria than anything.
I also think a lot of people have a poor understanding of what DRM is. Thinking a subscription service like cable or a console gaming systems are not DRM is being completely misinformed. Both are actually pure DRM, maybe so much so that you can not even notice, but the truth is they are. Just because they allow you some liberties that only means it's part of the management of their content to allow you to do so. For the most part almost all digital content is controlled by some sort of DRM so get over it.
For those of you who really hate DRM though I hope you've never bought a Steam game.



Umm... there have been plenty of reports of DRM related problems. I have bought several games that simply would not work until I cracked them and I should not have to crack a game just to play it. As mentioned in this very article there are plenty of people who lost access to MMOs that went belly up. There are all the people who lost their music when various DRM'd music servers went away, there are tons of people who experienced massive difficulties with the Securom in Bioshock and Mass Effect. If you haven't seen the complaints about these problems then you must type with your head stuck in the ground.
August 19, 2008 8:07:34 PM

To effectively combat piracy, games need to either a) be distributed in a form that cannot be copied, b) require secure authentication to run, c) use a cloud-computing (or traditional server-based) subscription model with an online log in to authenticate, or d) have free distribution with advertisement or sponsor-based revenue model (with a strong system in place to prevent ads being bypassed or blocked by end-users).

Option (a) is used by consoles rather effectively, but in the PC games market, it is next-to-impossible to implement.

Option (b) is regularly and continuously slammed by the anti-DRM community as oppressive. Whether this is because no developers have found a non-intrusive system that cannot be easily bypassed or not, I don't know. I have yet to find a system like this "oppressive," though I admit many are trivial to circumvent.

Option (c) is employed most (if not all) online games, and I don't hear much complaining about that, but when Mass Effect wants to check with a server, the anti-DRM crowd gets in an uproar.

BTW: the only difference between the DRM in Mass Effect and the DRM in Windows XP/Vista is that MS allows you to authenticate offline, whereas EA doesn't. Mass Effect is actually less restrictive, as it allows you to install on multiple systems at the same time - but I don't hear an uproar over Microsoft's DRM.

Option (d) is used in browser-based games, and, I think, in a few PC games, though I couldn't name any. I'm guessing that the potential revenues are too small to make it worthwhile and/or the games were hacked to remove the ads - leaving this as an undesirable model for developers.

Since (a) and (d) are effectively off the table, we can either have games with a strong authentication system, or we can have server/cloud-computing based games on the PC. Furthermore, since the authentication systems developed so far have been proven easily vulnerable to cracking, the server/cloud-computing based model makes the greatest amount of sense from the standpoint of protecting the games from piracy. Games like World of Warcraft have demonstrated that gamers as a whole really don't mind needing to log in to a server to play their games. Operating under the assumption that all users have internet access at all times, this would be the optimal solution in my opinion.

Recognizing, however, that assuming that all users have internet access at all times is unrealistic, I am forced to relax the assumption to a safer level. Assume, instead, that all users have internet access at least 1 day in every X days. Users purchase subscriptions to games, and must log in at the beginning of each game session. Login credentials are validated for the following X days, so if the client cannot connect to the server, the credentials for the previous login are assumed to be valid if it is within X days of the last valid login. There are no limits on the number of concurrent installs, simply on the number of concurrent uses of the account.

That's just my suggestion - I know it probably will earn me a bunch of flames, but it is my belief that this represents a reasonable compromise between preventing piracy and minimal intrusiveness.

I don't believe that there is such a thing as an uninvasive, effective DRM system, but there are reasonable, effective solutions (see WoW). In the battle between developers and pirates, PC gamers cannot afford to let the pirates win, but also should not submit to unreasonably invasive DRM - even if it does eliminate piracy. If the pirates win, PC gamers lose, as developers move their titles exclusively to consoles. PC gamers should be working with game developers to devise a system that reasonably protects the rights of developers and doesn't unreasonably interfere with or cause trouble for gamers.

I'm not married to my idea, so if you've got a better one, speak up!
August 19, 2008 8:10:47 PM

I have to say that for me, the main reason I don't like DRM, is the hassle. I have sworn off any steam games because I hate it!! I bought HL2 and it came on 5 cds. I go through the install and then have to connect to steam and wait till it decrypts game files (as if the install wasn't long enough). On top of that I'm not sure if there was an update to steam or HL2 but I can no longer play HL2 in offline mode. That's B.S. that I have to connect to there servers to play a game I went to the store, bought and installed. I really don't mind having a one time online activation of the product, but no more than that. Plus if I choose not to keep a game any longer for any reason. As long as I uninstall it from my hard drive, I should be able to sell it or give it away if I choose. Not only that, but what if the game is buggy as hell or just doesn't work? Good luck taking the game back to the store for a refund! You may be able to ship it off at your expense to the company but seriously?!?! This is what's wrong with DRM, it makes it more of a hassle for honest paying customers.
Something I would like to know personally. Is how do authors, local newspapers and national magazine companies do it? I mean I can't believe that a library pays for thousands of copies of People magazine so that people can come in and read it or check it out? How can an author have a book be put in a library where thousands of people can read it for FREE without going bankrupt?
August 19, 2008 8:15:12 PM

I'm not saying there's never been issues, but I just don't see them in the catastrophic proportions that people make them out to be. I actually pointed out that I've experienced plenty of issues related to DRM over the years and it's not the end of the world. I have a whole pile of NES, Sega and N64 cartridges along with PS1, Dreamcast and Xbox CDs which are of no use. It's really not a huge deal and it doesn't stop me from buying a game today because I might not be able to play it in 3 years.
August 19, 2008 8:24:36 PM

purplerat said:
I'm not saying there's never been issues, but I just don't see them in the catastrophic proportions that people make them out to be. I actually pointed out that I've experienced plenty of issues related to DRM over the years and it's not the end of the world. I have a whole pile of NES, Sega and N64 cartridges along with PS1, Dreamcast and Xbox CDs which are of no use. It's really not a huge deal and it doesn't stop me from buying a game today because I might not be able to play it in 3 years.


So, you are saying that it is completely acceptable that several games were unable to run without a crack? You are saying that bypassing the EULA being required for legitimate use is just fine with you? You are saying that losing access to something that you legitimately purchased is no big thing?

So if I broke into your house and stole a few of your belongings that were 3+ years old you wouldn't mind in the least? Wow, generous.
August 19, 2008 8:28:36 PM

axelf86 said:
Something I would like to know personally. Is how do authors, local newspapers and national magazine companies do it? I mean I can't believe that a library pays for thousands of copies of People magazine so that people can come in and read it or check it out? How can an author have a book be put in a library where thousands of people can read it for FREE without going bankrupt?


The comparison to libraries is flawed. First of all, the number of people who take out any particular book, magazine, or newspaper in a library is miniscule compared to the market as a whole for the book, magazine, or newspaper. Not the case with piracy, where pirates represent a significant proportion of the market for a game. Second, when someone checks a book out of the library, they are not copying the book. One physical object changes hands.

I don't know if libraries are held to the same restrictions as video rental stores or not, but when I worked in the rental business (way back when VHS ruled the roost), the company had to purchase special licenses to rent each title in our inventory (something like $100/copy on our shelves). If libraries are held to the same restriction, then they pay for the privilege of loaning the books, magazines, and newspapers to their members.
August 19, 2008 8:33:27 PM

Quote:
Something I would like to know personally. Is how do authors, local newspapers and national magazine companies do it? I mean I can't believe that a library pays for thousands of copies of People so that people can come in and read it or check it out? How can an author have a book be put in a library where thousands of people can read it for FREE without going bankrupt?

Actually a lot of them are. Really aside from book sales print media is suffering horrible trying to compete with digital media.
August 19, 2008 8:35:46 PM

Quote:
So if I broke into your house and stole a few of your belongings that were 3+ years old you wouldn't mind in the least? Wow, generous.

infornography you've been in enough of these conversations to know how idiotic that analogy is.
August 19, 2008 9:02:42 PM

First off these writers at websites who have "no problem" with drm, and never mention it in their reviews piss me off. The games they are reviewing are given to them for that purpose, ( they don't buy them) they are played on computers supplied to them, ( they haven't built them) and there are no real consequences if the drm system hoses their rig. I have purchased every game installed on my rigs. When I buy a game with my money I had better be able to install the game and when finished click on the shortcut and the game better start. I will never touch Bioshock, Mass Effect, Spore, and any Valve product... Steam is just not something I covet to have on my rig, it's the thought that counts... I am not a thief. I am not interested in multiplayer at all, when and if they ever update Steam so that it detects no internet connection and at that point leaves me the hell alone I might consider it, but again when I install a game I bought and click the shortcut the game had better start, no ifs, ands or buts, it's no wonder pc gaming is becoming the pits.
August 19, 2008 9:09:01 PM

Quote:
"Draconian" describes something as being unusually harsh or severe


And to me that describes the new generation DRM to a tee.

Cd-checks are a form of drm. it was the industry standard, and they are acceptable to me because they do not force me to rely on anyone else to run and play the games I bought. They also allow me to exercise my legal rights to re-sell my legally purchased copy, if I want to.

Mass Effect's drm forces me to rely on a company server for authentication, does not respect my legal rights (under US copyright law's doctrine of first sale) to resell my copy (by preventing me reclaiming activations), prevents use of perfectly legitimate software (process explorer for one), and installs Sony 'XCP-fame' junkware onto my computer without my consent and without an automatic removal tool on uninstallation .

And god forbid if I do not have an internet connected gaming rig. No play for you!

And yes, cd-cracks are commonly available on the net. So what? So are torrents for ME sans SecuROM. I'm told they appeared within a week of release.

In the last year we've seen drm servers get shut down due to costs of continuing operation versus the profits generated, and legitimate consumers burned in the process.

I've never used either form of illegal crack/torrent and never will. But I did cancel my pre-order for MEPC, and will no longer buy any PC titles that come with that kind of crud on them.

The point is this: DRM only makes life more difficult for the legitimate customers, and at best only slows down the dishonest. Game devs need to stop punishing their paying customers while watching the dishonest pirates get away with a superior user experience.

Copy protection that degrades the user experience only for legitimate customers? That violates my legal rights? That installs third party software without permission, from a company with a proven track record of lying about what its drm software does?

Draconian? Yep. Darned right it is.

Oh, and to the author, I reinstalled and played starcraft on my newest pc the other week. If it came with this scheme, I would have been unable to do that because my activations would have been used up long ago.

That's the difference. With Starcraft I own my copy, it's MINE. I don't need to go cap-in-hand to some customer service rep, paying 2.99 per minute for the privilege, just to get another freaking activation.

And no, I'm not going to pirate Mass Effect, or Dragon Age, or Spore. I'll go without entirely rather than stoop to the level of the damned pirates or the developers who are BOTH violating the US copyright Act IMO.

There's plenty of good books to read to fill in the time :)  And my next computer will either be a Mac, or have a Linux OS, since gaming was the last rationale left for me to stick with windows.

August 19, 2008 9:13:10 PM

hatesdrm said:
First off these writers at websites who have "no problem" with drm, and never mention it in their reviews piss me off. The games they are reviewing are given to them for that purpose, ( they don't buy them) they are played on computers supplied to them, ( they haven't built them) and there are no real consequences if the drm system hoses their rig.


What?!?!?!?!?

Well, I can assure you that A) we do in fact build our own rigs here, B) we buy about half the games we review, and C) this particular column is just one editor's opinion of DRM. I may have a different opinion than Travis. And that's okay. We have a wide variety of opinions here at Tom's Games and THG in general. We don't agree on everything. In fact, ask Travis about Blade Runner one of these days and see what happens.

Anyway, back to DRM: Personally, I'm pretty disguested with SecuROM and didn't buy Mass Effect on the PC because of the activation limit. And BioShock caused me plenty of headaches, both professionally and recreationally, last summer. So yes, there are consequences -- even for gaming journalists like ourselves.

August 19, 2008 9:15:19 PM

the problem is that most people would rather spend time and download a cracked game instead of having to call someone in India and beg for another activation every time they want to install the game

a drm free game carries more value

a drm free game will last a trillion years and still work

a drmed game may only last 5-10 years before the company dies or drops their drm servers


if there were 2 cars for sale for the same price but car A would only last through about 2 years of use and car B would last for ever

which would sell more?


I have many pc games in which the companies no longer exist if they required activations and had all of those limitations and crazy drm as current games, then they would no longer work for me


DRM puts you at the mercy of a company with people who care nothing for you.

it also adds extra needless hoops to jump through to get the game running, steps that are of no benefit to the user

it is like having a teleporter that can take you to any location on the planet with no limitation to distance, but before you can teleport from the US to japan, you will first have to teleport to every single McDonald located in between US and japan, what good does that do for getting you to the other location?

DRM is extra steps that are purposely added and are of no benefit to the end user and will only serve to frustrate the user



when people buy things, there looking to get the task done as quick as possible with as few steps as possible

why do you think windows is more popular than linux

given the DRM mentality, linux should be putting microsoft out of business because it is a OS thats free

but it is not because

why you ask?, windows was able to turn monotonous things like this


into

this

(doesn't matter if your skilled user or a new user, basic things are just easier in windows 90% of all advance tasks can be done with out ever touching a command like in windows, cant say the same for linux and mac)






users will pay for ease of use

and a non drmed game is easier to use and get up and running than a DRMed one as there less hoops to jump through to get up and running and you can be sure that it will last until the end of time or longer



so non drm, easier to get up and running, and has a longer shelf life and think of the opposite for a game with DRM


technology is constantly focusing on faster and easier to use


no matter how toy talk about DRM it wont change the fact that it puts more work on the user and only adds to their frustration


compare this

1080P DRM HD content requires at least



# Minimum CPU:

* Intel® Core%u2122 Duo T2400 1.83 GHz
* AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0 GHz

# Recommended CPU:

* Intel: Core Duo T2500 2.0 GHz, Core Duo E6400 2.13 GHz, Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHZ, Core 2 Duo 5500 1.66 GHz, or higher
* AMD: AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 2.6 GHz, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2 GHz, AMD Turion%u2122 64 X2 TL-60 2.0 Ghz, or higher

# 512 MB system memory or higher (1 GB recommended)
# VGA Chipset: please ensure your VGA chipset supports hardware acceleration
# 128 MB VGA VRAM or higher (256 MB recommended)
# Graphics Cards:

* Minimum:
NVIDIA GeForce® 7600, ATI Radeon%u2122 X 1600
* Recommended:
NVIDIA GeForce 8400, ATI Radeon HD 2400 or higher



Non DRMed 1080P content


800MHz CPU

videocard with hardware acceleration

when it comes to media, the DRM puts a much greater load on your hardware to decode and play the video in real time

no drm means much less CPU load




My pc used for video, HD anime uses a AMD duron 900MHz, geforce 6600LE, 512MB memory and it will handle the 1080P anime just fine


DRM adds extra work, hoops to jump through and extra frustration to the user, but gives the user 100% no benefit in return
August 19, 2008 9:17:12 PM

craigdolphin said:
Quote:
"Draconian" describes something as being unusually harsh or severe


And to me that describes the new generation DRM to a tee....

...And my next computer will either be a Mac...

:na: 
Did anyone else almost piss their pants laughing after reading that whole rant against DRM just to have it end with "I'll buy a Mac next time"?
August 19, 2008 9:29:20 PM

Apple's drm on itunes allows deauthorisation of previously authorized computers which makes it more acceptable to me that Mass Effects scam.

EDIT: And you can burn drm-free copies of your music to cd in case thier servers ever go away.

But if Apple's other drm systems are similar to Mass Effects SecuROM nonsense, then it'll be linux instead. I'll be sure to research the alternatives when the time comes.

Either way, I'm not going to reward the behavior financially.

Piss youself if you like. But as my father taught me: it's better to be pissed off than pissed on. And I'm done with drm scams pissing on me to give some suits at EA a false sense of security over their products.
August 19, 2008 9:38:17 PM

ram1009 said:
Only pirates object to EFFECTIVE DRM. (note emphasis on EFFECTIVE) What other objections could there be? Effective means it prevents piracy while not creating other problems for the end user. That may not be the state of the art today but I'm sure it's the publisher's goal. I couldn't care less if my game sortware is required to obtain validation every time it opens. As I said, only a pirate would object.

Consider that many people have a lot of sensitive data on their computers completely unrelated to games, so when a company says "We're going to pull information every time you open our game just to make sure you're not stealing from us," there's a whole privacy issue that goes beyond just whether or not you'd need to be online to play. Most people want to know exactly what information is being sent/received and keep track, and when you have something like that where you're potentially putting a big security risk in the hands of a gaming company, most people tend to be a little weary. What information is being pulled exactly? Who is it going to? Will it be sold/lost to the highest bidder if your company goes under? What about support after your company dies/gets bought out? What if I move to some far off place and don't have internet? You personally might not find online validation to be causing problems every time you open your game, but a lot of other people do.

That said, services like Steam are becoming more popular because, as others have mentioned in this thread, it provides a valuable service coupled with its protection. I can reformat my computer and just download a steam installer file and have it automatically download/install all my games with no other user input. Sure it requires that I'm online, at least at a certain point (although it does allow for offline mode as well), but I can always keep steam closed and not have any backdoor rootkit nonsense running because some paranoid developers think they're entitled to every gamer's precious birthday money.

As for Mass Effect, I managed to install a "legit" copy that my friend is also running on his computer. So, uh, so much for that DRM eh? Didn't even need to crack anything.
August 19, 2008 9:55:46 PM

I don't mind having to log on to a server in order to play a game, I don't mind discs that are copy protected and I think it's fair that some games require you to activate online after it is first installed in order to play. My problem with DRM is games that require you to have the f@#$ing disc in the drive.

Discs need handling, discs get scratched, discs can break and if you're on a laptop that means discs need to be carried, stored somewhere, and not get stolen/lost.

Sure, back in the 80's this was acceptable, but we're not living in the days of floppy disks any more - game developers WAKE UP!!! Today you can authenticate game copies online, store the whole game on a hard drive, and as with Steam, download the game itself, all without requiring you to insert ANY stupid disc.

Some people consider noCD hacks piracy. How about virtual drive software? If you've spent $50 on a great game only to see the original CD fail and no longer able to play that favorite of yours, your opinion might be different. Especially if you need to spend another $20-50 to buy the game again, or in the worst case, cannot get a replacement disc because the game and/or support is no longer available.

Disc-in-drive requirements should have been abolished a long time ago. It is a backward, ineffective technique that does nothing to stop piracy, puts additional wear on game media, becomes a nuisance for legitimate users, and ultimately kills games when it fails to work.

In my opinion DRM "can" be done right, but do game publishers give a damn? I think not.
August 19, 2008 10:00:15 PM

craigdolphin said:
Apple's drm on itunes allows deauthorisation of previously authorized computers which makes it more acceptable to me that Mass Effects scam.

EDIT: And you can burn drm-free copies of your music to cd in case thier servers ever go away.

But if Apple's other drm systems are similar to Mass Effects SecuROM nonsense, then it'll be linux instead. I'll be sure to research the alternatives when the time comes.

Either way, I'm not going to reward the behavior financially.

Piss youself if you like. But as my father taught me: it's better to be pissed off than pissed on. And I'm done with drm scams pissing on me to give some suits at EA a false sense of security over their products.



also remember that all you just described requires a connection to their DRM server

if apple decided to kill their DRM servers then your music will die also, it will become a standstill and you wont be able to reinstall your os or upgrade to a new pc or transfer it to other devices


and burning to a cd is never a option, black cds are expensive and the who burning and ripping is a very expensive and time consuming process that also degrades the quality of your audio

if you don't believe me, then try this

open a jpg image with photoshop, then save the image as a png file, then open the png file then save it as a jpg then repeat this process multiple times then compare all of the images, you will see more and more artifacts and loss of quality in each passing image

same as with music


it is like having ford go out of business then you are required to take your ford car apart then drop all of the pieces from the top of the tallest building you can find then puck the pieces back up then rebuild the car

it is stupid to do and shouldn't be needed to do at all



then ever you burn a music file to cd then rip it, you loose money due to the cost of the cd and the energy used by the cd burner and you also loose time and audio quality
August 19, 2008 10:05:14 PM

Quote:
infornography you've been in enough of these conversations to know how idiotic that analogy is.


Yeah, I'll admit it was pretty idiotic, but so is the stance that losing a $50 product that you paid for a few years down the road is just hunky dorey as well as the stance that anyone who doesn't know about cracks being unable to use their product and many times being unable to return it being a fair and equitable practice. You don't always have to take the extreme argument, there are shades of grey in the middle and somewhere in there is more likely the best position to take.

Umm... Snap? Yeah, you can install Mass Effect like that a grand total of 3 times. You just used one of those activations...
August 19, 2008 10:11:14 PM

robwright said:
What?!?!?!?!?

Well, I can assure you that A) we do in fact build our own rigs here, B) we buy about half the games we review, and C) this particular column is just one editor's opinion of DRM. I may have a different opinion than Travis. And that's okay. We have a wide variety of opinions here at Tom's Games and THG in general. We don't agree on everything. In fact, ask Travis about Blade Runner one of these days and see what happens.

Anyway, back to DRM: Personally, I'm pretty disguested with SecuROM and didn't buy Mass Effect on the PC because of the activation limit. And BioShock caused me plenty of headaches, both professionally and recreationally, last summer. So yes, there are consequences -- even for gaming journalists like ourselves.


I challenge all game reviewers and journalists to list the SecuRom limitations in their first paragraph of all their reviews to make people aware of the crap publishers are trying to shove down our throat. It's your job as a reviewer to make these issues the first thing your readers are made aware of before getting down to the rest of the review so uninformed buyers know what they are getting into. If more people say screw it, I won't buy this game because of SecuRom and licensing limitations, maybe the publishers will eventually listen. It is unfortunate though that many review sites omit this information for fear of backlash from publishers taking their advertising dollars away just like the controversy that happened at Gamespot a year ago.

EA is always looking for other ways to supplement their revenue and there is talk that they would like to move to more of a rental model AKA SecuRom 3 licenses BAM your dead, vs selling you a copy that you can install at your leisure and if they get their way, I'm sure they'll continue doing it. Just the fact that I have to pay to call a toll EA to number get my own purchased copy working again is offensive to me as a buyer who shelled out $50 for a game.
August 19, 2008 10:28:33 PM

EA is always looking for other ways to supplement their revenue and there is talk that they would like to move to more of a rental model AKA SecuRom 3 licenses BAM your dead, vs selling you a copy that you can install at your leisure and if they get their way, I'm sure they'll continue doing it. Just the fact that I have to pay to call a toll EA to number get my own purchased copy working again is offensive to me as a buyer who shelled out $50 for a game. said:
EA is always looking for other ways to supplement their revenue and there is talk that they would like to move to more of a rental model AKA SecuRom 3 licenses BAM your dead, vs selling you a copy that you can install at your leisure and if they get their way, I'm sure they'll continue doing it. Just the fact that I have to pay to call a toll EA to number get my own purchased copy working again is offensive to me as a buyer who shelled out $50 for a game.


Valve games don't use a rental model and their PC line of games has made a significant amount more revenue than EA's PC line - the only thing saving EA is console sales

EA are their own worst enemy, as others pointed out - if the EA online store service was functional/provided a useful benefit like Steam then EA would likely make up quite a bit of PC sales that they aren't getting because of shady business practices.

Ultimately though, anything that pushes people to consoles is good for EA as consoles are EA's focus - which is quite possibly amongst the reasons they don't mind p-o-ing PC gamers with these types of "rental models"
August 19, 2008 10:29:22 PM

Some of these companies are doing it to themselves... Quit making crap, supporting the game like crap, and charging us extra for crap that should have been in the original release of the game... Yeah, I am pointing at you EA and all the companies acting just like you....

Case in point, EA, and their Battlefield series rehash jobs and bagillion expansions...

Case in point in the opposite direction, THQ. I have a solid representation of their continued excellence in game releases because time and again they are representative of what I want in my games. Quality releases with little to no hassle. I let my dollars do the talking. I even own some of their games two and three times. Good games deserve my money....

On another note, I have downloaded games and have bought every single game I liked. What you say, the game is jammed with advertisements and buggy code and doesnt work out of the box... Reject, uninstall, move on to better products, call it a day.... I would probably not pirate at all if regular game demos were available, but that isnt really the case. Demos are few and far between most are too limited to really do anything for you. Unfortunately, people like my thinking are not the norm where they purchase products that they actually use.

I am a gamer, it isnt hard for those companies to get my money. Make a good game. For those morons who steal a game and never pay anyone, they are the true ruiners of some of the game market, but it isnt all their fault. There are other factors at play as well... But hey, the solution is out there, and those companies havent seen how to do it. Steam kind of has it, but still needs some tweaking...

I would gladly pay for a service to play any game the company releases for a flat fee yearly. That's it, no hassle, no crapware, no stupid searching for ways around DRM.

I will keep paying someone money to keep me entertained. At it's heart, not a very hard concept is it.

What's my motivation to pay, continued entertainment, plain and simple and worthwhile...

What's the companies motivation, well for one continued existence and funding from me the consumer. What's their motivation to keep making entertaining products? Larger consumer base, continued fees from me the consumer and artistic glee.

I feel this would work for most entertainment markets out there, movies, music, gaming, etc.

Consumers are pretty simple if you let them be. Make whatever you have in your hand to give them garner more value than they placein the money they have in their hand. Simple.

If I have a dollar, would I trade it for game play? Make me say yes... That is the goal of the game maker... Now, make it happen...

Problem is, the average and majority of the corporations out there dont want to give up the old business model and move to what can really work....

Netflix anyone? Perfect example, why sell me a movie when I can join a membership of entertainment that continues to deliver directly to me when I want it with what I want it to.

Oh the money I would pay just to buy a game and get it the day it releases without hassle without standing in a line etc... Everytime I buy a game....

I am sure this debate will continue, but neither DRM (at least in its current form - if you want to loosely say that online game management is a form of DRM) or pirating are the answer.
August 19, 2008 10:41:07 PM

What gets me about this whole issue mostly are the people who defend very intrusive and limiting DRM like securom. I personally have no problem that I am going to have to validate my game if I am going to be playing online. Its no issue with me on wow because im playing in an online virtual world and everything is saved on the servers. What I take issue with mostly is DRM that limits the amount of times you can install a product on your computer. Its completely insane because it only hurts the legitimate customer. The exact people that they should be applauding for buying the game. Yet if you are pirate, not only will it be cracked in a couple days at the most, but they will have none of the limitations that the legal owner does. To me this is like bizzaro world. It only gives people incentive to pirate more, after all, why pay 50 dollars for a game you can only install 3 times when you could pay nothing and install as many times as you would like. As much as we want to believe that people will be absolutely moral, we know that isnt the case, money matters. If a game I want to buy has securom I personally will go buy a different game if one is out, but I also certainly wouldnt have problems if my friends decided to pirate it. After all its the company thats trying to screw the legit customers. There will always be piracy, there is no way that anyone will be able to erradicate it just like there is no way to get rid of prostitution. The only thing you can do is try to limit the amount and impact and intrusive DRM definately does the opposite. Why should anyone expect a legitimate customer to enjoy being treated like a filthy criminal? To the enablers, no, its does not make it ok if I can call EA and get more installs for my game. Would it be ok if you had a music cd that only played 30 times and for each additional 10 plays you had to call up columbia and reactivate it? Its crossing the line and directly infringing on the rights of the customer who are limited in what they can do with their legitimately owned copy. The bottom line for the enablers is, intrusive DRM like securom will ONLY hurt the legal owners of the game and will do absolutely NOTHING to anyone who pirates said game. If like you people say, are really anti-piracy, this fact should really infuriate you.
August 19, 2008 10:42:10 PM

@ Razor512

As I said, if the servers go away, I have my cd backup. Yes, there will be a slight degradation in quality after ripping back from the cd. But not enough to make it unusable for me.

I'm not defending the drm policy of apple. Far from it. But it isn't quite bad enough to drive me away from their product completely. At the end of the day, I will still have my music no matter what apple does. I would vastly prefer Apple did away with drm altogether.

The same is not true for EA and Mass Effect, and they will not see another cent from me as a result.
August 20, 2008 12:11:27 AM

craigdolphin said:
@ Razor512

As I said, if the servers go away, I have my cd backup. Yes, there will be a slight degradation in quality after ripping back from the cd. But not enough to make it unusable for me.

I'm not defending the drm policy of apple. Far from it. But it isn't quite bad enough to drive me away from their product completely. At the end of the day, I will still have my music no matter what apple does. I would vastly prefer Apple did away with drm altogether.

The same is not true for EA and Mass Effect, and they will not see another cent from me as a result.



thats like saying I have a car, even though Toyota decided to send a worker over to bash in the windshield, the car still works

if there was no DRM then there would be no loss in quality at all

August 20, 2008 2:32:51 AM

Yes, yes, yes. I get it. Securom is a piece of ****. Requiring the cd/dvd to be in the drive is stupid. Rootkit based DRM sucks. Everything that has been tried so far is bad.

What do YOU (yes, you - the people who have nothing good to say about DRM) propose developers should do to protect their content from piracy? "Nothing" isn't the answer. Piracy began before anyone had any idea that they would need to protect content from theft.
August 20, 2008 2:41:52 AM

Steam works fine and its hardly ground-breaking at this point.

Stop asking what the solution is, because its already there and its been mentioned already in this thread.
August 20, 2008 3:32:50 AM

ovaltineplease said:
Steam works fine and its hardly ground-breaking at this point.

Stop asking what the solution is, because its already there and its been mentioned already in this thread.


I tend to agree with Ovaltine here, but for the sake of argument I'll play devil's advocate and throw this out:

I feel like every time Steam comes up in a piracy/DRM discussion, some Johnny-Bringdown comes along and hammers digital distribution and predicts that a day will come 5 or 10 years from now when Valve gets bought by Microsoft/EA/Whoever and Steam gets shut down and then we'll lose all the content we ever bought on Steam. While I don't think this will happen, it's obviously a concern out there for a lot of gamers and I suppose it's a big reason why a number of folks stay away from digital distribution.
August 20, 2008 3:33:20 AM

asgallant said:
Yes, yes, yes. I get it. Securom is a piece of ****. Requiring the cd/dvd to be in the drive is stupid. Rootkit based DRM sucks. Everything that has been tried so far is bad.

What do YOU (yes, you - the people who have nothing good to say about DRM) propose developers should do to protect their content from piracy? "Nothing" isn't the answer. Piracy began before anyone had any idea that they would need to protect content from theft.



not entirely true

many of the first videogames for the pc required you to enter in a passcode for the game, it will tell you to heat to like page 30 if the booklet, and type in the second word of the second paragraph to install the game

that was one of the first forms of DRM

for me, nothing is the best way, there are not many ways to drm a game with out annoying the legit end user and it still wont stop piracy, it will only encourage it as the pirate copy will have less limitations and hoops to jump through

but at least back then when the company died, the game still worked because drm servers didn't exist back then


theres no way to avoid piracy

the only solution is to beat them in the market by providing a better experience


with piracy there major risks involved, but with the addition of DRM, that is enough to push people to take the risk of piracy to never have to deal with that drm

humans are creaures of reason

find even a 2 year old kid and tell them never to open this cabinet, they will most likely ask you why

legit users find no reason behind DRM because it has nothing to do with their game, they just see it as extra steps that don't need to be there


if AA and JFK airlines both had flights to the UK, but AA requires you to be strip searched at least 17 times before boarding the plane while JFK requires a simple metal detector and luggage scan, which would you pick to go to the UK

can you find any reasoning behind being strip searched at least 17 times before getting on a plane?

no one likes following steps or being required to do things they find meaningless to their goals

when it comes to games, DRM adds many meaningless steps and given the option people will choose a way to avoid those meaningless steps

August 20, 2008 3:55:57 AM



So far the best solutions seem to be steam and stardock which both seem to get a universal thumbs up from gamers. However I cant honestly say if there is anything that would solve the problem. With the internet and the ability to send digital information its just far to easy to pirate things. Any person who thinks it is possible to erradicate piracy is honestly out of reality. Its a fact of life now, the only way is to manage the best you can. That would probably be making the highest quality product and extra incentives and access to patches for legal customers. Moving more toward online gameplay and mmos(for better or worse) is a great way to force people to use a verifiable cd key. After all, who wants to play counter strike single player?

Im personally not too worried that PC gaming is going to die, I think its just fear mongering. Even if it did, the consoles would then see its own piracy problems heat up. I know more than enough people who already pirate 360 games. For now its just easier with the pc, but many pirates have some basic tech savvy skills and have a drive to get things for free. They will just chip their console of choice and work on getting things free there
August 20, 2008 4:10:29 AM

some of my friends pirate 360 games like crazy because there easier to pirate than PC games, all they do is download the games then using a image burning program, just burn it to disk and it plays in their console, some games don't even need the dvd drives firmware to be reflashed, they have a special bootloader that does some kind of exploit that causes the game to run

piracy on the 360 is very high, it is just harder for developers to see users with pirate games because theres no cd key or any ids involved half of the students in my class only use pirate 360 games

there even people who sell pirated games outside of the college about half a block down near a store

piracy is just as bad if not worst for the xbox 360 than it is for the PC the main games that get pirated are the unpopular ones or ones believed to be crappy as those are the ones people are least willing to spend money on
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