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Valve Takes the Offensive on Warez Users? 1127

Posted by Zonk
from the burn-warez-monkeys-burn dept.
Drull writes "It's claimed by a poster on filefront.com that Valve might have released a "Warez" version of Half-Life 2 to monitor and ban those who attempt to use it. This is the news from some guy with a filefront account, so take it with a grain of salt.
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Valve Takes the Offensive on Warez Users?

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  • by Torgo's Pizza (547926) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @10:50AM (#10854287) Homepage Journal
    If this pans out to be true, Valve could be in serious legal trouble. I totally sympathize with Valve in their efforts to combat piracy, but the moment they toy with other people's computers is when class action lawsuits occur. There are times that you just *can't* take the law into your own hands.

    I'll really feel sorry for those people who perhaps used this (if real) file to "no cd" their legitimate versions thinking that they were trying to save themselves some Steam hassle only to hose their system/accounts.
    • by TellarHK (159748) <tellarhk.hotmail@com> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:23AM (#10854758) Homepage Journal
      There's no real point to cracking it if you have a legal version. You'd risk running some hacker's code on your machine just to save -maybe- 10 or 15 seconds when you loaded up a game? That's foolish. So far most crack authors have been very good about being minimalist and unintrusive, but someday, with some crack, they're going to fuck you.

      And when it happens, what then? You'll have less than zero recourse. "Yes, I want to sue this guy because the illegal program he wrote to crack the protection on this software nuked my email."

      I hate software licensing as much as anyone on /., but when a company like Valve goes out of their way to offer something in exchange for the authentication hassle - they deserve a fair shake.
      • by recursiv (324497) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:36PM (#10855753) Homepage Journal
        So far most crack authors have been very good about being minimalist and unintrusive, but someday, with some crack, they're going to fuck you.

        As early as 3 years ago, I had seen warez installers that came bundled with stealth ftp servers and backdoor zombie agents.

        Did I say I saw? I mean, it was... a good friend of mine... I tried telling him to use legitimate software, but you know how those warez monkeys are.
      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:17PM (#10857132) Homepage Journal
        On some machines quite capable of running HL2, the steam part takes an extra four minutes or so, simply because Steam sucks and/or the servers are overloaded. Why should consumers have to wait for steam to play a game they paid for? We're being treated like criminals - nice reward for giving Valve and Vivendi our money, eh?
      • by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:29PM (#10857289) Journal
        There's no real point to cracking it if you have a legal version.

        Yeah, a big reason is to play single player (many people buy HL2 just for that reason) without having to be connected to the internet.

        You'd risk running some hacker's code on your machine just to save -maybe- 10 or 15 seconds

        Or being unable to connect at all if their authentication server happens to be down (it's not like it has never happened before), or being delayed as you say, or having to have your network connection ready which can be annoying if you play with a laptop and move around a bit more from your geek cellar. :-)
      • by fahrvergnugen (228539) <fahrv@hotmaCOBOLil.com minus language> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:57PM (#10857675) Homepage
        Nonsense, there's many good reasons to disable CD-checks. I don't want to put extra wear on original media unnecessarily, or on the drive. A disc always in the case is much less likely to get scratched than one that's in and out of the case constantly. Further, some programs are wrapped in copy-protection that is so heinous it keeps particular hardware from using the game in the first place (BF:1942). The first thing I do after buying a single-player game is download the NoCD crack.

        Having said that: If you buy Half-life 2 over Steam, there's no CD check. Further, the store-bought version comes with fewer features than two of the Steam variants, and if you're not into collecting PC game boxes, all you get is 5 CDs in paper sleeves. Further, Steam allows you to make CD-based backups.

        In addition, Valve makes an exponentially higher margin on the Steam-based distro, and by buying via Steam you fuck Vivendi in the ass. This feels especially good to me, as Vivendi is directly responsible for gutting Papyrus, Sierra, & Dynamix, three of my favorite developers. So really, it's the best of all worlds.

        I had a great experience purchasing via Steam. I pre-ordered the game, and pre-loaded the encrypted data. At 12:01am Tuesday morning, the game started decrypting, and by 12:10am I was playing.

        I still have my reservations re: Steam. Giving the publisher centralized control over whether I can use their software after I've paid for it makes me very uncomfortable, but the black market appears to be taking care of this issue for me already, and buying the CD-based distro of HL2 doesn't alleviate this problem, so I still recommend going with Steam.
        • by AmigaAvenger (210519) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @03:07PM (#10857820) Journal
          Further, some programs are wrapped in copy-protection that is so heinous it keeps particular hardware from using the game in the first place (BF:1942).

          AMEN!
          BF1942 was so bad that about 9/10 times it refused to see my perfectly good OEM disk in the drive. i would have to try restarting the game, many, many times, and sometimes restart the computer also. Sometimes I just gave up. Once I got the no-cd crack, I was finally able to play the game I had purchsed the day it was released. (not cheap either!)

      • by Simulant (528590) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:59PM (#10857695) Journal

        There's plenty a point to cracking. I hate CDs. I hate having to put them in the drive to play. I hate it when the game won't play even if it's in the drive. I hate having to carry them around with me when I travel. What if I scratch it? What if I lose it? What if it decays? What if my dog eats it? What if my child tosses it out the window? What if my cd rom drive breaks? What if I don't have a cd rom drive? What about when the next big thing comes along and we ALL don't have cd rom drives? Maybe I won't be playing the game then but maybe I will.

        Many of the above scenarios have occured already. More than once. Thank you thank you thank you gamecopyworld.com.

        I have no reason to distrust crackers. What reason do you have?

      • by necro2607 (771790) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @04:11PM (#10858582)
        Um, except that most of the time these cracks are written by members of huge piracy/cracking groups that have their huge reputation on the line and will only release the best product to maintain their reputation...

        They see releasing high quality cracks/warez as a matter of pride and wouldn't do something so "immoral" for any reason, unless the whole purpose of their group to begin with was to gain respect and popularity and then screw over everyone who trusts them.

        The only people who make those malicious cracks are small groups that are founded upon the members' harmful intent, or individuals with the same intent.

        Anyone who runs cracks made by these small groups/individuals obviously deserves whatever they get as a result of trusting unreputed and unknown obscure software crackers.

        So many times I've gone to crack a program for a friend or whatever, and they start whining about shit like "You're going to get a virus on my computer!" ... No, you dumbass. You'll get viruses/trojans on your computer when you search for "half life 2 crack" on fucking Kazaa and start downloading and running every result that comes up.

        These groups have a HUGE reputation on the line, they're not gunna fuck around with that. They receive hosting on servers with huge disk space and high bandwidth *as a favor* from users who support the groups. They don't want to piss off the users that support them.
  • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @10:56AM (#10854377) Homepage
    while managing to avoid pissing off their consumer base.
    Really? I bought HL2 (and HL1, and the expansions, and ...) and I'm pretty pissed off by Steam.

    It took two hours to get HL2 actually up and ready to play on tuesday, even though the installer actually put the bits onto the disk from the CD in under 15 minutes. And now, to actually play the game, in single player mode, it still takes several minutes from the time I click on the icon to start the game before I can even choose to load a saved game -- this time is spent starting Steam, then verifying that my copy is legit.

    And then, even when I'm not playing, Steam pops up and sends messages to my screen. So far, they've been related to HL2 and Steam, but how long will it be before Valve is advertising their new game? Or somebody else's new game, available through Steam? Or how about some new energy drink to drink while playing their game?

    Don't pretend that everybody likes Steam. It seems clever enough, but really what it is is an advertising, piracy prevention and sales portal. And if you want HL2, to actually *buy* HL2 rather than pirate it, it's forced on you.

    • by Nos. (179609) <{ac.srrekeht} {ta} {werdna}> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:21AM (#10854717) Homepage
      to actually play the game, in single player mode, it still takes several minutes from the time I click on the icon to start the game before I can even choose to load a saved game -- this time is spent starting Steam, then verifying that my copy is legit
      Sorry, but you're wrong here. That time is spent loading the game. Want proof? Exit Steam. Disconnect from the internet, and restart Steam. This will start steam in offline mode (it can't talk to Valve - you have no internet connection). Now launch HL2. I bet you won't notice a difference in load times. Why? Logging into steam authenticates you. It may check for updates when you first try to start HL2 (I'm not sure if it does this when you launch Steam, or at regular intervals whenever Steam is running), but there is very little network activity from Steam when launching the game.
    • by kannibal_klown (531544) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:30AM (#10854860)
      I purchased my copy from Steam, after cancelling my pre-ordered boxed copy from ebgames. I had every preloaded about 2 weeks ago.

      On Tuesday morning I started up my PC and Steam before I went into the shower. 12 minutes later, when I got back, everything was done and Half-Life 2 was ready. I even played a little bit before heading to the office.

      I realize some people had major problems; and while it sounds like a LOT of people, I don't know how high the percentage is.

      Steam was a success in MY view, but I'm sure others disagree. Personally, I think Steam's a great idea so long as it's not a springboard to something sinister; like mandatory "renting" of the game.

      There was talk on a forum about perhaps they'd offer the ability to rent the game for a month or 2 if you want for dirt cheap (after all, how often do you just play a game for a few weeks and forget about it), but it would be optional and you could still fully buy the game. But I don't know if this was just shooting the breeze or something that Valve touched on.

      My Steam experience was quite positive, I'd use it again to buy software if the situation arises.
  • by WaldoJMU (2651) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @10:58AM (#10854407) Homepage
    IF Valve is, indeed, running such an experiment, it's pretty unlikely that Gabe Newell (or anyone at Valve) would immediately fess up to it to some unknown joker on the Internet - WHILE they're trying to catch people.

    However, this is a pretty neat idea - since Valve knows that people are going to pirate the game, the proactive step of CONTROLLING the version that gets pirated by modding it so that they can track it anthen releasing it BEFORE anyone else can do the same pretty much ensures that they'll get the personal info (name, credit card #, address, etc.) of lots of pirates, and then they can choose what to do with that info.

    The first option that comes to mind is emotionally satisfying to but a horrible business plan - they COULD use that personal info to PERMANENTLY BAN that person from using Steam/HL2, ever. Although that might make Gabe & crew feel good for a few minutes... they just potentially lost ($50 x #_of_pirates).

    The second option, which is BOTH emotionally satisfying AND a good business plan, BUT is ALSO only quasi-moral and barely legal, is to use that personal info to contact the pirates directly and extort^H^H^H^H^H^H encourage them to buy a legal copy immediately, otherwise Valve will turn their info over to the authorities for prosecution. This not only "sticks it to the pirates" but also generates additional revenue (($50 x #_of_pirates) - ($50 x #_of_stupid_pirates)). Heck, if they went the extortion^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H encouragement route, why not "encourage" them to buy the $90 package instead? :)

    The third, and most likely option, would be to turn all of that personal info over to the authorities and make a huge example out of all of them, thus instilling the Fear of Valve into all pirates everywhere, which would hopefully reduce the number of pirates and create a Utopian society for all.

    All that said, though, I doubt there's any truth to the story, since, again, it kind of defeats the purpose of having a sting-operation if you TELL EVERYONE you're running a sting! :)
    • by swright (202401) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:42AM (#10855021) Homepage
      The thing that's troubling me about all this is that if Valve acutally put this 'warezed' version online then surely it isn't warez at all..

      I mean, they uploaded for everyone else to copy. Freely. With no EULA presumably.

      Surely if Valve put it online then it's not illegal to download/use it and the worst they can do is ban you from Steam?

    • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:32PM (#10857319) Homepage
      A fourth, and more satisfying alternative, is to simply start a rumour that the cracks for HL2 have actually been placed there by you, and that they contain back-doors which will do nasty things to your computer, make the ice cream in your freezer go bad and even have sex with your grandmother.

      Telling everybody that there is a sting operation is the best thing you can do, short of actually running a sting, if your goal is just to scare people away from using the cracks and get them to be good little boys and girls who will continue to connect to Steam every time they play.

      Why try to catch people who break your rules if it's easier to convince them not to?
  • by syrinx (106469) * on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:00AM (#10854438) Homepage
    "It's claimed by a poster on filefront.com that..."

    uh huh. well, it's claimed by a poster on slashdot.org that Natalie Portman pours hot grits down my pants.
    • by MrEd (60684)
      Note: "Warez" refers to the illegal pirating of software such as games and applications for distribution on the Internet.


      Note: "Grits" refers to ... what the hell does it refer to again?

  • by Quarters (18322) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:13AM (#10854608)
    "Monitoring warezed HL2 files on torrent networks" is not the same thing as "Valve populated torrent networks with warezed HL2 files."
  • by TellarHK (159748) <tellarhk.hotmail@com> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:13AM (#10854612) Homepage Journal
    Gabe could be saying what he did just to put the scare tactics out there. I would think that could be pretty effective, up to a point. It seems to me that Valve had several options for ways to make HL2 a bit more secure than the average release, by way of options like having the HL2.exe check the MD5 on the Steam.exe, and vice-versa, or other you-get-my-back-I-get-yours dual anti-piracy measures. Considering that I got over five years of playtime out of Half-Life and various mods, I think paying for HL2 was a very wise investment, and feel that people who pirate it just need to pay up and stop harming a developer that gave modding the biggest kick in the pants since inception.

    "Let's let people mod our game. And what the hell, we'll buy the leading map editor for our format and give it out for free." iD didn't do that. Everyone else followed Valve's lead here.

    The way I would like to see Valve approach this, would be to let people get a taste of the game with the pirated version (maybe the first 1-2 chapters) and then lock Steam down tight, wipe out a few of the required game files (like the .gcf files, nothing executable) and pull some form of identifying mark from the user. If you pirate software, and the company swipes something identifying you personally - as long as it's nothing that could be considered "theft" of data or records - morally, you deserve what you get.

    I hope Valve does have some kind of a crackdown in progress, we'll have to see where it goes from here. Gabe never replied to my question about the "post-Steam" future of Half-Life 2, which is my only real concern about the authorization system.
  • No soup for who? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spyrochaete (707033) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:34AM (#10854912) Homepage Journal
    I'm not really getting this... It's easier to patch than to reverse-engineer, so I presume the warez version of the game is supplied with a crack that fakes out the Steam authentication so that it doesn't know it's being tricked. Nobody who is interested only in the single player game will connect to another computer online.

    How can they expect to track people? Bittorrent? The only tracking information specified in BT is IP address, and most people have a dynamic IP which can be changed by unplugging their modem for 10 minutes.

    And what's the penalty? They're banned from the service they don't need? So what?
  • by G-Spot (72524) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:46PM (#10855899) Homepage
    If this is true, it actually could end up hurting Valve in the end. For instance, lets say someone downloads a copy of HL2 and plays it. In the process, they are banned from Steam. They decide that they like the game and perhaps would like to play CS:Source or DoD:Source, and so they try and purchase the game. Valve, having locked the potential customer out of Steam, will have lost a customer. Now, you're probably saying that people who download games have no reason to buy them, but this is not true, especially in this case, considering that many people buy the game for CS:Source and DoD:Source. I myself first played an illegal copy of Half-Life, but then bought the game because I liked it and wanted to play TFC. This is only considering the fact that Valve could track the users...
    Now, how is Valve going to track the user? Look on their computer for a Steam account and ban all accounts found? What if one of their friends had been over playing on their box, logged into steam, and there were two accounts on the machine? Ban both accounts? I know I was showing my friend the CS:Source beta when he didn't have it, I saw my account directory still on his machine last week. What if the user of the pirated software didn't even have Steam? Ban his IP? Not practical due to dynamic IP's. I know, many people have broadband connections with static IPs, but still many don't. Also, if a user owns a steam account, it's a good bet that they have purchased a product, such as HL or CS:CZ. If someone can find in the Steam EULA where it allows Valve to revoke use of a product that a user already owns, please post it in reply to this. Direct quotes only please. So, in summary, this is either bullshit or a pretty stupid plan... I'm betting on the former.
    • by gosand (234100) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:23PM (#10857211)
      Valve, having locked the potential customer out of Steam, will have lost a customer.

      ObSimpsons quote:

      Homer: You just lost yourself a customer!
      CHA-CHING
      Moe: Wha? I'm sorry, Homer I couldn't hear you
      Homer: I said you just lost yourself a customer!
      CHA-CHING
      Moe: Huh?
      Homer: You just lost yourself a customer!
      CHA-CHING
      Moe: Homer you're going to have to speak up!
      Homer: You just lost yourself a customer, Moe!
      CHA-CHING
      Moe: I've forced myself to wha?
      Homer: You just lost yourself a customer!
      CHA-CHING
      Moe: Homer.. I'll talk to you tomorrow!
      Homer: You just lost yourself a customer!
      CHA-CHING
      Moe: Yeah you can use it!

  • Pah! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 10537 (699839) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:57PM (#10856068)
    Far from this Steam activation deal encouraging me to buy the game rather than use a warezed version, it's done precisely the opposite. I was going to buy the boxed version of it to avoid the horrors of Steam (have you ever READ the T&Cs for it?), but now it transpires that it's Steam or no HL2 I guess it's no HL2 for me. For starters my gaming PC is not, nor will it ever be, connected to the internet, but that's not the only thing:

    One, Valve's LAN-gaming policy is retarded -- you have to apply a month in advance if you want to play a Valve game at a LAN-party, but at the moment it's not enforced. However, all they need to do is disable the "offline play" mode on Steam...

    Two, what happens if at some point in the future Valve go belly up? What good then your $60 piece of software?

    Three, this is just another step towards some sort of stupid broadcast flag/induce act piece of moronicity.

    Four, the only people inconvenienced by this (along with every other piece of product activation ever created) are people who paid for it. People with warezed versions are saved the hassle (and in the case of the CS:Source Emporio release, occasionally get extra features).

    So long, Gabe -- I waited years for HL2, but I guess I'll never get to play it now.
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @01:20PM (#10856364)
    Yeah, won't help for online play, but what kind of idiot plays pirated games online anyway?
  • by wramsdel (463149) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:08PM (#10857010)
    "Slashdot: Rumors for Nerds. Stuff that may or may not be true."
  • In related news... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kenja (541830) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:11PM (#10857058)
    In releated news, due to piss poor QA you HAVE to install Counter Strike if your trying to install HL2 off of the retail CDs. If you dont select Counter Strike (which is on disk five) the installer will look for the final file "hl2.ico1" on disk four and not find it (because its not there) forcing you out of the installer after swapping four disks. If the game wasn't so good I'd be REALY pissed off, as it stands I just take my aggression out on head crabs.
  • You know, (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:17PM (#10857136)
    for a sleepy little village in Mexico, Warez sure gets a lot of coverage on the web.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:26PM (#10857248) Journal
    The worst part is that according to the linked forum, no one says Valve has released a warez version to fool pirates.

    End of story, IMHO.

    This is the official word:

    "We're running a bit of an experiment. We're keeping track of the accounts that do this and will be shutting them off."

    Then it's assumed the "experiment" was to release a warez version. The "experiment" can of course be anything, like leaking an invalid key to some IRC channel. But that would be nowhere near spreading a warez version. It could probably mean something else too as "keeping track" is quite ambiguous.

    The FileFront guy goes on with

    "Therefore, I strongly suggest that you DO NOT participate in these illegal activities as it would only lead to your own harm."

    Why, the most common cracked version doesn't even connect to Steam. How would they be able to do anyhting? And if you loose your account, you're free to make a new one. Maybe they ban by IP ranges, but that's risky for dynamic IP's and nothing like that is even mentioned.
  • by The-Bus (138060) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:27PM (#10857265)
    This is from a Wired article entitled "Warez Wars" [wired.com]:

    NFO files do more than brag or supply installation instructions; they testify that the ware is a bona fide release, guaranteed to work. And this is more than just posturing; a group's reputation is paramount. Each release is painstakingly beta-tested. These are their products now, their labors of love. Nobody wants to find a "bad crack" in his hands after a seven-hour download. Nobody wants to be accused of being "unprofessional." Nobody wants the ignominy of anything like the bad crack for Autodesk's 3D Studio that made the rounds in 1992. For all intents and purposes it ran correctly, all features seemed 100 percent functional. Except that the dedongled program slowly and subtly corrupted any 3-D model built with it. After a few hours of use, a mesh would become a crumpled mass of broken triangles, irrevocably damaged. Cleverly, Autodesk had used the dongle to create a dynamic vector table within the program. Without the table, the program struggled to create mathematically accurate geometry - and eventually failed. Many a dodgy CAD house saw its cost-cutting measures end in ruin. Autodesk support forums and newsgroups were flooded with strangely unregistered users moaning about the "bug in their version of 3D Studio." A rectified "100 percent cracked" version appeared soon after, but the damage was done. The Myth of the Bad Crack was born, and the pirate groups' reputations tarnished.


    If "Valve" releases a bad CD crack, so be it. It's not really from Valve so there's no recourse. If that's what they're doing, I don't see a problem with it. Makes the pirate's job that much harder.
  • by telemonster (605238) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:37PM (#10857385) Homepage
    I bought the original Half-Life to play DOD with friends. Then they released Steam(ing pile of DRM ad delivery garbage). For months I couldn't play the games because updates broke video compatibility. Then all of a sudden it worked, for a few weeks, then it broke again with security issues when connecting to other hosts. Then a few weeks later it works again (after more fixes are retrieved). It is a nightmare!

    Everyone cries about Circuit City and their failed Divx initive. Steam cries of the same thing. It's an advertisement and upsell delivery system.

    After suffering thru Steam, I would chuckle if people cracked the Steam software delivery system, or reverse engineered the Steam authentication system so rouge servers could auth clients on private networks.

    I am proud to admit that Steam/DOD/HL started working just in time to deliver ads for HL2.

    Warez puppies dissapointed me, they didn't manage to unlock the preload of HL2 or crack the authentication garbage.
  • And... (Score:5, Funny)

    by kjeldor (146944) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:43PM (#10857469)
    In related news, last night in #teen-chat, cHeRrYbLossOM697 responded to the question "a/s/l" with "200/m/NJ". Although sources have not yet been confirmed, jounalists are now saying that we may have uncovered the oldest living human.
  • Is it just me...? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BarryNorton (778694) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @02:55PM (#10857632)
    Or, if you actually read the source on this, that poster was reading more into Valve's response than was said.

    They only said they're monitoring it and responding, not that they'd released it.

    It's easy to monitor who's sharing a file on BitTorrent without seeding a single bit, never mind being the original seeder...
  • What Would This Be? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by One Childish N00b (780549) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @03:07PM (#10857824) Homepage
    A HL2 torrent released so they can monitor and ban IPs that connect to it? I doubt it, as that's a legal minefield - you don't even need to be a lawyer to see how a smart pirate is going to make Valve look like fools in court by arguing that by connecting to the torrent and, by the nature of bittorrent, sending just one byte of the game down his pipe, they were displaying conscious intent to give him the whole game for free, thus whipping their case out from under them.

    Or, as someone else suggested, a .zip full of large junk files with an .exe that just 'calls home' and gets your Steam ID banned? I doubt this too, as all it would take would be for one vindictive hax0r who just got his Steam account wiped to rename the home-calling .exe as something perfectly legal and start serving it up over Kazaa and bam!, anyone who downloads it gets their Steam IDs hosed. I can't see Valve being stupid enough to run the risk of being liable for something like that, even if it's not likely they would be the ones in the wrong in the eyes of the law in that situation - they'd definately at least be seen as irresponsible for making such a move so easy to perform.

    Or there's option C. That this is bullshit scaremongering. My money's on the latter.
    And since when did rumours in jumped-up forum posts become news, anyway?
    Bad Slashdot.
  • by planckscale (579258) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @04:31PM (#10858842) Journal
    Where there's a scientist that says "You're playing a cracked copy, there's no way to get out of this room, so you might as well play with my pet head crab."

  • Worked real well.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by mrgrey (319015) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @05:05PM (#10859256) Homepage Journal
    2 minutes to find a no steam crack [megagames.com].

    2 minutes to download the crack.

    2 minutes to install.

    Total time saved from not using steam. 3 hrs. 52 minutes.

    You feel better whether you bought it or not.

  • by Thaelon (250687) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @06:27PM (#10860032)
    Is that the people who paid less money to get the game via Steam don't have to have the cd/DVD in their drive. I paid $80 for the Collector's edition (I wanted the DVD), so I get the privilage of being required to have the fucking DVD in my drive to play the game.

    Anybody found a no DVD crack for it yet?

    Speaking of that I think I'll call Valve right now and about this....
    Damn, no phone support; they tell you to go to steampowered.com and there's no phone # there.

    I did a domain WHOIS but unfortunately their domain registrations are handled through some sort of third party domain proxy so you can't use the WHOIS information to actually contact the company who really owns the domain. How lame.

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