Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
PC Games (Games) Entertainment Games

PC Grand Theft Auto IV Features SecuROM DRM 531

Posted by Soulskill
from the players-are-pirates-qed dept.
arcticstoat writes "Game developer Rockstar has revealed that the forthcoming PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV will feature the controversial SecuROM 7 DRM system. Unlike some of EA's recent titles, such as Spore and Mass Effect, GTA IV won't limit the number of times that you can install the game, although SecuROM will be impossible to remove without leaving 'some traces' on your PC. Anyone hoping to avoid SecuROM by downloading the game form Steam will also be disappointed, as Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online. On the plus side, Rockstar says that it's 'working with SecuROM to post information on our support pages regarding how to remove these inactive traces of the program for users who wish to do so.' Has Rockstar gotten a better balance between draconian DRM and fair copy protection here?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

PC Grand Theft Auto IV Features SecuROM DRM

Comments Filter:
  • no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:03PM (#25919575) Homepage

    Has Rockstar gotten a better balance between draconian DRM and fair copy protection here?

    No. Fuck them.

  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:06PM (#25919607) Homepage

    I'm sure most people don't care (or know) and the ones who do will just grab a "DRM-freed version".

    I like to think that DRM is the cause of and not the solution to Piracy :)

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by compro01 (777531) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:07PM (#25919611)

    I'm not going to be buying it, but that doesn't seem to be solving the problem, as they continue to push this crap.

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:08PM (#25919635) Journal

    There is no reason for this crap to be on the Steam version. Nadeo bundled Starforce with Trackmania to start with but ultimately removed it.

    Treat me like a thief? Then I'll be one. Piracy offering the better alternative again, as Securom will be neutered on the Reloaded (or whoever) release which will probably be out before the game is in all markets.

    When are these idiot developers going to get their heads around this? DRM DOES NOT WORK! All it does is force people who value the contents of their PC to not buy their titles.

    I wonder where the tipping point is? Because it's going to come soon I think. Where the number of sales LOST due to the DRM becomes an issue.

    If you were going to buy GTA IV, and on this news now won't, please post. I mean they've lost my $50.

    "Software Piracy: The friendlier, safer alternative."

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:09PM (#25919653) Journal

    Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online

    Not quite all, I imagine.

    I don't even play these games. The humor I see in it is that Spore was cracked on September 3rd [kotaku.com]--four days before its launch date. Um, are they really under the impression that one of these schemes might stop the hackers?

    At some point you have to acknowledge that you're just annoying your entire fan base to play a cat-and-mouse game with some hackers (that you're losing in an embarrassing way).

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shados (741919) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:15PM (#25919703)

    When are these idiot developers going to get their heads around this?

    PUBLISHERS, not developers. As a general rule, game developers are against strong DRM, and often, against any DRM at all. The publishers usually strong arm them. In this case, the developer and the publisher is pretty much one and the same (I think...), but I doubt the development department agreed with the suits on this.

  • The point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:20PM (#25919741)
    What's even the point of this protection? All it's supposed to protect will be cracked before you even get to put the DVD in your computer. So, what's the point at all?
  • Re:no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:21PM (#25919745)

    If you want the game, wait for the crack to appera on www.piratebay.com so you can install it without this particular bit of system abuse, and pay for the game so you have a valid license. And write a friendly letter (anonymously) explaining why you had to wait until the crack before you felt safe installing it. Among other abuses, Securom makes sure that you have to have the CD installed while running the game, and this is simply stupid in the modern computer world.

  • Better Questions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Imagix (695350) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:23PM (#25919767)
    Why didn't they ask more interesting questions? From the article: "Having copy protection allows us to protect the integrity or our titles and future investments". Why wasn't the question asked: "If this is so important, why haven't you used a copy protection method that actually works, ie: one which isn't cracked within days of release, if not before release"?
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdot@spad.YEATSco.uk minus poet> on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:23PM (#25919769) Homepage

    I'm not a fan of having additional crap like GFWL & This Rockstar Games Social Club, whatever the hell that is, forced upon me during game installs but the real question for me is whether or not it'll let me run Process Explorer (Which long since replaced Task Manager for me) and play the game at the same time (I'm looking at you, Bioshock, amongst others).

    Also, why screw over the customers using Steam by including SecuROM? Steam *is* a copy protection mechanism in that restricts the game to a single user and it's not easy to duplicate a legit copy to another Steam account (Harder than downloading a cracked copy anyway). I had enough bad experiences with StarForce to be wary of anything that installs hard-to-remove driver hooks to control application usage.

  • Re:The point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:27PM (#25919797) Homepage

    What's even the point of this protection?

    Shareholders say "Do something!" and so they do something. Doesn't have to be effective, though, but works great as a "feel good" measure.

  • Feel good security (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:28PM (#25919803)

    I think people may be missing the human side of the problem. Let's say your an engineer and your manager comes to you and says "zomg! piratez! they r eatin ma soupz!" And being that you're the guy they're paying the big bucks to impliment features, it falls to you to stop people from "pirating". Now, being an engineer you know that there's no way to keep a game from being copied, but your boss is frothing at the mouth and pseudo-geek talk is coming out of his mouth while he runs through the office with a stack of trade magazines -- so you have to do something. So you call up Xyzzy company and tell your boss to pay them a lot of money and the problem goes away. Your boss collapes on his desk in a deep sigh of relief, signs away several million dollars, and -- blammo, SecuROM.

    It's called "feel good security". It's the same kind of security you run into in large corporations. You know, you have to use a randomly generated 18 character alphanumeric password and it changes every 90 days... which is great except that when you go to do your timesheets you have to enter your LAN password... which goes over the wire plaintext encapsulated in an HTTP POST query. Oops. Also, because not everybody's memory is so great, it becomes common practice to keep the 18 character passwords written on sticky notes.

    This is the true genesis of DRM... Ignorance and management fretting over money. It will be viewed as good as long as they "save" more money than it "costs" them.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:43PM (#25919929)

    Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online

    All versions except the pirated versions that is.

  • Re:no (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:50PM (#25919975)

    wonder where the tipping point is? Because it's going to come soon I think. Where the number of sales LOST due to the DRM becomes an issue.

    lol. Like any CEO would EVER give a report to their stockholders that the crippling DRM they ADDED to their product, that cost a LOT of money to add, is costing them in sales. No. All you will see is them turn around and say "Piracy has claimed even more of our projected (ie: hoped for) sales! It's a good thing we put that DRM on it or it would have cost us millions more!!!!"

    The only way you're going to get them to grudgingly accept the DRM is costing them sales directly is if nobody buys the game, and nobody pirates it. And even then they'll claim it's piracy but claim it's "so far underground we have yet to determine exactly how it's being transferred!"

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shados (741919) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:51PM (#25919985)

    In many cases, the developers are not in a position to make a stance. Especialy with smaller developers, this ends up like a second take on the big labels for music/movies. The "artist" (developer in this case) needs the publisher more than the publisher needs the "artist"... some games, including decent ones, never see the light of days for lacking publishers (especially indie ones. Commercial ones still may or may not struggle to get the game out).

    There may also be licenses that are owned by the publisher. The biggest example of this is the Neverwinter Night serie. Bioware was at the mercy of Atari, who screwed them over quite a few times over the licenses, forced DRM on the games, and forced even some development decision on them. Most publishers are, simply put, assholes. With digital distribution, some games now totally bypass the corporate publisher though...I guess that helps.

  • No thanks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcbridematt (544099) on Friday November 28, 2008 @06:53PM (#25919999) Homepage Journal
    I'll stick with my copy of GTA4 for X360. At least I _know_ what I'm getting into DRM-wise and I can sell the game to someone else without any attempt on the part of the game maker to limit my resale right.
  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cliffski (65094) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:00PM (#25920081) Homepage

    pirating the game just makes one statement:

    "I want this game, and I took it for free. If you can find a more secure drm, you will make more money from me"

    If you really wanted t protest DRM, you would NOT play the game at all, whilst emailing them to say so.
    When you pirate the game, you just get chalked up by the publisher as another pirate, not as some sort of anti-drm protest vote.

    The people who pirated my games achieved fuck all in terms of removing DRM. I did that because people emailed me and made rational arguments about being in favour of drm-free games. If you actually want rockstar to ditch DRM, you need to tell them, not just act like the pirates who just want free stuff.

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HiVizDiver (640486) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:19PM (#25920283)
    Well, technically, if NO ONE bought the game, and it was evident that DRM was the reason why, then I bet it *would* solve the problem.

    However, as we've "discussed" (I use the term loosely) ad nauseum here on /., most people have no idea what DRM is, and it doesn't cause most of THEM any problem. They make up the vast majority of people purchasing the game, so until such time that it TRULY becomes draconian (I think using that term might be engaging in a bit of hyperbole), they'll continue putting this shit in their games. Period.

    Before I'm labelled as a corporate shill, note that I do not think DRM works. It does NOT prevent piracy, this much we know. But they still SELL a bazillion copies of the latest blockbuster game, so they must be doing something right, in there minds, right? I also think that the number of people that it REALLY causes problems for is pretty small compared to the number of copies sold on any given game. People who think they can bitch loudly on a company web forum and sign useless online petitions are deluding themselves in how much they think that companies give a rat's ass how much they piss an moan. Not until something happens on a truly epic scale (see the first sentence of this post) will they cease putting DRM in their games, and truly explore alternate means of mitigating piracy.

    Yes, there are games where it's pretty bad, and yes I've seen the video on Youtube, [youtube.com] and I think that's ridiculous. But I also think that companies like EA and Rockstar are (to engage in hyperbole) filling their swimming pools with cash, and they can only reasonably conclude that it's because they are selling a shitload of games due to the fact that DRM works (again, in their minds).
  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kagura (843695) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:26PM (#25920329)
    I already read a blurb about it having SecuROM, but just like Spore, I don't really care. Spore ran fine without causing me any problems, and I've already pre-ordered GTA4 on Steam.

    I recently ran into a problem with a different game having a five-install limit, and it took me an utterly annoying full week to get a new key through their message boards, but it finally went through. Aside from that one recent incident of a two-year-old game, I have never had any problems with DRM. That's not to say that won't be the case in the future, but right now DRM doesn't bother me one bit. For games like GTA4, where the developers put a lot of time and money into making a product that I genuinely and thoroughly enjoy, I don't mind paying it back to them.

    I don't think all DRM complainers are looking for an excuse to pirate games, but at least some complainers are looking for an excuse. That small population should come clean with themselves. I regularly pirate games off and on, and it's merely what's most convenient to me at the time.
  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by karmatic (776420) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:29PM (#25920349)

    I don't even play these games. The humor I see in it is that Spore was cracked on September 3rd [kotaku.com]--four days before its launch date. Um, are they really under the impression that one of these schemes might stop the hackers?

    This does nothing to stop determined piracy - we know it, and they know it. What it _does_ do is deter casual copying. For companies like EA, this offers one really compelling feature - it kills the resale market.

    When you can only install on X PCs, it gets a lot harder to resell. Resold games don't make them any money.

  • by Tony Hoyle (11698) * <tmh@nodomain.org> on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:42PM (#25920473) Homepage

    I sure as hell would steal a car if I could do it by duplicating the original car and creating a brand new copy.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by icedcool (446975) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:42PM (#25920477) Homepage

    "I want this game, and I took it for free. If you can find a more secure drm, you will make more money from me"

    Uh. No it doesn't.

    It says that I want the game, but I'm not willing to put up with the drm you put on it.
    If you remove the drm, I will buy the game.

    The drm, will always be circumvented by pirates. Every drm we make, we can come up with ways to defeat.

  • Slashdot Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:44PM (#25920491) Homepage Journal

    This is what gets me, is that no one attempts to sprearhead and channel all the users and traffic here.

    What if CmdrTaco made a post on the front page tomorrow asking every visitor to Slashdot to send EA a message that they will refuse to purchase any game with DRM. One email won't do it. 100 emails won't do it. But a few thousand emails in a single day is hard to ignore. How many people visit Slashdot in a day? Is a few thousand emails unreasonable for a coordinated effort from the Slashdot community on an issue we all largely seem to agree on?

    And perhaps another day CmdrTaco posts a request asking everyone to email Nvidia about their Linux drivers.

    Seriously, right now we're an unorganized group of people bitching to each other about issues we agree on as opposed to an organized group expressing our opinion to the appropriate parties.

  • Re:no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:14PM (#25920699)

    Now, Spore is a bad example, since you will probably not want to play it in, say, 2 years. But imagine it would have been a good game with good replay value and you dig out that CD in a few years, think "hey, why not play this again instead of buying some new crap?" and find out that it won't activate?

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:27PM (#25920785) Homepage Journal
    This whole "DRM" thing is Newspeak. They call it that because "copy protection" has become a dirty word. Therefore we should *always* call it copy protection. We should call it the ugly, technology-breaking thing that it is.
  • Re:no (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Achromatic1978 (916097) <robert@@@chromablue...net> on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:27PM (#25920789)
    It also says "I think I am more important than you, and that what I want is more important than what you want, and I am willing to break the law to act on my self-centered desire".
  • Re:The point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:28PM (#25920797)

    So we get the War on Piracy right after the War on Terror, now that the War on Drugs is almost dead and forgotten?

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chaos Incarnate (772793) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:42PM (#25920927) Homepage
    Of course, not buying the game still sends the second and possibly first of those messages. ;)
  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrbah (844007) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:58PM (#25921033)
    Paying for the game and not putting up with the DRM aren't mutually exclusive. Buy it, then use a pirated copy.
  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icedcool (446975) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:04PM (#25921077) Homepage
    No again.

    Dude... I, as the customer, am more important than them. Customers are what pads their wallet, and are the reason they created the game in the first place. Without us, they wouldn't even be there or have produced the game.

    I do have a say in what they install in my computer, and whether or not I participate in that.
    Of course it's self centered.... who would I buy the game for?

    It says I'm willing to participate in using my money to buy your product as long as you don't treat me like shit. Treat me like shit, and I will protest.

    As the customer, I can't initiate a change in action. I can only protest. It has to come from the producer.(ie, removal of drm)
  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:15PM (#25921147) Homepage Journal

    Because the law breaking part of this is retarded and needs to go. You bought the game, you should have the right to do whatever you want with it for personal use.

    The DMCA is getting more and more irritating as time goes on.

  • Rockstar, I'm Done (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kcbnac (854015) <kcbnac@nosPaM.gmail.com> on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:37PM (#25921299)

    On that note, anyone know where/how we should send this message?

    I WAS looking forward to purchasing this game. I've got all of the previous GTA series games on the shelf behind me, purchased legitimately. Cracked some of them, so that I could play them on my laptop while on break at college and leaving the CD/DVD at home, and safe. (Hint: The disc checks only serve to piss people off)

    There is a significant portion of the population that avoids piracy. We like having a real copy, it's just we don't want to risk it. So, we do an install, and at that point want to put the disc away, for safe-keeping. We don't want to risk scratching it or breaking it, or even worse - losing it. I have an old game from a decade ago now (Star Trek: Birth of the Federation) published by Microprose. They no longer exist, absorbed by I think Atari. (Doing a Google search shows the brand went through several transactions) If this game required a phone-home to install, I would pretty much be hosed.

    I still play the game. To keep the disc safe, I made a disc image, or an ISO, of it. This way I can install it and play anytime I want, without risking the CD.

    Rockstar, from now until you realize the mistake you've made here by choosing to implement not just copy protection, but a very draconian, check-in-needed copy protection, I won't be purchasing any of your future titles. Don't worry, I won't pirate them either.

    Rockstar, I'm taking my ball, and I'm gonna go play with someone else.

  • Stolen post (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kagura (843695) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:11PM (#25921551)
    I think people may be missing the human side of the problem. Let's say your an engineer and your manager comes to you and says "zomg! piratez! they r eatin ma soupz!" And being that you're the guy they're paying the big bucks to impliment features, it falls to you to stop people from "pirating". Now, being an engineer you know that there's no way to keep a game from being copied, but your boss is frothing at the mouth and pseudo-geek talk is coming out of his mouth while he runs through the office with a stack of trade magazines -- so you have to do something. So you call up Xyzzy company and tell your boss to pay them a lot of money and the problem goes away. Your boss collapes on his desk in a deep sigh of relief, signs away several million dollars, and -- blammo, SecuROM.

    It's called "feel good security". It's the same kind of security you run into in large corporations. You know, you have to use a randomly generated 18 character alphanumeric password and it changes every 90 days... which is great except that when you go to do your timesheets you have to enter your LAN password... which goes over the wire plaintext encapsulated in an HTTP POST query. Oops. Also, because not everybody's memory is so great, it becomes common practice to keep the 18 character passwords written on sticky notes.

    This is the true genesis of DRM... Ignorance and management fretting over money. It will be viewed as good as long as they "save" more money than it "costs" them.
  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RedWizzard (192002) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:15PM (#25921563)

    pirating the game just makes one statement:

    "I want this game, and I took it for free. If you can find a more secure drm, you will make more money from me"

    No. You seem to be suffering from the widely held delusion (at least among "content creators") that a pirated copy is a lost sale. The statement that is actually being made is this:

    "I want this game, and I took it for free. I'm not prepared to pay the price you ask with the restrictions you've imposed".

    Making the DRM more secure might get some people to pay. Removing the DRM might get some people to pay. What evidence do you have that adding DRM is more effective than removing DRM? What evidence do you have that DRM can be made secure enough to make a difference? I've yet to see anything convincing from the industry on either of those points. Most likely the price is simply too high. Content creators need to stop looking at pirates as people that can be forced to buy. Most of them can't be, though some them could be induced to buy (with better quality games, fewer DRM annoyances, lower prices). Trying to force them (via DRM) appears ineffective so far and is certainly turning away people who otherwise would buy.

  • Re:no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pcolaman (1208838) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:55PM (#25921795)
    So your method of protest is to steal the game? Yeah, that will make them take you seriously. That would be like me protesting Wal-Mart's labor practices by walking in and stealing DVDs because I don't want to give my money to a company that is overworking and underpaying their employees. Your logic is epic fail.
  • 100% true. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Behrooz (302401) on Friday November 28, 2008 @11:08PM (#25921865)

    It also says "I think I am more important than you, and that what I want is more important than what you want, and I am willing to break the law to act on my self-centered desire"

    Well, that's also 100% true. In fact, I have difficulty thinking of anyone who doesn't fall into that category when confronted with excessive asshattery... Fortunately, we work within the framework of our civilization anyway most of the time, because most individuals/groups also work within the social contract. DRM typically does not, so circumventing it in those cases makes sense.

  • Re:no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Friday November 28, 2008 @11:09PM (#25921881) Journal

    Slashdotters are probably more fastidious (not every day I get to use that word) about their systems than most, and are more likely to not want Securom on their systems. So really, if you want GTA IV, but want to keep your system in a known state, then your only option if you want GTA IV is to pirate the game.

    When SA came out, my PC wasn't capable of running it. It's very frustrating now I have a PC that can run all current games, that the Securom decision has made GTA IV go from "must purchase" to "never purchase".

    I let it slide with Spore and really shouldn't have. (Especially given how disappointing that game was.)

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday November 28, 2008 @11:29PM (#25922011)

    If you really wanted t protest DRM, you would NOT play the game at all, whilst emailing them to say so.
    When you pirate the game, you just get chalked up by the publisher as another pirate, not as some sort of anti-drm protest vote. ...

    The people who pirated my games achieved fuck all in terms of removing DRM.

    Really? Your blog post 'Talking to Pirates [positech.co.uk]' implies something different happened. You asked the question "Why do people pirate my games?", received some answers, then removed DRM from your games. Don't get me wrong, you did the right thing by asking your potential customers what's going on, but you cannot deny that piracy had an affect on your decision to withdraw the DRM.

    "I want this game, and I took it for free. If you can find a more secure drm, you will make more money from me"

    Yep, that's how it's interpreted, and that's why you and other game companies are facing problems with your potential customers. That is a failure on your part, not on the part of your potential customers. You end up paying more attention to the people aiming to get it for free that you end up screwing the guy that's putting a roof over your head. The game industry has been told for years that it's obnoxious that a disc is required in the system to play. That's not a new thing. It is incredibly difficult to imagine there are many game devs out there that don't know what "NOCD" means. The funny thing is, they see these cracks flying around, then they use this wonderfully broken logic: "If we make it harder to copy the game, we'll reduce piracy!" Cute. Let's reduce piracy by increasing the value of cracked software. Derr.

    The truth is, you won't listen until you can attach numbers to it. You've known all along that restricting the software makes it less valuable to your paying customers. You didn't listen until you started noticing 'pirated' software of yours out there. Sad thing is, that's the case everywhere. You twits think everybody's out to save a buck (completely ignoring the success of places like Starbucks...) and that you're precariously on the verge of getting 2 million playing customers and zero sales. In 25+ years of home gaming, this hasn't happened. What did happen? The customers revolted. Spore announces restrictions, Amazon gets pelted with bad reviews. Oops. EA changes things a bit, then gets Amazon to remove the reviews. It's a small win, but again, no reaction until actual numbers start changing. That is the problem you and every other game developer big and small have. You claim you'll listen to customer feedback, but you don't actually react until people communicate through your wallet.

    I saw you posting on Slashdot. You had plenty of time before 'piracy' got a response out of you.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Friday November 28, 2008 @11:41PM (#25922093) Journal

    But don't you understand that copy protection which works is logically impossible? The only cases where copy protection "worked" was when the consumer gave up or more likely didn't even try to beat it. Unlike encrypted communication, DRM can always be easily cracked. In DRM, the person Alice is trying to protect the communication from is not an outsider, but Bob, the very person who is supposed to receive the message. No matter how convoluted the protection is, somewhere in there, at some point, the data has to be presented to the users in a decrypted, unprotected form, or they or their devices cannot use it.

    This persistent, decades long inability to understand the impossibility of DRM is one of the most baffling failures of thinking I have ever encountered, ranking right up there with belief in Intelligent Design. I can understand the entertainment industry not getting it, but software publishers and Microsoft not getting it? That's the most embarrassing thing about Windows Vista-- MS tried to embrace DRM.

    One might think that after more than 25 years in which not one copy protection/DRM scheme went uncracked, and in which many failed in spectacularly embarrassing fashion in mere minutes at the hands of a kid, the believers in DRM would begin to doubt the entire idea based solely on the results of all those attempts. But no, they keep searching for a DRM scheme that will work, blaming all the failures on flaws in the various schemes, not getting that the it is the whole idea of DRM that is fundamentally flawed. They keep right on trying and failing, and additionally polluting our laws with idiot legal remedies as well as making complete fools of themselves by suckering our public defenders into actually seizing equipment (Steve Jackson), trying to imprison teens (DVD Jon), putting people's valuable personal data at additional and wholly unnecessary risk (Sony root kit, Turbo Tax DRM, and of course this SecuROM), and more.

    I wonder what the economic cost of all this wasted effort on DRM is? What percentage of a software project's budget is spent on DRM? Some shops have, I think, calculated that the expense is not worth the projected extra profits, if any. Indeed, they might have a net loss. Far more is the cost to society in court cases and other administrative overhead (how much time did Congress spend on the DMCA?), collateral damage caused by bad DRM schemes, and the big one, chilling effects, the very opposite of the intent of intellectual property laws.

  • Re:Slashdot Effect (Score:3, Insightful)

    by trawg (308495) on Friday November 28, 2008 @11:46PM (#25922129) Homepage

    I used to think this sort of thing works. Sometimes it does. But more often, I suspect, it doesn't.

    Publishers keep putting DRM on games for the same reason they keep making World War 2 games. It's a pretty simple reason:

    People keep buying them.

    We MUST vote with our dollars to make these policies change. That's the only real way to put pressure on a company. The tech-savvy Slashdot crowd accounts for only a tiny percent of the total market - we could send them one million emails, but they'll still send ten million copies, showing there's no reason for them to change their ways.

    I've given up remonstrating publishers. I don't spend my money on DRM-based gamers (or media). I just do without and spend my time encouraging less tech-savvy friends to be aware of the issues involved. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, most people simply don't care enough.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nugneant (553683) <c45kyew02@ s n e a k e m a il.com> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:33AM (#25922939) Homepage Journal

    Yes, that is exactly it.

    Anyone hoping to avoid SecuROM by downloading the game form Steam will also be disappointed,

    I am going to avoid SecuROM by downloading the game from the pirate bay. Even though I'll buy the game.

    Awesome, so Rockstar has the chance to get your $50, then have a shot at busting you for piracy as well? BONUS!

  • Re:no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KDR_11k (778916) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @03:14AM (#25923169)

    No. You seem to be suffering from the widely held delusion (at least among "content creators") that a pirated copy is a lost sale. The statement that is actually being made is this:

    What he thinks is irrelevant, what Rockstar thinks is the important part. You can say they have no evidence all you want but they're not a court of law, they can act without evidence. What they see is somebody whining about "DRM" and using that to calm his conscience about simply warezing the game. What they see is a person who claims to have ideals but doesn't have enough of them to actually avoid playing the game, a person with no self control whose compulsion to play the game can be used to make him buy the game if it's properly secured.

  • Re:The point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by remmelt (837671) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @04:18AM (#25923447) Homepage

    Kill the second hand market.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SausageOfDoom (930370) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @10:51AM (#25925151)

    Note I said "this DRM", not "all DRM".

    There's a difference between having to put a DVD into a dedicated gaming console (a minor inconvenience), and having a game install intrusive and potentially damaging software on your desktop machine, which you most likely also use for work, shopping, online banking etc. If a game breaks my console, I send it off to get it repaired and I don't get to shoot things for a bit; if a game breaks my PC, I have to spend the best part of a week rebuilding it and reinstalling all my other applications, while I struggle to get any work done.

    Although I'd love it if every piece of software I bought had no DRM on it, I realise that's currently unrealistic, as software organisations feel the need to protect their products.

    While the debate as to whether there is such a thing as good DRM will no doubt rattle on, Steam is a more sensible, practical form of DRM, and something that I can accept. It strikes a fairer balance between what they want and what I want - it lets me run games without having to put the CD in, and in return the game is locked to a specific account.

    However, SecuROM is not fair in any way. It is potentially damaging, but provides no functionality other than to limit my machine's capabilities. I will not support software that uses SecuROM, and certainly not when it's already running on top of a perfectly adequate system such as Steam.

  • by DamnStupidElf (649844) <Fingolfin@linuxmail.org> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:21PM (#25926903)

    Buy a copy, then download a warez version, and install the warez version. Send a physical letter to the manufacturer with the UPC from the box and the receipt, and explain that you had to download the warez version in order to keep your computer stable. Scan the whole thing before you send it, and put it on the Internet for everyone else to see so they can't ignore it.

    If you actually pay for their product and still go to the trouble of installing a warez version without DRM, that will send a much stronger message than pirating or not buying the game at all.

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @11:37PM (#25930361)

    Do you think any developer bothers reading past the abuse you type?

    Considering that the closest thing to 'abuse' I got to was 3/4ths of the way through my post, by your own admission you have quite a bit to chew on. You think you appear to be taking the high-road, but it's clear others are not seeing it that way.

    Ordinarily I wouldn't draw attention to how posts are moderated when engaged in a debate with somebody. This case, though, is different. You are using Slashdot to gain visibility for your business. Not only do you actively engage in discussions with an advert in your sig to the games you sell, but you also have submitted a story [slashdot.org] which earned you quite a bit of attention. It should matter to you how comments are moderated. My post was at +5 when you responded, you earned a Troll mod. I hope you take a moment to ponder that and grow a thicker skin. I have made points and you are publically brushing them off.

    Hint: All the emails I got from pirates that were abusive got deleted. I didn't bother reading past the insults and the sarcastic crap.

    Just for clarification, are you implying that I am a pirate?

Man will never fly. Space travel is merely a dream. All aspirin is alike.

Working...