Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software Entertainment Games Your Rights Online

Gamers, EFF Speak Out Against DRM 203

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-bullets-won't-kill-it dept.
Last month, we discussed news that the FTC would be examining DRM to see if it needs regulation. They set up a town hall meeting for late March, and part of that effort involved requesting comments from potential panelists and the general public. Ars Technica reports that responses to the request have been overwhelmingly against DRM, and primarily from gamers. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also took the opportunity to speak out strongly against DRM, saying flat out that "DRM does not prevent piracy," and suggesting that its intended purpose is "giving some industry leaders unprecedented power to influence the pace and nature of innovation and upsetting the traditional balance between the interests of copyright owners and the interests of the public." Their full public comments (PDF) describe several past legal situations supporting that point, such as Sony's fight against mod chips, Blizzard's DMCA lawsuit against an alternative to battle.net, and Sony's XCP rootkit.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Gamers, EFF Speak Out Against DRM

Comments Filter:
  • Wrong battle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @10:47AM (#26863467)
    Why bother to fight DRM? DRM is not the problem, the problem is that distributing DRM workarounds is illegal. Instead, why not go after the root problem, the DMCA?
    • Re:Wrong battle? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 15, 2009 @10:54AM (#26863523)

      DRM is also the problem. Where does this idea come from that you can only fight on one front?

    • by hedwards (940851)

      That's not actually true, code itself is still protected under first amendment grounds, and the companies would be nuts to try and enforce it on foreign nationals or people that are downloading it. Well, providing that you're within the provisions set forth in section 1201 of the DMCA, that is, which shouldn't be that hard to demonstrate.

      In pretty much any case where you'd want to remove the DRM for personal use you'd likely be covered.

    • RIGHT battle! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CarpetShark (865376) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @11:07AM (#26863635)

      Why bother to fight DRM? DRM is not the problem, the problem is that distributing DRM workarounds is illegal. Instead, why not go after the root problem, the DMCA?

      I really wish people would stop the arrogant assumption that they can always work around whatever DRM manufacturers create, even when they all get together to work against the public. Breaking cryptography is HARD. Some crypto is UNBREAKABLE in any reasonable amount of time, using any known techniques. The UK's Sky TV, for instance, has been using the same crypto on their satellite broadcasts for years now, with no cracks available.

      • by auric_dude (610172) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @11:48AM (#26863893)
        Now if they can't crack something and feel the need to resort to purchasing a solution then some crtpyo may be truly uncrackable. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/12/nsa_offers_billions_for_skype_pwnage/ [theregister.co.uk]
      • Re:RIGHT battle! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 15, 2009 @11:49AM (#26863899)

        You're wrong.

        DRM circumvention is a trusted-client-subversion problem, not a cryptanalytic problem (which is, indeed, much harder, though not typically impossible).

        In DRM scenarios (which is what distinguishes them from securable encryption scenarios), the attacker has the ciphertext and the key, albeit possibly in an obfuscated or hard-to-access form. Given a sufficiently motivated attacker who has the key (in whatever form) under their control, the DRM scheme will always lose. (I've never seen any copy-protection scheme survive a serious attack, and I probably never will.)

        The VideoGuard scheme used by Sky is broken in various ways, but the crackers are very secretive, and the breaks are almost unpublished (thanks mostly to heavy crackdowns). The presence of unencrypted transport stream rips of HDTV broadcasts proves the existence. You can't get the cracks easily; but clearly someone must indeed have them.

        • Maybe not (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "The presence of unencrypted transport stream rips of HDTV broadcasts proves the existence"

          Not necessarily. I've noticed that almost every HD cable box has a component out that supports 1080i. There are boxes that will capture this stuff (for Myth as one possible use). The 1080p rips out there likely came from BluRay cracks.

          In many ways, it's like WMP files from MS. The one genuine crack disappeared pretty quickly, and has not been repeated. However, I'm not convinced it's because WMP is "hard" to cra

      • Re:RIGHT battle! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by phulshof (204513) <phulshof@xs4all.nl> on Sunday February 15, 2009 @11:49AM (#26863903) Homepage

        Please do not confuse DRM with standard encryption techniques. Normally, encryption is used between two or more parties to keep one or more other parties from reading the encrypted material. DRM, or TPM to be more precise, is used to keep the recipient of the material from copying it, while at the same time allow them to read it (otherwise they would never buy it). As such, any DRM that people want cracked will be cracked. I think your example says more about Sky TV than about their encryption technology. :)

        DRM is a failure in that it provides the would be attacker with the message, the cypher, and the key. They just try to hide those last two, which is no true basis for protecting material.

      • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @12:05PM (#26864011) Homepage

        Encryption is unbreakable. DRM is not because per definition you have the decryption key even if it's hidden very well. I'm quite sure I've seen SkyTV broadcast captures so I'm not sure what point you were trying to make, maybe there's no hack to decrypt the live broadcast but the content gets around anyway. Amazon and iTunes is dropping DRM, CSS is broken, AACS is pretty much broken, BD+ still has cramps but is dying so from where I'm sitting it looks like most entertainment has no effective DRM and no practical way to put that cat back in the bag - if DVD was good then Blu-Ray must be good enough for the next century. Software and consoles get a lot uglier but unbreakable is hardly the first word that comes to mind. Ultimately, that's why TPB is so popular and why we're having this case, right? Because DRM does not work, otherwise there wouldn't be anything to share on TPB.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Mad Merlin (837387)

          Encryption is unbreakable.

          No, encryption is not unbreakable. It's merely hard enough to break that it's rarely feasible to do so.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jonberling (1256136)
        DRM has a critical flaw when it comes to cryptography. The attacker and the person with permission to decrypt the content are the same. Because of this there can never be a strong DRM scheme. While I'm not familiar with UK's Sky TV, I bet that the wide variety of TV content already available on bit torrent networks has more to do with it not being cracked then the strength of its crypto algorithm.
      • Re:RIGHT battle! (Score:5, Informative)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Sunday February 15, 2009 @12:55PM (#26864369) Journal

        Not to mention that the DRM that is in these games is costing folks money and time right now. As a PC repairman I can't count the number of times I have had machines brought to me because "it is acting funny" with strange errors, all burns of CD/DVD would fail, drives are killing themselves, etc. And when I found there wasn't an infection I would immediately begin looking for a DRM "infection" and sure enough it would be infected. I have watched Safedisc and SecuROM throw drives into PIO mode(which will burn them up) Starforce cause all kinds of program failures and weird crashes, etc. These programs are often worse than many of the malware apps written today as far as causing trouble.

        It has gotten bad enough that I now longer buy games at release date anymore. I wait until they have been out 6 months at least, then I buy the nice box and put it in the closet. Since I have bought the game I then go and download the "safe" version at one of the many sites available. Sad that the "pirate" version is actually better for the consumer than the "legitimate" one huh?

        The point is while DMCA really needs to be throw in a fire, with the DRM used today it is costing good hard working folks money right at this very minute. It breaks their machines which are then brought to guys like me which have to be paid to have it repaired. And let us not forget that these DRM "programs" don't support each other, which means I can't count the number of times I have seen machines infected with SecuROM AND Safedisc AND Starforce. Can you say major conflicts boys and girls? I think you can. These programs can cause more damage(especially if you have two or more which seems to be begging for PIO mode) than most of the viruses and trojans out there. There certainly cause more weird and hard to track down errors in this repairman's NSHO. But magically when they are removed the problems just.....go away. Amazing, huh?

        Oh, and in case some are wondering what is so bad about PIO mode, PIO mode is a leftover for seriously old legacy drives, like the old serial CD ROMs we used to have. The modern optical drive simply isn't made to operate at that low of a speed and gets too hot if it is left in PIO mode too long. Picture yourself driving down the freeway at 60MPH with the emergency brakes on. That is pretty much PIO mode to a 16x or above drive.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bert64 (520050)

          More like going down the freeway at 60mph in first gear where you're right over the redline...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ericrost (1049312)

          You do realize that by purchasing the game anyway you're sending the message that the DRM is ok. That you'll still bend over backwards to take it you know where regardless of what the publishers do? If you want to stop game DRM, don't buy DRM'd games. I know that you'll start shaking unless you get your fix, but there are plenty of options out there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bert64 (520050)

        While cracking the crypto may not be possible, in order for a DRM scheme to function you have to give paying customers the keys...
        Those customers can just copy the keys and give them to people who haven't paid.

        Sky TV have been using the same algorithms, but they keep changing the keys because the keys frequently leak.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by skynexus (778600)

      The anti-circumvention provisions in the DMCA is based on the assumption that DRM works. It is much harder to defeat the DMCA if you ignore the fallacy of DRM because, then, legislators will keep believing it helps a large part of the US economy (that is, the media industry).

      • It is much harder to defeat the DMCA if you ignore the fallacy of DRM because, then, legislators will keep believing it helps a large part of the US economy (that is, the media industry).

        Of course, that itself is a fallacy too! The media industry is not a large part of the US economy, by any measure. It's very visible because of its nature, but it's not large.

    • Re:Wrong battle? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Sunday February 15, 2009 @11:29AM (#26863769) Homepage

      I don't think it's really the wrong battle. The big problem with DRM is that it arguably means that you're being sold a defective product. You're being sold something that's designed to break and ceases to serve its purpose under some circumstances.

      I don't want to get into the particular argument here whether products with DRM are always defective, but it seems like a step in exactly the right direction for the government to recognize that DRM *can* constitute a defect in the product. Once there is some sense that DRM is not always valid, that it's possible for DRM to make a product so defective that they should be barred from selling it, then we can begin to talk about what, exactly, is "fair".

      Personally, I don't think DRM is always awful. For example, companies putting DRM on movie rentals rather than movie sales seems fair. Although I didn't think I'd like Steam, once I tried it, it seemed to be a pretty reasonable use of DRM. In that particular situation, I view it this way: I've agreed to sign into a service before playing games, and in return, I have copies of my games hosted such that I have access to them wherever I want.

      And I'm not sure where you draw the line on what's "fair" on DRM; I know plenty of people who just thing it's always bad. However, it would be a big win for consumers, for the government at least to recognize that it's not always acceptable. I would at least like to see a law that says that, if you're selling (not renting) products with DRM that checks against some server, then if you ever shut that server down, you are responsible for making available the means to permanently remove that DRM.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KDR_11k (778916)

      No. Stuff that's being sold for money should work out of the box, not just have a workaround that only the tech savvy know about. DRM is still a massive inconvenience either way and installing a rootkit on your system isn't magically reversed just by cracking the software. Plus often the workaround is to download a version off TPB which isn't permitted even without the DMCA.

    • In the mean time, you could just play games without any DRM, like Game! [wittyrpg.com]

    • by russotto (537200)

      Why bother to fight DRM? DRM is not the problem, the problem is that distributing DRM workarounds is illegal. Instead, why not go after the root problem, the DMCA?

      Because they already lost that battle when they failed to appeal 2600 v. MPAA.

    • Re:Wrong battle? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by b4upoo (166390) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @03:02PM (#26865105)

      When killing the enemy it is important to smash their weapons. DRM is an enemy weapon and breaking it is simply part of a continuing war to let communications be free from any governments desire to keep people in their own little box.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday February 15, 2009 @10:51AM (#26863489)

    "DRM does not prevent piracy"

    Which implies that piracy is an undesirable thing. Therefore we shouldn't be focused on DRM as the sole solution to the piracy problem, but as part of a larger set of steps to eliminate the problem.

    Either piracy is a bad thing which ought to be dealt with, or it is a good thing which should be encouraged.

    The EFF's point (as is typical for them) is full of rhetoric but fails to truly understand the issue. It's a shame they are on the right side because they aren't really helping.

    • It's a shame they are on the right side because they aren't really helping.

      A bit like yourself then.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 15, 2009 @10:52AM (#26863491)

    DRM Killer, available later this fall featuring SecureROM.

  • Will they Listen? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by olddotter (638430) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @11:30AM (#26863777) Homepage

    The problem is that I don't see the political establishment listening to "a bunch of gamers and the EFF."

    I think it tying together the Sony Root Kit issue with farms of own machines used for SPAMing, scaming, or organized crime would get a little attention.

    The biggest problem I have had with DRM is that I rented Ratatouille [amazon.com] last year and was unable to play it on a standard DVD player, unable to play it on two different computer DVD players, and of course unable to make a copy (which I only tried because I couldn't play it.) The disk cause me to have to unplug and plug back in my Toshiba DVD player to even get it to eject, it totally locked up the player.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 15, 2009 @11:55AM (#26863949)

      The politicians won't listen. Their ears will be plugged with earplugs made out of the lobbying money from the media conglomerates. They won't see a problem because consumers continue to buy and buy regardless of DRM in 90% of cases, and corporations continue to make money. There's nothing wrong with the situation, so far as they can see. That 10% that won't buy DRM'd media? Pirates. All of them. We just haven't caught and convicted them yet.

      The only way to shut down the DRM monster is mass boycott. And I mean MASS. I mean you have to get your parents that don't know shit about DRM protesting. You have to get soccer moms, the 14 year old kids vulnerable to media hype and willing to buy anything, the exec with his iPod crammed with DRM'd tunes... get them ALL educated and more importantly angry enough to stop buying for a couple years.

      It's difficult enough to appear very close to impossible.

      I demonstrated it to my mother when she wanted to play a CD for me. At the time I had no CD player other than my PC. Her CD refused to play. I looked it up online, sure enough it had copy protection preventing us from listening to her CD she paid for. I showed her how to circumvent the protection (a little marker on the outside track), and she became incensed. She's not purchased music for about 5 or 6 years now. She was disgusted that people were treating her, one of the most honest people (to a fault) that I know, like a common criminal even though she gave them money for their product.

      Find a way to make people feel that way BEFORE it bites them, and you'll have what we need to win. Until then, good luck. So long as the money flows, they won't hear a damn thing we say.

      • get them ALL educated and more importantly angry enough to stop buying for a couple years.

        Won't work. Far too many, even when they have a fair understanding of how things work, either don't care much -- they'll see it as a nuisance, not an issue of rights -- or will actually side with the corporations. It's a lot easier to see both sides if you're reasonably educated (and probably a pirate yourself, at least once).

        The politicians won't listen. Their ears will be plugged with earplugs made out of the lobbying money from the media conglomerates.

        That is the real problem. I imagine there will be at least one other major issue on which these politicians are taking lobbying money and acting against the public interest, perhaps on

    • Sometimes I think Slashdot invented the EFF.

      It certainly goes out of it's way to keep it alive. Certainly it's efforts in this area are way disproportionate to the EFF's actual credibility in legal circles, where they are the Britney Spears in a boardroom full of King Crimsons.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Certainly it's efforts in this area are way disproportionate to the EFF's actual credibility in legal circles, where they are the Britney Spears in a boardroom full of King Crimsons.

        Equally irrelevant, as corporate tools?

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @11:38AM (#26863817) Homepage

    The whole copyright agreement is to allow exclusive distribution rights to specific material or content for a limited amount of time, after which the works would be released to the public domain.

    So far, the industry has managed to have copyright duration extended to unreasonable durations increasing the likelihood that after the copyright term expires, it will no longer be available for access or distribution. But that isn't harmful enough. Now they want to keep the works locked up in an encryption scheme that will likely make copyrighted materials extinct long before the copyright term expires as no one will be able to access it after the term expires.

    This is a complete and total breech of the copyright agreement with the people of any given nation that respects copyright under law.

    • "Release to the public domain" is not an inherent aspect of copyright. It's a common part of modern copyright laws nationally and internationally, true. But the history of copyright is to control publication: this was especially important when Gutenberg started printing Bibles, and the Catholic church became very, very upset.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by DJRumpy (1345787)
        Actually it's both. The laws were put on the books to allow competition, and to allow those holding the copyrights to get a return investment on their design/art/idea, etc.

        The idea was that the inventer would gain profit for a set period of time, after which the idea could be adopted by others. This had the net affect of reducing the price through competition, increasing quality, and innovating new ideas based off of the original.

        The laws have been twisted so far from their original intent it's just r
      • by coats (1068)
        In the United States, it is a part of the part of the law of the land, the constitution.

        And when Steven Breyer on the left and Clarence Thomas on the right agree that current US copyright law is unConstitutional, then it means that Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who wrote the opinion) and those in the middle who agreed with her are despicable oath-breaking liars.

      • by mpe (36238)
        "Release to the public domain" is not an inherent aspect of copyright.

        Actually it is (or rather was) a major part of copyright law. As evidenced by "copyright libraries" which were intended to hold a copy of every book published.

        It's a common part of modern copyright laws nationally and internationally, true.

        All copyright laws are "modern" the concept only came into being a few hundred years ago
      • by Artifakt (700173)

        US copyright law was an intentional break with European law. The history you're mentioning was a history of the King deciding which friends got protection. So if we're moving back to that era, are we gonna have state religions and divine right of kings too? Cause that's a pretty damned good reason to go back to something more like what the US founding fathers envisioned.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        You have GOT to be kidding. Without the promise of release into the public domain, there would be no incentive to allow laws respecting copyright to be created in the first place.

    • This is a complete and total breech of the copyright agreement with the people of any given nation that respects copyright under law.

      Perhpas now you understand why some people, even reasonable people, realizing the power of the political forces and money arrayed against them, have taken to guerilla warfare tactics ala the Rebellion vs the Evil Empire because that is the only way that they can realistically fight back. Personally, I just refuse to buy OR use their games or content. My time is too valuable to spend on 99% of their junk anway. I don't need them to get by and I need them even less during an economic recession when resources

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        To be fair, if your mission is to deprive them of money, it doesn't matter if you "pirate" their content or not, only that you don't buy it.

        • In a strictly amoral sense that may be true, but it does not help the anti-DRM cause to allow the content producers to point to us non-consumers and say, "See, the reason sales are down is because they are all pirating the game and playing it anyway", as the music industry tried to do. I do not wish to simply deprive them of revenue, I want them the know exactly why there was NOT a sale. This connection would be lost in the rebuttals of the content producers if many non-sale users followed up their decision
  • What a timely story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cathoderoytube (1088737) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @11:49AM (#26863897)
    How convenient. I just bought a copy of Left4Dead brought it home and tried to install it only to discover the CD key that came with the game was already in use (which is odd since the game was in a sealed package). So I went off to valve support to try and get the situation remedied. Their support is anything but efficient or helpful. So then I went back to the store where I bought the game to get an exchange. Wouldn't you know it they have a policy of not having anything to do with games that have been opened. So for the time being thanks to copy protection I'm out $50 for a legitimate copy of a game. Add this story to the big board. Next time I want a game I'll just download the cracked version.
    • by wc_paladin (989918) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @12:07PM (#26864031)
      Valve will reset the key to your account if you follow the instructions on this page [steampowered.com]

      Also, you should go back to the store you bought the game from, ask to see the manager, and tell him one of his employees is stealing CD keys from the games.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by schnikies79 (788746)

      I had that happen with The Orange Box (sealed package with in-use key). A email to Valve and a copy of receipt was all it took to get a legit key. Took about 2 days.

  • by obi (118631) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @12:06PM (#26864019)
    I think the fundamental issue is that the DMCA and DRM allows the "industry" to write their own laws.

    With the DMCA and the anti-circumvention provisions, the restriction code has the power of law - circumventing it is illegal.

    So they can ignore whatever fair use privilege we used to enjoy, because fair use privileges aren't guaranteed rights: if you can't make use of it for whatever reason - tough; they're not required to provide you with tools or systems to give you what you want, even if it could be legal.

    So this all boils down to the fact that we've lost all fair use in copyright law (maybe not in theory, but definitely in practice), and as such, copyright has become completely unbalanced in favour of the copyright owners.

    The tradeoff was: a temporary monopoly on distribution with some fair use exceptions, in return for a rich public domain later on.

    Not only have we lost fair use, we've also lost the public domain part later on. Because the DRM on copyrighted works that end up in the public domain isn't going to magically disappear.

    All we're left with is "a monopoly on distribution" - that's not what copyright was supposed to be.
  • by WeeBit (961530) on Sunday February 15, 2009 @12:11PM (#26864057) Homepage
    I do know of a couple that bought a Sony entertainment system. The system has the DRM built in. Now logic would tell you that as long as the DVD's are compliant with US rules as to format etc, then that DVD you put in the player should work. This is not the case though. They never know if the DVD will work in the DVD player. So half of their DVD movie collection wont play in the Player. They bought a second DVD player, and use this for those DVD's that wont play in the Sony.

    Sony may argue stating that the movies wont play because they are pirated. They are not. They were DVD's bought from reputable stores.

    This is how bad DRM has become. Consumers are at the mercy of manufacturers of DRM laden products.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      This may in fact not be the fault of the sony DVD player. A lot of modern DVDs are not compliant to the DVD standard in the hope that they "break" computer ripping programs. Bad sectors is the basic one, all Disney disks i have seen have this. Most DVD players will work. But higher end ones tend not too. They are too fancy and use more of the DVD spec. Ironic really. My code free dvd player that cost the price of a few beers works really well.

      I know everyone likes to hack sony with the rootkit issue (the
    • This is how bad DRM has become. Consumers are at the mercy of manufacturers of DRM laden products.

      I don't understand why they didn't return the Sony DVD player as defective? If more people did that, then perhaps we wouldn't be as much at their mercy as we are now...

  • But the people that make the decisions didn't listen.

  • Speaking personally, many years ago, copy protection most certainly *did* prevent me from pirating games. Instead I bought used copies, which came with documentation (i.e. which the game prompted you for), adding to the "resale value" of used games and potentially causing people to purchase more new (since they can turn around and sell them to someone else, reducing their overall cost). Had there been no copy protection I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have bothered to part with my money.
  • Is that there is no law saying when it expires.

    There will come a time when the copyright of a game expires. (Yes, it will take decades.) At that time, how can a game be fairly copied if the DRM is still in place?

  • Build a time machine, send all us gamers back fifteen years, and make all these goddamn idiots stop fucking copying every single fucking release that came out so piracy never becomes a problem that, in the minds of the publishers, it warrants such horribly intrusive anti-piracy measures in the first place. Seriously, this was brought on ourselves, and while the Securom solution is inelegant, ineffective and outright unacceptable, when you've got thousands of people sitting on major torrents for every new ga

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      Yes, exactly. It's gotten so bad that we can't even refund a PC game.

      Is it the game stores fault that all the moronic customers would copy the game and come back for a refund? No, there's a point where they said enough is enough and now everything is fucked up because of the selfish few/majority.

      If everyone stopped pirating games today, right now then I bet that game publishers would get rid of DRM.

  • I think the anti-DRM forces should proceed carefully here. The Law of Unintended Consequences has a way of biting you in the ass. One important thing to keep in mind is that in addition to the question of "Does DRM work?", an equally important consideration is "Do game publishers *think* it works". I predict that if DRM were somehow decided to be a detriment to the consumer and declared illegal, there would be a mass exodus of game publishers (and possibly developers) from the PC world, fearful of the im
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I predict that if DRM were somehow decided to be a detriment to the consumer and declared illegal, there would be a mass exodus of game publishers (and possibly developers) from the PC world, fearful of the impending piracy wave.

      If every game moves to consoles, then all the hax0rs' efforts will be focused on hacking the consoles, at which point you don't have to hack the games themselves.

      Alternately, any console which uses lame software-based protection like the Dreamcast will be business as usual.

      Either way, if it leads to more games on consoles it will lead to more controller options (perhaps including generic HID support) and it will lead to better consoles. So I'm all for it. It's not like it will stop piracy, or even slow it d

  • by KlausBreuer (105581) on Monday February 16, 2009 @04:08AM (#26870195) Homepage

    Perhaps I'm just in a bad mood today, but... what good are these discussions?
    The whole DRM mess has been chewed over and over and over again, and we always get the same results:

    * DRM or not DRM doesn't matter: piracy is around 80% either way. This has not changed for 25 years.
    * Company managers are too reality-disfunct to realise this, and are willing to pay for (expensive) DRM systems to include in their product.
    * Dito politicians, usually bought by the industry, and who are worthless by definition anyway.
    * Nobody will do a boycott.
    * We cannot change any of these points.

    Possible solutions:

    * Buy the original with DRM and live with it.
    * But the original with DRM and download a pirate copy.
    * Download a pirate copy only.
    * Refuse any DRM games, buy from the indy market instead.

    Note on the last point: I bought very very few 'normal' games in the last few years (I refuse DRM), but quite a few from these interesting small companies. Cheaper, ofter better (even if the graphics usually aren't), lots of fun, and you have the feeling that you're supporting the good programmers directly instead of some worthless CEOs 3rd Mercedes 500SEC.
    I bought (and can highly recommend) games like "World of Goo" or "Galactic Civilization II".

    HOWEVER: some indy games have now come out with DRM. Beware of these! A good example would be "Defense Grid". An excellent, cheap game, but sold only via STEAM or Greenhouse, both of which are a form of DRM not allowing you to play the game without internet access. And even if you install them on a different PC (eg at work, with net access) and transfer the registry info, it won't work as it's registered to your CPU ID.
    (Yes, I'm very pissed off about this specific example. Particularly as the support from Greenhouse does not exist).

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

Working...