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Piracy Games

Rockstar Ships Max Payne 2 Cracked By Pirates 340

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the its-getting-steamy-in-here dept.
Jamie noticed a fairly amazing little story about Rockstar shipping a version of Max Payne 2 via Steam that was actually cracked by pirates to remove the DRM. The going theory was that it was easier for them to simply use the pirate group's crack than to actually remove their DRM themselves.
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Rockstar Ships Max Payne 2 Cracked By Pirates

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  • Hypocrisy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:01PM (#32195400) Journal

    So Rockstar needed crackers help to release an old game in a digital download version? Maybe now it makes companies think that games without DRM are superior to DRM-laden versions, if even they need cracked versions to re-release the games whose developers are already gone.

    On top of that they're using someones elses work and profiting from it.

    Someone at kotaku's comments [kotaku.com] also noticed they're using cracked executables [tinypic.com] for the original Max Payne.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dintech (998802)

      Actually, I wholeheartedly and resoundingly agree with what they've done. They may as well get at least some benefit from piracy...

      But it would be awesome if they got sued for copyright infringment on the modified bytes. In an alternate reality it could happen...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by meerling (1487879)
        In this reality it can happen, they stole code, period. We are no't talking about a hobbyist, or joe blow on the street, but rather a software company that yells and screams whenever anyone else 'violates' their copyright or heavens forbid, actually make an unlicensed use of their code. So if violating someones copyright on software makes it ok to steal their code, then I guess we're all allowed to do whatever we want with Max Payne 2, since it incorporates stolen software. If you steal a pickpockets wal
        • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:5, Insightful)

          by longacre (1090157) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:42PM (#32196170) Homepage

          If you steal a pickpockets wallet, you're still going to jail for being a pickpocket.

          If you steal your own wallet back from a pickpocket, you're not going to jail.

          • Which would be an appropriate analogy if it was their own code to start with, but it wasn't. A better analogy would be "If you steal the wallet of some else becasue yours was also stolen, you ARE going to jail." They flat out stole someone's code, and are selling it for a profit. Kindly explain to me how that isn't illegal. Two wrongs don't make a right. (but 3 lefts do!)
            • by Nadaka (224565)

              This is large scale commercial piracy. This is exactly the kind of thing that copyright laws are supposed to protect against. It is very very illegal. This isn't just a civil crime, but the kind of thing that could involve federal prosecution as well.

              • Unclean hands (Score:4, Interesting)

                by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:12PM (#32196778) Homepage Journal

                This is large scale commercial piracy. This is exactly the kind of thing that copyright laws are supposed to protect against.

                But the warez group won't bring suit because of its own unclean hands [wikipedia.org].

                • by Nadaka (224565)

                  That may quash a civil suit, but it won't matter if there is a criminal charge (and in this case, criminal charges may be warranted).

            • by longacre (1090157)
              Because you cannot claim legal rights on something that was illegal in the first place, i.e. a software crack.

              For example, you can't sue a hitman for breach of contract if he fails to kill your wife.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by clone53421 (1310749)

                Writing the crack could be justified under fair use. Distributing it was certainly illegal, because that overstepped the bounds of fair use.

                If I cracked a game that I bought and wrote a no-CD crack for my own personal use, would the game company then be able to come along and claim that they owned all rights to the crack I had put my own hard work into producing for my own personal use?

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:53PM (#32196356) Homepage Journal

            If you steal your own wallet back from a pickpocket, you're not going to jail.

            In this case, it appears that the "pickpocket" added a fair amount of value to the wallet before it was stolen back.

            At very least, Rockstar should put an .nfo file with ASCII art giving props to the cracker(s).

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

              In this case, it appears that the "pickpocket" added a fair amount of value to the wallet before it was stolen back.

              But they did so illegally, thus, they get no claim to it.

              It's like stealing someone's Van Gogh, fixing up all the wavy lines, and wind up having the original owner steal it back. The original owner then decides he likes it, and puts it on display in a gallery, and it sells for millions of dollars. The thief gets no claim to the work or the money, because he had no right to alter the original piece. That the injured party decides he actually likes the vandalized work makes no difference.

              • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:4, Interesting)

                by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:46PM (#32198646)
                But they did so illegally, thus, they get no claim to it.

                That's false. If you hit the pickpocket while getting your wallet back and your wallet has an extra $20 in it, then you will be required to return the extra money because it would be illegal for you to keep it, and you could be charged with assault as well. The precipitating event could be deemed an extenuating circumstance, but in no reading of the law do you get to keep the extra $20 just because he harmed you before, and assault is still illegal.

                It's like stealing someone's Van Gogh, fixing up all the wavy lines, and wind up having the original owner steal it back. The original owner then decides he likes it, and puts it on display in a gallery, and it sells for millions of dollars. The thief gets no claim to the work or the money, because he had no right to alter the original piece. That the injured party decides he actually likes the vandalized work makes no difference.

                But, that is illegal. That it will go prosecuted is irrelevant. The first question of legality is easily answered. They *do not* own the new derivative work. There's no provision in copyright for invalidating the copyright on derivative works because of illegal actions.

                If there is something I missed, point it out. If there's case law, point it out. But stating your personal opinion about whether you think they would win a court case because of extenuating circumstances is irrelevant to what the law actually says. And I've seen and heard of nothing in the law that comes close to agreeing with you.
          • by MoonBuggy (611105)

            [citation needed]

          • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:4, Informative)

            by InlawBiker (1124825) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:05PM (#32196614)

            But if you steal your car back from an impound lot, that is definitely a crime. Don't ask how I know.

    • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:17PM (#32195726)

      On top of that they're using someones elses work and profiting from it.

      I wonder if the pirate's code was published via a version of GPL? /sarcasm

      I'm sure that if the original 'crackers' sued them Rockstar would be happy to meet them in court.

      • by WNight (23683)

        This assumes the person who cracked it is also the person who distributed the modified version. But if they weren't...

        Had I been the one to modify a game I worked to make it play, and distributed the crack to friends via diff, before someone went and distributed it with the game, I'd step up and ask Rockstar to stop distributing my code. Modifying a game you own to make it work is totally reasonable - them to bitch about piracy while forcing people to crack their software to make it work and then resorting

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          But we're still stuck with the DMCA. So modifying without distributing just to make something work right is still illegal.

      • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mdielmann (514750) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:56PM (#32200776) Homepage Journal

        This sounds very similar to the remix cases in the music industry.
        A musician creates a work, another does a (very popular) remix - a derivative work. Now, whether or not the original artist gave the second permission to use his work, he doesn't have distribution rights on the derived work (even if he can get an injunction to stop its distribution).
        So why would copyright law be any different for software?

    • by Digicrat (973598)

      In a way, this is just an extension of what some studios have done in the past. It's nearly always the publishers that push the DRM against the developers wishes. I remember a few games in the past where the unofficial word from the developers was to download a no-CD crack to bypass certain performance issues. Of course they would never say so through official channels, but the message (through Forums that the developers frequented) was quite clear.

    • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by canajin56 (660655) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:48PM (#32197496)

      On top of that they're using someones elses work and profiting from it.

      Lets say a paid slashdot editor uses Firefox to do whatever it is editors do (clearly it's not edit). Firefox is someone else's work, and the editor just used it to make money. Illegal, then? I once read a book that agreed with you. But, in the real world, you can use somebody else's stuff to do whatever you feel like, even make money. If you buy photoshop, you can touch up pictures you took, then sell those pictures. Crazy, huh? You can't sell copies of photoshop, mind you, but you can sell pictures you edited with photoshop, even though Photoshop was "somebody else's work". (Oh, that book? A teacher read it to the class in Elementary. Don't remember the name. But, some kids working at cafe made their boss a mint when they invented a nostalgic milkshake made with brownie cake mix, tastes just like licking the bowl when mom makes brownies. Well, the boss was quite happy until the police came and arrested him. Seems Sara Lee or whatever fictional variant existed in the book was pressing charges for using their mix without a license. The moral of the story was, I suppose, obey your corporate overlord).

      At any rate, what work of MYTH did they use? The patcher? Yes, they (apparently) ran it, though they could have downloaded the pre-cracked binary, we don't know. But, they're not distributing the crack, they're just distributing the pre-cracked binary. So the question is, does the pre-cracked binary belong to the developers, or to the pirate group? The answer is, the developers. Rockstar didn't have to pirate the patcher, because the pirate offered it for free, so that wasn't a violation. And so, they used a tool that they legally obtained, to make modifications to their code. Code that they own the copyright to. In the same way that running a photo through a photoshop filter doesn't transfer your copyright to Adobe, running a binary through MYTH's patcher doesn't transfer copyright of the binary from Rockstar to Myth. Thus, the binary is the copyright of Rockstar still, and they have the exclusive right to distribute it.

      Legally, the patched binary is a derivative work of the original binary. Under copyright law, only the creator of a work has the right to create and sell derivative works. However, just because you don't have the right to distribute your derivative work, doesn't mean the original artist has it. It depends on the nature of the changes. If it's a significant and transformative change, then you have copyright over your changes, so neither party can distribute it, unless you can make a fair use argument as to why you can distribute it. In no case can the original artist distribute it without permission, though. However, if the changes are minor, you have no copyright on them, and thus, the derivative work contains only the copyrighted material of the original artist. Thus, distributing it is only a copyright violation of the original artist's copyright. As such, they are fully within their rights to distribute it.

      So, it could be argued that the patched binary would also be copyright of the pirate group. But, its a very weak argument. The patch didn't change the game play at all. So, comparing it to the DVD version: The unpatched DVD version needed the DVD in it to play. The cracked, steam version needs Steam to play. To a user, there's no change except for the medium of delivery. From a purely technical point of view, there is no creative work put into NOOPing around the DRM calls. All in all, there's no way I see it being decided that the patch is copyright of anybody. As such, the patched binary is wholly the copyright of Rockstar, and they can distribute it legally. Were they distributing the crack, then running the crack as part of the install process, it would be different. But as it stands, it might make them look like tools, but it's legal.

      Looking at it in terms of tangible property rights: If you find an empt

  • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:01PM (#32195420)
    Just goes to prove that DRM only hampers legitimate paying customers. Pirates simply laugh (usually with a jolly "yar!").
  • But...? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by natehoy (1608657)

    Couldn't the pirates sue them for unauthorized use of their code?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by donaggie03 (769758)
      The game with the crack is simply a derivative of the original game. The pirates have no copyrights concerning any derivatives of Rockstar's original work, so they have no grounds to sue.
      • That depends on the nature of the crack.

        If it is an an X-byte patch, where X is some small number, then they might.

        These days you usually see the WHOLE decrypted+patched .exed. In that case, no.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          just because they usually distribute a new exe instead of a patch doesn't really change anything. Unless they wrote the new exe from scratch, which I highly doubt, it's still an unauthorized derivative work, and thus Rockstar owns the copyright to it.

          • by bhtooefr (649901)

            However, there were some of their logos inserted, meaning their code was used to display those logos. That code would be the cracking group's property.

            • The logos were in the form of ASCII artwork embedded in the executable. No code was involved in “displaying” the logos... someone just opened the binary file in Notepad++ and found them.

          • i'm just wondering. isn't the crack their work?
            i'm willing to believe they can't release the exe legally, since it's mostly work by someone else, they have no rights on.
            but their part is their work, and does rockstar have the rights to release it?
            to me, it seems that the cracked exe has 2 owners, and neither could release it without permission of the other party?

            but ianal ^^. just wondering :)

            • when you create an unauthorized derivative work, the copyright for your derivative is owned by the creator of the original. Assuming that Myth's crack was in fact an unauthorized derivative work, which it almost certainly was, no new copyright was created, instead the derivative work is still covered by Rockstar's copyright on the original, and Rockstar can do with it what they please.

          • Rockstar most definitely does not own the copyright to the patch whether distributed alone or as a modified exe.

            It is true that the pirates do not have the authority to create derivative works (except when it would be considered fair use), however, that does not mean that any infringing derivative works that are prepared are property of Rockstar. It just means that they are infringing, and that Rockstar can sue them. Furthermore, it does not mean that the patch is not protected under copyright law (assuming

            • and you're confusing the terms of the specific GPL license with actual copyright law. I will admit my explanation was oversimplified, but yours is basically wrong. myth's work on the code was almost certainly an unauthorized derivative work since it would fail to meet the necessary originality requirements. as such, no copyright is attached, and technically yes, anyone could release myth's code, but since the actual executable file contains rockstars code and myths code intermingled in a way that they ca

      • Re:But...? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kaboom13 (235759) <kaboom108@bellsFREEBSDouth.net minus bsd> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:23PM (#32195820)

        The bigger problem is the game industry is always telling us game cracks are full of viruses and trojans. And while I generally don't believe them, I wouldn't use a 3rd party game crack on a pc that had any sensitive information on it. In this case, they are redistributing a binary that they didn't code, and without extensive analysis (ie more work then creating a new patch from scratch) have no way to tell it does not contain malicious code. The fact that Rockstar distributed a binary of unknown origin with no Q+A done on it is a bad, bad thing.

        • Re:But...? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by denmarkw00t (892627) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:44PM (#32196208) Homepage Journal

          Did anyone state that no QA had been done? I would assume (read: HOPE) that Rockstar had the brains to test the hell out of this binary before saying "Well, let's just release it and see what happens..." Granted, probably as much maybe a little more work than patching it themselves, but it would behoove them not to check the code or at least monitor the data paths of the executable before blindly putting it to market. Maybe they even worked WITH the cracking group to gain the source-code so they could ensure there was nothing malicious(er) going on.

          • by Kaboom13 (235759)

            If that is the case, why pull it when they got "caught"? There is no "source" to compare too, the crack is made by decompiling the original exe into assembly, looking for the DRM checks, and removing them or replacing them with code that always returns the check as passed. The crack exe is normally much smaller then the original, because a lot of assembly has been stripped out. Given the nature of the work and the age of the game, it's doubtful the original group is even around, much less willing to assi

            • "Myth was a Scene group which ceased to exist after it was targeted in the FBI “Operation Site Down”" -Source [torrentfreak.com]

              I personally believe Rockstar understood the logo was in the exe and left it there on purpose as sort of a "suck it pirates" attitude knowing there's nothing the pirate group could do about it.
          • by dcollins (135727)

            "I would assume (read: HOPE) that Rockstar had the brains to test the hell out of this binary before saying 'Well, let's just release it and see what happens...'"

            As a former game company employee, I say this to your hope/assumption: No freakin' way.

            A test gauntlet (requires a whole department of people for weeks) would be so much more labor-intensive than figuring out how to recompile your own code (requires one developer, maybe some days?) that it's completely nonsensical to think that the former happened

          • by J-1000 (869558)

            I would assume (read: HOPE) that Rockstar had the brains to test the hell out of this binary

            Surely extensive QA testing is far more resource-intensive than just removing the DRM yourself, so my educated guess says that any QA testing would have to be minimal. And what kind of QA testing is going to catch back doors and rogue code? Those guys are used to looking for game glitches, not tracking down trojans.

  • by thechemic (1329333) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:03PM (#32195450)
    "Pirates sue Rockstar for using and distributing unlicensed cracks."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by beefnog (718146)

      "Pirates sue Rockstar for using and distributing unlicensed cracks."

      As fun as this would be to watch, Rockstar's legal Cthulhu can beat up any software cracking group's legal Peewee Herman. Unless the EFF stepped in...

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Except thanks to the DMCA, the cracks are not fair use derivatives, and since all derivatives that are not fair use are owned by the original copyright owner, the pirates would be laughed out of court, then get their ass sued because they just presented a ton of evidence that yes, they were the ones who illegally cracked that software.

        Who is that stupid?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Alsee (515537)

          since all derivatives that are not fair use are owned by the original copyright owner

          That is wrong, or at best it's oversimplified to the point of being misleading.

          Copyright law is often bizarre and complicated, but this part of the law is pretty simple. Every author owns the copyright to whatever they write or create. A derivative work contains content from multiple authors, and each author holds the the rights to their own portions. A derivative work with multiple authors cannot be copied or redistributed

    • An Easier Route (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:16PM (#32195698) Journal

      "Pirates sue Rockstar for using and distributing unlicensed cracks."

      There's another way you can sue them. Abondonware rights were added to the DMCA [joystiq.com] that made it legal to crack games that are "no longer being sold or supported" for your own personal purposes of archival. Now, it's still illegal to distribute those cracked games. So the people who cracked it might have a claim that they cracked these games for their own archival purpose after Max Payne left stores and did not distribute them. But the great part is that you don't need to sue them, you can write that up in a letter notifying the ESA [wikipedia.org] who will take them to court and, effectively, may sue the copyright holders for distributing a cracked game even though they own the copyright on it. After all, it just might fit the description of abandonware and set precedent one way or the other.

      I hope the crackers seriously stick it to them. Copyright length, game DRM and licensing really don't make any sense to me. Honestly I really am upset that I paid for ~$40 for Contra on the NES back in 1990 only to have to pay $8 for it on the Wii today with no ability to transfer it from that device to another [wired.com]. How many more times must I pay for the Contra license to what is the exact same game?

      • >> How many more times must I pay for the Contra license to what is the exact same game?

        Zero.

        That was easy.

  • OK, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hduff (570443) <hoytduff AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:09PM (#32195554) Homepage Journal

    Did they remove the rootkit?

    • Re:OK, but (Score:5, Informative)

      by Simulant (528590) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:39PM (#32197336) Journal

      The myth that cracked software = malware needs to die. It is simply untrue. Cracked software is no more susceptible or infected than legit software. Crackers =! malware authors. They have no incentive to include malware in their cracks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KiloByte (825081)

        And usually, it's the UNCRACKED software that includes a rootkit these days.

    • Re:OK, but (Score:4, Interesting)

      by UnrefinedLayman (185512) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:53PM (#32197614)
      The cracking and warez scene is not done for money, it's done for fame and respect. There are strict rules and levels of vetting done for pirated software as it makes its way through the system to end-users. Including malware in a crack is a death penalty for any group; their stuff will never be accepted again by site operators, and it would make it to a tiny segment of the population even if it weren't noticed.

      Just about any other attack vector for malware, specifically rootkits, will have so much better penetration than a game crack that it's essentially a waste of time to a) crack the game so it works without the DRM (and yes, other crackers can figure out what you did to crack it), b) write undetectable malware to include in it, c) build a reputation good enough to allow the release of the crack, d) get your crack done and out the door before anyone else so yours doesn't get nuked, and e) harness the very few people who will receive the crack.

      Keep in mind that a, b, c and d can all be undone by a single person in the distribution chain nuking your release because it's suspect or was released five minutes after someone else's working crack.

      In other words, you don't know what you're talking about but LET'S ALL HOP ABOARD THE INSIGHTFUL TRAIN HERPA DERPA DERP.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        so your saying software cracking is peer reviewed

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        A vanishingly small number of people receive cracks from the original creators. Most get it after it's passed through several people's hands, who have nothing to do with "the scene", and don't abide by its standards of ethics or excellence. That's where the malware comes from. Sometimes they'll be creative and embed their malware into part of the application or even the crack itself, but often they'll just package it with it and ensure it gets run through other means (e.g. hijack the autorun to run their ma

  • Expediency (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:12PM (#32195622)

    Most likely they simply found themselves unable to build the old codebase. You'd need a seven year old version of whatever build environment they were using, tons of other severn year old bits and pieces and a seven year old OS version. You'd probably need a seven year old machine too, and all the peripherals that go with it. Bits rot when left alone..

    Using a cracked version is expedient, and clever.

    • Provided you know precisely what the crack does: did they have (and review) the source for the crack, or did the just apply a patch from a shady underground group to one of their files and release it?

    • by SEAL (88488) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:34PM (#32196004)

      One of the Rockstar coders was a member of Myth.

      (you think I joke, but crack / warez teams are often loaded with industry insiders...)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:49PM (#32197520)
        One of the Rockstar coders was a member of Myth.

        That was my very first thought. It's entirely possible that the original crack was someone from Rockstar who compiled a version of the executable without the DRM crap included. Throw in a Myth header and job done. 10 years later when it comes time to release it on Steam, they just pull up the no-DRM version (possibly not even realizing that it's labeled as Myth's) and send it off for release.
    • Re:Expediency (Score:5, Informative)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:36PM (#32196052) Journal

      Most likely they simply found themselves unable to build the old codebase. You'd need a seven year old version of whatever build environment they were using, tons of other severn year old bits and pieces and a seven year old OS version. You'd probably need a seven year old machine too, and all the peripherals that go with it. Bits rot when left alone..

      Lol Wut?
      They don't need the source code or anything else.
      If you don't know, most DRM is only buried in the game exe and maybe a dll.

      All they needed is a DRMed copy of the game + a debugger in order to
      strip out the DRM exactly the same way the scene release groups do.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jimicus (737525)

        In which case, why bother messing around with a debugger when someone else has already done all the hard work for you?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stiletto (12066)

      B.S. Bits don't rot. Out of negligence, laziness, or stinginess, companies throw away/re-purpose machines that they should probably leave in the vault untouched.

      If you have older products that are in the maintenance phase that you may have to re-support one day, you need to keep the environment that is required to build/support it.

      • Re:Expediency (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jimicus (737525) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:14PM (#32196816)

        Erm... I'm afraid they do, actually.

        Well, bits themselves don't rot, but the hardware that runs them certainly does. PSUs fail, hard disk motors seize up, motherboards start inexplicably misbehaving. The only reason it's not a huge problem for Windows shops right now is that XP has been available for an unusually long time, otherwise I could genuinely ask "can you get drivers for modern hardware to run on the version of Windows you were running 7 years ago?" and there's a good chance you'd have to think very carefully before answering. I wouldn't bank on that being a silly question in a few years time.

    • LucasArts packed Jedi Knight and Dark Forces on Steam with no-CD cracks. Of course back then all you needed to do was copy a single file to your hard drive from the CD.
    • I would be amazed if they didn't have a DRM-less executable around from before it was sent to the publisher (who is usually who adds the DRM, btw).

  • by jacks smirking reven (909048) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:19PM (#32195740)
    Take the word "pirate" out of it and it's really a story of "programmers take code from somewhere else and use it for their own", and we know that never happens.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lemmy Caution (8378)

      Well, the fact that the code is to circumvent DRM measures, and was written by people that said programmers treat as "the enemy," makes the story a bit more interesting, doesn't it?

  • This is clearly copyright infringement.

    The group needs to sue. They're due money on every copy purchased.

  • This will be great for my download/upload ratio!
  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:26PM (#32195888)

    The usual argument is that cracked software is dangerous, because it contains malware of various sorts. Rather difficult to support that argument, when you then go out and ship the same "malware" as a legitimate part of a software release.

  • by aapold (753705) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:34PM (#32196020) Homepage Journal
    Back when Babylon 5 was still being produced, some licensing issue had held up making any models of the ships being produced as toys, which prompted some outfits to start making their own models and selling them illegally.

    JMS even mentioned one of these being shut down, but being impressed by the quality of these models, apparently made with nothing more to go on than screen caps.

    In an episode soon afterwards one of the characters on the show was shown using a very detailed model of one of their ships... when questioned whether these two events were related, JMS' only response was "waste not, want not..."
    • by Gulthek (12570)

      JMS admitted it more openly than that:

      Where did the Starfury model Sheridan was looking at in the war room come from?

      Actually, I think the Starfury model was an illegal one we confiscated.
      Waste not, want not...

    • Back when Babylon 5 was still being produced, some licensing issue had held up making any models of the ships being produced as toys, which prompted some outfits to start making their own models and selling them illegally.

      Here's an even better story. The original digital models for all the CGI assets in the show were lost between production shutting down and the new direct-to-video episodes being produced. The production team went to those fans for the models for use in the new footage -- models that were even more detailed than what was used in the original show! Ain't technology grand?

  • This gives a rare credence to crackers, other game publishers must be pissssssed at this.

  • Wait a second, hold on here!

    Are you telling me that Rockstar is using someone else's code in their product? Unless the work the "pirates"[sic'] produced was licensed under a BSD or similar permissive license, isn't Roskstar committing copyright infringement by redistributing said work (or derivatives) without prior written permission? I've always heard that "two wrongs don't make a right" and I try to live by it. Why is it okay for Rockstar and Steam to do it, when it is not OK for the "pirates?"[sic]

    • US law states [copyright.gov]: "protection for a work employing preexisting material in which copyright subsists does not extend to any part of the work in which such material has been used unlawfully."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by canajin56 (660655)
      No. Copyright only applies to creative and original works. This microscopic patch that just NOOPs out a few calls to DVD checking routines is neither creative nor original. The game used generic DVD checks that many games did, so it's entirely possible the pirate team cracked it entirely by rote, just fed it into a generic cracker, and got the binary back out. In the same way, Adobe has copyright on Photoshop, but NOT on any photo that's ever been edited in Photoshop. Myth's tool would be copyright by
  • This seems to prove that DRM is bad even for the companies that use it.

    DRM on old software no longer maintained could make it difficult for companies to redistribute their old software via new channels in the future. Imagine how many DRM'd CD/DVD games there are that may never be made available through online distribution systems like Steam because the copyright owner can't break the CD/DVD requirement mechanism and are unable to recompile the code to remove that restriction.

    Do you think the people who impl

  • The pirates spent time and effort on cracking that. The company should reimburse them! :P

  • Yesterday I noticed that my Steam client downloaded a 1.8MB update for Max Payne 2. There was no news about the update on Steam , but the new Steam client did offer an article from Kotaku [kotaku.com] regarding the crack being present in the Steam version. So I guess the update was to remove the hacker's logo or something.

  • Release the kraken!
  • by Dan667 (564390) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:05PM (#32196638)
    Companies would be better off to dump DRM all together and realize that they would do better competing with pirates if they provided the product DRM free in a similar distribution model. Steam is more like a service so it is a good compromise.

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