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DRM Piracy Games Your Rights Online

DRM Drives Gamers To Piracy, Says Good Old Games 642

Posted by Soulskill
from the internal-dissent dept.
arcticstoat writes "Independent retro games retailer Good Old Games has spoken out about digital rights management, saying that it can actually drive gamers to piracy, rather than acting as a deterrent. In an interview, a spokesperson for Good Old Games said that the effectiveness of DRM as a piracy-deterrent was 'None, or close to none.' 'What I will say isn't popular in the gaming industry,' says Kukawski, 'but in my opinion DRM drives people to pirate games rather than prevent them from doing that. Would you rather spend $50 on a game that requires installing malware on your system, or to stay online all the time and crashes every time the connection goes down, or would you rather download a cracked version without all that hassle?'"
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DRM Drives Gamers To Piracy, Says Good Old Games

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 11, 2011 @10:44PM (#35788804)

    DRM for the DLC of Dragon Age Origins has been preventing users from playing the game since Friday. The verification servers are having an issue preventing authorization. Still no fix in sight.

    Meanwhile all of the pirates are playing without issues.

  • Pretty much correct (Score:4, Informative)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Monday April 11, 2011 @10:47PM (#35788816) Homepage

    I have a friend who couldn't play some game -- I believe it was Assassin's Creed 2 -- because his internet is so unstable that he's lucky to have an uninterrupted connection for more than 15min. Unfortunately the game's DRM required a constant internet connection, and he got pretty fed up and decided to return the game. After a while he got around to trying a cracked version and was able to enjoy the full game without any interruptions. I think he just went straight to downloading for the next game they came out with, because he didn't feel like doing any research to find out if it had the same draconian DRM.

    Then again, GoG's point of view is kind of skewed. The great majority of their games are cheap, making them easy impulse buys. Since they're mostly older I bet the majority of people buying them are nostalgic adults who're willing to pay for something they remember as being really great. I kind of doubt the lack of DRM factors much into the decision for most buyers.

  • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Monday April 11, 2011 @11:31PM (#35789098) Journal

    Feh.

    This whole chain of argument is specious, at best.

    The obvious solution to playing Blu-Ray movies on Linux is not to bother trying to do so in the first place: At no point has a Linux distribution ever proclaimed "Hey, guys: We play Blu-Ray!!!!"

    It is plainly unsupported. And anyone who understands even a small bit about the DRM in place on Blu-Ray can also understand that Linux (in any completely open-source incarnation) isn't likely to gain proper support for it any time soon.

    The conclusion of this argument is, thus, one of the following:

    1. Forget Blu-Ray (and likely forget high-def Hollywood movies altogether). Vote with your wallet!!! (or something.)
    2. Forget Linux (oh noes!!!) and run something that can actually deal with the format
    3. Steal it.
    4. Buy hardware that can play it natively.
    5. Rip it to a more compatible format (Anydvd both kills Blu-Ray DRM and runs under Wine, last I checked).

    Myself, I've chosen #4: Buy suitable hardware. My PS3 plays Blu-Ray just fine in the living room, and so does the boy's Blu-Ray machine in his bedroom. I can't play Blu-Ray directly on any of the PCs in the house (irrespective of OS, I don't have the hardware), but I've never found myself missing that functionality....

    If I did miss that functionality, and I was a Linux devotee (I'm not a devotee to any particular OS), I'd probably just extend option 4, buy a random cheap Blu-Ray player, and plug it into my second monitor's HDMI+HDCP port for 1080p fun. Or, if I was feeling really anxious, I'd just temporarily move one of those two players to the office and play the movie in native 1080p.

    *shrug*

  • Re:Pipe Dream (Score:2, Informative)

    by jfengel (409917) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:02AM (#35789306) Homepage Journal

    > $50+ for a game? Obscene.

    Obscene? For a game with thousands of developer and artist hours in it? For a game you're going to get a few dozen hours of play out of?

  • Re:Yup (Score:5, Informative)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:19AM (#35789414) Journal

    As a PC repairman I'd also like to point out that some of the nastier DRM can completely brick your system forcing a reinstall or in some cases even destroying hardware. How is that possible you ask?

    Simple: In the first cases many versions of Safedisc, Starforce, and secuROM will attempt to install X86 Ring 0 code into an X64 kernel which as anyone that knows anything about OSes knows that is a BIG fricking no no with a capital B for bad. Now not only does this malware install X86 ring 0 code into an X64 OS, causing all kinds of instability and system problems the uninstaller will NOT remove it and it can't be safely uninstalled from the OS, even in safe mode. So if you don't have a Windows Live CD like I do or have a dual boot setup you WILL be uninstalling and reinstalling. I hope you have your data or a separate partition or drive.

    Second I have found when you mix differing versions of Safedisc,SecuROM, and Starforce (since often it will force you to have multiple versions, since they don't recognize each others "security") there is a serious risk of throwing any burners on the machine into PIO mode which happens more often with XP, although I have seen it twice so far with Vista as well. Since modern burners aren't made to run that slow what happens is every burn comes out useless until the drive motors burn out bricking the drive. I can't count how many nice new DVD burners I've shitcanned because of this problem, it really bites XP customers in the ass.

    So my advice is this: If you are on an X64 version have disc images of the OS which is good advice anyway, along with using a site such as GameCopyWorld [gamecopyworld.com] to hack the .exe BEFORE launching. What I've found is much of the ring 0 crap that breaks machines isn't installed until first launch, so by hacking the .exe one can bypass the crap before it can do any damage.

    Second if you can buy from GOG which has NO ring 0 crap, but if you have to play one that has nasty DRM buy the game but play the cracked game instead as this allows you to again bypass the bullshit and still play the game. For an example I bought Bioshock II recently for $10 (yeah I know its a shit game, but it was $10 and I missed doing the Plasmid/weapon two step) but after reading all the horror stories of nasty DRM and GFWL having to be installed (shudder, what a POS service! MSFT needs ro STFU and realize their shit will never be as good as Steam already!) I left the one I paid for in the box and got the cracked version which works perfectly without all the crap.

    TLDR? If you want a faster game running better on a more stable system then pirate the fucker. hell it doesn't matter what you do anyway as they'll use any numbers they pull out their ass to justify giving us shitty console ports anyway.

  • by heypete (60671) <pete@heypete.com> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:34AM (#35789510) Homepage

    Steam requires that you be online once to validate the license. After that, you can go into "offline mode" for as much as you please. It's pretty transparent, and hasn't been a problem for me.

    Personally, I prefer buying games on Steam: automatic patches, frequent discounts for various games on Steam, in-game voice/text chat, Valve Anti-Cheat on many multiplayer games (while not perfect, it's better than nothing), and not having to deal with license keys and physical media are major perks for me.

    Is there DRM? Sure. Is it far less obnoxious than the stuff on other games (I'm looking at you, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory)? Definitely.

  • Re:Yup (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @01:11AM (#35789736)

    I'm going to repost my previous comment [slashdot.org] to another story.

    I've downloaded some ~20 cracks for PC games. I've cracked about 6 games using my own (not-quite-expert) REing skill.

    I verify each crack I download. So far none have been fakes or malicious. They've fallen under two categories.

    • [Conditional] JMP manipulations only: hex editor spots these immediately (e.g. 0x75 -> 0x74). Always safe. Most cracks fall under this category. Standard examples: Mass Effect 2, Oblivion.
    • Unpacking. Typically this means the entire code section is replaced (and data/imports sometimes). Must dump@OEP to compare. SecuROM falls under here.

    I haven't bought a game yet which uses some of the more modern DRM techniques (e.g. remote server emu).

    Usually, if you stick by the dedicated release groups, you can be certain the cracks are safe. All crackers pour over their releases to see what they did -- their reputation would irreparably tank if discovered.

    For each new crack released for a semi-popular game there are at least a dozen unaffiliated crackers looking over their work, especially if it's an attempt at a previously uncracked DRM scheme. Malware would be noticed immediately.

    Once you know even the basics of REing it's utterly trivial to verify most cracks. Most of them can be analyzed in under 10 seconds with a hex editor that can compare binaries. The more complicated DRM is still easy to vet, because you only need to dump the packed exe/dll (doing whatever steps that might entail) to compare it... you don't need to personally repair the IAT or anything like that.

    Maybe you won't believe it but prestige matters to game cracking groups. Malware is very rare. It's nothing like you see with the shareware scene.

  • by 24-bit Voxel (672674) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @03:47AM (#35790468) Journal

    So steam was the problem in step 4. Every other step the problem was with the shitty game company you bought from.

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