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DRM Games

Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM 234

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the get-your-free-rootkits dept.
dotarray (1747900) writes By now, everybody should know that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Let's apply that to EA, shall we? The publisher is giving away copies of The Sims 2: Ultimate Collection, for free... and not mentioning that it includes the controversial SecuROM anti-piracy software. Nobody likes SecuROM.
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Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

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  • Anybody know? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @05:16AM (#47555785) Journal
    Given that this is EA we are talking about, I can definitely believe that they'd somehow manage to be paranoid about 'piracy' of a game they are giving away. However, since it's also an older game(pre "Origin" store/client/pox-on-humanity and originally distributed largely on retail disks) and being given away it would be unsurprising if as little effort as possible was put into modifications for the new distribution.

    Does anybody know how deeply baked-in SecuROM has to be? Would the developer/publisher have a 'clean' version that is then put through some sort of SecuROM conversion step, or would you have to go further back, and deeper, into the development process to cleanly rip it out?

    I'm baffled at why including it would be worth much (especially if the license agreement involves any sort of volume-based payment, which would likely wipe out any minor benefits in audience tracking); but if it is sufficiently difficult to rip out then it would be understandable why EA wouldn't bother doing so(aside from just being evil).
  • Re:Anybody know? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RogueyWon (735973) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @05:51AM (#47555867) Journal

    So... genuine question...

    What does SecuROM actually do to your system and what are the implications?

    The wikipedia article, beyond a floating comment that SecuROM isn't uninstalled when the game is uninstalled, is basically silent on this. In fact, let's break it down into a series of further questions?

    - Does SecuROM cause security vulnerabilities on PCs on which it is installed?

    - Does SecuROM prevent applications - other than pirated copies of the game it is supposed to "protect" - from functioning on PCs on which it is installed?

    - Does SecuROM create any kind of "always on" background process that consumes resources and potentially reduces performance on PCs on which it is installed?

    If the answer to any of the above is "yes" then obviously there is a fairly major problem here. If the answer to all of the above is "no", then I'm not quite sure what people are getting upset about given that we are talking about a free game (SecuROM being bundled with paid-for games is another issue entirely).

    And to emphasise, I genuinely don't know the answers to the above and can't work them out from the links in TFA.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @06:05AM (#47555893)

    No kidding. And sims 2 has ALWAYS had SecuROM in it. They just didn't feel like taking the time to patch it out. While I'm a firm believer that DRM is a waste of time and money on the game company's part, there's no massive conspiracy here. They used SecuROM when they released Sims 2 (it was released in 2004, they used SecuROM a lot with games then) and they haven't bothered to redo it because, well, it is old and they just don't wanna spend the time.

    Fair enough, particularly for free.

    Plus the nerd rage over it is really overblown. Turns out when there's a problem with something, sometimes companies listen and fix things. So last SecuROM game I played was Battlefield Bad Company 2. It was not problematic at all in my experience. You had to activate it one time online and it then ran without checks or ever going online again. You got a certain number of activations, 5 or 10 I think, but not only could you deactivate it, with a tool or automatically during uninstall, but they would replenish automatically over time. So unless you were doing a ton of reinstalls and not deactivating it was really unlikely you'd have an issue.

    Silly to include DRM in my opinion, particularly for a game mostly played online, but not at all onerous on the user.

    People seriously need to chill about this shit. Support DRM free games when there's a version available (GOG is a good site, please not Steam is not DRM free, Steamworks is DRM) but don't rage and whine if there's DRM and the DRM isn't a problem. Yes it is silly and a waste of money, but don't act like it is some massive issue if it is not.

    If a game has some "always on" DRM bullshit that shuts it off if the connection goes down? Ya that's a reason to get mad and not buy it. If it has a DRM that wants to activate once and then fucks off? Oh get over it, you probably have to get online ones to patch the thing anyhow. Just jump through the hoop and go on about your business.

  • Re:Anybody know? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:29AM (#47556079)

    Firsthand experience here: I ended up with SecuROM I think from one of the Prince of Persia games, and from that point forward no DVD drive would work with that computer until I nuked the HD flat and completely reinstalled windows. I didn't throw my DVD drive away, but I probably did spend 20 ro 30 hours trying to diagnose it and reinstalling windows.

  • Re:Anybody know? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LoRdTAW (99712) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @08:11AM (#47556207)

    I remember when Crysis came out it was secured with SuckROM. The idea was you inserted the DVD and SuckROM would verify the DVD was in the drive and the game would start, most of the time.

    During the process of running crysis.exe securom would start and your mouse cursor would have this colorful CD icon attached to it. If securom failed to work properly (crash) which was every 1 in 3 or 4 times, the mouse cursor would stay a disco ball looking CD and your CD/DVD drive was rendered inoperable. A reboot was the only solution to solving it.

    After a week of that I downloaded a cracked exe for a game I legally bought with my hard earned cash. And you wonder why the consumer hates DRM. That is part of the reason intrusive, rootkit like DRM needs to die in a fire.

  • Colorize (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @09:10AM (#47556509) Homepage Journal
    Except that in the cases you cite, etymology supports the American spelling. There was no 'u' in "color" in Latin, and there was no 's' in the Greek root that became English "-ize". Oxford University Press uses "-ize" [].
  • Re:Could be worse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gmack (197796) <> on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @11:09AM (#47557643) Homepage Journal

    Lets see how this compares to Canada's new anti spam law [] since EA has offices in Vancouver and Montreal.

    you got it for free if you had the promo code so can't really bitch about the DRM in it.

    If I have not been (clearly) informed of it's presence and implications by the publisher

    10.(3) A person who seeks express consent for the doing of any act described in section 8 must, when requesting consent, also, in addition to setting out any other prescribed information, clearly and simply describe, in general terms, the function and purpose of the computer program that is to be installed if the consent is given.

    I certainly can and so should any person that consider themselves the owner of their machine when it is DRM that is known to:

    - Generate false positives on authentic discs.

    - Create files and reg keys that you cannot access/remove as admin.

    - Snoop on your software usage 24/7.

    - Conflict with debugging software and in some instances even require debuggers to be un-installed in order for you to play the game.

    (5) A function referred to in subsection (4) is any of the following functions that the person who seeks express consent knows and intends will cause the computer system to operate in a manner that is contrary to the reasonable expectations of the owner or an authorized user of the computer system:

    (a) collecting personal information stored on the computer system;

    (b) interfering with the owner’s or an authorized user’s control of the computer system;

    (c) changing or interfering with settings, preferences or commands already installed or stored on the computer system without the knowledge of the owner or an authorized user of the computer system;

    (d) changing or interfering with data that is stored on the computer system in a manner that obstructs, interrupts or interferes with lawful access to or use of that data by the owner or an authorized user of the computer system;

    - Remain installed after you have un-installed the game.

    11 (5) A person who has the express consent of an owner or authorized user to do any act described in section 8 must

    (a) for a period of one year after any computer program that performs one or more of the functions described in subsection 10(5) but not referred to in subsection 10(6) is installed under the consent, ensure that the person who gave their consent is provided with an electronic address to which they may, if they believe that the function, purpose or impact of the computer program installed under the consent was not accurately described when consent was requested, send a request to remove or disable that computer program; and

    (b) if the consent was based on an inaccurate description of the material elements of the function or functions described in subsection 10(5), on receipt within that one-year period of a request to remove or disable that computer program, without cost to the person who gave consent, assist that person in removing or disabling the computer program as soon as feasible.

    20 (4) The maximum penalty for a violation is $1,000,000 in the case of an individual, and $10,000,000 in the case of any other person.

    Any Canadians affected by this feel like filing a complaint?

Too much of everything is just enough. -- Bob Wier