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DRM Piracy Games Your Rights Online

DRM Drives Gamers To Piracy, Says Good Old Games 642

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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  • Yup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal ( 711123 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @10:21PM (#35788662)
    I certainly agree. I accidentally bought a game with DRM and online activation that I couldn't return (brick and morter retailer while on holiday). I'm allergic to installing that crap on my system, so I figured out how to bypass it with a modified exe. Why go to all that effort? Because I should control my system, and nobody else. I won't go so far as to pirate it, but I can understand why some people would.
  • by drunkennewfiemidget ( 712572 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @10:25PM (#35788690) Homepage

    The whole Blu-ray bullshit, too.

    I have a blu-ray player, but I run Linux. Playing Blu-ray in linux is difficult and error prone.

    So I download the movies instead. I would happily buy them legally if I could pop them in and just play them in linux.

    And the fact that the bluray rips are available with little to no effort on all the pirate sites would suggest to me that the copy protection isn't working anyway.

  • Trust issues (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WoollyMittens ( 1065278 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @10:33PM (#35788732)
    If DRM is a result of the publisher's distrust in me, then my boycot is a result of my distrust in them.
  • by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) * on Monday April 11, 2011 @10:37PM (#35788754)

    I am a big fan of GOG.com, but I am not so blind to fail to notice that this whole article is just an advert for them. It is hardly "interesting to see them coming from an online game retail business" when that retail business is dedicated to non-DRM games!

    I agree that intrusive DRM will drive some people to piracy, or at least stops people (like me) from buying the products (FU! EA). But I am not convinced that the number of customers lost would be more than the number gained by preventing casual piracy. DRM will never stop the dedicated pirates, it is more aimed at people who do not identify themselves as pirates but who just loan their discs to their mates.

  • by Benfea ( 1365845 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @10:47PM (#35788828)

    As a legitimate consumer, I hate DRM with a burning passion because I'm the one getting punished for the actions of pirates, while pirates get to enjoy a DRM-free experience. I want to believe this is true, but unfortunately, I cannot let myself engage in argument from consequence logical fallacies nor indulge in confirmation bias. I look at the evidence, and the evidence (to my knowledge) says that DRM-free games get pirated at about the same rate as DRM games.

    Someone please prove me wrong.

  • by proxy318 ( 944196 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @10:56PM (#35788880)

    it is more aimed at people who do not identify themselves as pirates but who just loan their discs to their mates.

    And what's wrong with that? My friends and I lend each other books, movies, etc. all the time. If I buy a game, why can't I lend it to a friend when I'm done playing it?

  • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @11:03PM (#35788930) Homepage

    DRM only benefits one party, and that's the DRM software provider.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 11, 2011 @11:12PM (#35788976)

    Why support something that doesn't support you?

  • Re:DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by billcopc ( 196330 ) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Monday April 11, 2011 @11:33PM (#35789122) Homepage

    I'll give you partial credit, it's true that the absurd number of AV false positives leads to desensitization, but that blame rests squarely on the AV developers for purposefully flagging anything that looks like a crack or keygen (seems to revolve around API calls for the odd-shaped windows and chiptune playback). That said, viruses are a rarity on "official" pirate channels, since it only takes one infected victim to warn all the others and get the uploader banned (or plonked). Of course, for those getting stuff second-hand from public sites like TPB or old-school p2p such as Limewire, that social enforcement does not apply.

    The alternative is to rely on mainstream web sites such as the GameCopyWorld and MegaGames, which have been publishing No-CD cracks for over a decade, and while they have accidentally posted infected files in the past (rarely), they are quick to remove them once identified.

    Also keep in mind that today's viruses are usually benign - annoying, but non-destructive - they install some fraudware to run on startup, which either hijacks passwords/financial info, or tries to sell you a fake anti-virus to remove the infection (again stealing your CC info). It's not like the ones we used to write in the Dos days, since back then we didn't have the internet, thus no way to courier stolen data back to the author, so most viruses would simply append themselves to every EXE or COM file and slowly corrupt your entire system out of sheer sociopathic boredom.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:08AM (#35789340)

    Yes mod down yet another complaint about how Linux is shit - maybe no one will notice.

    No one who uses and advocates Linux thinks that a flaw in Linux created this situation. That's because they are acquainted with the facts. The fanboys who vent their nerd rage at anyone who slams Linux by modding them down would not interpret the comment as a slam against Linux. If anything it's a slam against the big media companies. Shit man, the guy said he uses Linux. Compatibility with Linux is important enough to affect his purchasing decisions. Think about that a moment.

    I'll explain the part you don't seem to know about. It's not exactly Linux's fault that the owners of Blu-ray use strong encryption to lock it to set-top players and closed-source platforms like Windows. Maybe you have a legit complaint about Linux but this isn't one of them. The only reason you can play it at all in Linux is because a weak implementation of this encryption caused the keys to be released.

    If you really don't like this the people to complain to are the companies that license Blu-ray. Not the Linux developers. If you don't care that much then what are you complaining about?

    Now, consider this. Maybe the reason he was at first modded down is because he accepts and maybe even advocates piracy. That's a polarizing topic. I don't agree with them but there are people who think it is always wrong no matter what the excuse and that it's illegal for good reason. To them his tacit acceptance of piracy really might be offensive tho honestly I wish they'd grow a pair and argue their case instead of abusing the mod system. It's an alternate explanation that more plausibly fits the facts and it didn't occur to you because you were stuck on your little anti-anti-anti-linux rant.

    Seriously man, if you ever wonder why great, meaningful, edifying, constructive discussion can be so hard to find it's because people like you are destroying it. I know you don't set out to do that but brother, that doesn't mean you aren't.

  • Re:Yup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shentino ( 1139071 ) <shentino@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:38AM (#35789558)

    You'd think that Ring 0 hacks would constitute unlawful modification of the OS itself.

    Where's Microsoft in this?

  • Re:Yup (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:39AM (#35789564) Journal

    Don't feel bad, you aren't the only one getting bit in the ass by the DRM (the pirates OTOH are playing just fine) and for an example (be sure to note the HUGE pile of game boxes lining all his shelves) check out this video [metacafe.com] (warning:language NSFW but when you watch it you'll understand why he's POed).

    In the end this scam benefits ONLY the manufacturers of DRM. It does ZERO to stop piracy, even the "online only" games like AC2 having running hacked version on Emule and the other P2P sites, it royally pisses off and fucks over your customer, who gets pissed when the game he bought runs like ass and won't run at all sometimes, only to find out they got bit by DRM, and it doesn't help initial sales, see how many warned customers off of Bioshock II thanks to a shitty DRM schema on Amazon. I know I was gonna by it at release and took one look at the warnings and just waited until it was bargain basement and bought it while playing the hacked version (just so I could have both boxes, I like having the boxes).

    To the GOG guys? Thanks. I've been putting my money where my mouth is and for the most part your games rock (don't buy i76 if you are on a multicore, it runs like ass) and the fact that you make games easy to backup and reinstall is definitely a selling point for me. Keep up the good work GOG, and can you get Deathtrap Dungeon?

  • by djlowe ( 41723 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:58AM (#35789680)
    Wait, let me see if I understand your rationalizations:

    I have a blu-ray player, but I run Linux. Playing Blu-ray in linux is difficult and error prone.

    So, you bought the hardware, but your OS of choice doesn't suffice, which leads to:

    So I download the movies instead

    Because you believe you're entitled to be entertained?

    I would happily buy them legally if I could pop them in and just play them in linux.

    And, believe that you're entitled to be entertained on the OS platform of your choice?

    And the fact that the bluray rips are available with little to no effort on all the pirate sites would suggest to me that the copy protection isn't working anyway

    Which makes it all OK, right?

    I'm actually saddened by the fact that your post has been modded "+4 Insightful" at this point, and here's why:

    I actually remember when Slashdot was about nerdy things. You know, things like actually doing cool stuff with computers, networks, etc.,and then talking about them here, and not about pissing and moaning about how "The Man" was preventing us from being entertained by things that that others had created to which we felt we were entitled to, simply because we couldn't entertain ourselves, nor create anything nerdy.

    It saddens me that Slashdot has devolved to this: A place where so many, incapable of creating anything themselves, yet capable of installing Linux (because the efforts of others better than us have made it more accessible) believe that the mere fact that they can install and use Linux entitles them to use it as a platform by which to be entertained, and then rationalize pirating the creations of others as a result. The sense of entitlement I see here these days makes me sad: People such as you aren't nerds, you're users. The only reason you use Linux is because others made it easy for you to do so, but not easy enough, apparently.

    You're pathetic. But, you needn't be ashamed: You got modded +4 Insightful, so apparently there's at least 4 others on Slashdot that feel the way you do.

    Welcome to Slashdot, in the 21st century, where being a nerd isn't about using computers to do cool things from our own knowledge, skill,intelligence and desire - it's about using computers (and Linux) as a platform by which others' creations entertain us, we get grumpy when such is denied, pirate it, and then rationalize such here.

    Sad, but true.



  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @01:10AM (#35789732) Journal

    To paraphrase the author, "What I will say isn't popular..." ... here on Slashdot, but I'm going to say it anyway. DRM in and of itself does not drive people to pirate games. I say this as someone who used to courier gigabytes of warez a month back when a 14400 baud modem was considered lightning fast, and the only way to get "0 day" warez was to download them from Europe and take advantage of the fact that their day started before ours.

    People pirate software because they are cheap, unethical bastards. I swapped warez because I was a kid and my parents couldn't afford to buy me all the new games. I justified it to myself because a lot of the times the games sucked, and I would have been upset if I had actually spent money on the games. However, even as a punk ass, thieving teenage kid, I still bought games from studios that put out quality products because even back then, I understood that studios need support to stay in business.

    DRM being a source of piracy is a load of crap. People are stealing because they do not care. They should just come out and admit it. They couldn't give two shits about the coders and project managers, marketing people, game testers and everyone else who is trying to make a living by putting out what they hope will be fun, enjoyable, entertaining software. Sure, there are some flops. Sure, it would be nice if you could "try before you buy", but lets face it, that is not and cannot ever be a viable business model. It takes too much time and effort to get a game out the door. A company can't put out a half assed game and tell the public, "If you like this, buy it and we'll keep making it better." Look how much people whine about DownLoadable Content (DLC). "It should have been included in the first game. Damn game studios, nickle and diming me death." Look at how people whine about WoW "Damn Blizzard, expecting me to pay every month. Those servers should be free damn it!"

    It's really easy to put the blame for a-moral, anti-social behavior on the others. It takes some real strength of character to look at yourself in the mirror and acknowledge that you are ripping someone else off.

    Frankly, I'm sick of it. In theory geeks should be some of the smartest, most enlightened people around. In reality, they're just as a-moral and pathetic on certain subjects as "Joe Sixpack" and the rest of the stereotypical personifications of lame behavior that they rail against on a regular basis.

    Before people go nuts on this post, realize that I'm not saying I support DRM, or root kit like behavior, or software phoning home. I'm saying that using those as an excuse for piracy (the gist of the article) is a load of crap. If a person does not like DRM, don't support publisher. If you buy a game, and want to download a no-CD crack, or download a modded exe to get rid of some phone home behavior, I believe that is your right as a consumer. Go on with your bad self, DMCA be damned. But don't pirate a game, and try to justify it as anything else besides outright theft.

  • by PPalmgren ( 1009823 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @01:18AM (#35789782)

    You wanna hear some real crap? I bought a bluray player, and the firmware update removed the ability to play DVDs (firmware update being required to play newer movies). It even says that the player will require physical maintenance to restore it on Samsung's troubleshooting. Guess what? They want to charge me $160 to fix it, and three tech support avenues later they are still dodging my contention of the charges.

    Hooray for taxing DRM, in a literal sense. Well, those bastards at Samsung will certainly be getting negative press from me on any mention of Bluray online as a result.

  • Re:Pipe Dream (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @01:29AM (#35789840)

    l2 play games. dozens of hours is most definately a thing of the past. now they want you to spend $50+ for a game that you can completely conquer in 6-8 hours. back in the day games were created that took so long to complete you just plain never got around to it, now the company spends eleventy billion dollars on 16 minutes of cinematic footage that, if you're honest the vast vast majority of you press every button on your controller or keyboards to skip it. we need less "video cut scene designer guy" and way way way less "poorly trained sales/management types that think theres actually some kind of effective drm available on this planet/ greedmaster guy" and replace those with "guy who makes the character actually walk properly on the ground and not slide like gumby guy", "old timey manager that understands that you make a quality product and people will want to give you their money instead of having to trick them", and a S--t Ton more cowbell

  • Re:Yup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @02:04AM (#35790008) Homepage

    These days the point of DRM seems to be more to stop video game rentals and prevent you selling the game second hand rather than stopping piracy.

  • true and then some (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:33AM (#35790588) Homepage Journal

    I know I've downloaded No-CD fixed .exe files for games that I actually bought. If that doesn't tell the game publishers something, I don't know what will.

    I've been saying this for years: If you want to lose the "war on piracy", the absolutely best way of doing that is making the legal, bought copy less convenient than the pirate copy.

    If one option you have is to go to a brick-and-mortar store, or order a CD/DVD online and wait for 1-2 days, paying some $50, then paying some more for DLC that really should've been in the main release, then spend 10 minutes entering a 243-character ID number badly printed on the inside of the case, half covered by some advertisement sticker, then have to enter your private details that they have no business of knowing, registering some online account, and having to have an active Internet connection every time you want to play, so the rootkit they installed can check you're legit, after crashing your PC a couple times and requiring you to uninstall a few perfectly legal and useful tools because it has decided they're evil...

    Or, you go to some random torrent site, download three seperate releases because you know at least one is fake, but the other two are fine, have all the DRM crap removed, and you're up and running within a few hours and without all the hassle...

    Seriously, which option would a rational being choose? Ignore the legal and moral, because if you feel compelled to "do the right thing", that's not a rational decision.

    Yes, I am exaggerating, but not really all that much. Fact is that for way too many games these days, the torrent is simply more convenient, less hassle, less invasive(!).

    And, as I keep telling to game publishers, you can't change the pirates' side of the equation. You can change yours.

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @05:13AM (#35790772)

    People pirate software because they are cheap, unethical bastards.

    Yes ... No ... Please don't throw around the word people like you speak for all of us when you have no clue about our motivations. Sure there's plenty of people who pirate because they are cheap, there's plenty of others who pirate for other reasons too. Like the last game I pirated, It costs a whole $0.99 for Angry Birds Rio on Amazon, and I'm sure as hell not that cheap. Actually seems they've released an ad supported version too but fuck em. When they released it they released it Amazon exclusive. On the release date Amazon offered the paid version for free to celebrate. After spending 20 minutes downloading the amazon fucking downloader only to be greeted by a "this service is only available to USA customers" notice I snapped. I intend to pirate the next 10 Rovio games that come out just so I gain the 20 minutes of my fucking life they wasted back.

    I would have had no problem with the ad supported version. I would have had no problem with paying even $5 for that game. But no, the endless hoops consumers need to jump through these days just makes it no longer worth while. Why don't they release games world wide at the same time? Why do I need to have the DVD of the game in the drive to play when it has been installed on the harddisk? What do you mean you won't send me another disk when the game I bought got scratched in the drive? What now I need to be connected to the net to play the fucking single player game?

    You may be a cheap arse punk, but quite frankly my time is worth more than the effort it takes to do something legitimately these days. Steam is tolerable. Yes it's DRM, but it is in my view nice. The download system works, the games are stored on my computer, I don't HAVE a DVD drive in my computer for the games to complain about, I can play offline, and if I lose my media due to drive failure, or house burning down I can download the game again.

    Dear video games industry, If your games aren't distributed by an effort free content distribution system, and you do anything I think is not fair, or the game is not available to download from your website, expect that I will find it by some other means, your shit has wasted enough of my life.

    And to you Dave, fuck you for calling me cheap.

  • Re:Yup (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @05:55AM (#35790970) Homepage Journal

    will attempt to install X86 Ring 0 code into an X64 kernel

    I call BS on this one. Every x64 version of Windows has required signed drivers by default, right from XP x64 through to Windows 7 x64. I used to run XP x64 myself and can tell you that it simply would not install an x86 driver no matter how hard you tried. It just wasn't that stupid. And yes, I used to play games including some that were protected by Starforce (who do in fact provide an x64 version).

    This feature was introduced to prevent viruses installing their own drivers and thus gaining low level access to the system. Starforce drivers are signed by Microsoft to prevent the warning messages from appearing, and since Vista MS actually requires you to have both an x86 and x64 version to get through their validation tests.

    Of course the x64 driver does still install ring 0 level code and I too would classify it as malware, but there really is no need to be making stuff up.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe