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The Worst Copy Protection Scheme

 
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The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 1:18:56 AM   
Greybriar


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I didn't want to hijack another thread, so I started this one. I'll start off with the post that gave me the idea.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Son_of_Montfort

....Seriously, I remember the "golden age" of copy protection. The worst one was Starflight, where you had this disc and you needed to align it to certain star coordinates then give a crazy code to the game before it would let you leave stardock... every time you played the game. If you lost the disc (which we did, nearly twice), you could no longer play the game. Or Starflight 2, where you had to pull out the star map, align a square cardbord "window" on the map according to game given specs, and count the number of a certain color of star in the window. You could lose/destroy both the map and the square... boy was that a nightmare.

And I'll not even got into stories of word counting in manuals... and all the manuals I lost or packed away, blocking access to my game. Might and Magic: Clouds/Darkside of Xeen, Ultima 6 - games that - at least once I sat down and couldn't play because the manual was tucked away on some shelf somewhere and I couldn't find it.

Oh... but today's DRM are EVIL... Heck... I had to create an entirely new DOS memory management system just so I could BOOT UP Ultima 7 and Serpent's Isle (and several other Origin and EA games).


The worst copy protection I encountered in the distant past was not the code wheels from the Gold Box games or even the black on chocolate copy protection sheet the original SimCity had. In my opinion, back then the game with the worst copy protection scheme was Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess. The way it worked was that during installation, the game would write a file to the hard drive and then mark that sector as "Bad." If you uninstalled the game, the file was removed. But if you didn't follow that procedure, the game would not work on future installations. I found out the hard way when I formatted my hard drive.

I won't even mention my experience with StarForce. It was much worse.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 2:22:51 AM   
Titanwarrior89


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on another forum their screaming about the Drm with a 5 install limit.  If thats true that would make it a renter.  Alot money for a renter.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 2:32:50 AM   
apathetic lurker

 

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Any limit on installs is a no no for me. I dont care if its the 2nd coming of Age of Rifles, you hit me with a limit , I hit you right back by keeping my CC in my wallet. Enjoy the welfare line.......

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 10:03:28 AM   
Perturabo


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Same here. Too bad too much gamers are junkies that can't even get themselves to return a game to store even if they have a problems with copy-protection or to not buy games with cp that they consider user-unfriendly.


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 10:13:15 AM   
terje439


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Titanwarrior89

on another forum their screaming about the Drm with a 5 install limit.  If thats true that would make it a renter.  Alot money for a renter.


Had I known that BEFORE I actually bought Spore... Yeay @ EA, and tbh it started with 3 install limit...

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 10:23:04 AM   
JudgeDredd


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Starforce...nuff said.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 10:28:01 AM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

Same here. Too bad too much gamers are junkies that can't even get themselves to return a game to store even if they have a problems with copy-protection or to not buy games with cp that they consider user-unfriendly.


In the UK you cannot return a game. They simply won't take it back. I'm talking about the Game chain of shops here. From what I read, Far Cry 2 and FallOut 3 have some big issues with DRM...people on Ubisoft forums shouting about not being able to install nevermind play the game (Far Cry 2). Most of these issues appear to be down to Seciurom DRM (they have released a patch).

My point in mentioning this is if I bought a game from Game, and took it back because the DRM was playing silly buggers, they'd laugh me out the shop (have tried...trust me).

So it's not a case of being hardcore or too nice or a gaming junkie...we are prevented from enacting our legal right to good produce...just as we are prevented from excercising our legal right to have a copy or our purchased product for our own use and protection by the use of DRM software.

Makes me want to spit.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 10:53:10 AM   
Perturabo


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Damned bastards.
Are there any consumer-defence organizations in UK? Maybe they could do something about it?

< Message edited by Perturabo -- 10/29/2008 10:57:21 AM >


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 11:09:44 AM   
killroyishere

 

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quote:

quote:


ORIGINAL: Son_of_Montfort

....Seriously, I remember the "golden age" of copy protection. The worst one was Starflight, where you had this disc and you needed to align it to certain star coordinates then give a crazy code to the game before it would let you leave stardock... every time you played the game. If you lost the disc (which we did, nearly twice), you could no longer play the game. Or Starflight 2, where you had to pull out the star map, align a square cardbord "window" on the map according to game given specs, and count the number of a certain color of star in the window. You could lose/destroy both the map and the square... boy was that a nightmare.

And I'll not even got into stories of word counting in manuals... and all the manuals I lost or packed away, blocking access to my game. Might and Magic: Clouds/Darkside of Xeen, Ultima 6 - games that - at least once I sat down and couldn't play because the manual was tucked away on some shelf somewhere and I couldn't find it.


Well I never had issues with the wheels or needing my manuals as I kept everything organized and neat inside a folder box I bought just for such things. I had all my manuals in alphabetical order and tabs for the alphabet. When I wanted to play a game I took out the manual and/or wheels and I never had issues with the old password protection features. In fact I like them a lot more than I do these they use today. SecuRom is playing heck with games loading times, windows loading times and IE or Mozilla loading times. I never had those issues with the old copy protection. At least I bought those games in the old days, now if it has SecuRom or Starforce that company can forget getting my money. Only way to stop such intrusive copy protection is to just boycott it. Notice UBIsoft stopped using starforce after the number of complaints and emails and other activity got to them. Now I can play X-3 Reunion without worry of copy protection intrusion.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 11:16:21 AM   
Perturabo


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Personally, I have a big problem with the manuals/wheels, whatever thing. I buy games for fun, not for copy protection.


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 11:32:48 AM   
apathetic lurker

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd


quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

Same here. Too bad too much gamers are junkies that can't even get themselves to return a game to store even if they have a problems with copy-protection or to not buy games with cp that they consider user-unfriendly.


In the UK you cannot return a game. They simply won't take it back. I'm talking about the Game chain of shops here. From what I read, Far Cry 2 and FallOut 3 have some big issues with DRM...people on Ubisoft forums shouting about not being able to install nevermind play the game (Far Cry 2). Most of these issues appear to be down to Seciurom DRM (they have released a patch).

My point in mentioning this is if I bought a game from Game, and took it back because the DRM was playing silly buggers, they'd laugh me out the shop (have tried...trust me).

So it's not a case of being hardcore or too nice or a gaming junkie...we are prevented from enacting our legal right to good produce...just as we are prevented from excercising our legal right to have a copy or our purchased product for our own use and protection by the use of DRM software.

Makes me want to spit.


It's pretty much the same here in the states.Once it's open..... But that said I impulse bought Fallout 3 yesterday. It's still in the bag with the receipt. That sucker ain't coming out till i'm satisfied I can play it without hoop jumping.. I always hit the reviews and forums before I crack that seal. Safer that way.

All this DRM crap is the reason I pretty much stick to Matrix exclusively and also why I went back to board games.

< Message edited by apathetic lurker -- 10/29/2008 11:34:09 AM >

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 2:38:18 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Titanwarrior89

on another forum their screaming about the Drm with a 5 install limit.  If thats true that would make it a renter.  Alot money for a renter.


I guess that's okay, but the publisher had darn sure better put a big red sign on it, telling me so. Hiding it in the EULA would be total BS, and the publisher oughta be strung-up if they tried to slip it past consumers that way. Obviously, the "red-sticker" that I suggest would make it a no-buy for me.

PoE (aka ivanmoe)

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 5:08:54 PM   
noxious


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SH3 hosed one of my DVD Drives a few years back, and that was the final straw with Ubi PC games (and I worked for the consortium back then...), and Starforce like DRM : I will only buy those games when they hit the 5 dollar mark, or an up to date patch that circumvents (officially or not) the protection could make me buy it before then if I really wanted it...
Hmmm, let me think : hasn't happened yet, since I haven't bought Spore, or any mainstream PC games since then.
Matrix gets my vote, and other "indie" style devs and publishers.

With Ubi (note : haven't worked for the consortium in 4 years, things are partially change since then), it's made even worse by some doubtful internal politics regarding other people's IP and cracked software on work machines...
Another studio I worked at Montreal didn't use crazy DRM (at the time, might have changed, and they did mostly console dev by then) and also was one of the cleanest workplaces I ever worked at regarding illegal software, etc. A2M to name them by their ignonimous acronym (Artificial Mind and Movement)


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 5:35:34 PM   
Son_of_Montfort


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They SAY that you can ask for more installs with the limited install scheme and that you generally are granted more with no problems. Sure, in a pirate free world, one should not have to ask some random person for installs on a game that you bought, but that is what we get when people can't play nice. This is why we can't have nice things!

I did have a problem with SimCity Societies and their DRM (Securom, I believe). It just wouldn't patch correctly. There was registry delving and reinstalling and I never got it to work on my former system (not a huge loss there). It was a gift, so I didn't lose money, and I recuperated some of the gift money by selling that piece of crap on eBay for a reasonable sum. I suppose that is one way to get over the Great Britain ban on returning games, you sell them at a bit of a loss. Not optimum, but at least you get some back on it.

Regarding the wheels and such... I was anywhere from 8-16 during that time... so I wasn't exactly organized. Also, the room was my father's office... and he isn't exactly organized either.

I like Stardock's way of doing things, and I don't much mind running from the Steam Engine. That being said, I don't let DRM scare me away from games I know I will like.

SoM


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 5:43:01 PM   
Perturabo


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I stopped caring about games some time ago. I have a horribly long shopping list that includes tons of music, comics, books, movies, etc.
If game publishers don't want to make their games as reliable and as easy to install and run (including lack of weird DRM stuff and lack of need for system upgrades) as its possible, then it's their problem. I have a ton of other things to buy.

quote:

ORIGINAL: killroyishere

In fact I like them a lot more than I do these they use today. SecuRom is playing heck with games loading times, windows loading times and IE or Mozilla loading times.

That sounds criminal. Did anyone try to sue them bundling malware with their games?

< Message edited by Perturabo -- 10/29/2008 5:44:31 PM >


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/29/2008 6:21:30 PM   
Greybriar


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A gamer posted about his experience with Spore's DRM in A story about EA's technical support regarding SecuROM's 3 computer license. on The Official Spore Forum. The post is rather long, but it expresses pretty much what I was concerned about regarding DRMs with limited installs and the hassle involved.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/30/2008 6:59:26 AM   
ilovestrategy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Greybriar

A gamer posted about his experience with Spore's DRM in A story about EA's technical support regarding SecuROM's 3 computer license. on The Official Spore Forum. The post is rather long, but it expresses pretty much what I was concerned about regarding DRMs with limited installs and the hassle involved.


Wow, just...wow.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/30/2008 5:46:37 PM   
noxious


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Yep. Too bad it's not Ubi-related, as I could again underline the fact that I've seen cracked software used to make pirate protected games ;)

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/30/2008 6:59:56 PM   
Perturabo


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I guess that's where their paranoid behaviour comes from. They probably think that such thing as a person that buys games because he/she thinks is a good thing to do doesn't exist.

Anyway, somehow it doesn't surprise me. Judging by the way a lot of publishers/developers treat their client, it doesn't surprise me that they choose to save as much money they can by any means possible (legal or not), even when they have big budgets.

< Message edited by Perturabo -- 10/30/2008 8:39:39 PM >


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/30/2008 8:01:43 PM   
terje439


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Just read in one of the Norwegian papers, if you get banned from the EA forum, you now also lose the ability to play your game since your forum account is linked to your master account, which again is linked to your games...

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/30/2008 11:32:19 PM   
Titanwarrior89


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I quess I won't be buying their products ever again. Well if they ever go belly-up! Good!
quote:

ORIGINAL: terje439

Just read in one of the Norwegian papers, if you get banned from the EA forum, you now also lose the ability to play your game since your forum account is linked to your master account, which again is linked to your games...



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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/31/2008 1:32:54 AM   
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Just learned that there are in fact FOUR separate class action suits being brought against EA for SecuROM related reasons (and being headed by the same lawyers that smacked Ubisoft down over Starforce, by the way). The most interesting one...a guy ended up with SecuROM in his computer when it installed alongside the FREE limited downloadable Spore Creature Creator. WHAT is DRM doing on FREEWARE?!

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/31/2008 1:35:01 AM   
V22 Osprey


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quote:

ORIGINAL: terje439

Just read in one of the Norwegian papers, if you get banned from the EA forum, you now also lose the ability to play your game since your forum account is linked to your master account, which again is linked to your games...


That should be a crime.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/31/2008 10:16:00 AM   
Son_of_Montfort


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Yeah, I heard that news item. Very very stupid of them, and probably looking for a class action lawsuit (how can you trust a capricious and human moderator to handle people's property). But for me, it is a good reason NEVER to post on the EA forum. That place is a cesspool anyway.

SoM


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/31/2008 9:01:08 PM   
Arctic Blast


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It's like EA has made a decision at the corporate level to continually screw up their company. The only word I can really think of...bizarre.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 10/31/2008 11:09:48 PM   
invernomuto


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quote:

ORIGINAL: terje439

Just read in one of the Norwegian papers, if you get banned from the EA forum, you now also lose the ability to play your game since your forum account is linked to your master account, which again is linked to your games...


Is that legal ???


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 11/1/2008 12:20:22 AM   
terje439


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quote:

ORIGINAL: terje439

Just read in one of the Norwegian papers, if you get banned from the EA forum, you now also lose the ability to play your game since your forum account is linked to your master account, which again is linked to your games...


And just in on another Norwegian newspaper - EA will now not ban you from playing your games if you get banned from their forums after all. Seems even EA was scared of losing customers in the end.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 11/1/2008 1:07:12 AM   
apathetic lurker

 

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But the bad publicity will continue to haunt them.. I have no problem with companies having some kind of safeguards against theft but really, all these intrusive DRM's do is send people over to the dark side where ill-gotten products are easier to install and use.I have washed my hands of all EA games(PC,Xbox,Xbox360) and am going to either sell or toss all leftover EA products I have left. This is the epitome of horribly bad customer service. There are enough decent companies out there who wont treat me like trash or a thief. They are welcome to  my money.

Plus I will cheer whenever I hear how widely pirated EA games are.

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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 11/1/2008 9:20:43 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: apathetic lurker

But the bad publicity will continue to haunt them.. I have no problem with companies having some kind of safeguards against theft but really, all these intrusive DRM's do is send people over to the dark side where ill-gotten products are easier to install and use.I have washed my hands of all EA games(PC,Xbox,Xbox360) and am going to either sell or toss all leftover EA products I have left. This is the epitome of horribly bad customer service. There are enough decent companies out there who wont treat me like trash or a thief. They are welcome to  my money.

Plus I will cheer whenever I hear how widely pirated EA games are.



There was a line one poster over at the Fallout 3 forums used that I think fits the bill her...

Treat your customers like customers and you'll make more money, treat your customers like pirates and you'll make more pirates.


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RE: The Worst Copy Protection Scheme - 11/2/2008 8:34:17 AM   
Matti Kuokkanen

 

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Audio CDs had some copy protection stuff, that made them incompatible with many CD players. Complaining about those was so loud, that eventually most (or all) publishers stopped using copy protections. There is hope that this will eventually happen with computer games too.

What's the case with DRMs with downloaded games, like anything from Steam or Direct2Drive?

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