How do you sell software? By fucking your legitimate buyers...



  • This article from the register clearly sums up the stupidity of video game companies today...



  •  I'm not in love with DRM by any means, but I think people are going way too far here.  So you can only install 3 times without calling EA support?  Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?



  •  This reminds me of the Sims II experience I had a few weeks back.

    One of my work mates was trying to  install some Sims II expansion on her laptop but was running into an error telling her the CD wasn't there. Suspecting a bad disk I attempted to rip the CD, promptly receiving a disk error from the program. Visual inspection picked up nothing and even a disk check said everything was clean, so I was a bit confused at this point. Using one of the DRM check tools I had lying around I scanned the CD and found safedisk was protecting it, but that shouldn't matter right? Why would that prevent it from even installing?

     Turns out, after about an hour searching the internet for the problem, that EA in their infinite wisdom decided that if you have CD/DVD writing software on your computer that you're a pirate and are trying to steal the game. In other words, when safedisk finds the software, it fails with a disk not present error, not even hinting to you why it decided it should fail. The only solution is to download a patch from MS that isn't even remotely similar in description to the actual problem, meaning that even some advanced users are going to have a difficult time figuring out what to do.

    Who thought that was a good idea? There's no way the average computer user is able to figure out something like that, if you tell them they have a bad disk then they assume they have one and return it to the store. How many are going to have the patience to go around for several hours researching what's wrong with the installation process?



  • @bstorer said:

     I'm not in love with DRM by any means, but I think people are going way too far here.  So you can only install 3 times without calling EA support?  Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?

     

    It's people like you that cause problems farther down the road. If we don't say something NOW, then it will only get WORSE. 



  • @bstorer said:

    Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?


    Let's ignore for a moment the sad fact that spore is not compatible with notebook graphics... and, for the sake of the argument, asume it's a great game.
    If I was to buy it, I would want to install it on my PC at home and on my notebook. This already makes 2 installs. Add one more install when I choose to upgrade my XP box to Vista (which would be sure-as-hell a clean install, not an upgrade).
    So I've already used my three install attempts... but then, since we've assumed it's a great game, I surely want to play it again in 2011 or 2015, for good old times sake. Boom. Sorry, can't do that. I have to rely on EA's support to be available for all the years to come.

    BTW, talking about nostalgia, does anybody know how to get System Shock 2 running on XP?



  • @bstorer said:

     I'm not in love with DRM by any means, but I think people are going way too far here.  So you can only install 3 times without calling EA support?  Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?

     

    I completely agree. I really think people will find any excuse they possibly can to justify stealing games.   If it's not DRM, it'll be the box it's in is bad for the environment; if it's available as a DRM-free download, it'll be the ads the website displays when you download are the problem, or the payment method uses Paypal which endorses the presidential candidate they don't like, or they website uses javascript and puts a cookie on their browser which is a huge violation of their security, and so on....

    I also get a kick out of "and when you call to ask for a 4th activation, they treat you like a dirty no-good pirate!" ...  do they really? has anyone actually called to try to get the 4th activation yet?  Are there any transcripts out there that demonstrate this?

    If you don't like the DRM method, don't buy the game. Simple as that. It doesn't give you the "right" to steal it.



  •  ALSO, when EA decides to shut down their servers (which they do) then what? All legal Spore games are now completely worthless while all the pirated and cracked versions are still chugging along just happily.

     It's this "it's not an issue for most people" bull shit that gives the morons at EA legitimacy and keep shoving DRM down our throat, treating legal purchasing customers like criminals, while the pirates get a BETTER game that lasts as long as THEY want to play it.



  • @bstorer said:

     I'm not in love with DRM by any means, but I think people are going way too far here.  So you can only install 3 times without calling EA support?  Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?

    So you can only run 3 different applications at once? Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it. Who really gives a shit?



  • @Jeff S said:

    I completely agree. I really think people will find any excuse they possibly can to justify stealing games.   If it's not DRM, it'll be the box it's in is bad for the environment; if it's available as a DRM-free download, it'll be the ads the website displays when you download are the problem, or the payment method uses Paypal which endorses the presidential candidate they don't like, or they website uses javascript and puts a cookie on their browser which is a huge violation of their security, and so on....

    If you don't like the DRM method, don't buy the game. Simple as that. It doesn't give you the "right" to steal it.

     

    This activation count limit is nonsense to the point of giving me a funny feeling in my stomach because of the indescribable brainlessness that conceived it.



  • @bstorer said:

     I'm not in love with DRM by any means, but I think people are going way too far here.  So you can only install 3 times without calling EA support?  Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?


    Read some of the amazon reviews... They are dead on.

    The point is, people who got the hacked version have NO problems (and got the game earlier than people who bought it), people who have a legitimate copy do have problems.



  • @lolwtf said:

    @bstorer said:

     I'm not in love with DRM by any means, but I think people are going way too far here.  So you can only install 3 times without calling EA support?  Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?

    So you can only run 3 different applications at once? Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it. Who really gives a shit?

    It means you can only install the game a total of 3 times before having to call EA support and PROVE that you own the game. Someone who wants to play the game again in a year of non-playing might not have the box/receipt anymore to give that proof.

    Also EA has no obligation to grant anyone more installations.



  • @ammoQ said:

    If I was to buy it, I would want to install it on my PC at home and on my notebook. This already makes 2 installs. Add one more install when I choose to upgrade my XP box to Vista (which would be sure-as-hell a clean install, not an upgrade).
    So I've already used my three install attempts... but then, since we've assumed it's a great game, I surely want to play it again in 2011 or 2015, for good old times sake. Boom. Sorry, can't do that. I have to rely on EA's support to be available for all the years to come.
    What you've just described is an uncommon occurance that might be a problem for some in 3 to 7 years.  Again, I'm not supporting DRM as a concept, but this seems like a really lame time to be taking such a huge stand.



  • @lolwtf said:

    So you can only run 3 different applications at once? Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it. Who really gives a shit?
    Good God, that's an awful analogy.  It has nothing to do with DRM whatsoever.  But for what it's worth, EA isn't limiting functionality.  Hell, they aren't even really limiting the number of installations, just the number of installations before you have to contact them for help.



  • @bstorer said:

    What you've just described is an uncommon occurance that might be a problem for some in 3 to 7 years.  Again, I'm not supporting DRM as a concept, but this seems like a really lame time to be taking such a huge stand.

     

    Another side of this that people havne't mentioned: SecuROM treats some hardware upgrades as new computers, and thus new installs. So a much more common case:

    Install on your computer - Good. 1 install, down to 2

    Change out video card - Good. 1 install, down 1

    Change out RAM - Good. 1 install,  down 0

    New RAM fails, bad. Swtich out to old RAM - FAIL! No more installs left, go call EA and pray they let you install again.

    If you still can't see how DRM treats paying customers like criminals and is a blight on the video game / music / movie industries, then please, just stop posting. 



  • @ammoQ said:

    So I've already used my three install attempts... but then, since we've assumed it's a great game, I surely want to play it again in 2011 or 2015, for good old times sake. Boom. Sorry, can't do that. I have to rely on EA's support to be available for all the years to come.
     

     

    Install 1: First legitimate install.

    Install 2: Second legitimate install.

    Install 3: Third legitimate install.

    Install 4+: Time to fire up BitTorrent.

     

     

    DISCLAIMER: I do not encourage piracy and am not suggesting you pirate this game. Have fun.



  • @ammoQ said:

    BTW, talking about nostalgia, does anybody know how to get System Shock 2 running on XP?
    I've had it running. There are even some GFX upgrades floating on the web.



  • @astonerbum said:

    It means you can only install the game a total of 3 times before having to call EA support and PROVE that you own the game. Someone who wants to play the game again in a year of non-playing might not have the box/receipt anymore to give that proof.
    So EA is bad because you have shitty record-keeping?  That's the lamest argument yet.



  •  @bstorer said:

    So EA is bad because you have shitty record-keeping?  That's the lamest argument yet.

    And you're honestly suggesting that we keep EVERY game box, EVERY sales receipt for EVERY game we buy JUST IN CASE we have to prove to THEM that we did buy said game and that THEY should let US play the game WE purchased X days / months / years ago?

    Sorry, but if "shitty record-keeping" is a lame argument, then yours is the most retarded I've heard this year.



  • @bstorer said:

    I'm not in love with DRM by any means, but I think people are going way too far here.  So you can only install 3 times without calling EA support?  Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shitt?
    So you don't have any problem with DRM effectively punishing a small part of the legitimate user base?

     You might not mind calling people after 3 installs, but I would. It's a pain, and it's not at all future-proof.



  • @bstorer said:

    I'm not in love with DRM by any means, but I think people are going way too far here.  So you can only install 3 times without calling EA support?  Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?

    Personally, this kind of stuff would make me not purchase the software.  I think it is important to give feedback to software companies that their anti-piracy schemes are retarded.  They don't stop pirates and only inconvenience people who follow the rules, which are often arbitrary stopgaps like the activation limit.  The DRM people who get all pissy about it are pretty annoying, but most of them are Slashdot fanbois who wouldn't buy software with or without DRM.  The fact is, I can't see how stupid things like DRM won't reduce sales.  It pisses off legit customers and drives people who wouldn't pirate to the more convenient cracked versions.  For myself, I might buy the game and then apply a crack or download a cracked copy so I can support the developer while still having a relatively painless experience, but I would also be sure to tell the publisher that there is no way in hell I want to keep paying for shit like this.

     

    / Didn't RTFA.

    // Doesn't play games or watch movies anyway, so suck it.



  • What are people's opinions on what the software industry should do to curb pirating?   It is an issue for them -- games are pirated, they do lose money, and it can take huge investments of time and money to create these games... So, what should they do about it?  If DRM isn't the answer, or activation limits don't work, what actions should they take to protect their products from pirates?  None at all?  What's a better way for them to handle this?

    Just curious. 

     



  • @JamesKilton said:

     @bstorer said:

    So EA is bad because you have shitty record-keeping?  That's the lamest argument yet.

    And you're honestly suggesting that we keep EVERY game box, EVERY sales receipt for EVERY game we buy JUST IN CASE we have to prove to THEM that we did buy said game and that THEY should let US play the game WE purchased X days / months / years ago?

    Sorry, but if "shitty record-keeping" is a lame argument, then yours is the most retarded I've heard this year.

    Sorry, Pesto, but I gotta agree here.  Paper receipts and game boxes?  Fuck that shit.  This is two-thousand, motherfucking eight.  I think wanting the purchasing and software usage experience to be as easy as possible isn't only a consumer concern, it should be the main concern of the fuckwits running these publishing companies.



  • @Jeff S said:

    What are people's opinions on what the software industry should do to curb pirating?
    The way I see it, if something is popular, it will get pirated, period. So a small line of defence warding off the laziest crackers and not fucking around with the users is the most you can do. If you go any further, you're just effectively being an ass to your users.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @JamesKilton said:

    And you're honestly suggesting that we keep EVERY game box, EVERY sales receipt for EVERY game we buy JUST IN CASE we have to prove to THEM that we did buy said game and that THEY should let US play the game WE purchased X days / months / years ago?

    Sorry, but if "shitty record-keeping" is a lame argument, then yours is the most retarded I've heard this year.

    Sorry, Pesto, but I gotta agree here.  Paper receipts and game boxes?  Fuck that shit.  This is two-thousand, motherfucking eight.  I think wanting the purchasing and software usage experience to be as easy as possible isn't only a consumer concern, it should be the main concern of the fuckwits running these publishing companies.

     

    Again, this is all speculation.  Does anyone actually know what it takes to get more activations? Has this been documented/transcribed anywhere?  It's fun to guess about what is required and to complain about how we think it might work and awful it is in our imagination, but wouldn't it be better to form an opinion after knowing the facts?  



  • @wybl said:

    So a small line of defense warding off the laziest crackers and not fucking around with the users is the most you can do.
     

    Such as ... ?



  • @Jeff S said:

    What are people's opinions on what the software industry should do to curb pirating?

     

    Fscking legitimate buyers is the wrong answer. When HL2 came out with all that steam problems, I didn't buy it. But I might have bought it in normal circumstance, since I own legitimate copies of HL1, Opposing Force, Blue Shift as well as Q3A, Q4, UT2K3, UT2K4, RTCW, NOLF, XIII, MaxPayne 2 etc. (I think you get the picture).



  • @Jeff S said:

    What are people's opinions on what the software industry should do to curb pirating?   It is an issue for them -- games are pirated, they do loose money, and it can take huge investments of time and money to create these games... So, what should they do about it?  If DRM isn't the answer, or activation limits don't work, what actions should they take to protect their products from pirates?  None at all?  What's a better way for them to handle this?

    Just curious. 

    Some ideas:

    • Just accept the loss.  It happens in physical retail as well and there comes a point where you accept 5% of your inventory will be stolen.
    • Make it easier to buy and use the game/software/movie/etc.. legally.  This is very important.  I should be able to hit Google, type the name of your creative work and have the first result be a page with a "Buy It Now" type link that starts downloading it.  Even as it is, I hate using crap like Pirate Bay because it is so seedy and unreliable, not to mention potential legal ramifications.  I think part of why pirating is successful is because it provides a desired service to so many -- the ability to find almost any content with a few clicks.  How fucked up is your distribution model when this is preferable:  downloading and installing a torrent app, searching Google for torrent sites, searching torrent sites for content, going through piles of crap looking for well-seeded files that are most likely in your language, saying a prayer to Allah asking to not be caught by The Man as you start the torrent, waiting hours for the torrent to finish, unraring the file only to discover it is the wrong version, repeating preceeding steps but getting the right version instead.
    • Creative efforts always help.  I remember one PC game from the 80s that had those "quiz" questions on start-up that only had answers in the manual.  I didn't have the manual, but the game would let you play anyway.  It was a "upgrade your spaceship as you do missions" type game but if you didn't answer the security question on start-up it altered the game so you would be pursued by the "Intergalactic Police" for the crime of copyright infringement throughout the game.  If you were damn good you could escape them and keep playing for some time but even if you weren't it gave you a taste of the game and made you want more.  Add in the modern ability to simply do a "Buy A License Now" type deal launching your browser right from the game and you essentially have a very effective sales tool that might get a few pirates to shell out some dough.

    I think there needs to be more creativity and thought given to this.  Technical solutions like DRM will not stop pirates and will only harm legit consumers.



  • @Jeff S said:

    What are people's opinions on what the software industry should do to curb pirating?   It is an issue for them -- games are pirated, they do lose money, and it can take huge investments of time and money to create these games... So, what should they do about it?  If DRM isn't the answer, or activation limits don't work, what actions should they take to protect their products from pirates?  None at all?  What's a better way for them to handle this?

    Just curious. 

     

    The system is already in place for Spore for a perfect anti-piracy that has been in use for many years now: online registration. Spore is already an online game! Most of the vaunted replayability is playing with the creations that other people have made. Spore registers itself with EAs servers, transmits it's CD Key, and bam, only legit purchasers of the game can play the full Spore model. This is what makes Spore's DRM even worse is that a perfectly valid solution is already in place, but EA refuses to go the customer friendly route, do a little extra work, and help curb piracy of the game without alienating many possible buyers (me included).

    It is impossible to completely prevent piracy. Once software is one someone's computer, it's theirs and they can do what they want. It IS however easily possible to prevent people from getting the full benefit of the game when it's multiplayer, like WoW and anything on Bnet.

    What's the most secure, and least pirated family of games? Anything on Steam of course.  Yes the argument can be made about shutting down the servers, but as it stands Steam games never get in your way and Valve never has to worry about pirating hurting anywhere near a significant portion of revenue.



  • @Jeff S said:

    Such as ... ?

     

    Requiring a CD in the drive to play is a popular option.



  • @ammoQ said:

    Fscking legitimate buyers is the wrong answer. 

     

    Of course not. So what should they do instead?

     @ammoQ said:

    When HL2 came out with all that steam problems, I didn't buy it.

    Please tell me that since then you've played it! It is an amazing game and still holds up quite well even after 3-4 years (or however long it's been) ...



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    The DRM people who get all pissy about it are pretty annoying, but most of them are Slashdot fanbois who wouldn't buy software with or without DRM.  The fact is, I can't see how stupid things like DRM won't reduce sales.  It pisses off legit customers and drives people who wouldn't pirate to the more convenient cracked versions.  For myself, I might buy the game and then apply a crack or download a cracked copy so I can support the developer while still having a relatively painless experience, but I would also be sure to tell the publisher that there is no way in hell I want to keep paying for shit like this.

     

    DRM does hurt sales. The fact that gaming is on the rise hides that quite well, but it's following a slow line of "once bitten, twice shy". There are a lot of people boycotting Ubisoft games due to Starforce (and at least one class-action suit going) , and even some indie gaming houses who do release without DRM? Why? Because they realize that the people who will pirate anyway and never pay are not in their target audience anyway. So they make it convenient and cheap (you'd be surprised how much the big houses are paying to get DRM, probably about 10% of the shelf price), which surprisingly adds to the motivation of buying the game, especially with word-of-mouth.

    This is also why console gaming is easy -- the people who are willing to mutilate their console and quite possibly lose the ability to play online are a distinct minority compared to PC gamers who actually expect quality and have a far easier time going for the free and DRM-free version. Besides, buying the game isn't really supporting the developer, except of course for the "if we sell X million in the 1st year, you'll get a bonus" bit. 

    A month or so ago when Ubisoft actually released a reloaded crack as a 'no-cd' solution in their official pages was pretty much the last draw for me -- I'l keep on buying console games and fun remakes (mm9, bionic commando) but full-scale PC games? Pass. Except for Portal 2. And Fallout 3. And maybe a chip for my PS2 so I can actually play FFX without throwing up every time the love interest speaks. Yes, I know, I'm 5 years behind, deal with it.



  • @Jeff S said:

    What are people's opinions on what the software industry should do to curb pirating?   It is an issue for them -- games are pirated, they do lose money, and it can take huge investments of time and money to create these games... So, what should they do about it?  If DRM isn't the answer, or activation limits don't work, what actions should they take to protect their products from pirates?  None at all?  What's a better way for them to handle this?

    Just curious. 

     

    That's like trying to stop people from writing viruses: it's not going to happen. Many online games require a unique key to play online and this seems to work quite well because there are few cracked servers (and they're filled with cheaters).

    I think what's important is that game publishers should make sure that the purchased version of the game is at least as good as the pirated copy. This often means poorer online support in the pirated version. With Spore, EA seems to have done the opposite and made the purchased version inferior to the pirated version. That can only increase piracy, so they'd have been better off not including any piracy protection at all.



  • @bstorer said:

     I'm not in love with DRM by any means, but I think people are going way too far here.  So you can only install 3 times without calling EA support?  Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?

     

    I can't think of any game I have enjoyed that I haven't installed more than 3 times over the years. Good lord, I've probably installed diablo 2 and starcraft at least 50 times each by the criteria of Spore's DRM, between machine upgrades, laptops, lan parties, OS upgrades, OS reinstalls, virtualization, file corruption, drive changes, space reclaimation, etc

    What makes you can think you can speak for "Most People"? There are lots of posts on message boards of people who used up all 3 activations on the first day! Obviously, they're not happy, and they're making their voices heard. Pirates, of course, are having no such problems with activation. And how is voicing your displeasure via internet game reviews and message boards going "too far"? I'd say storming EA offices and burning them to the ground would be going "too far". Expressing your displeasure in online communities designed to accomodate just that sort of thing is perfectly normal behavior.



  • @Nether said:

     Good lord, I've probably installed diablo 2 and starcraft at least 50 times each by the criteria of Spore's DRM, between machine upgrades, laptops, lan parties, OS upgrades, OS reinstalls, virtualization, file corruption, drive changes, space reclaimation, etc

     

    Dear Gawd, Diablo 2. My count comes to about two dozen, with three different computers, two or three OS re-installs and a few upgrades. Not to mention "I'll never play this stupid game again" Then came 1.11.



  • @Jeff S said:

    Again, this is all speculation.  Does anyone actually know what it takes to get more activations? Has this been documented/transcribed anywhere?  It's fun to guess about what is required and to complain about how we think it might work and awful it is in our imagination, but wouldn't it be better to form an opinion after knowing the facts?  

    Even if the procedure is the easiest thing in the world (which clearly, it isn't, because it's easier to NOT have to call an automated phone service that is probably located halfway around the Earth and spend 20 minutes boggling through options till you inevitably screw it up and have to get a real person on the line; see also reactivating a Windows liscense key for the 6th time you reinstall to clear viruses/DRM/etc), the idea that somehow you're a criminal until they deem to prove that you are not is absurd.  I mean, it's not like it's in the constitution of the country these companies reside in -- oh wait.

    If you buy a car, and change the battery (or the freaking engine, or the shocks, or pretty much anything on the car), you don't have to call Chevrolet to tell them you need to start it up again (although some radios will reset to a "omg I may have been stolen" mode, requiring a special firmware tool to unlock, which is equally retarded).  You don't have to call ASUS everytime you plug in a new power strip.  Why should anyone have to tell EA that they reinstalled the software that they paid for?  Piracy is a vicious cycle of DRM-knee-jerk reactions and people getting tired of slogging through BS just to use software.  Was piracy really such a horrid problem before they started trying to conquer my computer like some sort of *ware overlords?  Chicken/egg perhaps.



  • @Voidpointer said:

    Even if the procedure is the easiest thing in the world (which clearly, it isn't, because it's easier to NOT have to call an automated phone service that is probably located halfway around the Earth and spend 20 minutes boggling through options till you inevitably screw it up and have to get a real person on the line; see also reactivating a Windows liscense key for the 6th time you reinstall to clear viruses/DRM/etc), the idea that somehow you're a criminal until they deem to prove that you are not is absurd.  I mean, it's not like it's in the constitution of the country these companies reside in -- oh wait.

    If you buy a car, and change the battery (or the freaking engine, or the shocks, or pretty much anything on the car), you don't have to call Chevrolet to tell them you need to start it up again (although some radios will reset to a "omg I may have been stolen" mode, requiring a special firmware tool to unlock, which is equally retarded).  You don't have to call ASUS everytime you plug in a new power strip.  Why should anyone have to tell EA that they reinstalled the software that they paid for?  Piracy is a vicious cycle of DRM-knee-jerk reactions and people getting tired of slogging through BS just to use software.  Was piracy really such a horrid problem before they started trying to conquer my computer like some sort of *ware overlords?  Chicken/egg perhaps.

     

    Thanks for the further speculation .... as I said, it is indeed fun to rant about how things might be in our own imaginary worlds, but maybe it would be more productive to deal with facts?

    Again, I am not saying the 4th activation requirement/process is right or wrong, hard or easy, or anything at all-- I don't know.  I am reserving my judgement on it until I have more information. 



  • @Ren said:

    DRM does hurt sales.

    That's what I said.

     

    @Ren said:

    Besides, buying the game isn't really supporting the developer, except of course for the "if we sell X million in the 1st year, you'll get a bonus" bit.

    WTF?  Of course it does.  The developers get paid because the game sells.  There can also be incentives like you mentioned if they are negotiated.  And good sales improve leverage with publishers for future projects.  Most new developers don't get profit sharing because the publishers have so many projects that fail to turn a profit that the occassional success has to make up for them.  The publishers' business is taking risk to finance and promote certain projects in the hopes that a few will pay off.  Once a development team is confirmed to be successful at bringing in cash, the publishers are more liberal with pay.  Obviously there is a need for the publishers, though, which is why they exist in the first place.



  • @shakin said:

    That [curbing pirating] is like trying to stop people from writing viruses: it's not going to happen.
     

    No; it's not.  It's like writing virus blocking software and patching vulnerabilities to stop viruses; it may not always work perfectly, but it's probably better than nothing. If your virus analogy holds up, then you are suggesting that we should all just stop patching/securing/scanning our PC's and let the viruses do what they want.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ren said:

    Besides, buying the game isn't really supporting the developer, except of course for the "if we sell X million in the 1st year, you'll get a bonus" bit.

    WTF?  Of course it does.  The developers get paid because the game sells.

     

    There's another one of those excuses to justify pirating ... "it doesn't hurt the developers, only the big evil corporations!" ...



  • A general thought: Some users, including me, will never ever use pirated software on their computers. Because no amount of McAfee, Symantec etc. "security software" can ever make sure that a pirated copy of a program does not contain malware features that makes it basically a trojan. I use my computer for important things too, so I don't want it infected.

    For the same reason, I will never ever buy software that comes with rootkit-like DRM.



  • @ammoQ said:

    BTW, talking about nostalgia, does anybody know how to get System Shock 2 running on XP?

    Start here:  [url=http://www.strangebedfellows.de/index.php/topic,106.0.html]SS2 Technical FAQ[/url]

    If you need help with any specific problems, ask on the TTLG (Through the Looking Glass) [url=http://www.ttlg.com/forums/]forums[/url].



  • @Jeff S said:

    Thanks for the further speculation .... as I said, it is indeed fun to rant about how things might be in our own imaginary worlds, but maybe it would be more productive to deal with facts?

    Again, I am not saying the 4th activation requirement/process is right or wrong, hard or easy, or anything at all-- I don't know.  I am reserving my judgement on it until I have more information. 

     

    This is the point I was trying to make:

     @ammoQ said:

    A general thought: Some users, including me, will never ever use
    pirated software on their computers. Because no amount of McAfee,
    Symantec etc. "security software" can ever make sure that a pirated
    copy of a program does not contain malware features that makes it
    basically a trojan. I use my computer for important things too, so I
    don't want it infected.

    For the same reason, I will never ever buy software that comes with rootkit-like DRM

    At the risk of sounding like a Stallman-ite, it's your computer, why should you have to reliquish control.  Of course, you don't have to buy the certain products that carry that risk.  BioShock, for example, is an amazing game,  and I would throw my money (and perhaps a pair of scented underwear) at the developers to own that game, if only they hadn't figured I must be a pirate and felt the need to use rootkits on my computer in order to get the privelege of playing it.

    Books (or generally, art) carry the same sort of intellectual psuedo-property rights that software does on some levels, but they don't make you install cameras in your house to make sure you're not "mis-using" it.



  • @ammoQ said:

    @Jeff S said:

    What are people's opinions on what the software industry should do to curb pirating?

     

    Fscking legitimate buyers is the wrong answer. When HL2 came out with all that steam problems, I didn't buy it. But I might have bought it in normal circumstance, since I own legitimate copies of HL1, Opposing Force, Blue Shift as well as Q3A, Q4, UT2K3, UT2K4, RTCW, NOLF, XIII, MaxPayne 2 etc. (I think you get the picture).

    Nice example. When HL2 came out, I had the money to actually buy it ... until I read an article (I think from The Register as well) about a parent who installed HL2 on one PC, then uninstalled it and tried to re-install in another one. Basically, the Steam thing allowed only ONE install, and he was told by Sierra to "f**k off, go buy the game again". So guess what: I didn't buy it. I do have, however, Quake 1,2,3; Doom, Doom2, Doom3, Starcraft and others, legally bought which I still play up to this day.

    I kind of like id Software's approach on this: you can install the thing, but you're barred from online gaming if your CD key is invalid; Starcraft does the same as Blizzard's Battle.net blocks pirated CD keys. If anything, that might be a decent solution, without requiring stupid DRM restrictions.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    Nice example. When HL2 came out, I had the money to actually buy it ... until I read an article (I think from The Register as well) about a parent who installed HL2 on one PC, then uninstalled it and tried to re-install in another one. Basically, the Steam thing allowed only ONE install, and he was told by Sierra to "f**k off, go buy the game again".
     

    I don't remember the a one-install rule with Steam. Now, that certainly is not the case -- you can install games on as many PC's as you want, but you can only play on one PC at a time.  The only issue I remember with Steam initially was the servers were really slow at first.

    Do you use Steam now or do you still boycott it?



  • @Voidpointer said:

    Books (or generally, art) carry the same sort of intellectual psuedo-property rights that software does on some levels, but they don't make you install cameras in your house to make sure you're not "mis-using" it.


    There is one difference: You can't copy a book/painting in a few seconds and send it to a friend, or anyone in the world. Though you can take a high-rez scan of the picture but the equipment is very expencive.



  • @dlikhten said:

    There is one difference: You can't copy a book/painting in a few seconds and send it to a friend, or anyone in the world. Though you can take a high-rez scan of the picture but the equipment is very expencive.
    You could video it in!



  •  @ammoQ said:

    @bstorer said:

    Most people aren't going to be inconvenienced by it.  Who really gives a shit?


    Let's ignore for a moment the sad fact that spore is not compatible with notebook graphics... and, for the sake of the argument, asume it's a great game.
    If I was to buy it, I would want to install it on my PC at home and on my notebook. This already makes 2 installs. Add one more install when I choose to upgrade my XP box to Vista (which would be sure-as-hell a clean install, not an upgrade).
    So I've already used my three install attempts... but then, since we've assumed it's a great game, I surely want to play it again in 2011 or 2015, for good old times sake. Boom. Sorry, can't do that. I have to rely on EA's support to be available for all the years to come.

    BTW, talking about nostalgia, does anybody know how to get System Shock 2 running on XP?

    Sounds as anoying as Vista itself, I had to replace the ram on my machine recently and it took me an hour on the phone with MS Customer support in order to get a new key generated for Vista...  I will never buy a product again that has these lame ass restrictions if I can help it.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    • Make it easier to buy and use the game/software/movie/etc.. legally.  This is very important.  I should be able to hit Google, type the name of your creative work and have the first result be a page with a "Buy It Now" type link that starts downloading it.  Even as it is, I hate using crap like Pirate Bay because it is so seedy and unreliable, not to mention potential legal ramifications.  I think part of why pirating is successful is because it provides a desired service to so many -- the ability to find almost any content with a few clicks.  How fucked up is your distribution model when this is preferable:  downloading and installing a torrent app, searching Google for torrent sites, searching torrent sites for content, going through piles of crap looking for well-seeded files that are most likely in your language, saying a prayer to Allah asking to not be caught by The Man as you start the torrent, waiting hours for the torrent to finish, unraring the file only to discover it is the wrong version, repeating preceeding steps but getting the right version instead.

    Agreed. Back in the 80's and early 90's, shareware was everywhere, and some games were definitely worth buying. But buying some of them was a royal pain in the arse; it usually meant sending a check over the mail. My dad was pretty much skeptical on this, so even when we lived in the U.S. he wouldn't go for that option.

    A few games went for the 1-900 option or just asking for credit cards through 1-800 numbers, and these were easier to buy. Sadly, the 1-900 option is US only as well.

    Fortunately, the internet has enabled most software developers to go down the "download now!" option; you'd think game devs would do it too but I only know of a few who do.

    @morbiuswilters said:


    • Creative efforts always help.  I remember one PC game from the 80s that had those "quiz" questions on start-up that only had answers in the manual.  I didn't have the manual, but the game would let you play anyway.  It was a "upgrade your spaceship as you do missions" type game but if you didn't answer the security question on start-up it altered the game so you would be pursued by the "Intergalactic Police" for the crime of copyright infringement throughout the game.  If you were damn good you could escape them and keep playing for some time but even if you weren't it gave you a taste of the game and made you want more.  Add in the modern ability to simply do a "Buy A License Now" type deal launching your browser right from the game and you essentially have a very effective sales tool that might get a few pirates to shell out some dough.

    Many of the 80's games used this method. It was known amongst my schoolmates as the "Prince of Persia code", as this was the most popular game back then to have the protection. Other one I remember with something similar was Day of the Tentacle. Wonder what happened with that?



  • @Voidpointer said:

    At the risk of sounding like a Stallman-ite, it's your computer, why should you have to reliquish control.

    It's called compromise.  You don't have to, but the developer doesn't have to provide you with a product either.

     

    @Voidpointer said:

    Books (or generally, art) carry the same sort of intellectual psuedo-property rights that software does on some levels, but they don't make you install cameras in your house to make sure you're not "mis-using" it.

    "Intellectual psuedo-property rights"?  I can barely parse that.  IP is property and it has its own set of rights just like tangible property.  Finally, they could make you install cameras to use a book or whatever, but most people realize that would be absurd.  Getting companies to realize that DRM hurts paying customers and getting consumers to realize that DRM is a PITA they shouldn't have to deal with is the way to get rid of it.  Too often efforts to get rid of DRM are sidetracked by silly idealistic arguments which accomplish much less than pragmatic consumer advocacy would.



  • @Voidpointer said:

    BioShock, for example, is an amazing game,  and I would throw my money (and perhaps a pair of scented underwear) at the developers to own that game, if only they hadn't figured I must be a pirate and felt the need to use rootkits on my computer in order to get the privelege of playing it.

    Copy protection is mandated by the publisher, not the developers. I'm sure Ken Levine was not at all pleased with the DRM that Take Two inflicted on Bioshock. When it first came out, people were talking more about the copy protection than the game.


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