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Boobytrapping software for filesharing sites

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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Arrest me now, officer.

    All I was trying to say is that it's almost universally illegal to distribute programs that "destroy data, computer programs or supporting documentation" without consent, and that the definition of distribution is vague enough to potentially encompass uploading a torrent.

    But I do appreciate your sarcasm and tacit accusation of my secret love for software pirates.

    Fats on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2009
    Fats wrote: »
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Arrest me now, officer.

    All I was trying to say is that it's almost universally illegal to distribute programs that "destroy data, computer programs or supporting documentation", and that the definition of distribution is vague enough to potentially encompass uploading a torrent.

    But I do appreciate your sarcasm and tacit accusation of my secret love for software pirates.

    Time to take down all those file cleaner/defrag programs then.

    FyreWulff on
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Fats wrote: »
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Arrest me now, officer.

    All I was trying to say is that it's almost universally illegal to distribute programs that "destroy data, computer programs or supporting documentation", and that the definition of distribution is vague enough to potentially encompass uploading a torrent.

    But I do appreciate your sarcasm and tacit accusation of my secret love for software pirates.

    Time to take down all those file cleaner/defrag programs then.

    Yeah, and the guy who wrote DBAN is fucked.

    PeregrineFalcon on
    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Your quote is missing a couple words (so I type faster than I think :P).

    Fats on
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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    If you upload a torrent of Linux, you're hosting something that a person could potentially do all sorts of destructive things with, even automatically without their knowledge if they aren't sure what they're doing.

    UncleSporky on
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    ChalkbotChalkbot Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Games are made by large teams, everyone has their job, and generally a lot of effort in one place doesn't mean another area suffers. Games are modular. One guy can work on the anticrack protection independent from the level designers. He was hired to do that specific job, it's not like he'd be more useful drawing textures.

    Yes, I pointed out that I was talking in terms of budget, not man power. It will absolutely without a doubt cost more to put these things in as opposed to not putting them in. You can argue all you want about the potential ROI of doing so, but the bottom line is that there is no evidence either way. The only thing you can do is ask yourself as the potential consumer, do you want a sophisticated DRM scheme on that game you're about to buy or not? I see no reason to say yes and plenty of reasons to say no. You are the person with money in-hand, looking to buy games. You should be their target demographic, not the people who can't afford the game, or criminals who would crack their DRM for fun. Cater to the people who actually have the means and the desire for your product and you will see the biggest sales.

    I have personally decided against purchasing games in the past because they insist upon some invasive DRM. Never has DRM persuaded me to actually buy something. As far as I can tell, DRM is costing sales, not winning them.

    Chalkbot on
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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Incredibly illegal and unethical.

    TL DR on
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    psychotixpsychotix __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Fats wrote: »
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Arrest me now, officer.

    All I was trying to say is that it's almost universally illegal to distribute programs that "destroy data, computer programs or supporting documentation", and that the definition of distribution is vague enough to potentially encompass uploading a torrent.

    But I do appreciate your sarcasm and tacit accusation of my secret love for software pirates.

    Time to take down all those file cleaner/defrag programs then.

    Yeah, and the guy who wrote DBAN is fucked.

    There is a difference between distributing software that someone could screw shit up with due to stupidity, and software that is designed to cause mayhem. I'm not defending piracy here.

    Also haven't people won several lawsuits over DRM that was included even with legally purchased software because it trashed all sorts of stuff (SONY and starforce come to mind).

    IMHO, it just doesn't make much sense either way. And once you get into the "well, they were pirating so who cares if I trash their computer" you get into a gray area. If you really want to engage in cyber douchebaggery why not just DOS some piracy sites.

    psychotix on
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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Chalkbot wrote: »
    Games are made by large teams, everyone has their job, and generally a lot of effort in one place doesn't mean another area suffers. Games are modular. One guy can work on the anticrack protection independent from the level designers. He was hired to do that specific job, it's not like he'd be more useful drawing textures.

    Yes, I pointed out that I was talking in terms of budget, not man power. It will absolutely without a doubt cost more to put these things in as opposed to not putting them in. You can argue all you want about the potential ROI of doing so, but the bottom line is that there is no evidence either way. The only thing you can do is ask yourself as the potential consumer, do you want a sophisticated DRM scheme on that game you're about to buy or not? I see no reason to say yes and plenty of reasons to say no. You are the person with money in-hand, looking to buy games. You should be their target demographic, not the people who can't afford the game, or criminals who would crack their DRM for fun. Cater to the people who actually have the means and the desire for your product and you will see the biggest sales.

    I have personally decided against purchasing games in the past because they insist upon some invasive DRM. Never has DRM persuaded me to actually buy something. As far as I can tell, DRM is costing sales, not winning them.
    Invasive DRM is costing them sales. Not Batman refusing to glide.

    Explain where my math was wrong and it actually cost them 1/4th, 1/2 of the total production cost to implement this? And no evidence? Don't you think the game companies would notice trends on games with simple protections versus games with complex ones? Anyone with any logical mind can see the benefits. Maybe there are negatives if you use StarForce DRM or whatever the big bad one is these days. Game companies see it as worth it and without seeing their own numbers you aren't fit to cast any judgment on it.

    As a consumer you bet I want anti-piracy protections on there. If they announce their game is DRM-free, you can straight up copy the disc no problem, you can bet they'll make half the profits they would have and the chance of a quality sequel is just that much more diminished. I want to see people who deserve payment get paid.

    UncleSporky on
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    psychotixpsychotix __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2009
    Chalkbot wrote: »
    Games are made by large teams, everyone has their job, and generally a lot of effort in one place doesn't mean another area suffers. Games are modular. One guy can work on the anticrack protection independent from the level designers. He was hired to do that specific job, it's not like he'd be more useful drawing textures.

    Yes, I pointed out that I was talking in terms of budget, not man power. It will absolutely without a doubt cost more to put these things in as opposed to not putting them in. You can argue all you want about the potential ROI of doing so, but the bottom line is that there is no evidence either way. The only thing you can do is ask yourself as the potential consumer, do you want a sophisticated DRM scheme on that game you're about to buy or not? I see no reason to say yes and plenty of reasons to say no. You are the person with money in-hand, looking to buy games. You should be their target demographic, not the people who can't afford the game, or criminals who would crack their DRM for fun. Cater to the people who actually have the means and the desire for your product and you will see the biggest sales.

    I have personally decided against purchasing games in the past because they insist upon some invasive DRM. Never has DRM persuaded me to actually buy something. As far as I can tell, DRM is costing sales, not winning them.
    Invasive DRM is costing them sales. Not Batman refusing to glide.

    Explain where my math was wrong and it actually cost them 1/4th, 1/2 of the total production cost to implement this? And no evidence? Don't you think the game companies would notice trends on games with simple protections versus games with complex ones? Anyone with any logical mind can see the benefits. Maybe there are negatives if you use StarForce DRM or whatever the big bad one is these days. Game companies see it as worth it and without seeing their own numbers you aren't fit to cast any judgment on it.

    As a consumer you bet I want anti-piracy protections on there. If they announce their game is DRM-free, you can straight up copy the disc no problem, you can bet they'll make half the profits they would have and the chance of a quality sequel is just that much more diminished. I want to see people who deserve payment get paid.

    I've never seen a DRM scheme that actually produced lasting results, they all fail. To me this seems like an arms race between crackers and companies and the regular customer gets screwed.

    psychotix on
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    CmdPromptCmdPrompt Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    psychotix wrote: »
    Chalkbot wrote: »
    Games are made by large teams, everyone has their job, and generally a lot of effort in one place doesn't mean another area suffers. Games are modular. One guy can work on the anticrack protection independent from the level designers. He was hired to do that specific job, it's not like he'd be more useful drawing textures.

    Yes, I pointed out that I was talking in terms of budget, not man power. It will absolutely without a doubt cost more to put these things in as opposed to not putting them in. You can argue all you want about the potential ROI of doing so, but the bottom line is that there is no evidence either way. The only thing you can do is ask yourself as the potential consumer, do you want a sophisticated DRM scheme on that game you're about to buy or not? I see no reason to say yes and plenty of reasons to say no. You are the person with money in-hand, looking to buy games. You should be their target demographic, not the people who can't afford the game, or criminals who would crack their DRM for fun. Cater to the people who actually have the means and the desire for your product and you will see the biggest sales.

    I have personally decided against purchasing games in the past because they insist upon some invasive DRM. Never has DRM persuaded me to actually buy something. As far as I can tell, DRM is costing sales, not winning them.
    Invasive DRM is costing them sales. Not Batman refusing to glide.

    Explain where my math was wrong and it actually cost them 1/4th, 1/2 of the total production cost to implement this? And no evidence? Don't you think the game companies would notice trends on games with simple protections versus games with complex ones? Anyone with any logical mind can see the benefits. Maybe there are negatives if you use StarForce DRM or whatever the big bad one is these days. Game companies see it as worth it and without seeing their own numbers you aren't fit to cast any judgment on it.

    As a consumer you bet I want anti-piracy protections on there. If they announce their game is DRM-free, you can straight up copy the disc no problem, you can bet they'll make half the profits they would have and the chance of a quality sequel is just that much more diminished. I want to see people who deserve payment get paid.

    I've never seen a DRM scheme that actually produced lasting results, they all fail. To me this seems like an arms race between crackers and companies and the regular customer gets screwed.
    The point is rarely, if ever, to produce lasting results. Allowing a game to go unpirated for even a couple of days can make a huge difference in how the product performs, and that is the point of anti-piracy schemes. To that end I'm fine with them, as long as they're implemented in a sane manner.

    CmdPrompt on
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    LordOfMeepLordOfMeep Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Fats wrote: »
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    I have all the bases covered.

    Have you had someone look over your "booby trapping" process to make sure it doesn't run afoul of various state laws regarding computer contamination or criminal mischief?

    Yup. There ain't nothing illegal about it. But I do find people defending piracy, which is 100% illegal, fucking hilarious :lol:


    Edit: here's what it does. After clicking on the (dummied out) main menu, the background switches to WindowsDirClean Pro(tm) and pops up this dialog:

    piracyturnaround.png

    (background blurred)

    Clicking Yes has 3 more layers of "Are you sure?" "Are you reallly, reallly, really sure?" and so on.

    Clicking No pops up a dialog telling them to stop pirating or else their dick will fall off and exits.

    Arrest me now, officer.

    You know at first I was weary of the whole "My fake pirate torrents destroy your computer" thing but after this explanation you'd have to be a complete and utter retard on top of being a pirate to actually get your Windows install killed by this. :lol:

    LordOfMeep on
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    ChalkbotChalkbot Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Invasive DRM is costing them sales. Not Batman refusing to glide.

    No, that IS costing them sales as well. We've already seen this scheme fail spectacularly before when these bugs get included in online reviews of the game. Go ask Iron Lore studios how intentional bugs for pirates worked out for them. Oh wait, they went bankrupt, my bad.

    Explain where my math was wrong and it actually cost them 1/4th, 1/2 of the total production cost to implement this? And no evidence? Don't you think the game companies would notice trends on games with simple protections versus games with complex ones? Anyone with any logical mind can see the benefits. Maybe there are negatives if you use StarForce DRM or whatever the big bad one is these days. Game companies see it as worth it and without seeing their own numbers you aren't fit to cast any judgment on it.

    I don't believe I quoted any cost to include anti-piracy measures, as the cost is obviously not fixed. Your saying it's 1/4 or 1/2 of the production cost is obviously ridiculous and would never be included under those circumstances.

    How are games companies going to notice the "trends" in sales of DRM'd games versus non-DRM games? Do you know of a company that simultaneaously released a DRM full and DRM free version of a game and compared the sales? I certainly don't.

    Stardock releases their games with no DRM (Galactic Civililzations II, Sins of a Solar Empire, etc) and they sell games like gangbusters. They shocked the world with Gal-Civ 2, an idependent game at #2 on the sales chart the month it came out. You're telling me if they'd only put some type of DRM on it, it would have been one of the best selling games of all time? Even though their loyal fans (me included) pledge their loyalty based on the fact that there is no DRM on their games? It's interesting that they denounce DRM and say it has a negative effect on sales despite your claim that games companies know DRM works. Why are games companies saying two different things? Because the evidence is so apparent, right?
    As a consumer you bet I want anti-piracy protections on there. If they announce their game is DRM-free, you can straight up copy the disc no problem, you can bet they'll make half the profits they would have and the chance of a quality sequel is just that much more diminished. I want to see people who deserve payment get paid.

    If you want to see them get paid, continue to buy the game.

    Chalkbot on
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    LordOfMeep wrote: »
    You know at first I was weary of the whole "My fake pirate torrents destroy your computer" thing but after this explanation you'd have to be a complete and utter retard on top of being a pirate to actually get your Windows install killed by this. :lol:

    Yeah, had he posted that to begin with this thread would be half as long. :P

    Fats on
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    ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Fats wrote: »
    LordOfMeep wrote: »
    You know at first I was weary of the whole "My fake pirate torrents destroy your computer" thing but after this explanation you'd have to be a complete and utter retard on top of being a pirate to actually get your Windows install killed by this. :lol:

    Yeah, had he posted that to begin with this thread would be half as long. :P

    Seconded.

    ZackSchilling on
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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    psychotix wrote: »
    I've never seen a DRM scheme that actually produced lasting results, they all fail. To me this seems like an arms race between crackers and companies and the regular customer gets screwed.

    As has been said many times already, the point isn't to stop it because you can't. The point is delay.
    Chalkbot wrote: »
    Invasive DRM is costing them sales. Not Batman refusing to glide.

    No, that IS costing them sales as well. We've already seen this scheme fail spectacularly before when these bugs get included in online reviews of the game. Go ask Iron Lore studios how intentional bugs for pirates worked out for them. Oh wait, they went bankrupt, my bad.
    Then that cost those incompetent companies sales, not Batman refusing to glide.

    How long should I keep this up? Do it right and it's very effective, as has been seen time and time again.

    And if this is costing them sales, do tell, where's the evidence of this? Has a company ever released a game with intentional bugs for pirates alongside a version without them? I see no evidence that intentional bugs has ever cost a company sales.
    Stardock releases their games with no DRM (Galactic Civililzations II, Sins of a Solar Empire, etc) and they sell games like gangbusters. They shocked the world with Gal-Civ 2, an idependent game at #2 on the sales chart the month it came out. You're telling me if they'd only put some type of DRM on it, it would have been one of the best selling games of all time? Even though their loyal fans (me included) pledge their loyalty based on the fact that there is no DRM on their games? It's interesting that they denounce DRM and say it has a negative effect on sales despite your claim that games companies know DRM works. Why are games companies saying two different things? Because the evidence is so apparent, right?

    What's the ratio of highly successful game companies with protection versus ones without it? I'd be very interested in that number.

    Also, why do you keep bringing up DRM? The topic of discussion is anti-piracy safeguards. You know, complex compression so people can't extract your textures and sounds, or modify game files to give themselves client-side advantages online. And intentional behavior partway through the game so that pirates will release incomplete hacks and confuse potential pirates.

    Not rootkits. Obviously bricking a consumer's DVD drive is bad form. That's why you implement safeguards that are mostly harmless, yet strong enough to prevent zero day piracy.

    I bet even your StarDock does their best to stop users from mucking around with game files. If not, I consider that extremely shoddy design.
    If you want to see them get paid, continue to buy the game.
    Gladly - I hope that by my support they continue adequately protecting their software.

    UncleSporky on
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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    A pretty interesting article concerning StarDock and piracy...
    Poor Demigod had a rocky launch. Mainly because there were too many people trying to play the game. And why were there too many people? Because there were five pirates for every paying customer.

    In a post on the game's forums, Stardock's Brad Wardell has revealed that the game's servers have been flooded with users trying to play the game. More users than they would have anticipated going by sales, as Wardell says internal data shows that while the game has been purchased by 18,000 people, there have been around 120,000 people trying to play the game over the past week.

    No evidence at all!
    We contacted Stardock reps to clarify the "legitimate" versus "warez" figures posted by CEO Brad Wardell on the game's official forums, who told Kotaku that concurrent connections from Demigod players do not necessarily equate to sales. According to a statement, the "18,000 figure is the [number] of concurrent users at the peak – not sales."

    "[Demigod's] infrastructure was designed to handle up to 50,000 of these connections," said Wardell. "But on day 0, there were around 140,000 concurrent users of which 18,000 are validated. Pirated users can't get updates or play multiplayer but they still touch the servers."

    That crush of users, most of them not-legitimate (read: pirated) copies led to what Wardell called a "terrible experience."

    Stardock and Demigod developer Gas Powered Games then "[scrapped] together a doppelganger of the infrastructure dedicated to Demigod's multiplayer network needs" and issued an update to legit players, essentially keeping the pirates from crashing the multiplayer party.

    Even StarDock had to issue a difference between the version the paying customers used and the pirated one. Sounds like the people who torrented it were in for a nasty surprise, huh? Just like the ones who DL'd Batman...

    UncleSporky on
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    RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Yeah it might seem far-fetched because there are so few pirates in this community, but piracy is really a huge problem for PC games. World of Goo, a DRM-free cheap indie game releases without DRM. 82% of its users have pirated the game. With software it's always going to be impossible to measure a release with and without DRM, but with base rates like 82% piracy it's kind of hard to fault the game makers for trying to get at least a few days where buying their game is the only way to get a copy of it. If they can get even a small percentage of the pirates to buy their game, they've greatly increased the revenue from their game.

    RandomEngy on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2009
    Which is why developers are also jumping to console as fast as they can. It's much harder to pirate (and less user-friendly) for consoles, so you get more sales. If people want PC gaming to become relevant or big, they need to start reporting and taking down all the sites hosting pirated copies of games.

    The games I'm involved with have ratios of something like 1 legit copy per 200 pirated.

    FyreWulff on
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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Which is why developers are also jumping to console as fast as they can. It's much harder to pirate (and less user-friendly) for consoles, so you get more sales. If people want PC gaming to become relevant or big, they need to start reporting and taking down all the sites hosting pirated copies of games.

    The games I'm involved with have ratios of something like 1 legit copy per 200 pirated.

    Yeah man, I already ran all the file sharers out of my town. Just hope this "PC Gaming" thing catches on. Of course, people will keep making PC games and if Pirate Bay is any indication then filesharing is not going anywhere without significant changes to the way we internet.

    TL DR on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Which is why developers are also jumping to console as fast as they can. It's much harder to pirate (and less user-friendly) for consoles, so you get more sales. If people want PC gaming to become relevant or big, they need to start reporting and taking down all the sites hosting pirated copies of games.

    The games I'm involved with have ratios of something like 1 legit copy per 200 pirated.

    Yeah man, I already ran all the file sharers out of my town. Just hope this "PC Gaming" thing catches on. Of course, people will keep making PC games and if Pirate Bay is any indication then filesharing is not going anywhere without significant changes to the way we internet.

    Of course, people will continue to make PC games.

    They will just be enjoying most of the profits from the console versions.

    FyreWulff on
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    ChalkbotChalkbot Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    As has been said many times already, the point isn't to stop it because you can't. The point is delay.
    Chalkbot wrote: »
    Invasive DRM is costing them sales. Not Batman refusing to glide.

    No, that IS costing them sales as well. We've already seen this scheme fail spectacularly before when these bugs get included in online reviews of the game. Go ask Iron Lore studios how intentional bugs for pirates worked out for them. Oh wait, they went bankrupt, my bad.

    Then that cost those incompetent companies sales, not Batman refusing to glide.

    ...And if this is costing them sales, do tell, where's the evidence of this?...

    Quote from CEO of THQ:

    One, there are other costs to piracy than just lost sales. For example, with TQ, the game was pirated and released on the nets before it hit stores. A lot of people are talking about how it crashes right when you come out of the first cave. There was a security check there.

    So, before the game even comes out, we’ve got people bad-mouthing it because their pirated copies crash, even though a legitimate copy won’t. How many people decided to pick up the pirated version because it had this reputation and they didn’t want to risk buying something that didn’t work? Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecy.


    There were many other things like this (intentionally) in the game, like invincible enemies or uncompletable quests, before it was even for sale it was already labled as a steaming pile of bugs. That didn't help sales, and didn't stop pirates. Quite the opposite actually.
    Stuff about Demigod.

    You assume the game was pirated so prolifically due to the lack of included anti-piracy measures. How do you explain the fantastic sales of their previous games which also lacked anti-piracy measures?

    I'll tell you:

    Demigod scored in the 6's in it's reviews while Galactic Civilizations and Sins of a Solar Empire scored in the 9's. These games were pirated just as much as Demigod or any other popular title (if not more after the Starforce guys encouraged people to pirate Stardock's games). The people willing to throw down their cash for a good game will do so because it's a good game. If it's not a good game, they are not going to pay you, even if you have fantastic anti-piracy measures in place.

    But alas, I feel like we are probably going to have to agree to disagree on this point. Obviously I am wrong to some degree, since you've already said you'd rather buy a game with some kind of anti-piracy measures included than without. I didn't think there was anyone of that mindset out there and you have proven otherwise. I have chosen not to buy certain games in the past BECAUSE they included anti-piracy measures that I didn't agree with, so obviously there are 2 sides to the coin. Who's to say which has more influence?

    Chalkbot on
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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I wouldn't say that counts as evidence of lost sales. Of course it's evidence of a possibility, which is essentially the same thing as the logic of preventing lost sales due to piracy. Clearly there's a little of both. Successful companies will not have the issue of legitimate users being hurt by their safeguards because they will have designed them better. This includes lack of DRM (but the use of normal anti-piracy protections - there is a difference.)

    UncleSporky on
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    ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The problem with those games, and their perceptions based on the piracy measures, could have been easily circumvented.

    One: If you're going to have the game crash, tell the user why (which is also a basic rule of error reporting anyway). They should have had a window open telling the user that it appears that the copy they were using was pirated, and please contact support.

    Two: If you start seeing bad press about it, get the news out to the review sites and gaming sites letting them know it's a piracy measure. They will put the news out there, and people will realize that people complaining about the bug are actually just dirty thieves.

    Instead, the game appears to just crash with no error report at all, and they didn't get the word out until the reputation of the game was already damaged. They should have complained to the review sites as well, asking them to delete reviews of the game that were made before it was released since they were obviously pirated. The result of the developer being lazy? The game doesn't do well.

    ArcSyn on
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    AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I highly, highly doubt that not introducing this bug into Batman would've made the game $10 cheaper. Somebody found the appropriate section and typed

    if ( piracy_flag == 1 )
    batman.glide = 0
    Someone had to write and/or license the thing that sets piracy_flag's value. Because of the arms race that has taken place since the dawn of DRM, that ain't exactly cheap.

    In any case, I'm not saying they should make it ten dollars cheaper because they would save a proportional amount of money by cutting DRM. I say this because companies like Valve have increased the value of their products to great effect. Left 4 Dead sales tripled when they sold it for half price one weekend. It's clear that PC gamers are far more willing to pay for a game if they think they're getting a deal. Maybe $60 is just too much to ask for a computer game.

    Besides, PC games tend to sell most of their units over several months or even years. The big hollywood-style opening weekend blowout is more of a console phenomenon.

    I should also mention that not telling the user upfront why their game is shittered is just a bad idea in general. Your typical pirate tends to be the kind of person other people come to for game, music, movie and TV recommendations. He is taken seriously by his peers on these matters. And when he tells his friends that a title crashes, or sucks, they believe him. It's fundamentally a terrible idea to release anything that might reflect negatively on you or your company or the title itself. I think it's hilarious to hear the CEO of that company getting all butthurt about the massive PR backlash this has inflicted, because any idiot tester could tell you this was a bad idea.
    It doesn't matter if it's easily circumventable, the point is that nobody discovered it for a few days after the game released. That is the entire goal of this. You spend a small amount of time and effort in order to ensure an equally small window wherein you can be assured your working game will only truly be available in stores.
    Literally the only people who will be affected by this DRM are pirates who grab zero-day releases, and these guys are pretty serious about stealing shit so when that happens they find something else to play or watch and wait for the fix to come out. Assuming they remember to check. If this happened to me, I would just wait because I never intended to pay for it in the first place. Most people don't need to play Batman that bad -- especially someone who downloads hundreds of gigs of entertainment every month. If they want it that much, they were probably already paying for the game.

    Azio on
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    CmdPromptCmdPrompt Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Azio wrote: »
    It doesn't matter if it's easily circumventable, the point is that nobody discovered it for a few days after the game released. That is the entire goal of this. You spend a small amount of time and effort in order to ensure an equally small window wherein you can be assured your working game will only truly be available in stores.
    Literally the only people who will be affected by this DRM are pirates who grab zero-day releases, and these guys are pretty serious about stealing shit so when that happens they find something else to play or watch and wait for the fix to come out. Assuming they remember to check. If this happened to me, I would just wait because I never intended to pay for it in the first place. Most people don't need to play Batman that bad -- especially someone who downloads hundreds of gigs of entertainment every month. If they want it that much, they were probably already paying for the game.
    I think you're underestimating the degree to which the regular gamer is familiar with piracy. When it's practically a two-click process to get a game that would otherwise cost $60, it's not just the underground scene that is affected by this DRM. With a large portion of sales coming from the first few days of a games release, a DRM scheme that protects the game for that long can save a lot of lost sales.

    To illustrate, Need for Speed SHIFT was released yesterday. Right now, there are 20,000+ people torrenting that game. I really doubt that all of those guys are just hardcore pirates who download everything they can get their hands on.

    CmdPrompt on
    GxewS.png
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    AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    With a large portion of sales coming from the first few days of a games release, a DRM scheme that protects the game for that long can save a lot of lost sales.
    Can it?
    To illustrate, Need for Speed SHIFT was released yesterday. Right now, there are 20,000+ people torrenting that game. I really doubt that all of those guys are just hardcore pirates who download everything they can get their hands on.
    Well generally I think piracy is something you either know how to do or you don't. Anyone who's remotely experienced at it knows that a fix is only few days out. And, well, if you're not patient enough to wait a few days, as I said you probably had the intention of paying for it in the first place. Everyone knows there's no guarantee that pirated stuff will work.

    Azio on
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    DekuStickDekuStick Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I stopped pirating when Steam got good. Weekend deals are incredible. And I like that I can juts download and play on any computer I own instead of ridiculous DRM measures that only allow me to install it X amount of times.

    DekuStick on
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    ArcticMonkeyArcticMonkey Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    DekuStick wrote: »
    I stopped pirating when Steam got good. Weekend deals are incredible. And I like that I can juts download and play on any computer I own instead of ridiculous DRM measures that only allow me to install it X amount of times.

    This. Limited number of installs is the worst kind of asshattery from games companies.
    This year I have had 5+ Windows installs and and I skipped replaying Mass Effect because I knew my windows install would not last and I didn't want to use up my installs.

    Any DRM scheme can be broken down into two question, Will it fuck with paying customers? Will the average pirate walk by without noticing it?
    If you have one yes answer the DRM is bullshit. If you have two you screwed up.

    ArcticMonkey on
    "You read it! You can't unread it!"
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    GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    It's funny, I was one of the people who had problems trying to get Bioshock working when I bought it. So I simply downloaded the cracked exe instead and played it that way.

    I personally have no problems with little things like the mentioned idea of ingame rickroll in batman. (it would be pretty funny)

    However, the idea of doing anything destructive or malware like is such a monumentally bad idea. Formatting the drive? Creating a massive file to eat up space? What if there's a bug in the code, what if the persons computer has a hardware issue (like memory) that might cause your isPirate boolean to be changed from false to true?

    Doing anything destructive opens up the door to some big legal issues and even including the code to do something purposefully destructive in something such as a game probably falls foul of the law in the EU.

    GrimReaper on
    PSN | Steam
    ---
    I've got a spare copy of Portal, if anyone wants it message me.
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    GrimReaper wrote: »
    However, the idea of doing anything destructive or malware like is such a monumentally bad idea. Formatting the drive? Creating a massive file to eat up space? What if there's a bug in the code, what if the persons computer has a hardware issue (like memory) that might cause your isPirate boolean to be changed from false to true?

    Seriously, this isn't some fucking hypothetical. I had Crysis Warhead tell me, hours after playing the game normally, "hey, you reached your activation limit, buy another copy." This was on the first (1st) install. I could have called up EA's support line, waited on hold for three to four business days, and eventually had a customer service rep tell me "huh, I dunno what happened; maybe you should buy a new copy". Instead I spent ten minutes getting a crack (and that's counting the time spent loading the game).

    If the game had just silently crashed or acted buggy instead, I would have had no idea. I would have gone on the Internet and said that Crytek or EA or whomever were a bunch of incompetent jackasses who couldn't write non-buggy software to save their lives.

    Daedalus on
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    theSquidtheSquid Sydney, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    GrimReaper wrote: »
    It's funny, I was one of the people who had problems trying to get Bioshock working when I bought it. So I simply downloaded the cracked exe instead and played it that way.

    I personally have no problems with little things like the mentioned idea of ingame rickroll in batman. (it would be pretty funny)

    However, the idea of doing anything destructive or malware like is such a monumentally bad idea. Formatting the drive? Creating a massive file to eat up space? What if there's a bug in the code, what if the persons computer has a hardware issue (like memory) that might cause your isPirate boolean to be changed from false to true?

    Doing anything destructive opens up the door to some big legal issues and even including the code to do something purposefully destructive in something such as a game probably falls foul of the law in the EU.

    Not to mention its extremely fucking juvenile.

    theSquid on
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Yeah, I'm not seeing any justification for actual malicious software. That's all sorts of screwed up.

    Can't say I'm especially annoyed by putting out bugged versions, even if not terribly effective.

    Quid on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2009
    GrimReaper wrote: »
    It's funny, I was one of the people who had problems trying to get Bioshock working when I bought it. So I simply downloaded the cracked exe instead and played it that way.

    I personally have no problems with little things like the mentioned idea of ingame rickroll in batman. (it would be pretty funny)

    However, the idea of doing anything destructive or malware like is such a monumentally bad idea. Formatting the drive? Creating a massive file to eat up space? What if there's a bug in the code, what if the persons computer has a hardware issue (like memory) that might cause your isPirate boolean to be changed from false to true?

    Doing anything destructive opens up the door to some big legal issues and even including the code to do something purposefully destructive in something such as a game probably falls foul of the law in the EU.

    There is no problem since the "is a fucking pirate" flag on the boobytrapped version is always true. There isn't even a conditional. Because there is no excuse to get it from a torrent site.

    And to date no legitimate customers have ever been affected by this strategy.

    FyreWulff on
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    In regards to actual malicious software? Yeah there actually is a problem, especially if it's screwing up their computer.

    Quid on
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Edit: here's what it does. After clicking on the (dummied out) main menu, the background switches to WindowsDirClean Pro(tm) and pops up this dialog:

    piracyturnaround.png

    (background blurred)

    Clicking Yes has 3 more layers of "Are you sure?" "Are you reallly, reallly, really sure?" and so on.

    Clicking No pops up a dialog telling them to stop pirating or else their dick will fall off and exits.

    Arrest me now, officer.

    I can't even see the dialog because Photobucket is filtered here, but I'm pretty sure you have to be mentally handicapped to click "Yes" when it says "Hey, I'm going to delete all your shit. Is this OK?"

    PeregrineFalcon on
    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
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    RBachRBach Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    There is no problem since the "is a fucking pirate" flag on the boobytrapped version is always true. There isn't even a conditional. Because there is no excuse to get it from a torrent site.

    And to date no legitimate customers have ever been affected by this strategy.

    You keep making this claim, but in many cases this simply isn't true. To be fair, from the sound of things you handle these booby traps a bit differently than most so I'm willing to concede that for your games this is probably true. Am I correct in thinking that your traps aren't present at all in copies of your software purchased through the site. That the malicious code doesn't even get compiled in to that version? Thus only the copies you place on torrent trackers and such have any of this code in there at all. Is that correct? If so, then I'd say that your particular methods seem reasonable even if I disagree with the lengths you go to (I think you need to get a second or third opinion from a lawyer, but whatever).

    The problem is that most games/developers don't maintain separate versions of their code--one with such traps and the other without. It is inevitable that some poor paying customer will encounter a bug that triggers one or more of these traps: this thread alone has a couple examples. I've personally never encountered a booby trap as discussed here, but I've seen DRM screw up on me enough times not to put much faith in its reliability. Over the years I've seen numerous games claim their install discs weren't legitimate even though they actually were (Worms Armageddon, Dialbo 2, and C&C3 just to name what immediately comes to mind). On a more widespread scale, even Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage has had issues with false positives (which I think is why they've gradually toned down its punishments when it does detect "illegitimate" installs).

    Now, things like the Batman gliding "bug" are far more reasonable, but the user needs to be informed that it isn't working because the game believes it's a pirated copy. That way customers can go to the publisher/developer knowing exactly what's going on and they can be prepared to show proof that they did in fact purchase the game if necessary. As it stands it sounds as though everyone who encounters this particular bug is treated as a pirate without being given a chance to defend themselves, but maybe that's an incorrect inference on my part.

    RBach on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    psychotixpsychotix __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2009
    RBach wrote: »
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    There is no problem since the "is a fucking pirate" flag on the boobytrapped version is always true. There isn't even a conditional. Because there is no excuse to get it from a torrent site.

    And to date no legitimate customers have ever been affected by this strategy.

    You keep making this claim, but in many cases this simply isn't true. To be fair, from the sound of things you handle these booby traps a bit differently than most so I'm willing to concede that for your games this is probably true. Am I correct in thinking that your traps aren't present at all in copies of your software purchased through the site. That the malicious code doesn't even get compiled in to that version? Thus only the copies you place on torrent trackers and such have any of this code in there at all. Is that correct? If so, then I'd say that your particular methods seem reasonable even if I disagree with the lengths you go to (I think you need to get a second or third opinion from a lawyer, but whatever).

    The problem is that most games/developers don't maintain separate versions of their code--one with such traps and the other without. It is inevitable that some poor paying customer will encounter a bug that triggers one or more of these traps: this thread alone has a couple examples. I've personally never encountered a booby trap as discussed here, but I've seen DRM screw up on me enough times not to put much faith in its reliability. Over the years I've seen numerous games claim their install discs weren't legitimate even though they actually were (Worms Armageddon, Dialbo 2, and C&C3 just to name what immediately comes to mind). On a more widespread scale, even Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage has had issues with false positives (which I think is why they've gradually toned down its punishments when it does detect "illegitimate" installs).

    Now, things like the Batman gliding "bug" are far more reasonable, but the user needs to be informed that it isn't working because the game believes it's a pirated copy. That way customers can go to the publisher/developer knowing exactly what's going on and they can be prepared to show proof that they did in fact purchase the game if necessary. As it stands it sounds as though everyone who encounters this particular bug is treated as a pirate without being given a chance to defend themselves, but maybe that's an incorrect inference on my part.

    Distributing malicious code can get you in trouble, regardless of who you are targeting and the moral high ground you think you have. Really now, how often does "it's OK because they were bad people up to bad things" hold up in court when you trash someones property deliberately?

    psychotix on
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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    psychotix wrote: »
    Distributing malicious code can get you in trouble, regardless of who you are targeting and the moral high ground you think you have. Really now, how often does "it's OK because they were bad people up to bad things" hold up in court when you trash someones property deliberately?
    With programming code, what's the difference between deliberately or not deliberately? How can you prove intent?

    The demo for Viewtiful Joe 2 formatted a bunch of people's memory cards.

    Game console updates can delete/disable your homebrew software. What gives them that right?

    Never mind the tons of destructive software out there with legitimate uses (formatters and such). All can cause problems if used incorrectly.

    This is why we have EULAs, so that this stuff can happen without holding anyone responsible.

    UncleSporky on
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    but but but my computer data is personal property and I don't care if I agreed to it because EULAs violate the constitution abloo bloo bloo

    Really, in the case of FyreWulff's where it tells you that it's going to fuck your shit up and you say "derp ok" - I'm having a hard time feeling bad for you.

    Heck, take a look around this forum and I wager there's hundreds of threads that play out a lot like this:

    User: Help my computer got teh hackered and now it's pwned.
    Guru: What happened?
    User: Well I was surfing piratewarez.com and pr0n.com in two tabs, then some popup appeared and I clicked OK, then my mouse started moving by itself.
    Guru: You dumb shit, lolpwnd.

    edit - bad BB software, no autoformatting URLs

    PeregrineFalcon on
    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
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