Yet Another "Copy Protection Sucks" Thread
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Thread: Yet Another "Copy Protection Sucks" Thread

  1. #1
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    Yet Another "Copy Protection Sucks" Thread

    So I'm talking to a co-worker about games and he offers me a cracked copy of HL2 on a DVD-R.

    And I say, "no, thanks. You know I don't pirate stuff. Plus, I have a coupon for it anyway, just haven't got around to downloading it yet."

    And he laughs, "Haha. Yeah, well, ask <other co-worker> how that went for him. He went and bought the box, came home installed it, and... got to wait a couple of hours to activate it because the servers were overloaded. So you'll probably want the cracked version anyway."

    You know, it's stuff like this that gets me enraged: yet another copy-protection that punishes the paying customers, while pirates as usual aren't even inconvenienced at all. And if anything just serves to spread a message like the above: don't put up with that crap, get the cracked version instead.

    *sigh* Do these people never learn?

    I mean, I know that idiots get a brain shut-down when greed kicks in. You wave the prospect of making a buttload more money in front of them, and their brain stops faster than an Athlon without a fan. But... this is just bloody ridiculous.
    Last edited by Moraelin v2.0; November 26th, 2004 at 06:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    I must have been luckey. I logged on 1/2 hour after release and was authenticated in 20minutes on a dial-up connection.

    People are *****'n about the Steam Client a lot but I do not see why. Perhaps they are just pissed off that the authentication of your copy can finally be enforced. Personally I like the idea that my CD key is protected. I went to play CS a few years after my last attempt and wow, my CD key was in-use. This is curtisy of CD key generators.

    Anyways, Offline-mode is fully documented (including how to do LAN parties etc) and you only need connect to Steam once.

    Steam Client will be god-send when Internet play arrives. We need something to protect what we pay for.

    I will however confess that I have percured pirated software in the past but now as a working adult I just buy the game. Its quicker than say, a 5 CD download on 56k. I just recently purchased Rollercoaster tycoon3 because I saw it on the net that morning and had it in my hand a few hours later.
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  3. #3
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    Well, even though ive been victim of legal copy protection woes, i think the problem will somewhat iron itself out naturally as does with most things in life.

    Many of todays games are so geared for net play there isnt even half the game left for single-player. This gives one much more incentive to buy the game since a pirated version wont run online without a valid key, and key gerenerators are a damn pain in the *** unless you just get lucky.

    Still, some of these anti-pirate techniques have gone too far. Im still a firm believer that many games that people pirate only do so because they can, meaning they would have never bought the game anyways, theyre only playing it because they can without paying.

    For this reason i see no problem with putting more advertising inside games. Why not? it actually makes the game more realistic to see that golden arch on the side of the highway, and that coca-cola machine in front of the store. And this way the game is still making money if its pirated or not.

    We dont pay to watch local tv, but theyre not complaining about recording the shows because the advertisements are getting spread along with them.

    This is why you see the ads in games and most likely will see a lot more.

  4. #4
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    For me i miss the good old days when every game had a demo for it, now you dont see that. Or in 90% of the time you have to be a payed member of that site just to get a demo of a game

    For me I first got HL2 off the net for other places but i loved it so much that i went out and got it the next day.
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  5. #5
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    SexyMF, even 20 minutes wasted with a stupid copy-protection scheme seems a bit too much for me. If I wanted to spend some 20 minutes not playing, I wouldn't have started the game in the first place.

    And there's still the issue that pirates don't see the 20 minutes delay. That punishment, even if you consider it small, still exists only for the paying customers. Which is stupid.

    Edit: Plus it brings up another issue: that the authenticity _still_ isn't enforced. Now it just means that instead of being blocked on one server due to key generators, someone will eventually be completely blocked from playing the game they've paid for. Even single-player.

    _Your_ key probably wasn't still taken within 20 minutes. Some poor bugger who buys the game at christmas, is probably already looking towards having his key already taken.

    It's already happened to Windows and Norton Antivirus activation in spades. People finding out that their paid-for copy is already been activated by a kid with a key generator, is actually pretty common occurence.
    Last edited by Moraelin v2.0; November 27th, 2004 at 04:20 PM.

  6. #6
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    Or in 90% of the time you have to be a payed member of that site just to get a demo of a game
    I agree, a total pain

    My opinion on this (not just games) is that if they cost less, then more people would buy them, and although profit per item sold would be less, overall it would probably increase. A lot of people I know (and I'm sure everyone on this board knows people in a similar situation) simply cant afford to keep up. A friend of mine for example is doing a college course which has absolutely nothing to do with computers, but part way through the course, they are expected to produce flyers created in publisher and document the coursework in word - which means of course /$$$ for office. This friend is a single parent, has next to 0 money and is trying to make something of their life by studying. It goes without saying where their windows/office licence came from. Likewise, imagine a family with 3 kids, of course in this day and age they would probably want computer games/console games, like just how many could you buy them ?? at 30-45 a go (dunno what that is in $) not very many, especially if they only last a week or two before the game is over.
    For those of you that were around in the 80's, just recall how much enjoyement we got from a simple game, how long we could play it, and how much it cost. Of course a LOT of time/money/effort goes into the games/applications we see today, but are we really getting our moneys worth?
    Is per the quote at the start of my ramblings, I'd love to see demos again, simply click/download and try, but you cant, for whatever reasons, and as for putting your email addy into every site you think you might want to download from - not a chance, I get enought junk mail as it is.
    As for validating the product online, from the software vendors point of view, I think it is a good idea, but as already mentioned, it may well turn out to be the persons that actuallly bought the product that have problems, not to mentions - what if you DONT have a net connection? I know most people now do, but not everyone.

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    if i see a game that i can download on the internet that i like the sound/look of, then i will download it. and if i like it then i will buy it.

    but as said above i have downloaded games that i would never buy, but only download because i can do so for free.

    when ive got a good paying full time job then i will buy real games, but because im still at school without a job (not for long) then i just cant afford to buy games.
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  8. #8
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    An Internet connection is a must if you are entering the computer game world. There will forever be upgrades/patches/MODs for download. In this world you get very little which doesn't require maintenance/consumables. This isn't unique to computers so needing a once-off authentication via the internet is a moot point.

    For HL2 I have read threads about people being sprung trying to use Credit Card number geneators or multiple attempts at generating a key. These are logged and such people banned accordingly. Yes you can ***** about bans ultimately being unenforcable due to proxies/non-static IPs etc but its a damn good start. For online play you validate against Steam so its not only your local server accepting a valid key.

    Or in 90% of the time you have to be a payed member of that site just to get a demo of a game
    I cannot agree with this comment fully. I have found an increasing number of sites (major file hosts) which require and email or account but these are on the most part free. Game demos have fallen into the reality of bandwidth usage. Most demos are 100's of MB now. Somebody has to pay for that bandwidth, hence the step to host at file-mirrors.



    what if you DONT have a net connection? I know most people now do, but not everyone.
    What if you don't have a car and cannot go down to the store to get a refill/part/refund/batteries/consumable? Again a moot point. It is known and accepted that servicing a piece of software will require an internet connection (or access to one)
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  9. #9
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    Hardly seems a moot point to me, SexyMF. Quite au contraire, in fact.

    Some months ago, the Deutsche Telekom screwed up majorly (now that's a surprise) and left me without DSL for a whole month. Short story is that they're complete idiots, hired obviously only complete idiots, and the left hand doesn't know what the right does. Still, no DSL for me for a month.

    You can bet I would have been royally pissed-off to find out that I can't even play a stupid single-player game because it wants to be activated.

    I also have more than one computer. Number 2 didn't even have a network card in it, because I don't need more than one computer to read emails. I do however have some single-player games installed on it. You can probably see where that's headed.

    Also an increasing number of laptops are used as gaming rigs. And there _are_ situations where you just don't have a network connection for them. On a long plane or train trip, for example, or even in some hotels.

    Basically you're telling me that if I were to pick the game on such a trip, I'd have to wait for a week before I can actually play it. Which, sorry, I don't quite see as normal or moot.

    Basically I would aggree that a net connection is needed to play an _online_ game. But its becoming a requirement for playing an _offline_ game, is already something new and hardly a moot point.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by SexyMF
    An Internet connection is a must if you are entering the computer game world. There will forever be upgrades/patches/MODs for download. In this world you get very little which doesn't require maintenance/consumables. This isn't unique to computers so needing a once-off authentication via the internet is a moot point.
    No it's not. Magazine cover CDs (and now DVDs) are a common source of patches for people with bad or no Internet connectivity. If Valve want to do the authentication thing, they should go all the way and offer an out-of-band method such as a phone service.

    I'm sure the extra revenue generated by using activation will cover the costs.
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  11. #11
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    I have seen this thread done on other boards, and all I can say is the loudest complaints are from the 'cracked' area.

    Most people that do not like this protection are 'friendly' copiers. You know the one that let a friend copy it just once.

    I do not like the idea of the steam client, per sei, a separate installed program to check, think if every different maker put a steam client out there, 5 or 6 programs running just waiting for the game to run, too much for me.

    I however, prefer this method over the cd-checks and secure-rom, and the darn starblaster (or what ever installs the dll). I cannot stand to have it bang at the cd, taking minutes to run, when you throw the no-cd and it runs w/in seconds.

    Also mentioned was the demo idea, which seems good, but as brought up 100 mb, the dedicated server of UT2004 was 869mb, and the Desert combat, another 500 or so. That is just crazy for a demo to reach 1gb, which could happen.

    I used to be a member of the friend network, I am not sure if I am just older (prob) or tired of the hoops to jump through to get a copy to work, but I just buy everything now.

    Which also make me want to rant -> why do people complaint the loudest when a copy doesn't work? I have a friend that refuses to buy the game, but whines all day that his iso's don't work. //rant
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  12. #12
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    Frankly, I don't think even those are deterred by it. Only the most newbie of them might post a message or two about it, then... get the no-cd crack like everyone else. Did it really help prevent piracy? Nope.

    Which brings us again to my problem: this whole rant is about the _principle_ of punishing the paying customer, without even preventing piracy at all.

    I'm actually glad that you've mentioned the other copy protection mechanisms, especially the damn DLL installer, because I think they're just as bad. The delays were already getting bad, yes, but clogging my computer with idiotic DLLs running with kernel privileges already makes me _angry_.

    It used to be that one needed to open "I love you" emails with attachments to get a dozen foreign programms running in memory. And the rest of us would laugh at them and call them names. Nowadays, whoppee, you can _pay_ $40 to get crap system DLLs installed on your computer.

    But again, it's about the principle of the thing. They're _all_ bad in my book, and for the same reason: they only punish the honest people, not the pirates.

    As you've said, there's _always_ a no-cd crack. Often before the game even hit the shelves. For a lot of these idiotic copy-protections, there was a generic crack widely available before the company even bought it.

    So why bother? It _never_ worked. It _never_ had any effect on sales either. Yet again and again idiot publishers and devs everywhere act like surely this time for them it will work. Except in practice no, it won't.

    So all I'm saying is that _all_ of them could go fsck themselves and stop inconveniencing me.

  13. #13
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    Moraelin v2.0

    So ultimately the only solution you see is absolutely no copy-protection/hinderences (given if you can read it you can copy it).?

    If this were the case EVERYBODY could use inbuilt Windows copying tools to copy anything. And they would. Currently Safedisc/Securom do cut back the programmes which are able to correctly copy them.

    I have not come across anygame recently which was released properly working. i.e. did not require an immediate patch. I'm not going to wait 1/week/month for the chance that it will be on a local magazine publication , letalone fork out the cash for the mag just for the file.

    I'm sure the extra revenue generated by using activation will cover the costs.
    How is any money made via authentication?. Steampowered payed for the 4GB+ of HL2 I downloaded. It cost me nothing. It cost them an enormous amount of bandwidth.



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  14. #14
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    SexyMF, everyone who wants to copy a game, already does. There has even been a case at one point, several years ago, where two very similar games were released at the same time: one without copy protection, one with. You know what? They both sold practically the same number of copies.

    So the "but everyone will copy the game if they can!" scenario has already been tested, and it didn't happen. It just didn't happen.

    The ones that buy a game, buy it out of moral reasons. Basically please don't assume that everyone else is a pirate _and_ too retarded to find a crack online.

    The ones who are supposed to be stopped by the copy-protection are... who? The maybe 1% too stupid to figure out what's this P2P thing everyone else talks about? _And_ too stupid to search on Google for "<name_of_game> no-cd crack"? _And_ who never read any boards, so they never stumble upon a link to www.*************.com?

    (Yes, I fully intended to give out that link. The maybe one person who didn't already know about it, can now crack the game they've paid for.)

    Yeah, that 1% is sooo worth inconveniencing the other 99% of us. Not.

    Again, copy protection isn't working, never did, and never will.

    However, in the name of "preventing piracy", some greedy corporate idiots make me go through trouble like:

    - having games crash repeatedly because of the buggy copy-protection

    - have games screw up gameplay because of a buggy copy protection. (True story: the retarded copy-protection of Gangsters screwed up your game for as little as having two CD drives. Apparently the muppets couldn't count drive letters higher than D: or something. So they threw all your agents in jail and made it impossible to continue the game you paid for.)

    - waiting several extra seconds at every map change, because some idiot wanted to check the copy protection _again_.

    - havind piss-poor performance _in_ the game, because some idiot wants to check the copy protection every 15 seconds or so.

    - having crap system DLLs installed on my computer without asking, again in the name of copy-protection,

    - yes, having to search for the goddamn CD when I want to play. I have some 200+ games from the last 5 years alone. No, not an exaggeration. Searching through that is not really fun, when I could be playing the game instead.

    And so on, and so forth. While, again, a pirate has none of those problems.

    And I've had it up to here with that kind of crap.

    Please excuse my anger. It's not directed at you, but at the idiots who feel a need to inflict that kinda crap on me and the rest of the paying customers. Yes, I'm that annoyed and angry already.

  15. #15
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    Do not forget kids. I worry about the day some kids title has a CD protection that refuses to work with a copy of Alcohol installed.

    Yes, purchased it. Anyone with kids and cd's can verify the amount of damage one 6 year old can do to a CD in two seconds.

    My latest real problem was ROME:Total War. it turns out it must check for the Alcohol exe or something, I didn't even know I had installed it. It certainly wasn't running, all emulation was disabled, and yet everytime I installed Rome, it just said Error in Rome.exe.

    Why don't they at least give the notice of: Rome.exe has got an error -> JackA$$ uninstall Alcohol..........then play.

    I must have install/Uninstalled 3 times. The kicker was, the no-cd patch would let me play (and I still use it) but not on-line.

    What is so wrong with that? I think the EXE should be patched, no On-line play with a fixed exe.

    Whatever, these threads jut frustrate me because of simple problems that I am not sure there is even a solution for.
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