189: ¡VIVA LA R3V0LUC10N!

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So I guess the average Escapist user isn't that smart after all...

Hey, it might be satire, but it's the best kind of satire -- where 90% of what it says is the complete truth (and the other 10% is just added for comedic effect).

I'm scared by how many people seem to be taking this article seriously.
OR ARE YOU ALL TRYING TO TROLL ME?
I dunno.

Article:
Remember that quote about Nazi Germany? "First they came for the communists, and I said nothing because I was not a communist." It's the same situation with DRM. I'm not even kidding. I've studied history, and the parallels are eerily similar.

Haha, brilliant. Thats all I can say, except that its worryingly close to how some people act.

Funny thing about this, is that it is TRUE. DRM actually does force us to copy things. I have an original copy of FarCry2. Installed it, only to discover a very freaky bug while playing it (too freaky to describe, it would need pages upon pages).

Initially I figure "typical for sweet old Ubi" and start looking in forums for a solution and contacting their on-line customer service (as if that would ever work...)

A week later and after playing countless hours trying to work around the bug and after reading countless posts and comments about the crappy DRM FarCry2 employed I get an epiphany... I search for a crack that would bypass the DRM, install it and PRESTO!!! the game worked fine. So I had an original copy of the game, playing it with a pirated .exe because it simply would not work.

The worse case of DRM though was Half Life 2. Bought it when it was first out, but didn't have an internet connection at the time. Way back then you would think that they would include an alternative to installing the game, but no... I owned the game for 2 years without being able to install it, unitl I had an internet connection and actually play the game for the first time.

On a good note, I now see a lot of games that make a point in having no security system whatsoever. At some point the industry will have to realise that security systems will never work in this internet era. Someone will crack it and upload it, possibly even before the releease date...

The true response to Piracy is good value for money and a compeling package. I would offer Orange Box as the perfect example, but it does have that fascist Valve registring system.

Hahah. I thought maybe a FEW people wouldn't get the joke, but jesus. Surely the whole bit about having friends with friends who have gone to jail because of DRM was a bit of a giveaway?

Anyway, I believe 3 things about DRM,

1 - You never buy a game, you only buy a license to play it and the program necessary to do so. It's not yours to do whatever you like with and it -never has been-, pre or post DRM. If you don't believe me read the license agreement you accept when you install pretty much any game, old or new. Publishers can deliver the game how they want, as long as they think people will still swallow it.

2 - The way a lot of them are doing DRM now is nevertheless broken, causes too many problems and needs fixing.

3 - Having said that, none of the doomsday scenarios people talk about like, say, the day Valve's servers shut down and nobody gets to play the games they got from it anymore will never actually happen because even if the servers do go down for good if Valve doesn't release a patch unlocking the content before that happens, then -somebody- will. If the worst comes to the worst with DRM, we'll still be able to keep playing.

"By far the most funny thing to come out of all of this is the people who aren't quite getting the joke."

I agree. But the article itself wasn't very funny. This is a serious issue, and the article pokes fun at the wrong side of it. It would have been much more effective if the writer had poked fun at the DRM supporters, who DO actually tend to be over-the-top. The problem with the article, as satire, is that most anti-DRM folks are actually NOT irrational, so in order to cloak itself in some level of believability, the satire can't be all that effective.

That was hilarious man, got nothing else to add.

Beery:
"By far the most funny thing to come out of all of this is the people who aren't quite getting the joke."

I agree. But the article itself wasn't very funny. This is a serious issue, and the article pokes fun at the wrong side of it. It would have been much more effective if the writer had poked fun at the DRM supporters, who DO actually tend to be over-the-top. The problem with the article, as satire, is that most anti-DRM folks are actually NOT irrational, so in order to cloak itself in some level of believability, the satire can't be all that effective.

I guess we're simply on opposite sides of the fence then, because what I find is a lot of people who feel entirely too entitled to steal products people have put their blood sweat and tears into.

DRM wouldn't be an issue if there wasn't a healthy pirating community out there. By presenting the product, a publisher or developer has every right to set the terms of said purchase and use. You have every right to not support such terms of purchase and use, you however do not have the right to rip them off.

Excellent satire. My hat is doffed. Well done.

-- Steve

Sylocat:
The real stupid thing about DRM, one that isn't mentioned in this article, is that in addition to making it harder for legitimate customers to play the game, it doesn't do shit to stop the pirates.

Exactly. I always found that funny. Copyright protection does nothing to stop pirates, because the software pirates get cracked software. Cracked software = broken copyright protection. So what they're really doing is punishing the consumers for actually buying the game by giving them inferior software.

I don't care about this crap. Here in Hungary, all my friends and relatives and almost everyone I know and has an Internet connection, pirates games, films, music, porn whatever. We don't care. Although every 1 year there's a commercial in the TV like 'don't pirate it isn't nice' or such, we really don't give a shi*t. I pirate cuz I don't got much money and I want my stuff FREE. That's the truth man. Sometimes I felt a bit guilty, cuz hell, I'm committing a f*ckin crime! but I got over that a long time ago. You get used to this crime. I think you're just trying to justify yourself. Wake the f*ck up!

Edit: By now I realised this was just a joke. Maybe I was a bit rushy. But anyway, that's how I feel about people who think pirating is right. CUZ IT AIN'T!

illegally obtained information such as unauthorised phone taps or DRM information will invalidate itself in court.

Nomadic:

Sylocat:
The real stupid thing about DRM, one that isn't mentioned in this article, is that in addition to making it harder for legitimate customers to play the game, it doesn't do shit to stop the pirates.

Exactly. I always found that funny. Copyright protection does nothing to stop pirates, because the software pirates get cracked software. Cracked software = broken copyright protection. So what they're really doing is punishing the consumers for actually buying the game by giving them inferior software.

In a way, it's similar to airport security: Making legit customers jump through hoops that barely do a thing to stop people who are actually determined to sneak bad stuff on the plane.

WOW! People couldn't really tell that this was satire.

tempro:
Fun fact: Gaming is not a human right.

Please have my children.

I would understand this better if I knew what DRM is

Is this some kind of satire on the kind of people who justify their piracy with poorly thought-out idealistic philosophies, or is the author actually as pathetic as he seems? He compares videogames, which are a luxury item by any possible definition of the term, to food (where he talks about trying to "feed his family DRM-free gaming"). That alone would be enough to mark him out as a particularly stupid and wilfully blind individual. He doesn't need to play videogames, much less DRM-free videogames. Therefore when he pirates a game he does so purely because he wants to. Because he feels like it. Because he's too greedy to go without and too weak-willed to stand up for his philosophy in any meaningful way. He talks as if publishers have a duty to provide games that meet his expectations; they don't. The games are their intellectual property and therefore they have the right to release them in any form they see fit. The only problem there might be is if they put something into the game which they didn't tell people about, and if that's the case then there's no need to launch some kind of protest against it because they'd already be breaking the law. Try to understand this; pirates are criminals. There is no possible reason to believe otherwise. They haven't been forced into it any more than a man who can't afford the insurance on a new car is forced into stealing it. They are scum, they are hurting developers, and if we can't force them to stop then they must be made to understand that there is no justification for their actions.

EDIT: Ah, apparently this article was a satire. In that case well done to the author, I really couldn't tell the difference between him and some of the outspoken pirates.

True, if you like a game you will just buy it. But this DRM c***-sucking bullshit dosent help much. I have two originals game ATM. ArmA (wich dosent have DRM, Steam or any program you need to install but the game to play AS IT ALWAYS SHOULD BE) The other game is L4D, is a great game but sometimes i feel that having to "link" it to my Steam account is like "Okay, you have freedom but we will keep an eye on you even if you are not a criminal". I know that steam has it advantages, like Auto-Update, Steam community (not that much tho, it can be a disadvantage sometimes with all those scammers triying o steal your account, so you still have to be careful) and all those free mods avaible to download (wich theyre pretty much made by the comunity, VALVe "only" supports them).

The other game that made me think how things were in the "Good old times" is Falcon 4.0 Allied Force. It dosent asks you for a cdkey, crack or anything. You can even download it from torrent or anywhere and it will let you play the full game, yes, even online. It may sound crazy but what the devs think about when doing this was "If they like the game, they will buy"

In my opinion is brillant, just like with ArmA having the freedom to install it everywhere i want gives me the feeling that i actually "Own" the game. Steam system is not that bad, but i got hijacked some time ago, even when the VALVe support is awesome and i got my account and my game back wihout having it VAC Banned and stuff i still live with the fear that if someone gets my password (wich is hard to know anyway) they could do whatever they want with my account. Instead stealing a MD5 HASH encrypted cdkey is MUCH harder (of course, with a keylogger you are pretty much f**** up but i make regular scans and search on viruses/spyware from time to time)

Sorry for the swearing, but the DRM or "limited owning" stuff cracks me up

This isn't really in reply to the article, it's just a rant about people getting too fired up about internet security and privacy and blahdey, blahdey, blah. YES I KNOW THE ARTICLE WAS BEING IRONIC - I'M AUSTRALIAN, WE EAT IRONY FOR BREAKFAST, ALONGSIDE A BIG STEAMING PILE OF AMERICAN CHILDREN. Although, the line about immolating yourself in Gamespot's parking lot was pure genius. I actually laughed out loud. And since you did that for me, I took the time to type "laughed out loud". Twice, even. And I just read back over some posts and saw that someone else already made that joke earlier, in this same thread. So I guess I'm not that original, after all.

Being from Australia, so I don't have a lot of cultural "freedom" baggage to bring to the table, so I couldn't be bothered to avoid DRM purely on principle. And as far as people seeing what I'm looking at on the internet, or what I'm writing in my emails? I can't imagine anybody would really care that much. Besides, all the emails people send in Australia are kept for three days and scanned for potential security threats, so it's not like the DRM on my computer is going to reveal something that isn't already being done by Big Brother. If I ever wanted to take part in an insurgency, which is the only thing I can imagine getting noticed by an email scanner, then I'd use paper to plan it, and maybe a public computer.

To be honest, I'm not that worried about this stuff. It's not a right in Australia to bear arms or to be able to take part in revolution, which is maybe why none of our prime ministers have ever been assassinated. We have a mostly functioning democracy to keep things in check, and we mostly trust it.

So really, I'm happy to be seen on the internet. I don't need to hide, because I know that I don't matter that much. You see that avatar? That's my FACE, right there! That's a real photo of ME! Because NOBODY cares!

Anyway, I digress. The point is, I buy software, and I don't bother cracking it, because it's too much hassle for no material benefit. I buy the game because I want it, DRM notwithstanding. I've never had a game that didn't work because of DRM, and if I did, I know that cracking is available to me, so who the hell cares?

If everyone's that worried about what DRM might be doing to your computer, why don't you lobby for laws that regulate what it's allowed to do? You see, unlike companies removing DRM in response to your single pedestrian vote, those laws might actually come to pass. Then, when some company crosses the line, they're not going to be some faceless IP address in a sea of IP addresses. They're going to have to face the music, and you can have a good self-righteous rant about it on Slashdot.

JoshasorousRex:
I would understand this better if I knew what DRM is

Okay, I'm not going to ridicule you. Some people would, but they're all morons, who deserve to be ridiculed.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. Basically, it's any system that attempts to prevent copyrighted material from being copied. So, if you have a program that checks the DVD in your computer to make sure that it's the original game disc, so you can't play it on a copied disc, that would be DRM. It's the same thing with encrypted data, and programs that connect to the internet to verify that you're the only one with your user licence who's playing the game. Some are more aggressive than others, and occasionally they stop legitimate owners of software from using it. Hence, some people get angry about it.

Of course, the fact is that it's usually not too hard to crack DRM, since anything that can be accessed and viewed by a computer, can also be copied by that same computer. That's a basic principle of electronic information. Its main benefit to companies is that usually a DRM system takes a few days or weeks to break, so for the crucial release period, their sales aren't being undercut by illegal downloads, etc.

So there it is. You could've googled it, but you would've had to dig through a lot of venomous rhetoric to extract this information, and no-one needs that.

i agree with the article drm kills some games for me. and i may or may not be forced to pirate sometimes

oneofm4ny:
Nice parody.
Especially naming Stardock with all the other big publishers:

There's millions of gamers like me who refuse to buy games from companies like Activision, EA, Take-Two, Ubisoft, THQ, Microsoft, Valve, Stardock and many others.

Stardock doesn't use any kind of DRM ^^

Suggestion: look at what they do, not what they say.

Their retail copies have no DRM.

Anything they sell online has network activation, which to me is the most invasive sort of DRM. This puts Stardock right beside Valve, EA, and others.

Additionally, Stardock wants to move game content into downloadable add-ons which cannot be moved onto another account. This is a thinly veiled attempt to kill right of first sale for retail games.

For an example of online distribution without DRM, see GOG.com.

I'm going to side with people without internet on this one. Every time a publishers assumes everyone will be able to connect to the internet to prove he bought the game a fairy dies. Too much DRM might eventually kill the pc single player gaming. It's not working and is actually keeping people away from those games. I think it's time publishers looked for a different strategy, how about more value in a box? How about a manual that doesn't look like a photocopy. How about a key chain that's going to cost you $0.5 to make in China. All those things will bring more value to a box edition of a game and remove value from secondhand copies.
I also agree with TylerDurdan, in this corporation driven world you have a much better chance to actually get a government to pass laws than make corporation do something.

CheCalavera is a hero of the state.

Just as an aside, the last game I bought for PC was UT3, The last new game I played was UT3, I just play old games now. DRM is one part of why.

Well that certainly changed my opinions on Pirating video games.

"If I only buy games that are actually cool and awesome, and don't have DRM, I'll change the world!"

OK, nerdy rage and moderately insipid jokes at the end end of the "article" aside, is that... "thing"... supposed to be serious or not?

Reading the third page, I have difficulties taking this rant at face value, because if I did, then the third page would be nothing short of a steaming pile of BS.

My 2c.

This. Is. Hilarious. And also completely on point. Cannot believe I didn't see this before. And it does sound an awful lot like many anti-DRMers, which is a shame, because they might even have some legitimate points if they could get past the insufferable ego.

The simplest solution is simply not to buy games that use inappropriate DRM, even if they're absolutely fantastic - speak with your wallets. Instead, buy games that use little or no DRM, even if they're shitty. Publishers will probably note the correlation. Of course, that kind of mass action would require at least national organization and gamer groups on a scale not currently extant, but maybe that's what people should be doing rather than complaining loudly about how DRM drives them to piracy - they should be marshaling a national organization along the lines of the ACLU or NAACP to complain loudly too.

I have this great feeling that as soon as one person said
"This is Satire,this is funny and not serious" EVERYONE suddenly got the joke and went along with it,and of course they knew all along.(just a feeling,or so I would hope)

CantFaketheFunk:
You know, I can't help but wonder if people these days would read A Modest Proposal and think that Swift was actually advocating the eating of babies.

Unfortunately... yes.
I remember last semester someone had it as an assigned reading and thought... well...

there is so much melodrama in this and it's not okay.

People might consider his examples extreme, but there is a point.

People ask "what gives you the right to pirate games?"

Well, what gave black slaves the right to freedom? That right didn't exist - they were property. People decided that was wrong, and fought for their freedom. I'm willing to bet that, in one way or another, one or more laws were broken in the fight for equality and the end of slavery.

You can bitch how you can't possibly compare slavery to gaming, but you can. The only difference is where you draw the line; both are examples of an "accepted" practice that one group find acceptable, another group find deplorable, and the only solution involves breaking the law and/or forcing a change in the law.

One can argue with validity that the implications of DRM are not as serious as the implications of Slavery. That is a valid point. However, it is also a sleight of hand to try and get people to stop paying attention to the issue, so we will ignore that as well.

Nobody wants DRM. Nobody. People may want to stop piracy, but most of us are not willing to sacrifice liberties and freedoms to achieve it. When it is not possible to accomplish this by legal means, we break the law. We do not break the law because we are malicious or antisocial, we break the law because the law has failed to keep pace with our requirements.

Allow me to give an example of this. In the UK, it is illegal to transfer music from one format to another. In lamen's terms, if an American buys a CD, burns it onto their Hard Drive and then puts it on their iPod, that is legal. If I do it, it is illegal. Yes, in the UK it is against the law to buy a CD, copy it onto your PC, and put it on your MP3 player.

So, I have just bought the latest Korpiklaani CD. I want it on my iPod. the Law says I have to buy that CD again off the iTunes store. Who here thinks this is unfair? I do! I paid for it, I should be able to do what I want with it. So long as I'm not burning copies to sell, or otherwise distribute, I should be allowed to do as I please. For the record, I usually burn a backup CD to keep in the car, so if anything ever happens to my car and the CD player is stolen / damaged, I don't lose the original. Again, probably not legal, but the music company has had my money, and I consider it fair use.

I submit to you all that, as the article says, most Pirates want to buy games. However, for one reason or another, they cannot. Price is an age-old issue, and it's one that isn't easily resolved. Releasing a game electronically reduces initial costs, but these games then usually squat at release price for all time. My local game store had the original Quake for 99p. I'm guessing it'd be a fair bit more than that if it was on Steam or similar.

DRM is, however, a much easier problem to tackle - the developers can simply drop it. We do not want to be spied on by anyone, especially not a private company. I'm sure someone will doubt that bullshit line of "the innocent have nothing to hide", but that's the exact kind of thinking that leads to draconic police states. Innocent people don't need to hide things, but they have the right to hide things! Then there is the very valid point that even 'innocent' people use their PC to store / transfer secure information; imagine a DRM that gave EA access to your bank account details, which were then stolen by one of their employees.

We have rights. We have the right not to live in a Police State. This is 2009, not 1984, and it's about time everyone realised that! That goes for government, for private companies, and for the common people; all are equally to blame. Government and companies infringe on our liberties, and it is the duty of the common people to fight back.

Today it's DRM. Tomorrow it's biometric data. Ten years from now, it's your right to breed. Where exactly do you wish to draw the line?

Haha. Good stuff. I love the last bit where he flames just about everyone he can lay his hands on, and it was funny despite hitting home. Terrific satire right there.

Beery:
I agree. But the article itself wasn't very funny. This is a serious issue, and the article pokes fun at the wrong side of it. It would have been much more effective if the writer had poked fun at the DRM supporters, who DO actually tend to be over-the-top. The problem with the article, as satire, is that most anti-DRM folks are actually NOT irrational, so in order to cloak itself in some level of believability, the satire can't be all that effective.

I'm sure I've never seen an anti-DRM person use irrational or over-the-top arguments to justify why they just had to pirate something. ;-)

Wargamer:
People might consider his examples extreme, but there is a point.

People ask "what gives you the right to pirate games?"

Well, what gave black slaves the right to freedom? That right didn't exist - they were property. People decided that was wrong, and fought for their freedom. I'm willing to bet that, in one way or another, one or more laws were broken in the fight for equality and the end of slavery.

You can bitch how you can't possibly compare slavery to gaming, but you can. The only difference is where you draw the line; both are examples of an "accepted" practice that one group find acceptable, another group find deplorable, and the only solution involves breaking the law and/or forcing a change in the law.

...

We have rights. We have the right not to live in a Police State. This is 2009, not 1984, and it's about time everyone realised that! That goes for government, for private companies, and for the common people; all are equally to blame. Government and companies infringe on our liberties, and it is the duty of the common people to fight back.

Today it's DRM. Tomorrow it's biometric data. Ten years from now, it's your right to breed. Where exactly do you wish to draw the line?

All of a sudden, I understand how people could miss the humor in Rob's article, because I'm not sure whether this is serious or not.

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