Ubisoft DRM Authentication Servers Go Down

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The use of continual callback DRM protection of this nature is bloody stupid.

A bud of mine bought napoleon total war via steam, had played it a few times, and was furious to find out it refused to startup when his ISP went batshit for 3 days. (he was playing solo, not multi)

Offline one time activation on a single player game - perhaps.

Continual callback - no ta.

I dont have to call the dairy for permission to use the milk i purchased every time i make a coffee, so why should I call Ubi every time I want to play a game I paid for? I find it quite strange that anyone can try to defend Ubi's (and the other companies doing this kind of thing) decision to implement this kind of behaviour in a product they have purchased.

DRM of this nature does *not* stop someone from playing a cracked version of that same piece of software. Period. It only ever harms those of us who buy the software. And each time the DRM screws the end user over, you can guarantee a percentage of those people will find a "crack" for the game - and in finding it will find cracks for other games - and again a percentage of those same folks will then start downloading more than purchasing.

Be under no illusion - DRM in this manner promotes piracy.

Serves the idiots who bought the game despite knowing about the protection right.

Burst6:
Wow.. i wonder if they will just call this stupid DRM scheme a flop and move on to something that may actually do more than just annoy their customers.

I doubt it though.

Hold your breath like the rest of us.

Icehearted:
I'm aware of that. It's losing more ownership than even the copy I paid for that I'm talking about. Virtual ownership is not the same as actual ownership. I also don't doubt that every EULA with services like Steam have some jargon or fine print smoke and mirrors that suggest they have the right to remove your ability to play or own any game you've paid for on their service at any time, for whatever reasons, which includes lines on rights "subject to change" often with the caveat "without notice".

Owning a physical copy means that they can't pull such garbage. You own the disc, you own the rights to play the game on said disc at your leisure, without interruption or prevention. No invalidated gamertags, no hacked accounts, no locked accounts due to 'suspicious activity', no changing things because of new licensing issues.

Actually, they can pull that "Garbage". It even states that if they demand you return your copy of StarCraft that you are obliged by law to do so. I can tell you haven't read any EULA at all.

Zer_:

Icehearted:
I'm aware of that. It's losing more ownership than even the copy I paid for that I'm talking about. Virtual ownership is not the same as actual ownership. I also don't doubt that every EULA with services like Steam have some jargon or fine print smoke and mirrors that suggest they have the right to remove your ability to play or own any game you've paid for on their service at any time, for whatever reasons, which includes lines on rights "subject to change" often with the caveat "without notice".

Owning a physical copy means that they can't pull such garbage. You own the disc, you own the rights to play the game on said disc at your leisure, without interruption or prevention. No invalidated gamertags, no hacked accounts, no locked accounts due to 'suspicious activity', no changing things because of new licensing issues.

Actually, they can pull that "Garbage". It even states that if they demand you return your copy of StarCraft that you are obliged by law to do so. I can tell you haven't read any EULA at all.

Actually, no, they can't!

At least not in Germany.

I know it is written in the EULA, but that is just a lie they try to force you to belive.
Because what they write in the EULA is against the law of the Federal Republic of Germany, and therefor null and void, even if you agree to the EULA!

And yes, this is solid ruling by the "Bundesverfassungsgericht" , our higest court, and applies to all boxed, physical games that you buy.

And that ruling came because they tried to change the law so that the publishers would get more rights!

Don't you guys get it yet, it's not that Ubisoft is stupid or incompetent.

Ubisoft does not like you.

You know what, I was thinking about this topic the other day, and I found some surprising sympathy for a small group of people at Ubisoft: the people who made the game (developers, graphic artists, character designers, combat technicians, voice actors, etc).

I mean, here they have produced a pretty damn good game, and now it's being villified everywhere on the web (which the DRM does deserve). At Amazon, the PC version is being rated a 1 almost entirely across the board, several reviews have dinged it for the DRM, and many sites and forums are lowering the HateHammer on it, all because of the pinheads who decided that DRM actually works. (snart)

Granted, the console versions will be received better, but even some of those won't sell due to Ubisoft's idiocy in persisting in a DRM that - literally - penalizes the end users without attention to the legality of their possession of the game.

I don't think it will hurt them in their career or anything, but I just wanted to spare a moment of empathy for the ones who worked so hard on something that is quickly progressing from famous to infamous (you know, because it's more than famous.)

/you may now return to your Ubisoft bashing.

keinechance:
snip

Actually, I heard about that law. It's legit people.

No game company can take your physical copy of a game if you legally paid for it. The EULA can't do anything about it no matter how hard they try.

You paid money, the disk is yours. If they take it, they have to refund you. It's a felony to claim you created the content or try to alter it, but buying the game legally means they can't do a THING.

It would violate supply and demand, the relationship between consumers and companies, and even the very basis of Capitalism itself. They wouldn't try it.

Unless you can somehow provide a good reason why they have a right to take the disk without refunding you.

Pendragon9:

keinechance:
snip

Actually, I heard about that law. It's legit people.

No game company can take your physical copy of a game if you legally paid for it. The EULA can't do anything about it no matter how hard they try.

You paid money, the disk is yours. If they take it, they have to refund you. It's a felony to claim you created the content or try to alter it, but buying the game legally means they can't do a THING.

It would violate supply and demand, the relationship between consumers and companies, and even the very basis of Capitalism itself. They wouldn't try it.

Unless you can somehow provide a good reason why they have a right to take the disk without refunding you.

In Germany.

Because it hasn't already been said:
image

Hopefully they don't stand by this DRM. I want to play Assassin's Creed 2, but I refuse to buy it until they've gotten rid of this insane protection.

What I worry about, much more so than "ISP failures", verification server DoS attacks, or being on the road far from the nets.. Ubisoft is certainly courting failure with this kind of treatment of their customers. They could be bought out or go under at any time and then who will maintain the verification servers? Everyone who went out and bought Hellgate London got the real screw when they went under.. even though it had an offline mode that was just fine. My cash is far too valuable to spend on a game that I might loose at any time. Heh, what about when they decide that maintaining their verification servers are too expensive, like EA for their multiplayer servers? Should I trust that they will release a patch to unlock the game before they shut them down? I wouldn't. I still bust out my old games and play through them every now and then, and I would be pretty upset if I was unable to play the game anymore after a year or two.
Of course, I don't think I have enjoyed any of Ubisoft's games since Deus Ex. The first one. But THAT is just MY opinion. As for the DRM? I doubt there is anything that would make me want to spend money on a product less. Sorry Ubi, too damn greedy. Are you worried that ACTA won't solve your problems? >:-P

Zer_:

Pendragon9:

keinechance:
snip

Actually, I heard about that law. It's legit people.

No game company can take your physical copy of a game if you legally paid for it. The EULA can't do anything about it no matter how hard they try.

You paid money, the disk is yours. If they take it, they have to refund you. It's a felony to claim you created the content or try to alter it, but buying the game legally means they can't do a THING.

It would violate supply and demand, the relationship between consumers and companies, and even the very basis of Capitalism itself. They wouldn't try it.

Unless you can somehow provide a good reason why they have a right to take the disk without refunding you.

In Germany.

They can't take anything from you.
They are a Game Company.
The most they can do is file charges against you for infringing on their rights as publisher, and only by rule of the court can the police remove your legally bought game.

And "federal law supersides everything else" here in Germany, and I think that is the same in all western countrys.

Aren't the ownership laws in your country the same/ very similar?

not a problem if your a pirate (arrgh) but this is serious business for people who aren't me. if ubisoft doesn't figure out a solution with DRM, shit gonna hit the fan, especially if their serious about that assassin's creed sequal. (I like game informer)

Zer_:

Actually, they can pull that "Garbage". It even states that if they demand you return your copy of StarCraft that you are obliged by law to do so. I can tell you haven't read any EULA at all.

EULAs are not actually legally binding; clicking an "I agree" box does not carry the weight of a contractual obligation.

If you buy a physical copy of something, you own that physical copy. A company may still control the copyright for the material on the disc, but the physical object itself is yours and they have no legal control over it.

Zer_:
Actually, they can pull that "Garbage". It even states that if they demand you return your copy of StarCraft that you are obliged by law to do so. I can tell you haven't read any EULA at all.

There's the rather common interpretation of the EULA as a form of contract(can't access the product until you agree), and some/most European countries(Netherlands, Germany and France are ones I'm sure to have this) have laws that state that in order for any contract to be legally binding, it has to be available before purchase. And even then there are the things in the EULA that are impossible with certain laws.

Zer_:

Icehearted:
I'm aware of that. It's losing more ownership than even the copy I paid for that I'm talking about. Virtual ownership is not the same as actual ownership. I also don't doubt that every EULA with services like Steam have some jargon or fine print smoke and mirrors that suggest they have the right to remove your ability to play or own any game you've paid for on their service at any time, for whatever reasons, which includes lines on rights "subject to change" often with the caveat "without notice".

Owning a physical copy means that they can't pull such garbage. You own the disc, you own the rights to play the game on said disc at your leisure, without interruption or prevention. No invalidated gamertags, no hacked accounts, no locked accounts due to 'suspicious activity', no changing things because of new licensing issues.

Actually, they can pull that "Garbage". It even states that if they demand you return your copy of StarCraft that you are obliged by law to do so. I can tell you haven't read any EULA at all.

Really? That's where you're going to go with this?
I can see others have already expressed some valid points contrary to your argument, but FTR I have read a few (certainly not all) EULAs, and no EULA has ever stated that I must return a disc on command. Sure they love to throw in curve balls like "terms subject to change without notice" and such, but I've heard of people getting locked out of Steam accounts and/or being prevented from playing a game they owned digitally, usually due to a mistake on the part of the service, but I've never once heard of anyone having to send a game back to a publisher/store/etc because of a terms of use issue.

Attempting to goad me with flamebait won't work, and making things up as we go along won't do any of us any good either. BloodSquirrel (lol) summed things up rather tidily.

@keinechance
I'm American, and as far as I know ownership laws are pretty similar globally (enforcement is another story). A lot of that, particularly with the topic of this thread, is all about rights and distribution. I bought my copy of Mass Effect 2, I therefore own the game. I do not own the rights to sell copies of, replicate, distribute, profit from any portion of it's intellectual property, or in any other way use the software beyond what's intended. I can set the disc on fire, I can use it to flip pancakes, whatever I want as long as I do nothing to infringe upon their material.

Technically, loaning it to a friend is not legal, nor is it legal to allow others to play it even on my console (typical EULA mojo), but then it's also illegal for me to buy a movie and watch it with anyone else, or to play a song loud enough to allow anyone else to hear it.

That's why Digital Distribution is such a hazard. DRM like this Ubisoft mess, and more power to control ownership (however ridiculous these laws seem to the average person) will all favor companies over consumers, and before you know it family movie night can't happen unless everyone has individually paid for their own copy of Jurassic Park or whatever.

Karma. What a fucking concept.

Icehearted:

@keinechance
I'm American, and as far as I know ownership laws are pretty similar globally (enforcement is another story). A lot of that, particularly with the topic of this thread, is all about rights and distribution. I bought my copy of Mass Effect 2, I therefore own the game. I do not own the rights to sell copies of, replicate, distribute, profit from any portion of it's intellectual property, or in any other way use the software beyond what's intended. I can set the disc on fire, I can use it to flip pancakes, whatever I want as long as I do nothing to infringe upon their material.

Technically, loaning it to a friend is not legal, nor is it legal to allow others to play it even on my console (typical EULA mojo), but then it's also illegal for me to buy a movie and watch it with anyone else, or to play a song loud enough to allow anyone else to hear it.

That's why Digital Distribution is such a hazard. DRM like this Ubisoft mess, and more power to control ownership (however ridiculous these laws seem to the average person) will all favor companies over consumers, and before you know it family movie night can't happen unless everyone has individually paid for their own copy of Jurassic Park or whatever.

Ownership laws are very different where I live. Borrowing is legal (although loaning it, ie renting it out, isn't), watching a movie with friends is legal (fuzzy if more than ten friends though). Playing a song so the neighbours hear is certainly legal. Playing songs at private gatherings is also legal. I'm also allowed to make backup copies of all software and music I own.

I'm pretty sure that was legal in the US too, but maybe the DMCA changed all that?

Icehearted:

That's why Digital Distribution is such a hazard. DRM like this Ubisoft mess, and more power to control ownership (however ridiculous these laws seem to the average person) will all favor companies over consumers, and before you know it family movie night can't happen unless everyone has individually paid for their own copy of Jurassic Park or whatever.

This is just a new ploy like the one in that ruling I mentioned:

The companies KNOW that you legally own your physical copy of the game, and that you have all the rights that go with that, which includes selling the game.

So they implemented an online account that is tied to the game and they say , in the EULA, can not be transfered, so the selling of the game is not actually possible because the game doesn't function even if you sell the physical copy of the game.

But since this goes against the rights of you, the owner/buyer/customer, the courts stepped in and made a ruling so that if you sell a game which requires an online-account, they HAVE to transfer the account to.

Of course they didn't like that their ploy to curb reselling the games was about to fail, so they appeled to the court to exempt games from this law( because it is a digital medium, because of IP ownership, etc. etc. )

But it didn't work! The law stays as it is, and you have full legal ownership of the game!

Note that this law only applies to a physical copy of a game you buy, NOT to one you download from steam for example! ( Some legal technicality about what is full legal ownership and what is not)

Which is one of the resons I only buy physical copy's of a game!

Sooooooooo.....the pirated version works better than the retail one.......and they wonder why people pirate games, facepalm*.

raankh:

Icehearted:

@keinechance
I'm American, and as far as I know ownership laws are pretty similar globally (enforcement is another story). A lot of that, particularly with the topic of this thread, is all about rights and distribution. I bought my copy of Mass Effect 2, I therefore own the game. I do not own the rights to sell copies of, replicate, distribute, profit from any portion of it's intellectual property, or in any other way use the software beyond what's intended. I can set the disc on fire, I can use it to flip pancakes, whatever I want as long as I do nothing to infringe upon their material.

Technically, loaning it to a friend is not legal, nor is it legal to allow others to play it even on my console (typical EULA mojo), but then it's also illegal for me to buy a movie and watch it with anyone else, or to play a song loud enough to allow anyone else to hear it.

That's why Digital Distribution is such a hazard. DRM like this Ubisoft mess, and more power to control ownership (however ridiculous these laws seem to the average person) will all favor companies over consumers, and before you know it family movie night can't happen unless everyone has individually paid for their own copy of Jurassic Park or whatever.

Ownership laws are very different where I live. Borrowing is legal (although loaning it, ie renting it out, isn't), watching a movie with friends is legal (fuzzy if more than ten friends though). Playing a song so the neighbours hear is certainly legal. Playing songs at private gatherings is also legal. I'm also allowed to make backup copies of all software and music I own.

I'm pretty sure that was legal in the US too, but maybe the DMCA changed all that?

Yeah, the DMCA was what I was referring to, as well as the RIAA's hard-line stance on copyrights. I'm sure some of you guys remember when they were talking about wanting to ban stereos, VCR, cassette tapes, any recordable medium really, even DVRs. It's so far a largely unenforced, set of rules, since it would piss off entirely way too many people, and as far as I know most of this wasn't really passed on any official level other than (sorry to beat a dead horse) that "rights subject to change without notice" line they like to play with.

Technically, while we can all share things, loan them out, whatever, companies frown upon this, and the RIAA wants you to not experience anything you have not paid for, be it music, movies, games, whatever. Digital Distribution is designed in part for this purpose. Convenience for consumers is just window dressing.

Zer_:

Icehearted:
I'm aware of that. It's losing more ownership than even the copy I paid for that I'm talking about. Virtual ownership is not the same as actual ownership. I also don't doubt that every EULA with services like Steam have some jargon or fine print smoke and mirrors that suggest they have the right to remove your ability to play or own any game you've paid for on their service at any time, for whatever reasons, which includes lines on rights "subject to change" often with the caveat "without notice".

Owning a physical copy means that they can't pull such garbage. You own the disc, you own the rights to play the game on said disc at your leisure, without interruption or prevention. No invalidated gamertags, no hacked accounts, no locked accounts due to 'suspicious activity', no changing things because of new licensing issues.

Actually, they can pull that "Garbage". It even states that if they demand you return your copy of StarCraft that you are obliged by law to do so. I can tell you haven't read any EULA at all.

EULA's in Canada never fly in court, they're often considered non legally binding agreements and thrown out.

To compound on what AC10 said above, in Canada a contract is only legally binding if you are aware of the full and complete terms of the contract before entering into the agreement. Software companies have argued that you are always made to read the EULA in setup programs so this is the case, however the crown has held traditionally that for this to be the case you would have to be made aware of the EULA or any other contract of that nature before purchasing the software.

Which is good on the crown, if you ask me. EULAs really are a bunch of BS in many cases that ask you to surrender rights we are granted under the consumer protection laws - including some that are by law unmalleable and cannot be surrendered.

Whilst I hate to say it, Ubiosoft did tell people about their DRM before the game was released, so they have the followinf phrase on their side: "caveat emptor" (Let the Buyer Beware).

Personally, I think DRM is okay. But when the DRM is as draconian and unreliable as this one, that's where I have an issue. The easiest way they could have circumvented this is using Steam's built-in DRM. It works really well, it's simple, and, as far as I can tell, no-one has cracked it.

Valve have got a great side-business handling the DRM/Digital Publishing for different companies, and if the Microsofts, Ubisofts and EAs of the world realise this, lots of PC gamers will be pretty damn happy.

Sure, DRM is annoying, sure, it feels like us legitimate gamers are being punished, but I understand why it needs to exist.

That said, Sins of a Solar Empire had ZERO DRM, and no-one hacked it.

Instead, they hadc the clever idea of making it impossible to patch unless you created an account (which required a valid CD-key).

More companies need to look at the ways that groups like Steam and Stardock Entertainment have handled DRM, and take a page from their playbooks.

Zer_:

Pendragon9:

keinechance:
snip

Actually, I heard about that law. It's legit people.

No game company can take your physical copy of a game if you legally paid for it. The EULA can't do anything about it no matter how hard they try.

You paid money, the disk is yours. If they take it, they have to refund you. It's a felony to claim you created the content or try to alter it, but buying the game legally means they can't do a THING.

It would violate supply and demand, the relationship between consumers and companies, and even the very basis of Capitalism itself. They wouldn't try it.

Unless you can somehow provide a good reason why they have a right to take the disk without refunding you.

In Germany.

I'm fairly certain that in most developed countries the EULA isn't highly regarded, mainly because you don't actually get to see it until after you buy the product.

EULA = Contract of Adhesion.
Non-negotiable terms with no signature from either party.
I could dip my dick in ink and slap it against a piece of paper as proof of my signature and it would carry just as much weight in court as the "I agree" button.

If a game company demanded that I return my goods for an unconscionable reason (no refund), I would politely tell them to fuck off, and write to my local Better Business Bureau...and perhaps a few journalists.

Really, how pathetic is it to have to consider the possibility of a company threatening their own customers over a VIDEO GAME. This is what you get when you put overpaid chimps in nice suits in charge.

EULA = Contract of Adhesion.
Non-negotiable terms with no signature from either party.
I could dip my dick in ink and slap it against a piece of paper as proof of my signature and it would carry just as much weight in court as the "I agree" button.

I agree with your sentiment.
I would like to point out EULAs typically include a caluse which makes agreeing to this EULA automatically agreeing to any and all reivions the company makes to it in the future...

however, EULAs HAVE been upheld at court as legally binding documents... Dick dipped in ink has not.

As for this DRM failure (not that most DRM isn't)... I can just picture this going on in a thousand forums:
Person A: My legally bought game doesn't work! how do I play?
Person B: download the pirated version.
Person A: How and where?
Person B: here and this way.

Person A has been upgraded to pirate, he will never buy a game again.

DRM - Downright Retarded Mess

As soon as the servers went down and I figured out what was going on, I downloaded a crack, and was able to play right through it. May not be legal(although I did buy the game) but I managed to dick around in Italy at least. (hint; venice has lots of water)

tklivory:
You know what, I was thinking about this topic the other day, and I found some surprising sympathy for a small group of people at Ubisoft: the people who made the game (developers, graphic artists, character designers, combat technicians, voice actors, etc).

I mean, here they have produced a pretty damn good game, and now it's being villified everywhere on the web (which the DRM does deserve). At Amazon, the PC version is being rated a 1 almost entirely across the board, several reviews have dinged it for the DRM, and many sites and forums are lowering the HateHammer on it, all because of the pinheads who decided that DRM actually works. (snart)

Granted, the console versions will be received better, but even some of those won't sell due to Ubisoft's idiocy in persisting in a DRM that - literally - penalizes the end users without attention to the legality of their possession of the game.

I don't think it will hurt them in their career or anything, but I just wanted to spare a moment of empathy for the ones who worked so hard on something that is quickly progressing from famous to infamous (you know, because it's more than famous.)

/you may now return to your Ubisoft bashing.

Really good point. Sometimes in all the gloss and glitter of new games, we forget the artists and writers, who pour their passion into titles like this.

I hope that for their sake that draconian DRM programs like this will fade away...so we can enjoy the games they work so hard to make.

*sage nod*

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