Ubisoft Accused of Peddling Pirated Soundtrack With Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

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Ubisoft Accused of Peddling Pirated Soundtrack With Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

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A nasty rumor making the rounds suggests that Ubisoft may have used a pirated version of the Assassin's Creed Brotherhood soundtrack as a bonus in the digital PC release of the game.

You might be wondering how it's possible for a game publisher to pirate a soundtrack it's responsible for creating. The story goes like this: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood came out in November 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 but the PC edition won't arrive until later in March. As a bonus for being so patient, Ubisoft served up a "digital deluxe" version of the game for preorder at the same price as the regular edition, which included bonuses like a map of Rome, a behind-the-scenes video and a soundtrack.

The bonus files were released today, not long after which a Reddit user noticed something interesting: the ID3 tag comment for each song in the soundtrack reads, "Encoded by arsa13." And who is arsa13? Some Googling revealed him as the fellow who, back in November, uploaded a FLAC version of the Assassin's Creed Brotherhood soundtrack taken from the Xbox 360 version of the game to various torrent sites. A separate Reddit commenter added that it's also "the screen name of someone who's uploaded lots of pirated music to various sites."

So the theory goes like this: instead of taking the time to put together a "proper" soundtrack release for PC gamers, some flunkie at Ubisoft snagged a rip of the 360 version from his local torrent site, converted it to MP3 and turned it loose. And to be clear, it is just a theory at this point, albeit one that looks pretty good based on two facts beyond what's visible in the soundtrack itself.

First, every song in the soundtrack carries the "Encoded by arsa13" comment except one, "Apple Chamber," which according to Wikipedia wasn't present in the CD that accompanied the 360 release of the game but was instead added by Ubisoft for the digital release - which is why it doesn't carry the comment. But perhaps even more damning is that Ubisoft has done something similar in the past. In 2008, Ubisoft "fixed" a DRM issue with Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 by releasing as an official update a no-cd crack created by pirate group Reloaded.

The story, for now, remains a rumor. We've reached out to Ubisoft for clarification but so far the publisher has remained silent on the issue. In the meantime, if anyone else has downloaded the soundtrack and taken the time to check the files, I'd love to hear from you. Where did your copy come from?

Thanks to FrostyCoolSlug for the tip.

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I dont know what to say but if this is indeed fully true then this is pretty damn funny

This has made my day lol

Yeah its been a very slow day...

What makes it worse is they didn't keep it in FLAC. Music quality FAIL.

But... why?

They must have the originals, its only a bunch of MP3 tracks.

Haha, it seems like Ubisoft's new policy on piracy is to just pirate their stuff right back.

Assuming for the moment that this rumor is true, I find it deeply hilarious that the content creator would turn to pirates to provide them with their own content. Irony - it's what's for breakfast!

Crazy Captcha time go! "Das ndsnj". Seriously, what the hell?

I'm going to sue the Escapist due to the cracked ribs I suffered laughing at this just so you know,

Basically this is an advert for pirate sites, as apparantly they have excellent quality stolen shit.

"Even the people who make it cant tell the difference!"

Woodsey:
But... why?

They must have the originals, its only a bunch of MP3 tracks.

Hey Intern...go down to music Dept. and get the tracks for release. *Boss Walks away. You look down hallway and say "Fuck that"...Goes Online and google searches the ST and DLed it. You check the quality and then say bam done time to go to lunch.*

"Don't pirate our stuff!" "quick! go pirate that code over there!"

Whoever wrote that NoCD crack should sue em for distributing their code for profit without a licence.

Dear arsa13,

Thank you for improving, advertising, and distributing our product for us not only for free but at a personal cost to yourself in terms of time and money spent on the endeavor. We here at Ubisoft want you to know that your hard work and sincere effort, above and beyond that of our average consumer, does not go without reward. That is why, in exchange for this invaluable service, we at Ubisoft have decided to award you with prosecution in a criminal court of law, redeemable in terms of fines and fees as decided by the judge and a truly ridiculously good team of lawyers we will hire to make the case against you in a court that will be upholding laws invented in large part by our lobbyists, who like the lawyers have been hired using funds from sales of the DLC in question.

We hope you enjoy the personal touch,

Ubisoft

the irony in this..its just too hilarious. i mean really, ubisoft? of all...

jesus christ almighty.

god does have a sense of humor.

Hmmm, well this is interesting, but it also doesn't surprise me all that much.

When it comes to things like DRM it doesn't surprise me that a company might use the work of a pirate who successfully removed the DRM entirely to save time. Stealing the pirate's work without giving credit would be just an interesting thing to do, as giving credit to the person who engaged in what you considered criminal at the time. One of those doomed if you do, doomed if you don't situations.

With the current music compilation, the same logic applies, if the person in question did such a good job with the piracy, why do the same thing all over again just for the heck of it? If your going to use their work, it comes down to the same logic above.

I mean it's interesting and all, but hardly shocking.

It will be interesting to say if anything official ever comes of this. It's not like the pirates can say "hey you stole the work we did to steal your work" and be taken seriously in any legal sense. :)

Ahahahahahaha.

Ubisoft, you complain about piracy and spam horrible DRM at us, then turn right around and pirate your own shit in an effort to knock off work early.

No wonder PC gamers loathe you so.

Of course the other possibility is that someone added this pirate OST to a few music sites and that whoever's media player is picking this up is over zealously scrobbling and IDing the tracks by that method. For example, I have a few independent band (not really "indie") CDs that get auto-tagged as random bands because of some similarity I don't understand.

Still, either way is all good by me.

Aaahahahahahahahohaaaaa... oh wow, I may have hurt something there. That was brilliant. Thank you, I needed that after a day of bad news. :)

Yay to blurring the line in digital theft! They might have argued, if they caught the guy, that he was breaking copyright by duplicating their files, but where do rights lie in copies of copyrighted files? I mean, if you pirate these files, does it count the same as if you ripped the originals from the Xbox? I mean, it's not like the studio actually paid anything for the files in question, and isn't that the whole point about IP protection and copyright? Eh, digital law needs sorting out :/

This is almost too good to be true, but if it is true...

lololololol to infinity +1

Aha! I knew'd it! All the good updates are done by pirates.

Actually this is a lot more common than you would think. Sometimes the pirate, cracker or fan communities are the only source for older stuff or even anything that the original devs/publishers simply don't have any more.

The day MAME saved my Ass

I just hope Ubi doesn't go after this arsa13 guy for saving their ass and instead thank him and/or give him a job.

I have the soundtrack CD from the PS3 version and i think the only probly with this pirated version could come if the quality is worse....then it feels like cheating. But if its the same thing then ppl really shouldnt worry about where it came from.

But i agree it is ironic and funny (if it is true)

amazing...

seriously if this is true... I fear for the fucking future...

Jesus Christ...

You know, the more I read about Ubisoft the more I think the company is secretly owned by Blutarch and Redmond Mann.

Whatever one does...

Blutarch: Ha HA! To defeat those cursed customers and their filthy piracy I shall craft a Download Rights Management system so diabloical that no man shall ever be able to play my games without my express permission!
I shall be able to revoke all those putrid little 'customer's' pathetic little products at my merest whim, all in the name of preventing piracy!

Redmond: Well HA ha! To you brother I present an equally diabolical counter. We shall peddle those pirates... THEIR OWN RIPS! How can you claim to fight piracy whilst your precious purveyances distribute it?

Blutarch: Damn you o'brother!

Redmond: Damn you indeed!

Helen: Five
Helen: Four
Helen: Three
Helen: Two!
Helen: One!!!
New game released!

Que the music!

Ubisoft, aka "Always Connected DRM" caught pirating?
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em amirite?

i'm so confused right now...

If Ubisoft can pirate their own stuff, then I will too. Fantastic, thank you Ubisoft!

Double standard much?

Ah Ubisoft, you are such a...

Veldie:
I dont know what to say but if this is indeed fully true then this is pretty damn funny

Nuff said.

And just when I was starting to think more positively of Ubisoft.

Don't surprise me in the least. Previously they've resorted to using scene cracks as fixes for people who had DRM issues and couldn't play the game. Seriously how weak is that?

Wow, nice going Ubisoft. Entertaining story, yes, but still a bit fishy.

SilentHunter7:
Haha, it seems like Ubisoft's new policy on piracy is to just pirate their stuff right back.

Win^^

And pretty much Ninja'd.

That's hilarious! Although I should point out that in Canada, it's perfectly legal to download music and movies for personal use from torrents. But yeah... sounds like some lazy work on their side.

Gildan Bladeborn:

Crazy Captcha time go! "Das ndsnj". Seriously, what the hell?

wait till you get chinese signs ;D

OT: dunno, it might be less effort to just pirate it off the internet than having to request the soundtrack from the musicdepartment (which would take a long time), then reencode it and release. But I still think a professional studio should at least try to show they care.
First horrible DRM, secondly releasing a game late and thirdly giving "bonus" material you can just find around the internet already...

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