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On Mass Effect & Spore Copy Protection

There's a massive thread on the Mass Effect Community Forums about the SecuROM copy-protection scheme planned for Mass Effect, BioWare's upcoming RPG (thanks Wolfox). The game will not need the disk in the drive to play, but will require an internet connection for installation to validate the CD (DVD) key and will need to go online once every ten days in perpetuity for revalidation. BioWare attempts to address all the questions this raises, at one point replying that this will be the same system used in Spore when the evolutionary game is released: "Yes, EA is ready for us and getting ready for Spore, which will use the same system." This thread continues the discussion after the first one was locked for length. Here's the deal:

Mass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation.

After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn't become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.

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293. Re: @Jerykk May 9, 2008, 14:57 Tigger
And this is why you see so many "certified used cars" on major dealership lots. They realize that resale of vehicles is big business and they want to take part in that. If they tried to claim that reselling your car violated the terms of service and refused to service cars (support) cars that the original owner wasn't driving people would revolt.

Which is what PC gamers are doing now. We're being treated like unless we're the original owner of the software that we don't have any right to use the software.

I agree with you on this point, but we need to change copyright law so that its application is universal and standardized in the US. Because the problem is that the EULA says we DO NOT have to right to resell it. The EULA says that we have purchased a license to run the software, NOT ownership.

So, before someone wikipedia's me to death, I already know that these 2 points have been challanged before. The problem is that the letter of the law and the case law don't agree and thus, are rendered useless. Companies are free to put whatever they want in a EULA and make decisions based on that EULA.

I've said before that good copy protection is enough to make it hard to steal software casually, but not intrusive enough to be noticed by the end user.

So, before someone uses this statement against me:
If I had my way, the project I mentioned earlier would do that and kill all but the most current installation

I didn't say my opinion was right - I just said it was my opinion at the time we were specing the license system.

This comment was edited on May 9, 14:58.
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