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Op Ed

TechSpot Blog - Why even pay for software? A declaration against poorly implemented DRM.
"Every time I change a major piece of hardware I end up with a warning message informing me that I have two days to reactivate my copy of Windows. Okay, that’s not so bad. Just click re-activate then shall we. Hang on, that didn’t work, and now I have to ring the Microsoft support center based on India and try to communicate a 60+ digit code to someone I can barely understand. After that process is done I can finally use my computer again. Yay! Well… at least until I need to change/upgrade something again."

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25 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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25. Re: Op Ed Feb 10, 2009, 07:44 vrok
 
I never mentioned pirating the software so there's no fallacy. Just saying that buying it and cracking it later to make it usable is the worst possible way to get them to change their ways. Annoy their support with tons of activations, stick to XP or go Mac/Linux. Those are the options.  
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24. Re: Op Ed Feb 9, 2009, 13:29 DG
 
So rewarding them for ruining their own product with DRM and funding further DRM annoyance, GfWL and Xbox exclusives makes sense to you? That's insane. You have to let your money talk and stop buying shit if you ever want to progress from shit. Otherwise you're just as much to blame as MS.
That's the same fallacy. The truth in one statement (that not buying is a vote that counts against DRM) does not somehow rub off or support any notion that using the software anyway is some kind of vote against DRM. If you want to protest DRM with your wallet, don't buy the software.

Where does pirating come into it? In what way does pirating software get counted as a vote against DRM?

All pirating software shows is that firstly you were prepared to pirate software and secondly that it was possible for you to do so. Executives then apply their own version of the false argument - the flip side of the same coin - to claim that all they need is stronger DRM and automatically all those downloads turn into sales. Unfortunately it's quite hard to convince them that their perspective is overly cynical when all these "votes against drm" are so awfully convenient, bit like going on hunger strike so long as the free pizza keeps coming.
 
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23. Re: Op Ed Feb 9, 2009, 08:36 vrok
 
But actually there is a choice to get the pirate version then make due payment. Downloading the pirate version and paying are not mutually exclusive.
So rewarding them for ruining their own product with DRM and funding further DRM annoyance, GfWL and Xbox exclusives makes sense to you? That's insane. You have to let your money talk and stop buying shit if you ever want to progress from shit. Otherwise you're just as much to blame as MS.
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 23:27 Kosumo
 
"Piracy is EVIL!!!!!!" worked great for the music and movie industry, didn't it?

well, the computer gaming industry does not have the chance to perform live like a musician does, that is how musicians have made there pay for hundreds of year already where as with a game you either pay or you don't. (or pay later, after you have enjoyed the product but at lsee than what they wanted at the time)
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 18:15 wtf_man
 
It is actually any PC with an AMD processor that had issues with SP3, I think it is fixed now though.

Ah... that explains it... all our machines at work are Dell pieces of shit with Intel Processors. No AMD at all. However, my daughter's machine has an AMD processor and there were no issues. Probably because it's way old (Athlon XP).
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 17:59 DG
 
There is a certain point where someone will just say "screw it" and resort to piracy. I think the point in the original article is that if he is going to have to go and pirate the game to get it to work, why even bother going to pick up a hard copy, finding out it doesn't work, and going through all the hassle.
Oh, I agree. But my point is people claim DRM as a reason, excuse and self-justification for obtaining a pirate copy and not paying for software.

But actually there is a choice to get the pirate version then make due payment. Downloading the pirate version and paying are not mutually exclusive. Therefore while IMHO DRM is a valid reason for obtaining the pirate copy, it is not an excuse nor justifies never paying.

The problem with the "screw it" argument is that it applies whether there is DRM or not.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 17:20 Warskull
 
Must be some weird hardware. We've deployed SP3 on over 1600 machines at work, (granted, mostly entire-reimages), and the worst thing that's happened is we've had to force re-install Windows Update Agent 3.0, because the "pegging of the CPU at 100% for updates" problem comes back, in some cases.

It is actually any PC with an AMD processor that had issues with SP3, I think it is fixed now though.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Windows-XP-SP3,5334.html

That was probably the cause and they probably never tried it again.

So you say, why bother paying when you're downloading a pirate copy anyway? Well in that case why bother paying at all, it's not like getting that pirate copy is an effort. Paying vs. not paying for PC software is now nearly just a moral decision, plus maybe a small consideration of getting caught.

There is a certain point where someone will just say "screw it" and resort to piracy. I think the point in the original article is that if he is going to have to go and pirate the game to get it to work, why even bother going to pick up a hard copy, finding out it doesn't work, and going through all the hassle.

A lot of game developers has passed this point and are driving people to either become pirates or give up on PC gaming and go to consoles. Stuff just plain works on consoles, no install limit, no in your face DRM. All DRM on consoles is transparent. Myself, I look at a multi-release game and the consoles seem like better options these days due to all the developers who release half-assed buggy games for the PCs and all the ridiculous DRM that gets in the way. I would say a majority of multi-platform games are simply better on the console now. You miss out on mods (which may or may not occur, depending on the game) and sometimes get a weaker control scheme in return for a game that doesn't crash or tell you "you changed your sound card and/or desktop background, I refuse to run."

On morality, its not exactly moral to release buggy half-finished games that don't run properly and advertise them as an fully functional products either. PC gaming is just people screwing each other over left and right these days. The best you can hope for is 90% of PC gaming companies to die out and have their poor ideas die with them.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 15:13 wtf_man
 
Actually we have some machines at work which cannot run SP3, not even from a fresh install. Something about their hardware config does not accept SP3, so our IT guys have decided to stay with SP2 for those machines.

Must be some weird hardware. We've deployed SP3 on over 1600 machines at work, (granted, mostly entire-reimages), and the worst thing that's happened is we've had to force re-install Windows Update Agent 3.0, because the "pegging of the CPU at 100% for updates" problem comes back, in some cases.

Back on topic...

Here's my basic feelings on Copy Protection / DRM:

The IP holder has SOME rights to protect their product.

As the owner of the machine, their rights are not allowed to infringe on MY rights.

This includes:

~ Phoning Home (Privacy issue, regardless of "how harmless" the data is that is sent... it's the principle)

~ Limiting installs / re-installs (I change hardware often, and I re-play old games every couple of years)

~ Installing System Drivers that hinder performance, blacklist legitimate applications (like Process Monitor), and pretty much can't be uninstalled if you don't know what you are doing. (aka Malware / Rootkit)

Those 3 things violate my rights as the machine owner. A developer has ZERO rights to dictate what I can or can't install (Blacklisting), how many times I can or can't re-install (Activation), limit my hardware upgrade options (Activation), install crap that hinders the performance of the expensive hardware that I purchased (Malware), or requires that I agree to transmit data to the mother ship (Phoning Home / Activation).

This especially goes for an industry that somehow can get away with releasing unfinished products with refunds being difficult, if not impossible.

Keep the protection on the Media (CD / DVD) where it belongs, to prevent casual copying... AND KEEP IT OFF MY FUCKING MACHINE!

As for digital download media... the fact that you have to have an account, and purchase from the on-line vendor should be sufficient. I wouldn't mind some "on the fly" compiling that identifies the purchaser... that way if someone's version shows up on the internet, they know who to go after. But the phoning home, after purchase is unnecessary.

This comment was edited on Feb 8, 2009, 15:21.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 15:07 DG
 
If the problem is activation, how's about buy the software then download the crack to avoid activation? I don't really see why there is only supposed to be a choice between either suffering or being a full-blown pirate.

So you say, why bother paying when you're downloading a pirate copy anyway? Well in that case why bother paying at all, it's not like getting that pirate copy is an effort. Paying vs. not paying for PC software is now nearly just a moral decision, plus maybe a small consideration of getting caught.

My argument is only that there is this third option. Whether it's reasonable for the product to come with the DRM, and whether the DRM actually fulfils it's stated purpose are different debates.
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 11:57 Wiwi Jumbo
 
Wasn't there a Unreal game which ran better once the copy protection was removed?

A little searching on google, check out the second half of this post:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/2002/09/30/

Unreal 2003 was actually the last PC game I've ever bought, it just wasn't worth the trouble any more. I haven't really played anything on the PC other then Flash games since then.
 
Wiwi
"I trust in my abilites,
but I want more then they offer"
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15. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 06:16 Warskull
 
indeed. how silly that programmers should be paid for their work. they should all work for free!!!!1111oneoneone

If the pirates offer an experience so much better than your DRM that people who were fully willing to pay for the product (or did pay for the product) turn to piracy, well, you have problems.

I am never going to feel bad for a publisher who is actively screwing me over with bad DRM schemes. "Piracy is EVIL!!!!!!" worked great for the music and movie industry, didn't it?

The sentiment is pretty accurate, why even bother buying the software after it has that much DRM on it?
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 04:56 Z9000
 
The main machine I am worried about is cutting edge hardware post SP3 release and I don't feel like rolling the dice. It runs everything fine as is. You know, if it isn't broke, don't fix it.  
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
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13. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 04:13 BatAttack
 
@wtf_man
"Uhm, why? Some newer software will require service pack 3.

As for it mucking up machines... I've only found that to be the case with machines that have a ton of junk installed already. A fresh install + sp3 (or SP3 slipstreamed) works fine."

Actually we have some machines at work which cannot run SP3, not even from a fresh install. Something about their hardware config does not accept SP3, so our IT guys have decided to stay with SP2 for those machines.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 04:11 BatAttack
 
@cliffski
"indeed. how silly that programmers should be paid for their work. they should all work for free!"

That's not really the point, DRM does not do its job.
It does not stop pirates, who are resourceful enough to get around it, and it punishes people who actually bought the product by making their lives more difficult. Basically, the pirated version is more user friendly, and that is with the difficulties involved with cracking, etc. accounted for.
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 03:55  cliffski 
 
indeed. how silly that programmers should be paid for their work. they should all work for free!!!!1111oneoneone  
http://www.positech.co.uk
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10. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 03:54  cliffski 
 
you realise the internet was invented in the interim right?  
http://www.positech.co.uk
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9. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 01:35 Caveman
 
lol@ paying for windows.  
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8. Re: Op Ed Feb 8, 2009, 01:26 wtf_man
 
I even stayed on SP2

Uhm, why? Some newer software will require service pack 3.

As for it mucking up machines... I've only found that to be the case with machines that have a ton of junk installed already. A fresh install + sp3 (or SP3 slipstreamed) works fine.

On topic... I never install retail products (with DRM). I do buy them... just refuse to allow crap phoning home, limiting my installs, etc. etc. I also upgrade my hardware often. I have never activated Windows, and never will.

/shrug
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Feb 7, 2009, 20:29 Z9000
 
Best thing you can do to MS is stay on XP. I even stayed on SP2 on all my machines hehe. On topic, I got the full blown educational version of Photoshop for my son... That DRM system is worse, I actually got a freakin lecture and a body cavity search last time I had to register it due to hardware change.  
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
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6. Re: Op Ed Feb 7, 2009, 19:24 vrok
 
Buying the piece of crap and cracking it afterwards is pretty stupid as you've already given MS your money and therefore communicated to them that you approve of their DRM scheme and that they should continue using and developing it (using your money) to be an ever more growing annoyance. And with the rest of your money, further bribe developers for Xbox exclusives.

If you absolutely have to buy it then the least you can do is tie up their dirt cheap support staff and waste their time.

This comment was edited on Feb 7, 2009, 19:31.
 
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25 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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