Posts Tagged ‘Drm’

Google spends a few more million, picks up Widevine DRM software firm

05 Dec
Two acquisitions in as many days? Say it ain't so! Prior to even unboxing Phonetic Arts, Google has now snapped up Seattle-based Widevine. Truth be told, you're probably taking advantage of the company's technology without even being aware of it -- it's used in over 250 million web connected HDTVs and streamers around the globe, and it's primarily designed to thwart piracy attempts while enabling consumers to enjoy content on a wider array of devices. As these things tend to do, neither outfit is talking prices, but it's fairly obvious why El Goog would want a firm like this in its portfolio. Moreover, it's borderline comical that Viacom's pushing an appeal in order to pit Google as an anti-studio, pro-piracy monster while it's spending hard-earned cash on a DRM layer. At any rate, Google's not getting into specific plans just yet, only stating its intentions to maintain Widevine's agreements, provide support for existing and future clients as well as "building upon [the technology] to enhance both Widevine's products and its own."

Google spends a few more million, picks up Widevine DRM software firm originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 05 Dec 2010 13:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Judge rules that circumventing DRM is not illegal

26 Jul

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In what will surely become a landmark case -- or at least a massive thorn in the MPAA and RIAA's clubbed, pygmy feet -- a judge has ruled that bypassing DRM via hacking, reverse engineering or any other means is not in itself illegal.

The case itself ruled that General Electric, in using hacked security dongles to repair some uninterruptible power supplies produced by another company, did not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Why? Because the end goal was legal. If the hacked dongles had been used for the forces of evil, the story would be different.

While this doesn't sound immediately applicable to DRM-protected software, music and movies, bear in mind that the DMCA is the foundation for every spurious copyright claim made by RIAA, MPAA and the myriad of other digital rights groups. In essence, this ruling means that you're free to break DRM on media that you own. No longer is it illegal to rip your own DVDs or crippled audio CDs onto your hard disk. I think there might also be some implication for the godawful DRM used on contemporary games like Assassin's Creed 2 (and if you're a lawyer, please leave a comment!)

In case you were wondering, this doesn't make piracy legal. It just means that bypassing DRM to reach a legal goal -- i.e. fair use of things you own -- is now protected by common law.

[via electronista]

Judge rules that circumventing DRM is not illegal originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 26 Jul 2010 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Digital Millennium Copyright Act - Digital rights management - Intellectual property - Motion Picture Association of America - Law

Want More Than One Account On Your ‘Spore’ Game? Buy Another Copy [EA Games]

11 Sep

EA's DRM spyware on the long-awaited game Spore turns out to have an added side-effect: if you live in a household with multiple players, you all have to share the same account. The game's manual says otherwise, but after repeated queries on the EA forum, a company spokesperson confirmed this. That's right—if you're in a household with several potential Spore players, and you want each of them to have their own account, you will have to buy multiple copies of the game.

From page 52 of the manual:

You may have multiple Spore accounts for each installation of the game.

However, here's what "EA_violet" wrote on the EA forums in response to complaints that players couldn't set up multiple accounts:

That section in the manual was a misprint and will be corrected in future printings of the manual. There is one Spore registration/account per game/serial code so you are correct in that you cannot make multiple accounts at this time.

We're among all those people who waited a long time for Spore to come out, and we're facepalming at how broken it is, all thanks to EA's misguided DRM implementation. This particular detail is notable for revealing that at some point in the past it was likely that the game allowed multiple accounts, and that this functionality was removed in order to tighten the DRM net. (Thanks to Sir Mildred Pierce!)
(Spore creature: Henjoness)

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Backlash: Anti-DRM Protesters Trash Spore’s Amazon Rating [Backlash]

09 Sep

Spore, the long awaited new game from SimCity creator Will Wright, has been critically well-received, so what's up with its score? As of this posting, the game, despite being #1 on Amazon, has 1,494 one star ratings from gamers who are upset about the game's DRM. Here are some excerpts from the angry reviews:

...the game incorporates a draconian DRM system that requires you to activate over the internet, and limits you to a grand total of 3 activations. If you reach that limit, then you'll have to call EA in order to add one extra activation. That's not as simple as it sounds, since when you reach that point EA will assume that you, the paying customer, are a filthy pirating thief. You will need to provide proof of purchase, reasons why the limit was reached, etc, etc (it has all happened before with another recent EA product, Mass Effect). EA, of course, is not obligated to grant you that extra activation or even provide that service. In a couple of years they might very well even shut down the general activation servers, because "it's not financially feasible" to keep them running. What you will be left with is a nice, colorful $50 coaster. And you will be required to pay for another copy/license if you want to continue playing.


The DRM for the game utilizes securom which is essentially a virus that installs itself without warning when you install the game. There is no way to completely remove it without reformatting and it is constantly running in the background if not removed. Sucking up computer resources.

It also is overpriced. This is actually a RENTAL, not a bought game because it only lets you install 3 times.


I logged on to buy this but now no way. I dont care if its the best game in the world, I'm not loading it onto my computer if it has DRM. No thank you, remove it and I'll buy version 2.0.


I personally feel EA has crossed the line with what is considered an acceptable protection scheme. What they have done is essentially created a rental for the price of the full game, and after 3 activations you have to call up EA and beg them to reactivate the game. I for one am a computer enthusiast and format and upgrade regularly so I'd burn through the 3 install limit in about three months top and I REFUSE to have to call up any company and have to beg and prove that I rightfully am entitled to an install. As a paying customer I expect to be able to install the game infinite amounts of times on MY computer without any DRM disturbances. Whats worse is that this DRM considers any computer upgrade, BIOS update, and some patches as system change and thus requires an additional activation.


Thanks to everyone who warned us about the DRM in this game. I'm interested in the game, but not interested enough to break my computer to play it.


Too bad I can't play this game because of the horrible copyright protection scheme/malware called SecuROM which locks up my rig. It doesn't even keep the game from being pirated, so I don't know why EA treats its paying customers like criminals.


I will not pay EA $50 to rent a game, period. DRM is dying, and its dragging good products down with it. Get a clue EA. The music industry did, now its your turn to face the fire.


I was going to buy this game today but because of the DRM and a few other issues I will skip this game altogether. It's a shame because I was really looking forward to owning this game. EA is not helping Will Wright in any way.

You get the idea. Have these reviews convinced you to skip this game?

Spore [Amazon via Kotaku]

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