Posts Tagged ‘piracy’

Opinion: Me And CDP On Legal Threats

By John Walker on December 19th, 2011.

A court, which no one will likely see over this.

You’ll likely remember that last week it was revealed that CD Projekt had hired a firm to send out letters to those they believed had pirated copies of The Witcher 2, demanding large sums of money. It’s a practice that is widely despised, due not only to its propensity for threatening the innocent, but more significantly, because it’s based on threats in the first place. A person receives a letter demanding an excessive amount of money (evidence for this story suggests in the region of €750, corrected from 900+ that was previously reported), or the recipient will be taken to court where they may end up paying a great deal more. These apparently necessary court cases will be dropped if the fee is paid. And that’s why I consider it such a serious issue. Never mind the severity of the act of piracy, this process subverts the legal process, avoids actually providing evidence and proving guilt, and depends upon scaring people into paying money they likely can’t afford. This is something I wanted to discuss with CDP themselves, who I thought had given unsatisfactory responses to other outlets who suddenly picked up on the story after RPS reported TorrentFreak’s week-old article. My discussion is below.

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CD Projekt Threatening Alleged Pirates

By John Walker on December 15th, 2011.

Just why?
Remember how we all cheered when CD Projekt removed the DRM from The Witcher 2? Although the GoG version was always free of the legitimate-customers-only punishing code, all other sources came with the straitjacket. Post launch, however, they patched it out, letting customers enjoy the game without concern. It seemed an all-round sensible way to behave, and despite piracy they sold over a million copies of the game. A happy story. Except, well, now according to TorrentFreak (and seemingly corroborated here, along with mentions of a few other titles) the publisher is reportedly threatening alleged (but unproven) pirates with ludicrous legal letters demanding large amounts of money.

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Volition Boss Says No More Duff PC Ports

By John Walker on March 17th, 2011.

Shoot it in its physics!

There’s some lovely comments from Volition‘s studio manager, Eric Barker, over on Eurogamer. Discussing why it’s always worth developing for PC when creating cross platform titles, and how Volition will no longer be using external developers for their PC versions, he drops this gem of a comment that I’ll be quoting for some time to come.

“I don’t think [piracy] is something at the forefront for us. First and foremost, we want to make sure we’re making a game people would want to pirate. Let’s make a game that’s worth stealing, and then we’ll worry about making sure they don’t.”

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Oh, Ubisoft: Torrented Their Own Music?

By John Walker on March 16th, 2011.

Are we under arrest?

Ubisoft, you do like making mistakes. The publisher’s strange habit of incorporating piracy into their products seems to have reared once more. Remember back in 2008 when they thought it would be a good idea to officially patch Rainbow Six Vegas 2 with an illegal NO-CD crack? Today Eurogamer brings us news that those copyright infringing scamps may have been at it again. This time it looks like they’ve included a torrented version of their own soundtrack in the Digital Deluxe Edition of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood on PC.

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Opinion: Let’s Not Celebrate DRM Just Yet

By John Walker on February 23rd, 2011.

Woo! Party time!

Correction: It seems that Ubisoft’s new DRM will be requiring one activation at install, and then not again. While this is problematic regarding DLC, and I continue to argue (as the post below explains) still not okay, it’s not quite as it was understood from the ambiguous statements given before the article was written. However, the “always on” DRM continues to torment users of Ubisoft games like Settlers 7. Apologies for the confusion caused, and to Ubisoft for the incorrect statements.

Don’t be fooled, I say. Ubisoft, amongst others, have been getting a lot of good press lately, including from this very site, for the apparent backtracking on the DRM that had crippled a number of games. By insisting that players be always online as they played, Ubisoft’s games became a subject of headlines – gamers’ progress would be lost, players dumped out of their games, because BT pressed a wrong button somewhere, or the Sun’s flares caused a blip in a wifi signal. It took Digital Rights Management to a whole new level of pointlessly ruining valid customers’ experiences; while the pirates they were pretending to fight continued to enjoy a far better game. And so we celebrate as they remove this, and we compliment them for backing down from the nonsense. But I (John Walker, whose views don’t necessarily reflect those of his (inevitably wrong) colleagues) say: let’s just think about that a little more carefully.

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An Actual Crisis: Crysis 2 Leaked

By Quintin Smith on February 11th, 2011.

'Holy shit!' 'I know!'

EDIT: Read EA’s curt response here. “Piracy continues to damage the PC packaged goods market and the PC development community.”

I have no words. Actually, I have some words- according to a thread of the Facepunch forums (which may or may not be deleted any second depending how the Facepunch server holds up), a developer build of Crysis 2 containing the full game, multiplayer and the master key for the online authentication has been leaked, and is currently freely available from all sorts of astonishingly illegal websites. This sounds like it might be a serious tragedy for Crytek. Crysis 2 was scheduled for release on the 22nd of March, so the leaked build could be dangerously close to finished. More on this as we hear it, and thanks to RPS reader James B for letting us know.

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CD Projekt To Pursue Fines For Torrenting

By Jim Rossignol on November 23rd, 2010.

No, not until you stop downloading episodes of Supernatural.
Polish RPG developers CD Projekt recently announced that their next game, The Witcher 2, would ship without DRM, and there was much rejoicing. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be all Mr NiceGuy about it. Speaking to Eurogamer, CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński said that the company would be pursuing legal action against those net users illegally downloading the game.

“Of course we’re not happy when people are pirating our games, so we are signing with legal firms and torrent sneaking companies… In quite a few big countries, when people are downloading it illegally they can expect a letter from a legal firm saying, ‘Hey, you downloaded it illegally and right now you have to pay a fine.’”

Of course the policing of downloaded content is a highly contentious area in which the legislation is still being proven – and fought against in the courts – but it does suggested a renewed interest by games companies in directly combating piracy on the PC. DRM doesn’t work, we all know that, so it’s hardly surprising that companies like CD Projekt will look to other methods to protect their work. Personally I think low prices and swift digital downloads have been the best weapon.

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DRM Is NOTHING Compared To StarCraft II

By John Walker on May 28th, 2010.

They should refer to suits like this as combat DRM.

Blizzard supremo Frank Pearce has told VideoGamer.com, “We need our development teams focused on content and cool features, not anti-piracy technology.”

It accompanies the announcement that StarCraft II’s single-player mode will not require constant online connection to Blizzard’s Battle.net. Describing DRM as “a losing battle”, Pearce states that their company is far more interested in creating an online community that will endorse and support paying customers.

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Epic Fa… Oh, You Know.

By Kieron Gillen on May 17th, 2010.

Epic's new DRM involves releasing a mutagen to horrifically warp the bodies who infringe upon their IP, tooling up in power-arm and then shooting and/or giving their neck a nice hug.

Alec sighs and points at Blues News who points at The Sixth Axis who points at Edge magazine who points at Epic President Mike Capps in an interview situation who points at Piracy for Epic’s pointing away from the PC. He says things like “We still do PC, we still love the PC, but we already saw the impact of piracy: it killed a lot of great independent developers and completely changed our business model.” and “So, maybe Facebook will save PC gaming… but it’s not going to look like Gears of War.”. More here. I’m sure everyone agrees, so I’m tempted to just close the comments thread because there’s nothing to say, but maybe I’m wrong.

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Uh-Oh: It’s The Top 10 Pirated PC Games of 2008

By Alec Meer on December 8th, 2008.

Another day, another post about piracy to fuel the impassioned debate of the principled hordes. See how we dance for you.

It’s a particularly interesting piece of piractical news this time, even if you generally avoid the shouting matches around the subject. Filesharing news site Torrentfreaks have done some mathematical investigative work, casting an eye over a bunch of trackers to come up with what they reckon are the 10 most pirated PC games of the year to date. Care to bet on what’s number one before we draw back the curtain?
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Video Game Piracy Taken Literally

By John Walker on November 16th, 2008.

Via Wikimedia Commons.

What better way to round off a day of arguing about gaming piracy than with some perspective. Real, rather frightening gaming piracy. From an article in the Washington Post:

Apparently pirates in the vicinity of Somalia have been stepping up attacks on [videogame carrying] trade ships beyond the Horn of Africa into the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, imperiling access to the Suez Canal. Those attacks are up from one every few weeks to four in a single day, according to Sam Dawson of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), speaking to Reuters. “This is not just guys in little fishing boats anymore,” says Dawson. “We know there are three probably ex-Soviet trawlers acting as mother ships.”

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World Of Goo Piracy Rate: “82%”

By John Walker on November 15th, 2008.

Too much effort went into this one.

The post yesterday reporting World of Goo’s 90% piracy figure drew a surprising response. The P-word regularly generates comments threads that scare our hosts, but this one was odd. It became a discussion about whether one could disprove the 90% figure, and then extrapolating this to reach peculiar conclusions. Some could see this as people claiming there were far fewer stab wounds than first predicted and therefore there hadn’t been a murder. Others might suggest that fighting over the exact number is completely irrelevant, as that’s not the point of the issue. Now 2D BOY have responded with new look at the figures.

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World of Goo Vs. Piracy

By John Walker on November 14th, 2008.

A mature and helpful addition to the discussion.

2D BOY have posted about the piracy World of Goo has suffered since launch. After Ron Carmel mentioned the figure – 90% – in a comment on RPS this week, the story was picked up across the internet. And it’s shaken a lot of people.

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