Re: How's this for DRM nailing your balls to the floor?

On Sat, 18 Apr 2009 09:31:51 -0400, Thad Williard
<twilliard@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Sat, 18 Apr 2009 09:17:48 GMT, Memnoch
<memnoch@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Fri, 17 Apr 2009 23:52:42 -0700, "Juarez" <juarez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Thought 'Worldwide Soccer Manager' might be a good deal at 50% off until I
read the below bit of text in the game specs. So now they want us to have to
put up with Steam *and* activation limits? No SALE!

3rd-party DRM: Uniloc
5 machine activation limit

It's not the first and almost certainly won't be the last.

Exactly. Even Far Cry 2 on the Steam store says 5-machine activation
limit. However Ubisoft has made clear that if you buy the game you
will always be able to play it, no matter what.

DRM schemes are often disabled in final patch, after the game has been
out a year or two and the publisher no longer wants to incur support
costs for asisting folks that can prove they bought it but exceeded
the activation limit.

It's just to deter piracy. And we should be thankful for it because
PC gaming is better than ever, while there was a time that consoles
were a serious threat due to the piracy issue.

There is DRM of various "colors" up through obnoxious. The FTC made
clear at their March 25 hearing in Seattle on media-DRM that they were
going to go after all purveyors of media using DRM if the DRM
restrictions were not made crystal-clear **in plain language** to the
potential purchaser BEFORE the sale.

As to specifics.

Retail Far Cry 2 has a 5-install limit WITH AN AUTOMATIC REVOKE on
uninstall. Not machine specific. Not attached to any specific
account-tag at Ubi. FYI: A disk-crash or virus infestation can
potentially lose a single revoke.. No EULA restriction on 3rd-party
Acceptable DRM.

Retail EA DRM (Mass Effect, Spore, Mirror's Edge etc ). 3 or 5
install-limit, Not machine specific. Tied to a specific email-account
and password recorded at EA. Revoke tools finally made available ~ 2
weeks after the Seattle meeting.... No provision against a disk-crash
Nominally no EULA restriction on 3rd-party transfers, however the
account-tag is a millstone...
Objectionable DRM.

Retail Atari Riddick:Athena. 3 install-limit. NO REVOKE. Zero
information on the DRM restrictions ANYWHERE in the documentation
or on the retail package. EULA permits 3rd-party transfer, but the
lack of a revoke makes this somewhat meaningless. Either a hardware
change/update OR a OS reinstall (no revoke...) consumes an
Unacceptable DRM. Prime candidate for potential FTC action.

Steam: All games sold through Valve using Steam-DRM are locked to a
Steam account and password attached to an email address. Steam EULA
specifically prohibits 3rd-party transfers. (Practically, not
Valve-legally) avoidable by generating separate Steam accounts each
linked to a different email address for each game desiring later
3rd-party transfer. Must be executed when the game is first
installed. Otherwise, the original games purchaser is stuck with all
of his/her games lumped under one Steam account.

DRM-infected 3rd-party games sold under Steam retain their original
DRM... Apparently, Valve (in their usual money-grubbing ways) have
taken the quick-money path and have not used their
potential-customer-base leverage to force all 3rd-party vendors
desiring to use Steam-distribution to completely remove the original
DRM. Customer-accommodation is at the bottom of Valve's priority list.

The current Steam-DRM methodology and EULA should be a legitimate
target for a FTC investigation. Valve has NEVER been PUBLICLY UPFRONT
to new subscribers with regard to the customer-imposed limitations of
their Steam-DRM. They have chosen to bury those restrictions both in
their (after purchase) EULA and their authentication methodology.

Steam distribution using only Steam-DRM == Objectionable DRM
Steam-DRM + 3rd-party DRM == Unacceptable DRM.

John Lewis


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