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EA, Atari Sue Over Videogame Copying Software

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the nibble-copy dept.

The Courts 409

Thanks to the Monterey Herald/AP for its news story regarding EA, Atari, and VU Games' lawsuit against the makers of the Games X Copy backup software. The article explains: "The federal lawsuit [PDF version], filed Tuesday in New York, alleges that Games X Copy software by 321 Studios Inc. of suburban St. Louis violates copyright laws by illegally cracking copy-protection systems used by [PC] game makers." Doug Lowenstein of the ESA trade body, also backing the lawsuits, explains: "I wouldn't get into speculating on dollar losses here. What's at stake here is a rather important legal principle - that products with no purpose other than to circumvent copyright protection are illegal under the DMCA." The piece also notes that "Federal judges in New York and California have barred 321 from marketing... [similar] DVD-cloning software - a victory for movie studios, which contended that such products violate the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act."

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Just wait... (5, Insightful)

infonick (679715) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438879)

13 torrent will become avialible in the following minutes, and their worst fears will come true.

Vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439282)

and buy a copy, if you want to help. I really do think that these companies should set up some kind of "shark feed donation fund" to pay for lawyer fees... if everyone did that, you would have a nice mutual support group and the worthy causes would automatically emerge. That's how unions were supposed to work back then when they meant something -- we definitely need a consumers' union.

(no I don't work for them, but objectively, the software is good -- a little pricey perhaps.)

Re:Just wait... (5, Insightful)

Synonymous Yellowbel (720524) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439300)

13 torrent will become avialible in the following minutes, and their worst fears will come true. Obviously you're joking, but I thought it worth reminding everyone else that the "powers that be" (that's the corporations, not the government, folks) aren't worried about the 0.05% of the population that are geeks using Bittorrent. It's the mainstream market finding out that they can copy their neighbours' software and music that keeps them up at night. Even more importantly, it's the legitimisation of such activity that they really want to crush. Even if it's legal to back up one's software, they want people to think it's not, because if the plebs know they can do that, it's just a short jump to widescale copyright infringement which they fear will wrest control from their cold, dead fingers. steve

On the subject... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439302)

Today I just fired an open source developer!

The stupid kid kept on working on this stupid project of his, even sometimes in work time. So, I fired him.

Now lets see if he can make a living off developing free software, as you all claim he should be able to

While Im driving around in my good car, and he's driving around in his bomb, Ill think back to how good the advice was that you all gave him that free software is a great business model! In the debriefing he kept on talking about how this site Slashdot showed him how free software can make him money and he doesnt need the job anyway. Well, we shall see if this is true.

I get the funny feeling that in 10 years time while I am making money off my commercial software, driving around in a better car, he will still be driving around in a bomb, probably unemployed, still raving on about this "free software" making him money

Great advice guys!

Re:On the subject... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439316)

If all you care about in your life is have a bigger car than your neighbour, that's exactly what you'll get.

In the meantime, your wife will be open-sourcing her vagina because your penis doesn't meet her system requirements.

I want the second disc damnit! (5, Insightful)

RobPiano (471698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438880)

I had a game that takes several hours to defeat and spans more than one disc called, ``Lunar 2 Eternal Blue'' for Playstation 2. I was playing through the game very slowly and when I got to the second disc I realized the disc was scratched. Well, it had already passed the 30 day point, so I wrote the company and asked if they would sell me a replacement second disc. The answer, of course, was no. I would have to buy the whole thing over again.

What kind of crap are they pulling. I am legally entitled to backup my games, but they put in measures to prevent me doing so. Would these companies allow me to ask for a copy? No. Could I send in a damaged copy and get another? No.

Okay fine, piracy is a problem for you. You lose tons of money (well I don't actually believe this). Then it is your job to provide me with backups. I have a legal right, and a need as a consumer for legitimate backups.

It is in the best interest of corporations to take away your rights if they can instead sell them to you. The only way our rights stand a chance is if we stand up for them. In fact I will go a step further and say, the only way our rights stand a chance is if we demonstrate common practice what our rights are.

Laws are defined by practice. They are both made and broken by what we do. When we started buying ``copy protected'' materials we set a precedence that copying was not a legitimate activity. Had we wanted to keep our right to copy we would not have bought anything copy protected.

This case is clear. Our right to copy is almost gone. We set the precedence for it by buying things with copy protection and now we have to live with it.

Grr! I want the second disc damnit!

Re:I want the second disc damnit! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9438934)

Let me guess...you're not a Republican. :-P

Re:I want the second disc damnit! (1, Offtopic)

RobPiano (471698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438952)

No, I'm an informed voter. (What's great about this comment is that its totally 'subtle' You see I don't have a party I belong to, but I read up before voting.. So I'm an informed voter... Not that I'm trying to imply anything.... Cause I'm not.....)

Also I meant Playstation 1.

Re:I want the second disc damnit! (5, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439062)

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. A democrat signed the DMCA into law.

Bad laws that hurt consumers are certainly not the sole domain of either party, they are both bought and sold to their corporate masters.

Finkployd

Re:I want the second disc damnit! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9438997)

Did you have the American version? According to the publisher's web site [workingdesigns.com] , "If you have a receipt ... we offer free replacement of defective discs for a 90 day period."

Have it resurfaced (4, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439014)

Many places charge as low as 5 dollars to have a disk resurfaced, and unless the disk is cracked it always works. The home-resurfacing kits are mostly jokes, but the professional ones work... ask at a local used CD store where they resurface theirs. Of course, you can always buy it new from EB and return the broken copy... that would be dishonest, but let's just say they lost that protection the day they sold me an unopened copy of FF7 on the release date that was scratched to hell, and didn't have a replacement available for weeks.

I agree, with your position though, that if media companies are going to take the we-own-the-media-you-have-to-return-it-to-us-on-de mand position, we should get the rights associated with it.

Lunar 2 was better on the Sega CD anyway. The animation was more charming.

Re:Have it resurfaced (0, Troll)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439098)

Lunar 2 was better on the Sega CD anyway. The animation was more charming.

It's the muddy sega colors right? They made it every so charming.

Re:I want the second disc damnit! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439034)

For what it's worth, they actually can't refuse even after the 30 days. Game companies, as well as music companies, are obligated to replace media that becomes damaged (even if the owner is at fault) for the cost of replacement.

I've had software CDs replaced long after they were originally purchased, usually about $5-$15 dollars. I think $15 is probably a bit stiff, but the original software cost enough that we were more than happy to pay it.

Whoever you talked to didn't know their posterior from a whole in the ground. Next time, insist on talking to a superior and - if necessary - call their legal department if the superior is also an idiot.

Re:I want the second disc damnit! (1, Redundant)

servognome (738846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439215)

yes, since you purchased a license from the company, they are obligated to continue your access to the information.
If companies replace my broken CDs at cost ($1-2). I have no problem with me not being able to make backup copies of my own.

Re:I want the second disc damnit! (3, Insightful)

nasor (690345) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439105)

You have to be very careful with this sort of "law A says I'm allowed to do such and such, but law B hampers it, so law B must be violating my civil rights" reasoning. It's true that the U.S. Copyright Act contains a provision that allows people to make backup copies of copyrighted works, but this does not mean that you have some sort of inalienable right to make backup copies - it merely means that there is nothing wrong in principle with making backup copies. You're still legally obligated to follow any other laws that might enter into the picture. You don't get to ignore the copy-protection circumvention sections of the DMCA in your pursuit of making a backup copy, just like you wouldn't be able to murder someone if shooting someone was somehow necessary for you to create your backup copy.

And no, I don't think that the DMCA is a good idea, I'm just trying to correct a common legal fallacy that I've see repeated many times on slashdot.

Re:I want the second disc damnit! (1)

xoboots (683791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439231)

You have to be very careful with this sort of "law A says I'm allowed to do such and such, but law B hampers it, so law B must be violating my civil rights" reasoning. It's true that the U.S. Copyright Act contains a provision that allows people to make backup copies of copyrighted works, but this does not mean that you have some sort of inalienable right to make backup copies - it merely means that there is nothing wrong in principle with making backup copies.

This is true. It is also true that copyrights are not inalienable rights but rather an act of the people to grant specific, short-term rights to producers of works (or at least, that was the original intent). It is also true that many laws work at counter purposes. There is much dispute over the impact that the DMCA has over rights that the people have decided not to give to producers (eg. restricting fair-use). While your argument is sound, IMHO, it does not seem like a proper response to the parent post. [I could be wrong but it is not clear to me that using such software in fair-use scenarios is illegal--even though under the DMCA, creating such software seems to be considered illegal.]

Re:I want the second disc damnit! (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439187)

Lunar 2 is awesome. If you really can't get a replacement, mod your playstation and I'll make you an iso. Oh, and I think you'll like my sig :)

Too bad (1, Redundant)

Bill_Royle (639563) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438888)

These guys don't seem to be making any friends.

It looks pretty coordinated, if you ask me.

Re:Too bad (3, Insightful)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438944)

These guys don't seem to be making any friends.

Unfortunately, they have many suckers who have bought the console and now must buy the games.

Who cares if you're a friend or just a customer?

Have you ever called their technical support? They're not trying to make friends; they're trying to make money.

Write them a letter (4, Informative)

eidolons (708050) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439057)

Just FYI, here are some addresses in case you wish to speak your mind about copy-protection issues in general. I find that writing letters is a better way to create some sort of stir opposed to firing off an email. EA and Atari are bigwigs, some sort of "political" response has to start somewhere.

Electronic Arts Inc.
209 Redwood Shores Parkway
Redwood City, CA 94065-1175
U.S.A.

don't forget to send one to their "report piracy" address:

Electronic Arts Inc.
915 - 118th Avenue SE, Suite 370
Bellevue, WA 98005

Atari:
Head Office
Atari, Inc.
417 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10016
Tel: +1 212-726-6500

Product PR
us.pr@atari.com
Tel: +1 978-921-3700

This is the same EA (5, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438890)

This is the same EA that just made it IMPOSSIBLE to bypass the 15 second startup movies that play every time you start up Ultima Online. There is a way to disable them, but they can ban your account for making unauthorized mods if you use it.

Re:This is the same EA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439180)

Wow, you're kidding, I hope.

The game industry (should have) learned that lesson with the (original) Castle Wolfenstein!

Re:This is the same EA (1)

vastabo (530415) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439202)

They can detect you renaming two .bik files in your music directory? Really? And they care?
Well, it's their fault for making me watch "EA Games, Challenge EVERYTHING" everytime UO crashes. Challenge THIS!

Yes and apparantly yes (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439326)

It is one of those thing that I hate most in games. Endless logo movies that can't be disabled. Consoles are extremely evil in this regard. At least pc solo games allow you to alter them easily.

Why do they care? God knows, some power trip from having their inane company motto shown every time? Lengthing the "gameplay"?

Anyway can UO detect it? In theory yes. It scan the files that are on your pc and sends back a report, this would be expected as it would help catch out cheaters with customized data/code.

The game industry is a funny field. On the one hand it is slowly turning into a gigantic industry worth billions of dollars. On the other hand it still seems to be run by idiots, reviewed by idiots and bought by idiots. I myself am in the last group. Despite everything that is wrong with Star Wars Galaxies I still pay for it.

We are like the pretty boy send to prison who goes in to the shower and drops the soap. Don't complain about being raped when you are bend over with your ass in the air.

angry (3, Funny)

mikeeeeeee (748191) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438893)

im sort of mad i didnt know about the game X or dvd X copy sooner...i mean...

Could someone please (4, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439061)

Could someone please post a copy of DVD-X-Copy and Games-X-Copy. I..er.."lost" my original copy and I need a back-up. Yeah that's it. Honest!

Kids (5, Interesting)

BancBoy (578080) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438895)

Many children (young and old) treat their game discs with a bit less respect than they should sometimes. Who wants to buy a new copy everytime your copy starts skipping or fails? Won't you please think about the children!?

Re:Kids (3, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438966)

They're kids. For the most part, they've not reached the point where they realize that things actually break, deteriorate, or die - they don't have the perspective of multiple years of life yet to reflect back on. A week is a very long time for 10 year old, and a month an eternity.

Sure, kids shouldn't abuse their stuff, and most don't unless they're spoiled. But expecting a kid to keep a CDROM scratch-free is a bit absurd when most grown adults have difficulty with it.

Re:Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439078)

I totally agree with you and I agree that people should have every right to copy/backup the things they own, however something does have to be said for user responsibility. If you scratch your game disc because you're not taking care of it, I don't think the company should have to supply a perfectly new one in it's place.

That's like saying you are welcome to take your new car out and ram it into a lightpost because the manufacturer will just fix it for you.

Maybe I misunderstood your post?

Re:Kids (5, Insightful)

martinX (672498) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439258)

That's like saying you are welcome to take your new car out and ram it into a lightpost because the manufacturer will just fix it for you.

Not really. When you buy software/music/movie whatever, you are buying two things. Firstly you are buying the physical medium which might cost a few dollars to make, burn, wrap and deliver to you. Secondly you are buying a licence to use/listen to/watch whatever it is you bought. (In the case of music, this is the equivalent of 'mechanical royalties'.)

While the physical medium can get wrecked, your licence should remain valid. It should not die just because your CD has. Therefore you should be able to get a replacement CD or DVD for the cost of the physical medium only, i.e. a few bucks.

That the copyright holders, under the interpretation of our current copyright laws, require consumers to buy the same things over and over again is disingenuous of them. They know it's wrong, but they like us replacing stuff every ten years.

Re:Kids (3, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439095)

True, but its goes beyond that. Do you REALLY think that just because you keep your CDs in a nice jewel case everytime you stop using it, its not gonna take some wear and tear? Course not, by merely owning it its gonna take damage. Lets go over the list of "what goes wrong, when you're doing things right."

1. Merely removing the shrink wrap from the jewel case exposes it to air and airborne chemicals which will erode your disc.
2. Removing the CD, causes pressure to be FOCUSED on the center because thats really the only part of the CD thats being used to hold it in place. This leads to potential cracks and simple wear and tear.
3. USING THE CD, causes its damage. Think about it, whats the RPM (rotation per minute) of your CD player? How long do you typically use that CD at a time? How hot does the CD get when its rotated that quickly and for so long? What about the heat generated from the rest of the system (PC of stereo system?)
4. The area you live in also predict the lifetime of your CD in the longrun. If you use the CD in a closed, temperture controlled, atmosphere controlled laboratory and use the CD maybe once a week, yeah its gonna last about the estimated 10 years. But if you live in a tent, in the middle of the Sahara Desert and the sand just somehow manages to get into your air-sealed CD case and scratch it up, you'll be lucky if your CD managed to make its way into the hands of a black market dealer with 2 tracks still playable.

Good on the DMCA (0, Flamebait)

pVoid (607584) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438898)

I'm sure a lot of people will find this just another excuse to shit on the DMCA, but let's admit that for once, it's actually useful.

I mean, sure, there's a limit to how much authority we want in our lives, but if you're gonna pirate a game, it might as well be something underground... I find all these software companies (like 321) very fucking hypocritical...

There's being an 3733t haxxor group the takes pride in cracking stuff (whether that's good or bad - I have no comment), then there's being a company who's hypocritical enough to say "games aren't worth paying money for... oh btw, use our software so we can make some money"...

What's that sucking sound? (-1, Offtopic)

BodyCount07 (260070) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438925)

Oh, it's your Karma escaping.

Re:Good on the DMCA (2, Insightful)

Wehesheit (555256) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438937)

and when my 4 year old nephew grabs a disc off my computer when I'm not looking and trashes it I can go ahead and do what exactly?

I backup the current game/dvd I'm watching and put the original away. Coincidently all my originals are in excellent condition despite having children and my own clumsy ass around.

This will not stop piracy but it sure as hell makes it a pain in the ass for ME.

Re:Good on the DMCA (0, Troll)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439117)

and when my 4 year old nephew grabs a disc off my computer when I'm not looking and trashes it I can go ahead and do what exactly?
Punch the little bastard in the face, then put your damn CDs up next time.

Re:Good on the DMCA (5, Informative)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438941)

You are aware that the software is useful for allowing people who legitimately own the game to make backup copies, as otherwise it is impossible due to copy protection measures put on the CDs, right? Yes, it could be used by someone who wants to dupe the game for a friend, but this software is hardly going to encourage widespread piracy.

Honestly, I'm sick of CD protection on PC games. It does nothing to curb piracy, but it does impact legitimate owners who now can no longer make legal backups of their software (and thus their game is ruined if the original CD gets scratched) AND it often imposes artifical system requirements as users need to make sure that their CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive is capable of handling the nonstandard code that makes the copy protection work -- and since SafeDisc, SecureROM, etc are constantly updating their software, it is impossible to get a steady list of supported hardware.

Re:Good on the DMCA (2, Insightful)

SlashdotKeefey (786335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438991)

I'm actually sick of copy protection full-stop. A couple of examples that wind me up (and ensure I make a point of circumventing them):

Copy-controlled music CDs - I travel A LOT, and don't want to have to lug my entire CD collection with me everywhere I go, when I have a hard drive big enough to have it ripped and stored. I legitimitely own each and every one of them, but I have to go through hoops to get this stuff onto my machine. This doesn't target the professional hacker, who'll get past all measures anyway, but targets the consumer, and makes it more likely that they'll just download the sodding thing in the first place.

Secondly - in terms of games, most copy protection can be put into the same category. A typical games pirate will get the software anyway (through the vast array of P2P, FTP, and IRC clients available to all but the most novice of users), but I, as a consumer, am forced to either cart the CDs everywhere if I want to enjoy a game (legally), or get round it all by downloading a "patch" from somewhere like GameCopyWorld (note, I patch legally bought software).

In terms of piracy, I think they are tackling the wrong end of the situation: the problem, rather than the cause.

Re:Good on the DMCA (4, Informative)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438994)

Have you looked into Alchohol 120%? http://www.alcohol-soft.com/ are the makers of this fine software. I use it all the time, and the game copy protection companies change the software once in a blue moon. Atleast with Alchohol I can burn 1:1 copies with the protection right on it. It's completly legit.

P.S. I am in no way owner, involved, employed with alcoholsoft. I just use their software and am happy with it.

Re:Good on the DMCA (5, Interesting)

0racle (667029) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439011)

I bought SimCity 4 and the Rush Hour expansion. After installing the expansion, running it cam back with the error "Please insert the correct disk." Rush Hour is one disk and it was the one that was in there, so just to play the game I legally bought, I had to find a NoCD crack for it.

Copy protection my ass, I had to go and look for a way around it just to play it. I'm glad I did though, damn its fun.

Re:Good on the DMCA (2, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439143)

I had a similar experience. The last game I worked on was a fun little multiplayer, multidisk romp, though I won't say which one. Anyway, after the project was over, we were all sent complimentary copies of the title to play / give to family / whatever. Well, the game came, and played well, but I couldn't stand swapping it in and out of the CD drive all of the time. A quick google, and a NoCD patch later, and I'm playing exactly the way I should have been playing all along... verified by my registration password.

And actually, the NoCD crack turned out to be very popular where I was working. Apparently, nobody else likes a dongle either.

Yes, there were other games that wouldn't play due to faulty copy protection, but I thought people might like to know that we don't like those damned things either. It's the publishers that insist on them.

Re:Good on the DMCA (2, Interesting)

Jeff Reed (209535) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439017)

I agree. Even if it's just a (fairly) simple "insert disc 1 before you're allowed to play the game" form of protection, it's still annoying. What happens if my disc 1 is broken or stolen, but I still have the game on my hard drive? I'm screwed - I've got to buy another copy of the game. This is why I use programs like Alcohol 120% and Daemon Tools to make a CD-image of the PC games I play often. If something happens to my original disc, I can still make a backup -- or better yet, avoid having to insert the disc to play and risk damaging it in the first place.

These sorts of protections don't really do much other than piss off the consumer, anyway. No-CD cracks are released for games within hours, and those who simply choose to download a pirated copy instead of buying it will have little trouble running the games. Unreal Tournament 2004 requires you to leave the CD inserted to play the game until you get the first patch. Before that patch came out (which was a few weeks after the game did), several people I know had already downloaded the game and used a keygen and No-CD crack to play the game online for free. These disc protection systems don't stop the pirates for very long and just make CD-ROM drives freak out. Why even bother with them?

Kobe Bryant and the LA Niggers LOSE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9438899)

Pistons Win, LA Niggers LOSE!

Hey Lakers, bite my clank, you nigger beaners.

Hey Kobe Bryant [resist.com] , you be going to JAIL, nigger. You'll learn about rape, faggot.

[the world's biggest Circle Jerk is taking place at this very moment in Holland, Michigan]

Hypothetical Question (5, Insightful)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438903)

If all of the companies (like EA) who sold CDs (movies, music, video games) had the same sort of support that Disney movies have (disc replacement program), would there still be a justification for this sort of program?

Re:Hypothetical Question (5, Informative)

SenatorTreason (640653) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438958)

For the others who had no idea what the parent was talking about, see the following site:
Disney FAQ, see "How do I replace a damaged DVD?" [go.com] .

Re:Hypothetical Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439222)

Change DVD into clitoris for optimum results.

Re:Hypothetical Question (2, Insightful)

KnacTheMife (779539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438989)

yes, because regardless of any disc replacement program a company offers, the "fair use" exclusion is an established part of copyright law. no company policy can ever be an adequate replacement for constitional law, if for no other reason than a company can easily change their policies. if a product is produced that allows people to excercise their rights, then that is justification enough, even if other choose to exploit that product to break the law.

Re:Hypothetical Question (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439081)

While "fair use" is an established part of copyright law, it is by no means constitutional or a "right." Indeed, fair use provisions arose essentially because the letter of the law extended protections further than the intent of the law. Courts correctly assessed that there were many uses of copyrighted material unanticipated by the law that were beneficial to society and didn't harm the producers.

I'm not saying that protecting people's ability to protect a fragile medium is insufficient compared to the potential for piracy. I am saying choose your wording wisely and your arguments will be more effective... especially because of the less clearly delineated ground common law constructions like "fair use" occupy.

Re:Hypothetical Question (1)

dvNull (235982) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439124)

Fair Use is about as constitutional as the right to copyright. The two should go hand in hand.

Re:Hypothetical Question (1)

KnacTheMife (779539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439219)

agreed to the point on being more careful of the words i choose, but, the "fair use" exclusion is part and parcle of the same law that gives authors their "copyrights", that law being created from the constitutional power divulged to the legislature, from that viewpoint an author's "copyright" is not a right in the constitutional sense either but is common law... mostly I get a little heated because the pro-copy protection crowd keeps harping about consumers being able to make perfect digital copies when they were the ones who chose to sell consumers a perfect digital copy to begin with...

Fair use implements the First Amendment (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439297)

The opinion of the Supreme Court in Eldred v. Ashcroft upheld the Bono Act, but it also upheld that the fair use exemption implements the First Amendment, and without a fair use exemption, the constitutionality of copyright law as we know it would be even more in question:

The CTEA's extension of existing and future copyrights does not violate the First Amendment. [...] copyright law contains built-in First Amendment accommodations. [...] the "fair use" defense codified at s107 allows the public to use not only facts and ideas contained in a copyrighted work, but also expression itself for limited purposes.

Some analysts have pointed out that this holding in Eldred could be used to argue against the constitutionality of the DMCA, which bans possession of circumvention devices even for purposes of fair use.

Re:Hypothetical Question (1, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439059)

If all of the companies (like EA) who sold CDs (movies, music, video games) had the same sort of support that Disney movies have (disc replacement program), would there still be a justification for this sort of program?

From Disney: "If you accidentally damage or break one of your Disney DVDs, you can get a replacement disc for a nominal charge of $6.95. Please call (800) 723-4763 for details."

"Replacement" program? The guys at Disney must love this! Considering that Wallyworld can make money selling older DVDs for $5, Disney must do very well "replacing" titles they actually publish for $2 more per copy. What a great scam they have going! Especially when you consider that younger kids, their target audience, tend to beat the hell out of everything they touch (including DVDs)... Wow.

Even at a more reasonable price, though, such an offer would not justify depriving us of our right to make backups. Either we buy the media, in which case we can do with it as we will (including copying it, since we would need to supply our own blank, the physical "product", to do so), or we license it, in which case the physical copy holds no special value (and thus, we can copy it at will because the license, not the media, reflects the purchase price). Either way, we have a right to back it up.

Re:Hypothetical Question (1)

gehrehmee (16338) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439167)

Perhaps if they were legally obligated to provide such services at no cost other then the price of media. If we're legally obligated to not break their encryption, surely the same strength of demand can be made the other way around.

Re:Hypothetical Question (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439234)

Unfortunately for you, $6.95 from Disney is a pretty reasonable cost to include manufacturing + cost of media + shipping + cost to have someone on the phone to talk to you. A single phone call to a call center costs the company between $20-$50 when you work out all expenses including employee salary, benefits, facilities, electricity, IT support, software being used by that call taker.

Re:Hypothetical Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439184)

No.

Now I know (5, Interesting)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438905)

Thanks to this article, I know of the existance of "Games X Copy," a product I would never have known about had EA and the others sued.

What will I do with my knew found awareness? Probably nothing right now, but I'm sure I'll let others know about it eventually and there's a slim possibility I might buy a copy before they're gone...

Thanks EA and Atari! Now I know about another great 321 Studios project!!

Fair Use (5, Insightful)

UnCivil Liberty (786163) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438907)

"What's at stake here is a rather important legal principle - that products with no purpose other than to circumvent copyright protection are illegal under the DMCA."
What's at stake here is a rather important legal principle Mr. Lowenstein, it's fair use. A fair use clause must be added to the DMCA, this is a travesty.

Re:Fair Use (3, Insightful)

mothz (788133) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439196)

What I don't understand about that quote is this: Suppose a brand of refrigerator, bicycle, wristwatch, or telephone had DVD cloning functionality. Would these products be legal simply because they have purposes besides copy-protection circumvention?

If that's the case, then DVD cloning cannot be illegal on its own (although any copyright infringements still would be, of course). And if that's the case, then DVD-cloner products are legal without any attached refrigerators.

If it's not the case, then any product which could possibly be used to break the law must inherently be deemed illegal. Then guns are illegal. Cars are illegal. Computers are illegal.

DMCA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9438912)

Doesn't the copyright protection have to be "effective" for the DMCA to apply?

"circumvent copyright protection" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9438926)

This is their weapon. You see, it used to be "legitimate use", of which backing up is one. However, now it's "circumvent copyright protection", which is a much lower standard, because you have to circumvent copyright protection to enable some of your LEGAL rights.

Screw 'em. I don't really play new games anyway, and if I want to play one, I'll just hit the trackers and get it that way.

Dumbfucks . . . (3, Informative)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438931)

Federal judges in New York and California have barred 321 from marketing... [similar] DVD-cloning software - a victory for movie studios, which contended that such products violate the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act."

God some people are so fucking retarded. 321 got spanked in court for decrypting dvd's without having a legal license to decrypt. The products functionality was never in question, the way they got that functionality going was . . .

321 Studios (3, Informative)

Rick and Roll (672077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438939)

Somebody needs to come out in support of these guys [321studios.com] .

These are the good guys. They are pissing off the evil copy-protection guys. They have a very reasonable argument.

I would like to see RMS write an article about this specific issue. It may help people to see how stupid these lawsuits are. I would like the Electronic Frontier Foundation to help out as well.

If I had a DVD-R drive, I would definitely buy their products.

Re:321 Studios (2, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438982)

The problem seems to be that they are using the "throwing ourselves under the wheels of the juggernaut" school of social reform.

I'll agree they're pissing people off, but they don't seem to be doing so in a particularly productive manner.

Re:321 Studios (4, Funny)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439089)

I would definitely buy their products If you want, I can make you a copy. ;)

There oughta be a law (3, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438949)

...protecting the consumer's fair use rights. Too bad there's no money to be made going that route.

Maybe... (4, Funny)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438954)

321 Studios should have listed 123 Fake St. as their address. Then the subpeona wouldn't have reached them.

Obl. Simpson's Reference (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439016)

321 Studios should have listed 123 Fake St. as their address. Then the subpeona wouldn't have reached them.

Come on, mod 'em up!

Just in case you can't buy a copy in your country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9438985)

DVDXCopy [66.90.75.92]

Maybe consumers should sue game makers... (5, Insightful)

meanfriend (704312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9438988)

Three makers of video games sued a Missouri company marketing software that enables consumers to make backup copies of computer games.

Very well then, if I cant make a backup or bypass the copy protection, then they should be legally required to issue refunds for software if that backup protection renders the software defective.

From my own personal experience, I bought KOTOR the first day it came out for PC. For some reason, when doing the cd check when launching, the game would hang about half of the time requiring a hard reset. After a couple weeks I got fed up and downloaded a no CD-crack and havent had a problem since.

My PC met all the requirements on the box, yet when it doesnt work properly because of stupid copy-protection schemes the publisher has no accountability to the consumer, yet *I'm* the one breaking the law (DMCA) when I take steps to make the damn thing usable?

If I bought a toaster and it only toasted half the time, I'd return it to the store and get a new one with an apology. Yet if it's software, why does consumer protection go right out the window?

Re:Maybe consumers should sue game makers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439033)

...because people just download a crack instead of going back to the store and publisher, and then their congressmen, and raise a big stink.

Re:Maybe consumers should sue game makers... (5, Insightful)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439051)

" If I bought a toaster and it only toasted half the time, I'd return it to the store and get a new one with an apology. Yet if it's software, why does consumer protection go right out the window?"
I think this is the case for a couple of reasons. Typically, to get consumer protection, it usually takes negative publicity to force the company and/or government intervention. Both of these take a motivated consumer group that is going to push for reform and has the power/money to make it happen. Also, a news story on 60 Minutes where some old grandma buys a toaster, it doesn't work as advertised, and the company won't make it right is a public relations nightmare. Some male between the age of 15 and 40 who can't play his computer game isn't going to receive much sympathy from the viewing public, if such a story were to even make it onto 60 Minutes.

Another issue that I see is the fact that most people have a very limited understanding of computers and the software running on them. Sure, you knew that the copy protection scheme was what was causing the problem. How many other people can figure that out? A lot of people don't know that copy protection schemes are leading to these problems and will instead blame it on their own computer instead of the company for including a mechanism to prevent theft.

So I guess we just need to get some old ladies playing KOTOR, call 60 Minutes, and start a rally to get some change.

Who cares? (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439025)

Has the DMCA really influenced anyone in doing what they want with their own property? I can do whatever I want with my software. I don't buy a license to use a game, a buy a copy of the game that is then mine to use/copy/destroy/modify as I wish.

It's impossible to make a legal backup (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439027)

No matter if you paid for the software yourself, if you need to bypass "any" kind of copy protection in order to perform a single backup for your own personal use, it is illegal. Even if it's just typing a single key to bypass protection. That is the DMCA at work.

So you want a legal way? I suppose software companies could just include a copy of the disc for you, they're dirt cheap to make. But I'd rather just backup my games to a nice raid 5 array.

These guys are whacked. (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439030)

The purpose of this software, and software like it, is *NOT* to circumvent copyright protection, as they would seem to have us believe.

It is to circumvent *COPY* protection, not copyright protection.

These two ideas are not one and the same... And they need to get it through their skulls that this is the case.

Re:These guys are whacked. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439159)

Um, they're very aware that copy protection and copyright protection are two different things. But they use the words interchangeably on purpose, because that way consumers begin to associate the two. It's like that whole Al Gore invented the internet versus helped create the internet thing. He said the latter, but the former, which is only subtly different, sounds much worse. So people always use the former. Not that the second one is much better, mind you, but the point is that as it has less punch people avoid it.

These sorts of word games are one of the most basic concepts in propaganda. It's like the whole apocryphal story about Bush bringing up 9/11 everytime Iraq was mentioned, and although he never specifically stated that the two were related, the end result was that most Americans thought the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens. This may actually be true but I'll be skeptical since I don't have a link to back it up, but anecdotally it demonstrates the point well.

RMS has similar problems with the terms "Intellectual Property", "Content Providers", and "Software Piracy", because these terms are designed to make people interpret a situation one way when it actually probably oughtn't to be.

I used to think that RMS was a hippie zealot tin-foil hat wearer, but I'm beginning to see what he's been going on about all these years. Free Software (using his definition of the word) is the only way to circumvent this kind of nonsense. When you have no corporate backing and the code is copied freely, it's very hard to sue anyone for it. When I first read his "Right to Read" I laughed my ass off. What a twat! But go reread it now. It's scary. Just imagine for a minute if he really is right about all that stuff he yammers on about.

Makes you think.

Re:These guys are whacked. (1)

corian (34925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439315)

It's like that whole Al Gore invented the internet versus helped create the internet thing. He said the latter, but the former, which is only subtly different, sounds much worse

Actually, he claimed that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet" (ref [cnn.com] ) which is a LOT closer to the former. "Taking the initiative" is a fundamental, creative role in producing something. "Assisting in" or "funding" is something completely different. If that's what he had meant, that's what he would have said.

DMCA exemption for obsolete games (4, Interesting)

radimvice (762083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439035)

A while back (Oct. 28, 2003), the Librarian of Congress granted certain classes of works a three-year exemption [copyright.gov] from the DMCA. The classes of interest are:

(2) Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete.

(3) Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and which require the original media or hardware as a condition of access. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.


I know these classes apply to old, obsolete console systems, but couldn't they apply to CD-ROM anti-circumvention programs for games that are no longer being manufactured, because in that case the original CD-ROMs themselves are the necessary systems? If so, copy-circumvention programs like this would have a legal, legitimate use.

Of more general concern is the fact that such special exemptions need to be made in the first place, suggesting that the whole DMCA is bogus in the first place.

i can't wait... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439040)

till there's a country that protects the rights of people to copy whatever they want. i believe some asian countries are close. i found it funny that the eurotrip dvd has the pirated version right on it.

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43ST POST ROR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439046)

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BPAC (2, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439063)

I know this has been posted here before, but ....

BPAC [adiungo.com]

Pissing off their customers. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439074)

I don't want to have to put a CD in the drive to play a game:

(1) CD drives spinning up and down as I'm playing drives me up the wall. They're noisy fuckers. I had a game (Black & White) kill a CD-drive because it accessed the disk constantly for about 3 hours as I was playing. The drive overheated, the plastic holding a cog in place softened - and the mechanism broke. I've never seen a game that would allow me to play 100% from the CD anyway - so what the hell are those game developers doing?

(2) I have a notebook computer. I'm not going to carry a bundle of CDs with me when I'm travelling. Period.

(3) Copy protection methods don't work. People who copy games were never going to buy them in the first place. It only opens the door to organised criminals, a black market - and limits market penetration. If people copy your game they're going to be more likely to buy a sequel.

Anyway, the game I play the most on my notebook is Quake 2 simply because it doesn't require a CD in the drive. Newer games are such a hassle to start:

(1) find game disk
(2) set DVD movie that was in the drive somewhere on the table
(3) put disk in drive
(4) close drive, wait for drive to spin up
(5) double-click game icon
(6) remove wrong disk from drive (disk 2, oops), insert disk 1 instead, click okay
(7) wait for drive to spin up
(8) sit through annoying uncancellable logo / fanfare. snicker that the logo looks better than the game itself
(9) navigate horrible 3D rendered main menu

Ironically, this ritual has made me appreciate online game much more. They have personalised keys, accounts and passwords. No stupid CD in the drive. It's relatively bliss.

Re:Pissing off their customers. (1)

SlashdotKeefey (786335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439102)

Exactly, the key to copy-protection (if copy protection is a must) is to use logical protection (unique keys that are server verified) rather than physical "protection" which, in the most part, is quite easy to overcome.

Re:Pissing off their customers. (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439246)

Why should I allow some company to know when I'm using their software and from where? No thanks. I'll keep running my outgoing-connection monitors, and if the software tries to connect to a server without notifying me and allowing cancellation, filing complaints with the developers.

Re:Pissing off their customers. (1)

SlashdotKeefey (786335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439259)

I suppose it's a case of if you want to use it enough, you'll allow it. I don't personally care if they know when I'm using it - and in the most part these places tend to be controlled by a third party intermediary (such as WON, Bit-Arts, and some others whose name escapes me). I suppose it also depends on the context and the nature of the information gathering.

Copy2pc?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439096)

Wasn't this all settled twenty years ago with copy2pc?

DRM only harms those who actually buy the software (5, Insightful)

tmundar (587769) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439106)

I have alway felt that all of the copy protection schemes only hurt those suckers (like me) who actually pay for the software. CDs won't last forever, and with no way to backup the games to another media (when CDs go the way of the floppy disk), the money I spend on copy protected software ends up being wasted.

The funny thing is, all of these copy protection schemes never stop the real pirates. You can find a cracked version of any popular piece of software. All that the software companies do when they attack a company that enables users to backup their software is stop a few amateurs from giving the games to their friends. Maybe they even drive a few to try to find another way to get the game for free, and suddenly the user who used to buy software finds out that they can get it all for free.

I have been burned by DRM in the past. I probably have paid about $1000 for games for my Amiga (a long time ago). I occasionally have a bout of nostalgia, and want to play some of my old games (that I paid for) through emulation. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a way to make image files of the copy protected games, and in order to play the games that I paid for, I had to find pirated versions of those games.

Now imagine it is 5 years from now and suddenly Microsoft somehow manages to push through "trusted computing" or some such, and the only way to play your older games is through emulation. Or more likely, one of the CDs for your favorite old game that you break out every once in a while starts having read errors. The game companies just tell you "too bad, sucker" because some people (or maybe even most people) out there might use the software to break a law and give the game to their buddy down the street.

I buy all of my software, or find a free alternative, and I actually have a legitimate use for backup software in order to protect the investment I have made in my software. It really annoys me that the software industry just assumes that all of us users are criminals.

Enacted by..... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439109)

Enacted by that great Democrat, Bill "blowjob" Clinton.

And people complain about Bush.........

When copyright law goes wrong (3, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439137)

I'd not be surprised if they'd call tools such as cp, dd and friends piracy tools as well - they interact with data in manners that can be used in piracy if used for such purpose. The only worse I've seen outside of trade organizations (and other antitrust law dodgers) is Novell in the 1990's who'd sue BBS's left and right (and brag about it).

Re:When copyright law goes wrong (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439252)

Now I'm curious; what did they sue for? I'd like to hear more about that.

I think copy protection is fine, but... (5, Insightful)

TimTr (124434) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439138)

Contrary to FSF beliefs and other moral pundits, I actually think copy protection should be totally legal, protected, and respected. A company should have the right to say "you have rights to ONE instance of this software and rights to use this ONE instance for every $40 you pay". You want it on two computers, you pay for running it on two computers (or you take the CD and bring it to the other CD.)

Here's the problem and why the game companies and other media companies are full of "stuff". Their argument is that the $40 for the game is due to the effort and IP contained on the CD. Totally true, and since that thought pays my salary, I love it. The problem is, if I scratch my CD or DVD, shouldn't I be able to replace it for the price of the media (like $1)? I still have rights to the value I paid $40 to own, right? The crappy media scratched or whatever, so the company should make it POSSIBLE for me to replace that media so I can continue to get my $40 value.

Companies need this policy: "send us your scratched CD and we'll replace it for shipping costs and $1" or "bring the CD to your game store and they will replace it for you for $1." The software company I work for sells software for up to millions of dollars - the last thing we would do if a customer's CD died is tell them "tough luck". Why do game companies think "tough luck" is an ok answer for a scratched $40 CD? And when someone tries to protect that $40 investment with a backup they want to stop it? Maybe they do think the CD itself is the value?

If they had this replacement policy, then this legal argument that these backup tools serve no purpose but piracy would be legit. As it stands right now, if I am paying $40 for "rights" to the contents of the CD, I should be able to back up those contents. Some people could use those for piracy, but until the industry comes up with a way to know the difference, then backup tools DO serve a legitimate purpose.

When I had to buy a replacement copy of an XBox game a year ago I sure wish I had a LEGAL backup DVD...

~Tim

Re:I think copy protection is fine, but... (1)

SlashdotKeefey (786335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439214)

It's all well and good a company saying you are entitled to one instance of an installation, but how does physical copy protection ensure this happens? It doesn't - you can take that CD and install it on as many PCs as you so wish, you just need the CD "key" to be able to play it on that machine. Per-seat licensing using this method rarely works. Plus, if I pay x amount of dollars for a piece of software, I want to be able to use that software wherever I am, whether it be on my laptop, or on my home desktop PC.

I have no qualms with companies protecting their intellectual rights, but I do think they go about it in the entirely wrong way. They effectively force people to obtain software they wanted legally through less-than-legal means.

Ironically, the Eisner Company agrees with you (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439328)

The problem is, if I scratch my CD or DVD, shouldn't I be able to replace it for the price of the media (like $1)?

Buena Vista Home Video has actually implemented this [go.com] . But that still doesn't end the boycott [losingnemo.com] .

A bit of Apple ][ nostalgia (4, Interesting)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439158)

Anyone remember Skeleton Keys? Back around 1979 or so, we used it to copy all the Apple ][ floppies we were selling AT AN AUTHORIZED APPLE RETAILER so we could have a backup. Customers could easily wipe the media they went home with, and they expected us to replace it. G #600 (boots a floppy? something? well, you see...)

This was innadaze of badly mimeographed manuals and a couple disks in a ziploc bag. BTW, that was the first ziploc bag usage I recall. Sue Glad, eh?

I still have an s.keyed "Wizard and the Princess" floppy here somewhere. How the HELL do you get past the snake???

From where I am standing (5, Interesting)

colonslashslash (762464) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439161)

Preventing people from making legal backups of their games that they purchased for $50 odd is insane.

That basically boils down to the fact that when you spend your hard earned 50 bucks, all you are getting is a CD / DVD disc (and hopefully a box and a manual), as you have no rights to do anything to the data contained on it.

That's one damn expensive disc.

Don't get me wrong, its their work and they should keep ownership rights, but for the money consumers pay for the product, they should at least have some freedom to copy the data providing it is for personal use. Whatever happend to "fair usage"? I can understand their concern over piracy, but from a business point of view, is screwing over your customers in an attempt to stop a few people getting the product for free really a wise move? Seems like the path most corporations and companies are travelling recently.

Also, by preventing your customers from copying the data, you are implying guilt before innocence, ie: people are more likely to be pirating than making legimate backups, so treat them as criminals by limiting their experience.

This is why all good software dies... (1)

Thaidog (235587) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439203)

Tightass companies... ok so knowbody uses this software for what it's supposed to be used for... *but* it is good software and does have a legitimate usage and there *is* demand for the product that is also legitimate.


So even though the demand is greater for the illegal usage of this product, does that really mean it should be killed?


The lawsuit after all would not have happened if the companies were not worried about the illegal usage of the product.

Re:This is why all good software dies... (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439307)

I seem to recall someone suing the manufacturer of an FTP client because the FTP client could be used to download illegal files. Or was it a newsreader? I don't remember. In any case, they had literally years to sue -- FTP and NNTP are very old, both -- and never raised a fuss then. All of a sudden they started bitching.

Software that can make bit-for-bit copies has been around for a long time. The way I see it, these people need to be laughed at and told they should have complained a long time ago, and thus no longer have any justification. It's kind of like waiting ten years to whine someone stepped on your toes.

Without backups (3, Insightful)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439209)

You're basically just renting the game until the CD is damaged beyond usability. At an inflated price nonetheless, to pay for all their extra work, lawsuits, lobbying, and lost sales due to copy protection.

I can still listen to my music, despite some of the original CD's having turned into coasters, frisbees, or messes of shattered plastic. Had my purchases died with the CD's, I'd be out of luck.

I expect the same courtesy with my games. And it's not just the backup issue. "Copy protection" doesn't always work like it should, causing other problems. But since copy protection is now so widespread, my gaming budget has gone to the open source crowd. Commercial game developers don't want my money anymore, so now I just give it away freely to those who've earned it. $70 in the past year to support open source games, of which none of them demanded anything, only $20 to buy two commercial games from the bargain rack, and no piracy ever.

I hope they ignore first-amendment arguments (2, Interesting)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439210)

I truly hope they skip the 1st-Amendment arguments entirely. There was an early case in computers involving a user making backup copies of software, and the software maker tried to sue him for violating copyright. IIRC the judge in that case not only ruled that making backup copies of computer software was fair use under copyright law (and the DMCA specifically says that nothing in it may be construed as limiting fair-use rights) but that any license provision purporting to take away or limit those rights wasn't legal. That right there would take the legs right out from under the game company's case, and would leave 'em with the hard argument to make that the courts should ignore existing precedent.

fuck the lawyers, just use alcohol 120% (2, Informative)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439221)

i use alcohol 120% from http://www.alcohol-software.com and it kicks some serious ass. Bypasses every game protection i ran into, and i can emulate cd's so i dont need the fucking cd to play the games i've LEGALLY have purchased. EA, eat me lusers, i've paid for my copy of 1942, and i'll use it any goddamn way i PLEASE.

Re:fuck the lawyers, just use alcohol 120% (3, Informative)

lendude (620139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9439321)

Amen to that! I use DiskJuggler to rip an image of my legally purchased game cds, and mount them as virtuals using Daemon Tools. Quite apart from the issue of damage to original cds, the bullshit cd checks on level loads for some games means load times are preposterous off the inserted original cd: if game developers cared two hoots about user experience then surely if I've got a valid cd licence code the friggin' game doesn't have to verify this every map load?

They got my dollars - are they seeking to guarantee further payments upon the inevitable damage to the original cd?

WINE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9439320)

A lot of copy protection algorithms use drivers that are highly specific to Windows. Therefore the only way to play legitimately bought games with WINE (not Transgaming's WineX - they've licensed varying forms of copy-protection) is to crack them.

(Not only this, there is no guarantee whatsoever that these protection algorithms will still work on Windows Longhorn or 2010 and some of these games that can only be considered a form of art may be lost under the bulk of these drooling lawyers! - but I digress.)

I for one would be extremely annoyed if the copanies denied me pretty much the only way I can play their games - stopping me from using them on anything BUT Windows and refusing to release them FOR anything but Windows is a rather underhanded and short-sighted tactic at best.
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