History Main / CopyProtection

10th Oct '17 6:02:32 PM RAMChYLD
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** Blizzard eventually admitted that ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'''s "always online" requirement was partially due to copy protection. While the game sold well, it got a huge amount of negative publicity. Many people ''could not play the game when it came out'' due to server overload, leading to the infamous "error 37" MemeticMutation. The game's console ports do havr offline play.

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** Blizzard eventually admitted that ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'''s "always online" requirement was partially due to copy protection. While the game sold well, it got a huge amount of negative publicity. Many people ''could not play the game when it came out'' due to server overload, leading to the infamous "error 37" MemeticMutation. The game's console ports do havr have offline play.



* ''VideoGame/CaptainComic''/ If you're playing a copied version of the second game, at one point (quite some time into the game) when you try teleporting to the next level you instead end up in an unescapable room where a native chides you with the following: "Captain, I'm afraid you have made a terrible mistake. You failed to obtain a certain object you should have had from the start of your adventure. Since this object is not very expensive, you should go and obtain it before you venture any further."

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* ''VideoGame/CaptainComic''/ ''VideoGame/CaptainComic'' If you're playing a copied version of the second game, at one point (quite some time into the game) when you try teleporting to the next level you instead end up in an unescapable room where a native chides you with the following: "Captain, I'm afraid you have made a terrible mistake. You failed to obtain a certain object you should have had from the start of your adventure. Since this object is not very expensive, you should go and obtain it before you venture any further."



** ''Fallout 3'' also uses Games For Windows Live as a secondary copy protection method (the key is checked against GFWL to ensure that it is being used with the account that is registered with the key). Games For Windows Live has since ceased operation. Guess what happened next. Also, it has been found that installing GFWL on Windows 10 has very severe consequences, read: it wrecks the computer's networking stack and as a result the computer can no longer connect to the internet unless the user pulls off a system restore.

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** ''Fallout 3'' also uses Games For Windows Live as a secondary copy protection method (the key is checked against GFWL to ensure that it is being used with the account that is registered with the key). Games For Windows Live has since ceased operation. Guess what happened next.Predictably, copies of the game now refuse to run ''at all'' unless a ''cracked'' GFWL library is installed to trick the game into working. Also, it has been found that installing GFWL on Windows 10 has very severe consequences, read: it wrecks the computer's networking stack and as a result the computer can no longer connect to the internet unless the user pulls off a system restore.
1st Oct '17 2:42:55 PM Romagnadvoratrelundar
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* Activation seems to be the latest craze. Any programs that do not use a hardware dongle will use this instead. The way this works is, after you install the software, the software will generate a checksum string from all existing devices in your PC and forward it along with the serial number to the developers' servers. You '''will''' be forced to let the software ''phone home'', since until you activate the software will run in trial mode with several annoying features thrown in (ie it will become timebombed, and will lock you out of the software until it is activated). When you reinstall the software, you will be forced to reactivate. The system sends the new checksum to the servers, and the server will determine if too much has changed (i.e. if more than x amounts of part has changed, the user must be attempting to install the software on a new PC, a possible sign of piracy), and if it does determine that too much has changed, it will refuse to activate and force you to place a phone call to the developers, hoping they will allow you to clear system so you can reactivate. Unfortunately, for people who upgrade heavily at regular intervals, this becomes a major annoyance.
** Microsoft started using Activation with Windows XP and Office XP. It was slightly altered in Windows 10 in that you do not need to provide a product key when reinstalling Windows on a previously activated system--Windows still phones home but it knows that the current hardware corresponds to an activated system, essentially providing a hardware dongle.
*** OEM computers starting with those that came bundled with Windows 7 and later did away with authentication stickers that contain the product key, instead embedding the serial into the BIOS itself, to which Windows or the installer looks up to activate the system as a legitimate copy. This made it a pain for those who would like to take a written record of the serial in a pinch, as you need to view it through special software like [=ProduKey=] but at least you wouldn't lose it as easily as having the said sticker fade away or get torn off over time due to rough handling.

to:

* Activation seems to be the latest craze. Any programs that do not use a hardware dongle will use this instead. The way this works is, after you install the software, the software will generate a checksum string from all existing devices in your PC and forward it along with the serial number to the developers' servers. You '''will''' be forced to let the software ''phone home'', since until you activate the software will run in trial mode with several annoying features thrown in (ie it will become timebombed, and will lock you out of the software until it is activated). When you reinstall the software, you will be forced to reactivate. The system sends the new checksum to the servers, and the server will determine if too much has changed (i.e. if more than x amounts of part has changed, the user must be attempting to install the software on a new PC, a possible sign of piracy), and if it does determine that too much has changed, it will refuse to activate and force you to place a phone call to the developers, hoping they will allow you to clear system so you can reactivate. Unfortunately, for people who upgrade heavily at regular intervals, this becomes a major annoyance.
annoyance.
** Microsoft started using Activation made activation universal with Windows XP and Office XP.XP (they had previously used it for Office 2000, but only for copies sold in certain geographic regions, and even those versions stopped requiring activation on 15 April 2003). It was slightly altered in Windows 10 in that you do not need to provide a product key when reinstalling Windows on a previously activated system--Windows still phones home but it knows that the current hardware corresponds to an activated system, essentially providing a hardware dongle.
*** OEM computers starting with those that came bundled with Windows 7 and later did away with authentication stickers that contain the product key, instead embedding the serial into the BIOS itself, to which Windows or the installer looks up to activate the system as a legitimate copy. This made it a pain for those who would like to take a written record of the serial in a pinch, as you need to view it through special software like [=ProduKey=] but at least you wouldn't lose it as easily as having the said sticker fade away or get torn off over time due to rough handling. handling.
*** Activation has become less and less necessary with each successive version of Windows since its introduction:
**** Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 become completely unusable if not activated within 30 days (the system boots directly to the activation wizard, which must be completed successfully in order to access the rest of the operating system).
**** The original release of Windows Vista would still boot if not successfully activated within 30 days, but only into a reduced-functionality mode where some of the "premium" features of the OS (such as the built-in games) would be disabled. The additional effects of being in reduced-functionality mode came in two versions: if Vista had merely been installed for more than 30 days without being activated, the system would begin rebooting every hour, while if the user had ''tried but failed'' to activate it, they would be blocked from receiving non-critical updates (thus [[DidntThinkThisThrough making it potentially more of an inconvenience for people who simply ''forgot'' to activate Windows, and thus providing an incentive to try activating Windows with a cracked product key, even if the attempt would ultimately fail]]).
**** Vista SP1 and onwards and all versions of Windows 7, Server 2008, and Server 2008 R2 are no longer restricted to reduced-functionality mode once the grace period expires; instead, a watermark stating "This copy of Windows is not genuine" appears in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, Windows updates are blocked except for critical security patches (Microsoft's interest in keeping malware from spreading via out-of-date Windows systems apparently outweighs their interest in making people pay for their software), and the operating system will periodically set the desktop background to black and display pop-ups reminding the user to activate Windows.
**** With Windows 8 and later, there is no grace period following installation (the functionality is still present, but must be manually triggered using the ''slmgr /rearm'' command; the grace period no longer starts upon installation), but the only consequence of not activating is that the built-in personalisation features are disabled and the system displays a watermark similar to the aforementioned one used for the Vista/7 family.



** Actually, older commercial [=DVDs=] are copy-protected using a copy-protection routine called CSS. When a DVD player detects that a DVD is protected by CSS, it switches on a circuit built into the player that generates the Macrovision signal over all it's analog outputs. Needless to say, CSS was one of the first things hackers set out to crack when the format was released. Later [=DVDs=] combine CSS with Sony's [=ARccOS=] (mentioned below) and/or Cinevia to make life more difficult for people who backup their [=DVDs=]. It should be noted, however, that a number of cheap region-free DVD players also lacks the Macrovision generator module.

to:

** Actually, older commercial [=DVDs=] are copy-protected using a copy-protection routine called CSS. When a DVD player detects that a DVD is protected by CSS, it switches on a circuit built into the player that generates the Macrovision signal over all it's analog outputs. Needless to say, CSS was one of the first things hackers set out to crack when the format was released. Later [=DVDs=] combine CSS with Sony's [=ARccOS=] (mentioned below) and/or Cinevia to make life more difficult for people who backup their [=DVDs=]. It should be noted, however, that a number of cheap region-free DVD players also lacks the Macrovision generator module. CSS is now obsolete, not least because [[TechnologyMarchesOn it can be easily brute-forced within seconds by even the lowest-end PCs available nowadays]].
24th Sep '17 9:17:46 AM Malady
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* The original ''Print Shop'' by {{Broderbund}} for MS-DOS has a pretty silly one. If you perform a straight-on disk clone using the diskcopy command, the copy would flash a message saying that it is an unauthorized copy and refuse to proceed. However, the software comes with a ''backup program'' which can be used to make a perfect working copy of the software, and copies made using said backup program will also contain the backup program, which then could be used to copy the backup, which... you get the idea. It is also worth noting that while the backup program will destroy itself on the original disk once it's run, the program will still exist on the backup copy's disk. Additionally, the backup program is just a batch file, so it can be easily defanged such that it can be used an unlimited amount of times.

to:

* The original ''Print Shop'' by {{Broderbund}} Creator/{{Broderbund|Software}} for MS-DOS has a pretty silly one. If you perform a straight-on disk clone using the diskcopy command, the copy would flash a message saying that it is an unauthorized copy and refuse to proceed. However, the software comes with a ''backup program'' which can be used to make a perfect working copy of the software, and copies made using said backup program will also contain the backup program, which then could be used to copy the backup, which... you get the idea. It is also worth noting that while the backup program will destroy itself on the original disk once it's run, the program will still exist on the backup copy's disk. Additionally, the backup program is just a batch file, so it can be easily defanged such that it can be used an unlimited amount of times.
15th Sep '17 8:40:43 PM nombretomado
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* In the {{Macintosh}} game ''VideoGame/EnchantedScepters'', if you're playing a pirated copy, the game will randomly teleport you to the Arena, where you have to fight a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and will probably die. It also displays the message "The pirates laugh 'Har, har, har!'"

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* In the {{Macintosh}} UsefulNotes/{{Macintosh}} game ''VideoGame/EnchantedScepters'', if you're playing a pirated copy, the game will randomly teleport you to the Arena, where you have to fight a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and will probably die. It also displays the message "The pirates laugh 'Har, har, har!'"
14th Sep '17 12:12:39 AM RAMChYLD
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** Actually, older commercial [=DVDs=] are copy-protected using a copy-protection routine called CSS. When a DVD player detects that a DVD is protected by CSS, it switches on a circuit built into the player that generates the Macrovision signal over all it's analog outputs. Needless to say, CSS was one of the first things hackers set out to crack when the format was released. Later [=DVDs=]combine CSS with Sony's [=ARccOS=] (mentioned below) and/or Cinevia to make life more difficult for people who backup their [=DVDs=]. It should be noted, however, that a number of cheap region-free DVD players also lacks the Macrovision generator module.

to:

** Actually, older commercial [=DVDs=] are copy-protected using a copy-protection routine called CSS. When a DVD player detects that a DVD is protected by CSS, it switches on a circuit built into the player that generates the Macrovision signal over all it's analog outputs. Needless to say, CSS was one of the first things hackers set out to crack when the format was released. Later [=DVDs=]combine [=DVDs=] combine CSS with Sony's [=ARccOS=] (mentioned below) and/or Cinevia to make life more difficult for people who backup their [=DVDs=]. It should be noted, however, that a number of cheap region-free DVD players also lacks the Macrovision generator module.
9th Sep '17 6:16:54 PM nombretomado
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* Most commercially released Laserdisc, DVD and BluRay discs are copy-protected by Macrovision. It prevents the disc on making bootleg copies.

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* Most commercially released Laserdisc, DVD and BluRay UsefulNotes/BluRay discs are copy-protected by Macrovision. It prevents the disc on making bootleg copies.
4th Sep '17 6:26:41 PM BuddyBoy600alt
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Added DiffLines:

** The first movie that to have a home video released to be copy-protected by Macrovision is ''Film/TheCottonClub''.
31st Aug '17 4:36:02 AM HalcyonDayz
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*** It is possible to work around this through freeware tools which allow the MAC address to be changed. In addition to this, certain [[http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/303614-realtek-rtl81688111-optimized-driver-with-mac-address-customization/ third-party LAN drivers]] such as those used on Hackintoshed PCs have an option for MAC address spoofing without any additional software.

to:

*** It is possible to work around this through freeware tools which allow the MAC address to be changed. In addition to this, certain [[http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/303614-realtek-rtl81688111-optimized-driver-with-mac-address-customization/ third-party LAN drivers]] such as those used on Hackintoshed PCs [=PCs=] have an option for MAC address spoofing without any additional software.
30th Aug '17 7:43:37 AM RAMChYLD
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* Valve Software's UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} is its online download and updating system, used to distribute Valve's games, first-party mods and quite a few other titles they have contracted in. It's usually cited as "DRM done right" by those who believe such a thing is possible. However, at the time of its original release, late 2004, DRM was nowhere near as common as it is now, and many players, who purchased the retail boxed copy, were understandably annoyed that they would have to install a separate program that runs in the background in order to prove that they weren't thieves. In addition, initially they had to connect to the Internet every time they wished to play the single-player game. Valve eventually removed this, and by now retail sales of their games have been dwarfed by digital sales, meaning most of their players already have Steam anyway. The latest version also gives the player the option of allowing Steam to continue downloading a game in the background while another game is running in foreground, and even allow "game sharing", in which a user will have the option of sharing their game with other Steam users on the same PC. And work is in progress to allow for multiple instances running on multiple [=PCs=], primarily to allow for game streaming from one PC to another or to a Steam Machine, but with the nice side effect of letting enthusiasts with multiple [=PCs=] update one PC while playing a game on another. It is worth noting, however, that Steam is one of a handful of DRM systems to deliberately prevent players from reselling or giving away their used games. Steam also avoids a common issue with copy protection software -- the inability to install a single copy of a game on multiple computers. On a growing number of games, it even works cross-platform now. However, it still has one downside- you still need to remember to tell Steam to go into offline mode before you lose connection from the internet (although, if you do open Steam without an active internet connection, it gives you the option to load it in offline mode, but the option apparently doesn't work ''unless'' you have used "Go Offline" at least once within the last week when there was still an active internet connection). If you forgot to put Steam into Offline mode before going on vacation to somewhere without proper internet access, you'll end up searching desperately for a [=WiFi=] hotspot the next time you try to fire up the game on your laptop.

to:

* Valve Software's UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} is its online download and updating system, used to distribute Valve's games, first-party mods and quite a few other titles they have contracted in. It's usually cited as "DRM done right" by those who believe such a thing is possible. However, at the time of its original release, late 2004, DRM was nowhere near as common as it is now, and many players, who purchased the retail boxed copy, were understandably annoyed that they would have to install a separate program that runs in the background in order to prove that they weren't thieves. In addition, initially they had to connect to the Internet every time they wished to play the single-player game. Valve eventually removed this, and by now retail sales of their games have been dwarfed by digital sales, meaning most of their players already have Steam anyway. The latest version also gives the player the option of allowing Steam to continue downloading a game in the background while another game is running in foreground, and even allow "game sharing", in which a user will have the option of sharing their game with other Steam users on the same PC. And work is in progress to allow for multiple instances running on multiple [=PCs=], primarily to allow for game streaming from one PC to another or to a Steam Machine, but with the nice side effect of letting enthusiasts with multiple [=PCs=] update one PC while playing a game on another. It is worth noting, however, that Steam is one of a handful of DRM systems to deliberately prevent players from reselling or giving away their used games. Steam also avoids a common issue with copy protection software -- the inability to install a single copy of a game on multiple computers. On a growing number of games, it even works cross-platform now. \\\
However, it still has one downside- you still need to remember to tell Steam to go into offline mode before you lose connection from the internet (although, if you do open Steam without an active internet connection, it gives you the option to load it in offline mode, but the option apparently doesn't work ''unless'' you have used "Go Offline" at least once within the last week when there was still an active internet connection). If you forgot to put Steam into Offline mode before going on vacation to somewhere without proper internet access, you'll end up searching desperately for a [=WiFi=] hotspot the next time you try to fire up the game on your laptop. Also, offline mode only lasts a fortnight at a time and you'll need to validate with Valve again after that to extend the period (Valve never mentions this, but it's all over the Discussion pages). So you'll not only need to remember to put Steam into offline mode before losing internet connection, you'll also need to hope that you can arrive at a spot with public internet connection ''before'' the two weeks are up.
30th Aug '17 7:14:55 AM HalcyonDayz
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** Actually, older commercial DVDs are copy-protected using a copy-protection routine called CSS. When a DVD player detects that a DVD is protected by CSS, it switches on a circuit built into the player that generates the Macrovision signal over all it's analog outputs. Needless to say, CSS was one of the first things hackers set out to crack when the format was released. Later DVDs combine CSS with Sony's [=ARccOS=] (mentioned below) and/or Cinevia to make life more difficult for people who backup their DVDs. It should be noted, however, that a number of cheap region-free DVD players also lacks the Macrovision generator module.

to:

** Actually, older commercial DVDs [=DVDs=] are copy-protected using a copy-protection routine called CSS. When a DVD player detects that a DVD is protected by CSS, it switches on a circuit built into the player that generates the Macrovision signal over all it's analog outputs. Needless to say, CSS was one of the first things hackers set out to crack when the format was released. Later DVDs combine [=DVDs=]combine CSS with Sony's [=ARccOS=] (mentioned below) and/or Cinevia to make life more difficult for people who backup their DVDs.[=DVDs=]. It should be noted, however, that a number of cheap region-free DVD players also lacks the Macrovision generator module.
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