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View Full Version : The end of piracy - according to this dude



DavidP
05-26-2008, 02:24 PM
Check out this article:

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/encryption-chip-will-end-piracy-open-markets-says-bushnell

It was linked from slashdot. Personally I think it's a bunch of fluff. There will always be a way to get around security measures.

Salem
05-26-2008, 02:33 PM
This previous "technical marvel" lasted all of a month before the walls fell.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3264631.stm

Then when people realise they can't upgrade their hardware and still play, roll in the lawyers, or watch their market share evaporate.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7414323.stm

mike_g
05-26-2008, 03:08 PM
I have inadvertently discovered a good way to stop piracy: make a prog thats so difficult to setup you need a technician to do it for you.

Mario F.
05-26-2008, 03:55 PM
Ah yes, you discovered Vista.

zacs7
05-26-2008, 06:30 PM
Hasn't something similar been attempted before? On a smaller scale with CD/DVDs

Anyway, the article claims to be able to stop piracy in Asia and India ... er where do you think motherboards are made? It'd take one company not to put the chip in and they'd destroy the competition.

Mario F.
05-26-2008, 08:07 PM
If instead of concentrating only in the gaming industry leading software developers joined efforts, a chip like this - assuming it works as advertised - could have practical applications in office computers (computers in a working environment, to clarify).

Two years ago, a leading national computer assembly company over here had a surprise inspection. Around, if memory serves me right, 70% of the computers bore illegal software. Of those 10% only contained illegal software; from the OS to the applications. The fine was elephantine and yet the company spent tens of thousands yearly in licenses.

EDIT: to clarify, the computers found to contain illegal software were the ones used by company, not the ones assembled, of course. These last are equipped according to the OEM contracts. Heck, they would be closed down if those were the ones.

maxorator
05-27-2008, 01:25 AM
Then one motherboard manufacturer decides to produce motherboards without that chip and other manufacturers go bankrupt...

I guess some manufacturers care more about the business than "customer protection".

About the system itself. It says the CD-key check will be done by the chip and nothing will stop it. Why can't crackers just NOP the whole part that communicates with the chip?

If they can't attack the part which is protected by the protection system, they will attack the protection system itself.

Elysia
05-27-2008, 02:38 AM
Hoho. Cracks, anyone? They remove the need for a key and medium in the first place - hence nothing to check!
No, piracy will still be there. More difficult to pirate? Sure. But they won't ever completely get rid of it. That's ridiculous to think. But efforts to stop illegitimate piracy is good. As long as it doesn't hinder legal customers.

CornedBee
05-27-2008, 03:02 AM
Then one motherboard manufacturer decides to produce motherboards without that chip and other manufacturers go bankrupt...
If it worked that way, one graphics board manufacturer would have produced graphics boards without DRM support and - through lowered cost - would be swiping the floor with the competition now.
But with DRM support, those HD movies won't work at all. So the companies add the support, because otherwise their hardware is crippled.

It's the same with the TPM chip. Don't have the chip? Sorry, you don't get to play those new games. Should have chosen a different vendor.

manav
05-27-2008, 03:03 AM
In a way piracy can be stopped.

Suppose I get a pirated Vista for $2, along with that, I get, all kind of legal baffles, all kind of security issues, bad name from MS (:D) and a self cursing ego(?) etc. etc.

Now suppose MS is giving Vista for free. Would not that just stop the piracy?

zacs7
05-27-2008, 05:19 AM
> Now suppose MS is giving Vista for free. Would not that just stop the piracy?
What?! "Give me it for free or I'm going to steal it". :\

You can't blame someone for selling something they made. Vista itself has created thousands of jobs worldwide (mostly due to it ;)).

manav
05-27-2008, 05:55 AM
> Now suppose MS is giving Vista for free. Would not that just stop the piracy?
What?! "Give me it for free or I'm going to steal it". :\
No need to steal, I never steal Linux, and, I never used pirated Linux either.


You can't blame someone for selling something they made. Vista itself has created thousands of jobs worldwide (mostly due to it ;)).
I was day dreaming :rolleyes: :o

abachler
05-27-2008, 06:46 AM
But with DRM support, those HD movies won't work at all. .

There are software packages out that remove the DRM requirement. DRM may thwart casual piracy, but it has no hope of stopping the india/asia piracy, since that is organized, even if at a small scale.

This new chip will be the same, the problem with passowrds adn secret codes is unless the industry is going to trust one guy to hold the code, and noone else can extract it from his chips, and they can bet their billions on him not getting hit by a car, then someone will have access to the code and it WILL leak. Once its out its out. just look at the 09 code for DVD's.

What differentiates a legitimate copy of an HD DVD from an illegitimate copy in the eyes fo the DVD player? Certainly the copies can contain all the same encryption as the original, it is after all a digitally identical copy. So I have to have a motherbaord with the TPS report, err I mean TPM chip. Since all the motherboards have it anyway, this is no issue. Now when my legitimate software wont work because the TPS report, sorry again, TPM chip in my new system doesnt work with my old password and I have to download a cracked version of the software I already own, that is just inconveniencing your customers. This scenario has caused more than one company to go out of business. Competition in teh software industry is too high for any company with their feces amalgamated to risk using the TPS reports, damn sorry again, TPM chips.

manav
05-27-2008, 06:57 AM
...
Anyway, the article claims to be able to stop piracy in Asia and India ... er where do you think motherboards are made? It'd take one company not to put the chip in and they'd destroy the competition.


There are software packages out that remove the DRM requirement. DRM may thwart casual piracy, but it has no hope of stopping the india/asia piracy, since that is organized, even if at a small scale.
I thought our neighboring country is doing the piracy. Considering, that, even the movies which are not released yet, are there on CD/DVDs :confused:
Do not blame India for music/movie piracy. We are also affected by this.

Software piracy? Well that is a different issue. People do it without even realizing it. Although presently MS Ads on TV are creating awareness for users.

indigo0086
05-27-2008, 06:59 AM
You can't blame someone for selling something they made.

He can

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman

matsp
05-27-2008, 07:11 AM
He can

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman

Read the article you linked - it's not the charge that he's opposing as such, but the ability to modify the software that is the key to Free Software. Whilst it's also prominently distributed at nominal charge, it's not the primary motivation to Open Source & Free Software.

--
Mats

indigo0086
05-27-2008, 07:27 AM
Well that's not the only resource that you can hear Stallman's "Philosophy". There are others where he believes software is just an electronic version of software and therefore should not be charged for (I've heard the philosophy juxtaposed to the idea that math is free [I was confused a bit when I first heard that]). And not to mention his claims that microsoft are "The great satan". He's quite a character.

I like Linus a bit more, he's a little more chill.

CornedBee
05-27-2008, 08:18 AM
This scenario has caused more than one company to go out of business. Competition in teh software industry is too high for any company with their feces amalgamated to risk using the TPS reports, damn sorry again, TPM chips.
True. The HD media DRM had the force of the media industry behind it. They could dictate terms to computer manufacturers because they have an alternative platform. The gaming industry doesn't really have an alternative (they could go console-only, but the losses would be too great). They probably don't have the power to push the TPM chip through.

Thantos
05-27-2008, 08:35 AM
There is only one sure fire way to end piracy: Make it so there is no market for it. Of course there is no easy way to do that.

indigo0086
05-27-2008, 08:39 AM
There is only one sure fire way to end piracy: Make it so there is no market for it. Of course there is no easy way to do that.

brilliant.

Mario F.
05-27-2008, 01:07 PM
Closed systems offer no sure protection, but they make it harder and more expensive to create or use illegal material.

the chip is a good idea. And I would think twice before calling it ridiculous. Again, there are some domains where it may make sense. The ball is then passed to the software side... will they take advantage of it? No?

Scenario:

- Computers being sold with the chip aimed at offices.
- Software vendors provide their software versions as normal (Home, Professional, Enterprise, LLite, etc...). In the presence of the chip this software activates its security code and takes advantage of it. If no chip exists, softare behaves normally.

Far fetched? Only if we consider the chip is patented and probably the maker would request huge amounts of money from software vendors. But not so much if the necessary technology is made available by someone in a garage...

I know for a fact many companies would love a way to stop the introduction of illegal software in their offices.

GanglyLamb
05-27-2008, 01:53 PM
I know for a fact many companies would love a way to stop the introduction of illegal software in their offices.

Where I did my internship last year they could monitor everything that was being installed. Dont know with which software it was done anyhow, a person who was in charge of software distribution etc would get a warning message as soon as someone installed some software (software that was not in some kind of list that contained all the legally purchased software from that part of the company/office).

It's not a way to stop piracy but it sure was a good way of controlling it in an office environment.I still remember the day I installed some free text editor -textpad I think- and 30 minutes (and a reboot - it was on a windows xp) later this guy jumps into the office yelling at me that Notepad is by default on the windows xp installation so "why bother installing another text editor", the guy probably never heard of syntax highlighting etc, but still it proved that the system really worked.

Probably worked by having some script being run at startup and communicating with the AD (since that was also the way they pushed new software onto the systems). Again, its probably easy to just have the script not run on startup or something, but then again, a random poll from some server would still be able to do this.

Bottomline: every system either has a flaw that can be used to go around it.... be it programatically and by using the correct way around it, or by spending enough time on the way to go around it... reminds me of the chinese wall ... you can try to bust it at any random spot, o try to find the weak spot which might take longer, or walk around it which might even take longer.

Thantos
05-27-2008, 02:02 PM
I'm glad work doesn't check my computer that closely. I have a lot of free (legally) software that makes my job easier. I have absolutely no problem with finding a tool and installing it when I need to. The only sucky part is when the software needs admin rights to do the install :(

DavidP
05-27-2008, 02:59 PM
At my internship we have admin rights to our computers :D and we have free reign to install any legal software which we deem necessary.

Mario F.
05-27-2008, 03:46 PM
I don't seem to recall anywhere where I didn't have admin rights. However, if some work environment is ran on *nix machines, it would make a lot of sense to not provide employees with that level of access.

Meanwhile, not allowing the installation of any software is perhaps a little too extreme, but each company is free to employ their own strategies, being that gargantuous measures may indeed make sense in some environments. But in those a certain level of freedom is allowed, pirated software tends to spread like bush fire.

VirtualAce
05-27-2008, 03:50 PM
I think the industry could make up some of the money by discontinuing fruitless research into anti-piracy algos and systems that end up being broke in a day or so. What a waste of money.
Whoever sold the game and software companies on this copy protection stuff is going to the bank laughing all the way. It does not prevent people from copying the software and it costs a fortune to put on the disc. The only people that copy protection actually works for are those who don't illegally copy software in the first place which means the company using the copy protection has gained nothing.

So take the thousands spent on copy protection and invest it into research and development. Copy protection is utterly pointless since it can be thwarted at any time.

Thantos
05-27-2008, 04:02 PM
At my internship we have admin rights to our computers :D and we have free reign to install any legal software which we deem necessary.

I work for the state :(

abachler
05-27-2008, 08:12 PM
I'm glad work doesn't check my computer that closely. I have a lot of free (legally) software that makes my job easier. I have absolutely no problem with finding a tool and installing it when I need to. The only sucky part is when the software needs admin rights to do the install :(

I couldnt do my job without admin rights. None of the software I write could install for testing. I agree about wastign money on copy protection, unfortunatelyteh peole makign the big decisions don't understand the technology, btu they read an article in wired magazine and now think they are 'teh 1337 haxor'.

robwhit
05-27-2008, 09:09 PM
I don't seem to recall anywhere where I didn't have admin rights. However, if some work environment is ran on *nix machines, it would make a lot of sense to not provide employees with that level of access.Why would the OS matter? It's not like you're logging in to some sort of server as root for your working OS, right?

maxorator
05-28-2008, 02:40 AM
Why would the OS matter? It's not like you're logging in to some sort of server as root for your working OS, right?
The point is that in *nix systems you can do most necessary things without root access, while in Windows most of the things need it.

Not sure about it, but I guess that's what he meant...

medievalelks
05-28-2008, 06:48 AM
My favorite security measures are along the line of "shaming" users. Let's face it, crackers weren't going to buy your product anyway, but perhaps casual users who think it's OK or "not really stealing" can be shamed into buying or at least not stealing anymore if you show a big splash screen at startup, displaying the licensed user's name, company, etc.

Anyway, what I wouldn't give to have developed a product that people thought well enough about to crack.

zacs7
05-28-2008, 06:57 AM
> Let's face it, crackers weren't going to buy your product anyway
Actually a lot of them buy it just to crack it...

Mario F.
05-28-2008, 09:16 AM
Actually a lot of them buy it just to crack it...

Err... I would argue that. What usually happens is they either crack evaluations versions if these aren't crippleware (full featured software once activated) or have access to retail versions if they are crippleware or retail download only. I would think maybe a few buy software in order to crack it, but not "a lot of them" do it. Commercial software on the other hand is easy to get your hands on and either crack it or simply distribute it. Not all illegal software is the result of cracking. I know we know that, but it's good to keep that in mind.

There's nothing romantic about cracking. They aren't digital era Robin Hoods who spend their own money to give everyone "free" software. They aren't even doing it to give everyone "free" software. They do it for selfish reasons of pride, recognition, the idea of having a bigger john, even basic criminal instinct.

...

Meanwhile the argument piracy will always be around and we should concentrate our efforts elsewhere seems... you know, odd. Drugs will always be around and yet the methods and technology involved in catching dealers and couriers is ever evolving.

What perhaps should be done is lowering the hype and forcing the media to not be so ignorant. There's nothing worse than computer magazines that like catchy titles. Scum equivalents of The Sun. And these are predominant, whereas scientific oriented computer magazines can be counted with the fingers of one hand.

Solutions can be developed and implemented that target specific environments or situations. A search for more ideal and encompassing solutions can and should keep being investigated, be it software or hardware. When certain solutions are found, they should be announced for what they are worth and what they aren't worth.

A solution that claims to be the end of piracy is going to be meet by skepticism (at best) from the general population, and scorn and contempt by those in the industry. So, if the interest is in entering the market and profit from that solution, that type of announcements will always receive an ear pull from any marketing department in the world. That is, that's a terrible way to sell a product of this nature. This is particularly true because a product like this chip cannot benefit from the easily fooled. It needs to meet the requirements of the software and hardware industries which are much more knowledgeable than some 4th grade The Sun reader.

VirtualAce
05-28-2008, 07:12 PM
Meanwhile the argument piracy will always be around and we should concentrate our efforts elsewhere seems... you know, odd. Drugs will always be around and yet the methods and technology involved in catching dealers and couriers is ever evolving.


I fail to see how those two even relate since one is about illegal software and another is about something which truly affects a society and therefore should be monitored. Cracking and hacking affect sales but do so only for the company and publisher that wrote and/or published the software. It eventually raises prices....so we've heard...but does it really? For the most part games are still in the 50 dollar range for a good game. That hasn't changed from the early to mid 1980's. Atari 2600 games were about 50 bucks when they came out. Pitfall was 40, Yars Revenge was 50, etc, etc. Games today be they for the PC or console are still in that range. Of course you have the 'game of the year' packs that try to get you for 60 or 70 or the ever so unpopular tactic that Microsoft employed with Flight Simulator 2004 when they released 3 different versions that were essentially not all that different from each other.

Now has Windows or Word or any other apps really gone up that much since the 80's and 90's? I'd venture to say they have only gone up in response to demand. Usually high demand or high ratings equals high price and vice versa. We know illegal copying goes on and we know the numbers behind the losses but have companies really gone out of business because of this?
That is information I doubt we will ever be privy to.

I'm not saying illegal copying and such is not a problem but I am saying trying to prevent it on a wide scale is next to impossible. There are ways to completely root it out...however they cannot be implemented in the free market scheme we have in software and hope to succeed. This chip 'thing' will die off just like all those in the past that have tried to do the same thing.

GTA IV made $310 million on release which tells me there are a lot of people out there who are absolutely willing to pay good money for good products - or at least products that catch their attention. There is probably going to be another $100 million lost to illegal activities but I don't think Rockstar is gonna complain about the 310 million. Sims 2 has made millions with their little doll house simulator. I think there are enough people out there that will pay the money to support the industry to keep the industry thriving. There are always crooks but I still think the crooks lose in the end.

I've also seen copy protection schemes actually prevent honest users from using the product. Preventing the users who do pay for your product from using it to prevent the crooks who are going to use it regardless of what you do is a bit crazy in my book. I can copy every game and piece of software I own right now by just going to websites and downloading this or that. The scheme used is not preventing me from copying software. I am.