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Old 22 April 2006, 00:43   #1
Djay
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Piracy - the cure?

Following a different thread about Piracy...

...but i think this topic is different enough for its own thread...

Could piracy finally be fixed?

Example-

the PSP forced Firmware updates!

the XBOX 360 assigned code!

Your thoughts?

And why didnt it happen sooner?
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Old 22 April 2006, 01:39   #2
musashi5150
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No, I don't think piracy is 'fixed' - where there is a will, there's a way

An army of reverse engineering dudes attacks PSP firmware all the time and finds holes - and you can download the games and play them from a memory card. It makes life more difficult, but it can be done.

I'm not familiar with what the 'assigned code' is on the X360, so I can't comment on that.

I'd say copy protection has evolved along with the games themselves. Like in the early days of the Amiga copy protection was pretty simple and grew more complex as time went on - just like the games. PSX and PS2 were further generations, but they were cracked in time.

IMHO it's only a matter of time before any protection is cracked, there is a whole bunch of people all working towards a common goal after all

But of course custom media and stuff like that makes things more of a challenge...
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Old 22 April 2006, 02:06   #3
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the Xbox had Signed code and look what good that did

no matter what steps you put in place determined ppl will get round it one way or another. The only thing i will say finally protections are taking longer to break than ever and that in my view is a bad thing
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Old 22 April 2006, 02:12   #4
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the main difference with the PSP is that firmwares get cracked and exploits are found (GTA for example), but the problem is taking the console back to firmware 1.5, on later firmwares it could be done, but with 2.5 and above you cant downgrade the firmware and even if that gets solved by crackers then sony will just get software companies to bundle a newer firmware and force you to upgrade the firmware back...

... so you have a choice (as my downgrading buddie did), play "some" first gen games via ISO on memstick or upgrade back to newer firmware to play the new game he bought!

a brilliant anti-piracy method, yes, i grant you that it has been cracked but as with the v2.5fw it has taken ages for it to be cracked (and a very messy crack procedure it is) and even then they bought out v2.6fw before the crack for v2.5fw was finished...

oh and v3.00fw is out pretty soon... lol

for me that is a great way to stop piracy along with the fact that downgrading can *brick* your PSP!!!

so sony, i salute you!
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Old 22 April 2006, 12:32   #5
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Making a system practically hack proof is not possible, making it uneconomically hack proof (i.e. it would take too long to hack / cost too much money) is possible, but at a big cost to either the users or the vendor.

The economics of it is... most people dont pirate games all the time, it's just phreaks like us

To increase the cost of games and hardware across a range in order to force people like us, the minority, to buy games would be economic suicide, especially for console companies.

The best they can do is prevent ordinary 'lay persons' from being able to copy games at home, and clamp down on the sites offering downloads and modifications.

I see all these stats about how piracy is costing the industry 2 billion quid a year. I dont know about most people, but if it wasnt "free" then I probably wouldnt buy it anyhow.

If they chose a 100% propriatory medium with a drive that could never read CD's / DVD's, made it so that the drive had a propriatory interface (i.e. NOT IDE / SATA) so you couldnt swap out drives for a regular one, made it so that all the I/O (network, smart card etc) was incapable of "streaming" a game in. That would make almost any console uneconomical to hack.

Last edited by alexh; 22 April 2006 at 12:58.
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Old 22 April 2006, 12:50   #6
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Piracy wont be slowed down in a hurry. .If something warrants being hacked then it will be!

It's only a matter of time before the PSP is hacked properly and the firmware upgrades hacked and bypassed properly.. regardless of how often they upgrade it..

It's only time
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Old 22 April 2006, 13:03   #7
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The problem is with firmware you can upgrade it - thus meaning any code (even if you had a routine in place to check the header or signature or whatever) can be uploaded to the device and potentially remove any checks.

As said before in this thread if there is a way to actually put copy protection on something there must be a way to remove it. And it is only a matter of time.

I don't think there will ever be a time when theres nothing being pirated.

Even if things were free there'd still be somebody out there who would want to do something different.

Last edited by Macca; 22 April 2006 at 14:02.
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Old 22 April 2006, 13:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh
Making a system practically hack proof is not possible, making it uneconomically hack proof (i.e. it would take too long to hack / cost too much money) is possible, but at a big cost to either the users or the vendor.

I see all these stats about how piracy is costing the industry...

If they chose a 100% propriatory medium...
I really agree with Alexh here, all of his points a precisely what I was thinking.
• I’d never spend time on games that are crap, free or not
• Custom media, too much hassle for most

I wouldn’t waste time on most games that score around 80 or below in reviews (metacritic.com), even if they where free. I’ve got about say 10 titles on my DC, out of what 400? And it’s not that they are hard to get these days.

The DC had ha an interesting protection, if only the bios had been cleared of the code part that made it possible to boot CDR and the laser none CD compatible.

I guess the flipside of this is that the lock down makes me want to edit my console. I’ll make my xbox360 boot divxHD/Quiktime the first day it’s possible. The console is perfect in that regard, Digital output, internal storage, network streaming. It’s just locked to WMV that, well… is useless for me.

Another version of copy protection that is “effective” is the party/singstar/guitarhero games, add some hardware that effects the game play in a good way. Just not worth the hassle to copy them and then go out to buy some extras. I’m guessing the cost trade off is hard here tough.
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Old 22 April 2006, 14:02   #9
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Well everything can be modified as well. Even if they make unwritable media (such as the SNES cartridges) there comes other ways (such as CD adaptors for them).

As I sad where theres a will theres a way you can never make a device 100% piracy proof as history has shown. And there never will be because you need people devleoping on these machines that means there must be a way to write disks / cartridges / whatever for it and once this is out there then it's only a matter of time before that information is in the public domain.
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Old 22 April 2006, 14:27   #10
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The SNES & N64 cartridges were a standard ROM (with some EEPROM/flash). Because they were a standard they were easy to copy. If they had been propriatory chips the copiers wouldnt have happened. For example the SuperFX and DSP cartridges (StarFox, Mario Kart) were not supported for a long time.

Choose something completely propriatory and you have full control. It will cost more to make though. You'll need your own duplication machines etc.
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Old 22 April 2006, 14:27   #11
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A totaly cure to piracy allot of companies are investing in is the whole Web 2.0 Idea (google it and read up)
Software being run directly off companies servers over blisteringly fast internet connections would mean that theres no software out in the public domain to pirate!
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Old 22 April 2006, 15:17   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick_AKA
A totaly cure to piracy allot of companies are investing in is the whole Web 2.0 Idea (google it and read up)
Software being run directly off companies servers over blisteringly fast internet connections would mean that theres no software out in the public domain to pirate!
but it is being streamed to a users PC... so err.. crackers/hackers etc would get hold of the game and simply rebuild it!
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Old 22 April 2006, 17:44   #13
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Yes what happens if they remove the link does the game stop working? You have to remember internet lines and servers do go down and to support a small amount of people using the service concurrently (say 10,000) to download the entire game everytime (and you have to remember games nowadays are 4gb+) would be horrendous - so everything would be cached on the PC meaning the user has full access to modify the files.

With regards to AlexH's suggestion even propriatory hardware and software can be modified - you can't have full control over everything because that would mean only you are developing over it. Yes it may take time but thats all copy protection is - a delay mechanism.
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Old 22 April 2006, 17:44   #14
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Piracy won't ever be "fixed" , not in the most perfect of Communist/Nazi/Anglo-inspired dictatorship
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Old 23 April 2006, 01:56   #15
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You'll never stop piracy it can only be minimised. What I mean by that is making the mod chips harder to fit, so you'll have to pay someone to fit one for you, also ISP capping your download to so many GB a month. On the Xbox you have the soft mod and solderless mod chip options, with the ps2 you've got the swap magic option, or running the games from the harddrive with HD loader.
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Old 23 April 2006, 04:25   #16
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Everything is crackable, be it handheld firmware, satbox firmware, satbox protection.... If there are enough people who will benefit from the free s/w, it will be broken, simple as
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Old 23 April 2006, 06:14   #17
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oh you guys are going to love the newer DRM protection in the CPU, GPU and motherboard for newer IBM PC compatibles and the Vista operating system.

I think the XBOX 360 is already a good step towards 'uncrackable' software. True there will always be the hardware gurus who will figure out a work around, but when it's too hard for the mainstream users to continually patch/hack/reconfigure their hardware just to play a game, then the battle is won.

Piracy was killing the Amiga, years before Commodore's inept management did. Why would software developer's release stuff on a machine where it'd be copied and they'd get little/no return - when they could release it on Megadrive/SNES and have less issues with piracy (because not everyone had a cartridge copier or loader back then).
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Old 23 April 2006, 12:06   #18
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There was just as much if not even more piracy on the C64 and that turned out the best selling home computer of all time (at least somewhere on the top). There was also piracy on the PCs. The amiga wasn't the only platform with piracy. Piracy did not kill the amiga.
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Old 23 April 2006, 13:02   #19
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Piracy won't be stopped. Shit people are still hijacking boats in Asia and out in the international seas.

All I can say is to make the game cheaper, perhaps 10-15 pounds. By doing this they should get rid of the box, so you just buy a cd/dvd case. with a flashy insert. The will be a A4 copied piece of paper and the pdf and other languages should be available on the net.

If games were that damn cheap I'll be keen to buy it .
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Old 23 April 2006, 13:34   #20
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I wouldn't. Removing boxes and manuals would remove the main incentive to own the original, and there would be no point in collecting originals anymore. Thus going back to piracy because there really is no point in buying the originals anymore.
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