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Piracy

COMMENT | Emulation Is Conservation, Not Piracy

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Emulation, Piracy

COMMENT | Emulation Is Conservation, Not Piracy

In almost* every case, videogame piracy is indefensible, inexcusable and plain wrong. Behind every angry assertion of draconian DRM or Robin Hood-style heroism lurks gamers who just want something for nothing, willing to effectively steal copyrighted code that developers worked hard to create. It may seem like a victimless crime, and it's difficult to sympathise with faceless corporations who clearly aren't short of a few bob, but when even struggling indie developers find their inexpensive wares being distributed and charity bundles end up on torrents, the whole thing becomes a farce. I can't stop you doing it, but don't try to defend it.

However, the practice of emulating older games via downloaded (or user-created) ROMs is usually lumped into same murky waters by overzealous publishers, and I'm not convinced that's entirely fair. At all. This might seem like a hypocritical double standard, but when you look closer at the scene, emulation has more in common with Kew Gardens' Millenium Seed Bank than the Jolly Roger.

COMMENT | Emulation Is Conservation, Not Piracy

In a perfect world, copyright holders make their back catalogues readily-available to purchase at appropriate prices on current hardware, else classify ancient games as free-to-distribute abandonware. And in fairness, in this imperfect world, it does happen. For example, Sony provides a huge library of PSX games on the PlayStation Store for pocket money prices, while Nintendo's Virtual Console and SEGA's Mega Drive compilations are a step in the right direction. There's no excuse for downloading a Metal Gear Solid ISO when you can just buy it on the store - or an Earthbound ROM now that Nintendo have finally released it on Wii U. That's... well, that'd be stealing.

Unfortunately, for every legacy game that's managed to make it into the 21st century, dozens if not countless hundreds more are becoming an endangered species.

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Sports Interactive Spied On Football Manager Pirates With Booby-Trapped Crack, Collected IP Addresses

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Football Manager 2013, Piracy, Sega, Sports Interactive

Sports Interactive Spied On Football Manager Pirates With Booby-Trapped Crack, Collected IP Addresses

You couldn't make this up. The widely-distributed cracked version of Football Manager 2013 contained a flaw that automatically connected to Sports Interactive's servers, allowing them to record the IP address of everyone who played it. They've now published their findings, as opposed to sending round big strapping lads with cricket bats.

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Gears of War: Judgment Leaks Online, Microsoft Wave The Banhammer

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Banhammer, Epic Games, Gears of War: Judgment, Hackers, Microsoft Studios, Piracy, TPS games, Xbox 360 games

Gears of War: Judgment Leaks Online, Microsoft Wave The Banhammer

Well it was only a matter of time. Just as with Halo 4 before it, Gears of War: Judgment has leaked online, although it's done so a good month ahead of release; and, as with the Halo 4 debacle, Microsoft are threatening gamers with lifelong account and console bans if they're caught with illicit code.

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Hotline Miami Dev Makes Life Easy For Pirates

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Dennaton Games, Hotline Miami, Indie Games, PC games, Piracy

Hotline Miami Dev Makes Life Easy For Pirates

If You Can't Beat Them...

Indie developer Jonatan Söderström feels that it's impossible to stop people pirating the unflinchingly raw yet utterly brilliant Hotline Miami, and has therefore decided to make their lives easier instead.

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Ubisoft Refuses To Brand Always-On DRM As A "Mistake," Clarifies Conflicting Piracy Figures

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Always-on, DRM, PC games, Piracy, Ubisoft

Ubisoft Refuses To Brand Always-On DRM As A "Mistake," Clarifies Conflicting Piracy Figures

Ubisoft's decision to axe their exquisitely controversial always-on DRM policy came as good news this morning, but the publisher refuses to admit that their draconian piracy measures were a "mistake" on their part. What's more, they've also slightly elaborated on their recent "93-95%" piracy rate claim... which seemingly conflicted with the assertion that their DRM is actually working in the first place.

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Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate Hits "93-95%"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Free to play, PC games, Piracy, Ubisoft

Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate Hits "93-95%"

Free To Play A Priority

Ubisoft's Gamescom press conference revealed a massive new commitment to the burgeoning free to play market, which is apparently in response to a shocking statistic. CEO Yves Guillemot believes that "93 to 95 percent" of PC gamers who play Ubisoft's titles obtained them without paying, making free to play a more attractive option thanks to its global penetration and ease of access.

And yes, I had to read that statistic twice.

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REPORT: Suspected UK "Pirates" To Face £20 Appeal Fee

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Copyright, Digital Economy Act, Ed Vaizey, Ofcom, Paying to prove innocence, Piracy, Tories

REPORT: Suspected UK "Pirates" To Face £20 Appeal Fee

In an almost hilariously insidious new report, it's been proposed that internet users suspected of piracy face a £20 charge when brought under accusation, just to have the opportunity to clear their names.

Ofcom have outlined revised plans proposed to enforce the UK's controversial Digital Economy Act will result in those suspected of internet piracy having 20 working days to appeal against allegations of copyright infringement (issued by letter from ISPs), and being charged £20 for the privilege of doing so.

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CD Projekt State There Is No Future For DRM

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
CD Projekt, Diablo III, DRM, GOG.com, Guillaume Rambourg, Piracy

CD Projekt State There Is No Future For DRM

Decision To Not Use It "A Real No-Brainer"

In the aftermath of Diablo III’s troublesome launch, CD Projekt have once again come out taking the fight to DRM in games, simply stating that their online store GOG.com will never use DRM because “the truth is it does not work.”

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Sony Pull Everybody's Tennis From PS Store To Stop Piracy

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Everybody's Tennis, OTT, Piracy, Playstation Vita, PS Vita, PSP, Sony

Sony Pull Everybody's Tennis From PS Store To Stop Piracy

Sony have removed PSP game Everybody's Tennis from the Playstation Store after reports that the Vita-compatible release would allow pirates to exploit the source code to play hacked games.

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Newell: 'Draconian DRM Systems' Push People Away, Piracy Not Necessarily About Pricing

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
BEARD!, DRM, Gabe Newell, Piracy, Steam, Used games, Valve

Newell: 'Draconian DRM Systems' Push People Away, Piracy Not Necessarily About Pricing

In a recent interview with Ben Kuchera, who brought up the used games mess and the pertinent topic of piracy, Valve guru Gabe Newell slammed what he terms "draconian DRM systems or anti-piracy systems", arguing that in many cases piracy has little to do with pricing models and more to do with better service.

"To us it seems pretty obvious that people always want to treat it as a pricing issue, that people are doing this because they can get it for free and so we just need to create these draconian DRM systems or ani-piracy systems, and that just really doesn’t match up with the data."

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Remedy: 'You Can't Fight' PC Piracy

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Alan Wake, DRM, PC games, Piracy, Remedy Entertainment

Remedy: 'You Can't Fight' PC Piracy

...It's Just The Way It Is

Remedy's head of franchise development, Oskari Hakkinen, has suggested that although the company do of course care about the issue of PC piracy, it's not one that the studio will be losing too much sleep over when it comes to the PC release of Alan Wake.

"You can't fight it, really," he said. "It's just the way it is. Of course I hope people go on Steam or get the retail copy. But if they don't, they don't. I'm not going to get a stomach ulcer from it. It's just the way it is."

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CD Projekt: Nextbox Not Playing Used Games Is "A Bad Thing"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
CD Projekt, DLC, Next-gen, Online Passes, Piracy, Pre-owned games, Used games

CD Projekt: Nextbox Not Playing Used Games Is "A Bad Thing"

"A Strong Relationship With Players" Is More Important

In the wake of sensational rumours purporting that the next-generation Xbox console won't play pre-owned games without an online pass, several developers have come out of the woodwork to give their take on the situation. Volition's Jameson Durall controversially praised the idea as "fantastic," but in sharp comparison, CD Projekt have decried the potential move as "a bad thing." Instead, the developers behind the Witcher 2 believe that fostering "a strong relationship with players" and giving us a reason to keep our games in the first place is more important than punishing those who choose to buy used. Or just want to bring a game round to a mate's house.

Hear hear. More after the break.

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Volition's Durall: Preventing Used Games From Being Played A 'Fantastic' Idea

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
DLC, Jameson Durall, Next-gen, Nextbox, Online Passes, Piracy, Pre-owned games, Used games, Volition Inc.

Volition's Durall: Preventing Used Games From Being Played A 'Fantastic' Idea

Jameson Durall has been in the games industry for a while. Currently Design Director on "Secret Project Y" at Volition, he's previously had stints at Electronic Arts and Oddworld Inhabitants, and he's fed up of developers not getting the money they deserve thanks to the pre-owned games market. Speaking in a recent blog post about the possibilities of the next generation of consoles, he touched upon the rumour that Microsoft's new console wouldn't be able to play used games, and stated that he felt it would be fantastic for developers.

"There’s another big rumor about the next Xbox console that could really start to shake things up," said Durall, "it won’t play used games at all! Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first…they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them."

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Rovio: Piracy 'Can Get Us More Business At The End Of The Day'

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Angry Birds, Piracy, Rovio

Rovio: Piracy 'Can Get Us More Business At The End Of The Day'

Rovio's chief executive Mikael Hed has suggested that there are ways to make piracy work for the companies involved, in an address at the Midem conference in Cannes yesterday.

Rovio are no strangers to the problems of piracy, but Hed suggests that the games industry takes note of the "rather terrible ways" that the music industry has tried (and continues to try - Ed.) to combat piracy.

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Pirate Digitanks Today To Protest SOPA

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Digitanks, Lunar Workshop, Piracy, SOPA

Pirate Digitanks Today To Protest SOPA

Lunar Workshop: 'Shut Up And Pirate My Damn Game."

Erm, okay, I'm about to do something incredibly strange here.

I'm about to advocate piracy.

See, Digitanks developer Lunar Workshop has decided that the best way to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act, which will "stop them making a living on the internet" if passed, is to encourage all of you to download their game for free, illicitly. Here.

We've got the full quotes from Jorge "Vino" Rodriguez explaining the move after the break.

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SOPA To Be Shelved After White House Denouncement?

Author:
Josh Clark
Category:
News
Tags:
Barack Obama, News, Piracy, SOPA Dropped, White House

SOPA To Be Shelved After White House Denouncement?

The White House has made its first official response to the controversial 'Stop Online Piracy Act', deeming it an "inhibition of innovation", and something that, in its current state at least, they "will not support".  This comes just a day before a proposed 'blackout', scheduled for tomorrow morning, that will see influential sites like Reddit, the English version of Wikipedia, and Mozilla all replacing content with anti-SOPA messages.

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Report: The Most Pirated Games Of 2011

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, Modern Warfare 3, Piracy, Xenoblade Chronicles

Report: The Most Pirated Games Of 2011

TorrentFreak have compiled a projected list of 2011's most illegally-downloaded titles using BitTorrent's trackers and other sources... and the results might surprise you. While Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 are respectively the second and third most pirated PC games of the year, it appears that Crysis 2 tops the dubious charts with a whopping 3,920,000 estimated downloads. Well, it does have a bit of a head start.

On the Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Mario Sports Mix dominate the BitTorrent downloads. Xenoblade Chronicles clocked in at a close third, which was to be expected since many disgruntled US gamers will have probably downloaded it after NoA refused to simultaneously port the localised version to both European and American regions.

In terms of pirated Xbox 360 games, Gears Of War 3 unsurprisingly took the lead with 890,000 downloads, followed (again unsurprisingly) by Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefeld 3. The PS3 has not been included in the report since its Blu-Ray disc format and constantly-evolving firmware suffers from "considerably less" piracy. Full report through the link.

REPORT: Serious Sam 3 Combats Piracy With Armoured Invincible Red Scorpion

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Badass, DRM, Piracy, Scorpion, Serious Sam 3: BFE, Serious Scorpion, We Love Croteam

REPORT: Serious Sam 3 Combats Piracy With Armoured Invincible Red Scorpion

Before we begin...BEST DRM EVER! We always knew Croteam were awesome, but this just hammers it home. DSOGaming reports that those nefarious gamers who try firing up an illegally copied version of Serious Sam 3: BFE will be hunted down by an invincible, armour-plated red scorpion, who attacks mercilessly with cannons, claws and stinger, until the law-breaking player is no more.

Forget walls of insensible menus and password-protected gibberish. Forget memory-munching shovel-tastic mechanisms that frustrate honest gamers while pirates cackle within their basements. It's all about the serious scorpion!

Click here to check out the anti-piracy Serious Scorpion for yourselves...

'Bitching' Be Damned: I Am Alive Not Coming To PC

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
I Am Alive, PC games, Piracy, PSN, Ubisoft, Ubisoft Shanghai, XBLA
Discuss:
I Am Alive

'Bitching' Be Damned: I Am Alive Not Coming To PC

Apocalyptic action title I Am Alive will not be making an appearance on PC, says creative director Stanislas Mettra. Already confirmed for PSN and XBLA, the dev team's worries regarding piracy have made a PC version of the game an unlikely prospect in spite of reported moaning from some quarters of the internet. Publisher Ubisoft are already doing all that they can to clamp down on piracy, particularly on PC, but it appears that clamours for a PC version have fallen upon deaf ears.

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Bohemia: For Every 3 Legit Players, There Are 100 Pirates

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
ArmA, Bohemia Interactive, DRM, Piracy

Bohemia: For Every 3 Legit Players, There Are 100 Pirates

Bohemia Interactive, the developers behind the ArmA series amongst others, have revealed a somewhat worrying statistic that for every 3 legitimate players they view jumping into their multiplayer games, there are 100 attempts from pirated copies.

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