Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 17th Aug 2012 22:53 UTC
Games Interesting. The Verge summarises the loads of news and rumours coming out of OnLive today - much of the staff seems to have been laid off, and an acquisition could be imminent. Who will it be? Apple? Google? Microsoft? EA? Valve? CommodoreUSA?
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RE[2]: A lesson to be learned
by WorknMan on Sat 18th Aug 2012 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE: A lesson to be learned"
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Steam is a bit different as the games a stored locally on your machine. Valve has said if they go under they will simply let unlock the DRM from the games.


Like I said, do they have a legal obligation to do so? And could they legally unlock games from the service that they themselves did not create?

Reply Parent Score: 4

broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06

I think valve puts DRM on the games on steam, because some of them are available outside of steam as well, like world of goo, and i don't think it comes with drm if you buy it outside of steam.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Like I said, do they have a legal obligation to do so?


No.

And could they legally unlock games from the service that they themselves did not create?


Yes, they can legally unlock games they didn't create that are using the Steam DRM. They're not removing the developers DRM, just making the game run without the Steam service.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: A lesson to be learned
by Alfman on Sat 18th Aug 2012 14:10 in reply to "RE[3]: A lesson to be learned"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Soulbender,

"Yes, they can legally unlock games they didn't create that are using the Steam DRM. They're not removing the developers DRM, just making the game run without the Steam service."

I'm not sure you understood what WorknMan was getting at. If the DRM was made generically such that disabling it will disable it globally, then they might be unable to simultaneously disable the DRM for their own titles while not affecting other titles. There may be legal contracts in place not to disable DRM on other titles.

It seems plausible that this could be the case. On the other hand if they go under, they may not care about their contractual obligations. And technically they'd probably be able to distribute some kind of key generator for their own titles without disabling the DRM.


In any case I'm not particularly comfortable with a computing experience where all my legitimate software is locked by DRM. It does represent a very real risk and we're left having to trust corporations who may or may not follow through on their marketing promises in times of distress.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: A lesson to be learned
by bassbeast on Sun 19th Aug 2012 02:21 in reply to "RE[2]: A lesson to be learned"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Does it matter? The cracks are already out there just like with the retail games only you aren't paying anywhere near retail prices. Frankly steam should be held up as an example of what digital distribution should be about as if the publishers aren't paying for the boxes, shipping, unsold copies, etc why should they get the same as a retail box?

I have over 60 games in Steam, nearly all AAA titles, wanna know the absolute most I paid for a single game? $12. I recently got the entire Deus Ex series AND the DLC for $15, FEAR 1&2 I got WITH the expansions for $10, SR3 WITH all the DLC I wanted for $14...why should I care about the DRM? I can strip that away with a quick trip to GCW if they ever go under and at least with Steam I'm not gonna have to clean out a Starforce or SecuROM infection while I'm at it.

As for TFA? Might work in Asia, not gonna work here unless you are in a megacity. While the rest of the world gets big pipes our "corporate yay!" system has left huge sections of the country with duopolies or monopolies that sit on behind and just raise prices without running any more lines. I've been in the middle of major cities and not been able to get broadband because the duopoly had already cherry picked where they wanted and wasn't running anywhere else. heck you can see the DSL and cable junction boxes from my mother's front porch and I've been fighting with them for nearly 3 years now to get them to run the whole 1 block to her house, neither will do so.

So I'm not surprised with OnLive going under, our broadband in the USA is too lousy in most places to support their service.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: A lesson to be learned
by Alfman on Sun 19th Aug 2012 05:04 in reply to "RE[3]: A lesson to be learned"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

bassbeast,

"Does it matter? The cracks are already out there just like with the retail games"

I know where you're coming from, I've shamelessly resorted to cracking legal copies of software for myself and others when the DRM was unsuitable. Never the less the idealist in me says that we shouldn't have to rely on the existence of warez to mentally justify the shortcomings of DRM.

"...why should I care about the DRM?"

Well, for one, it's wasted engineering that implicitly only hurts the innocent user. As you noted it doesn't stop unauthorised distribution. Engineers know this, but most CEOs have yet to learn it.

Also, I find the notion of having DRM linked into all our critical software, operating systems, etc to be very troubling...it opens up potential for new exploits and abuse....not to point a finger at steam in particular (sony deserves a mention though).

In the future when the works finally enter public domain, many will be DRM ridden and unusable under future emulation.

Edited 2012-08-19 05:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2