Open question to scene game piraters

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Par ren

Paragon (1909)

Portrait de ren

27-05-2017, 13:32

(Perhaps discussing copy protection / watermarking makes a good topic on it's own? Wink)

Par hamlet

Scribe (3834)

Portrait de hamlet

27-05-2017, 14:04

Remember TED? The proceeds was for a very good purpose, every copy was marked by the buyers name. Oh, now I remember the HSH case. That was not a nice story.
Give extras to the buyer, maybe acess to a special website with additional, game related content.
Or let the idiots just go.
Well, I remeber the copy protection of (was it?) XakII, you got stucked in a chamber (after hours of gameplay) somewhere when the disk was a illegal copy. Of course, there will be a way around for the dumb ones, but not for the lazy users.
John, we love your work, please keep on doing great stuff (but I guess if you quit, you will also miss something in your life!)
And this apply to all our great programmer who supports us with fantastic applications, games, pictures and music. Without you, our beloved MSX are just silicon filled plastics. You breath live into our machines.
And please don´t stop.

Par Jipe

Paragon (1528)

Portrait de Jipe

27-05-2017, 14:05

analyser logic or simulator can deprotect a dongle Wink

Par syn

Prophet (2086)

Portrait de syn

27-05-2017, 16:47

fingerprint recognition-scanner on the cartridge Tongue

Par wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

Portrait de wyrdwad

27-05-2017, 20:05

Copy-protection is not the answer. That just pisses off the segment of the fanbase that legitimately buys your game, since it forces them to do more work in order to enjoy what they purchased. That's why you don't see copy-protection in modern console or computer games anymore, and why sites like GOG exist as alternatives to Steam (advertising themselves as the "DRM-free alternative" to Steam), with even Steam allowing DRM-free games on their platform now.

DRM (digital rights management) has become a dirty word, with Steamworks basically the only form of DRM that anyone even accepts in their games anymore. And you never, *ever* see copy-protection employed in physical computer or console games. Even region-locking has mostly gone extinct, with Nintendo being the last holdout, but dropping it for the Switch.

For a platform like the MSX, copy-protection just seems like it would "ruin the good mood" of the scene if it were to start to be commonly employed. I would definitely recommend against it. The amount of piracy that's occurring in the scene seems rather minimal, since I think the majority of MSX users do what they can to support the scene, so I really don't think there's any necessity for something like that anyway.

-Tom

Par DarkSchneider

Paladin (942)

Portrait de DarkSchneider

27-05-2017, 20:14

My POV is clear and easy. On MSX you can't protect the software. If you get seriously affected by piracy (there can be always some few copies but not really harm) then abandon the system and development for the MSX platform. With the need of new software, maybe this way the pirate can see the damage done to the system. And probably the people, if know who are the responsibles, would "thank" it (yes, it) a lot.

This is not for making money and getting rich, but is the author who decides what to do with his own work. And is everyone responsability to maintain a sustainable "market" in a platform with a high lack of new software. Don't you like it? Don't buy, but don't copy and much worse do not distribute of course.

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9918)

Portrait de wolf_

27-05-2017, 21:11

@wyrdwad
@DarkSchneider

Do you consider games with custom chips (like SCC) an 'evil' kind of copy protection? And let's assume that these chips really add something creative to the game.

Par wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

Portrait de wyrdwad

27-05-2017, 21:50

wolf_ wrote:

@wyrdwad
@DarkSchneider

Do you consider games with custom chips (like SCC) an 'evil' kind of copy protection?

Of course not! Custom chips are a necessity in retro game development, as they help expand the functionality of the system and allow developers to do more with their concepts. (Additionally, they don't really do much to stop piracy anyway, since emulators can run SCC games, and SCC-enabled flash rom cartridges are extremely common.)

I'm more referring to things like lockout chips, copy-protection via intentional bad sectors on floppy disks, or copy-protection that requires referencing an instruction manual or code wheel or something. Metal Gear 2 is a great example, since it has both a regional lockout chip in it, as well as manual-based copy protection within the game itself. I own a legit copy of Metal Gear 2, and fortunately also own a Japanese MSX2+ (so the region lock didn't affect me), and was thus able to play it just fine -- but it's cartridge only, so I had to look up the solution to the manual-based copy protection online, which really took me out of the game.

You don't see copy-protection methods like that employed anymore, and there's a good reason for that: because people hate them! Not only are they a nuisance for the player, but they also make it more difficult to preserve the game for future generations (especially in the case of things like floppy disks with intentional bad sectors).

When I see discussions on game piracy like this, people always suggest copy-protection, and then they also always suggest the developers stop supporting the platform to send a message to the pirates. But I truly believe the majority of people buy games legitimately when they're available, and when you add copy-protection to your game, or worse still, stop making games altogether, you're punishing those legitimate fans even more than you are the pirates -- because not only are there more legitimate fans, but the pirates will also always find a way to circumvent any copy-protection you utilize, so they're going to get to play the game anyway one way or another, whereas legit fans might not even bother if they have to jump through too many hoops to play it.

It's a vicious cycle: trying to make the law stricter in order to make life more difficult for the 1% of criminals out there, but in doing so, you make life more difficult for the 99% of non-criminals as well, and the 1% of criminals quickly learn to adapt anyway. So all you've done is make life more difficult for everyone!

I'm not saying developers have an obligation to make games, of course -- they certainly don't! -- but I am imploring developers, please don't get disheartened! We'd be sad if you stopped making games, or game music, because we really love your stuff. And the honest among us will all continue to support it for as long as you continue to make it -- you have my promise there. Wink

-Tom

Par Manuel

Ascended (18385)

Portrait de Manuel

27-05-2017, 21:57

(offtopic a bit, commenting on some details you mentioned....)

Metal Gear 2 does not have a regional lockout chip in it. There is no MSX cartridge with any such chip. There is only one cartridge with a region lock out software check and that's Metal Gear Japanese version. But it's purely a software check: the ROM checks whether it's a Japanese machine. If not it will warm boot.

Disks with intentional bad sectors (or any other protection) can be preserved with the READ-DMK tool into a DMK file. (And when it's ready DMK Creator can also be used.)

Par wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

Portrait de wyrdwad

27-05-2017, 22:36

Ah, I must have been misinformed, then. Thanks for the correction!

-Tom

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