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Assasin's Creed installs dangerous software -- can we say "class action lawsuit"?

Google, Inc. (GOOG) engineer Tavis Ormandy has created a world of woe for French software giant Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. (EPA:UBI) after he revealed that the company was endangering customers by installing dangerous software that opened a back-door to their machines.

Ubisoft is well known for its best-selling Assassin's Creed, Rayman, and Far Cry franchises, as well as a number of Tom Clancy titles (e.g. the Splinter Cell series).  But according to Mr. Ormandy, Ubisoft's recent software comes with a dangerous attachment -- a browser plugin designed to support the company's secured Uplay service.

The browser plug-in acts as an accidental Trojan, allows arbitrary code execution via the opened "door" inside the affected browser.  Ubisoft uses the plugin to check if the installed title is valid, allowing gamers access to online play and achievements.  But according to Mr. Ormandy hackers could also exploit the open door in escalation of privileges attacks on the users' machine.

Hundreds of thousands of PC gamers are believed to be affected.

Uplay Uplay
Ubisoft Uplay browser plugin allowed unauthorized acceess to users' machines.
[Image Source: Geek.com]

Affected titles include 5 Assassin’s Creed games, 3 Tom Clancy games, as well as popular titles such as Driver: San Francisco, and Settlers 7.  Mr. Ormandy first observed the exploitable plug-in while installing Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

Assassin's Creed
The exploitable plug-in came with installs of Assassin's Creed titles. [Image Source: IGN]

Ubisoft had already upset customers with its DRM scheme, as many complained that they had legitimately purchased titles, but were being locked out of gameplay when their machines were offline.  Ubisoft defended this policy.

Now it may be forced to defend itself in court against class action lawsuits for endangering its loyal customers.

The incident is eerily reminiscent to the rootkit discovered on Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) music CDs several years ago.  Sony was subsequently sued and forced into an apology/settlement for recklessly endangering its users.

Note: As the plug-in does not mask its presence, in its current form it is closer to an exploitable plug-in aka. an accidental Trojan than a rootkit by definition, hence the text was changed to correct this.

Sources: SecLists, Geek, Ycombinator News



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DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 12:30:08 PM , Rating: 5
DRM has a 100% failure rate at preventing piracy. This is an irrefutable fact.

DRM punishes legal purchasers only who then have to put up with it's shenanigans, while people who get pirated versions are free from such shenanigans. This is also an irrefutable fact.

DRM has, on more than one occasion, involved code from the publisher that harmed the legitimate buyer's computer and/or left it vulnerable to attack. Whereas anyone who got a pirated copy would not have their computer harmed and/or made vulnerable to attack. This is also an irrefutable fact.

DRM costs publishers lots of money to license/create an implement. This cost is ultimately passed onto the legitimate consumer, who winds up paying more for a product so that it can potentially harm their computer and otherwise generally place onerous restrictions on what they can do with their legally-purchased product. This is another irrefutable fact.

DRM costs publishers lost sales when people stop buying their products because they have DRM on them - opting either to go without, or in some cases getting pirated copies in order to avoid the dangers/inconvenience of the DRM. Note that any and all such products *will* be available in pirated form whether there was DRM on it or not. This is also an irrefutable fact.

Because of these blindingly-obvious reasons, it is eminently clear that the one and only rational course of action would be to eliminate the usage of DRM. Since 100% of all such products wind up being pirated anyway, the increase in piracy would be 0%. Legitimate consumers would no longer be punished by the DRM for having bought the product, and indeed some of those customers who were bypassing said product beause of the DRM may very well buy it without DRM. And by cutting out the costs of including DRM on said products, the publishers can either make more money/margin on their sales, or potentially decrease the price somewhat and make more sales that way.

DRM is a lose-lose situation for all. No one benefits, at all.

Eliminating DRM would be a win-win for all. Everyone wins, across the board.




RE: DRM should be illegal
By geddarkstorm on 7/30/2012 12:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
Even if someone could somehow do the crazy mental gymnastics necessary to try to justify DRM, rootkits should without any doubt be completely illegal. Maybe even criminally illegal. They basically open the door to steal the ownership of a person's machine and private data, without the person knowing until its too late, and there's usually nothing much anyone can do short of a reformat to get rid of one.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By sprockkets on 7/30/2012 1:15:41 PM , Rating: 3
Well, to me, not all "DRM" is bad. The original Star Craft had a keycode, but didn't phone home, didn't require an internet connection, and sold like crazy.

Steam has some form of DRM (right?), but it works so nicely who notices?

DRM on apple's platform works well too.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 1:23:00 PM , Rating: 3
...the point being that, at a bare minimum, the DRM does nothing to prevent piracy and increases the cost of production, and therefore the cost to the consumer.

Why have all parties involved pay more for something that is 100% ineffectual in the best possible case?


RE: DRM should be illegal
By ritualm on 7/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 1:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point - this isn't like stealing a laptop that's been locked, thereby dissuading the "casual" thief.

There only has to be 1 person in the world who can defeat a given DRM thing and then post a torrent of the software. Then *boom* - everyone in the world who wants the product in a pirated format can have it. There's no valid analogy to locking a physical thing...because the person downloading the pirated copy doesn't have to do *anything* in order to get their pirated copy. Other than click a link, that is.You're missing the point - this isn't like stealing a laptop that's been locked, thereby dissuading the


RE: DRM should be illegal
By ritualm on 7/30/2012 2:17:54 PM , Rating: 3
DRM hugely inconveniences legal uses while doing nothing to hinder illegal activity.

Laptop locks are cumbersome to use, yet they do jack in protecting laptops from being stolen.

Granted, they're not the same things, but the premise is similar - in an attempt to thwart the one percent, they demonize the other 99%.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Helbore on 7/30/2012 2:57:52 PM , Rating: 4
Laptop locks don't demonize the 99%, though. They are not forced on people and those who choose to use them don't negatively affect those who don't want them.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By fic2 on 7/30/2012 4:53:37 PM , Rating: 5
Better analogy would be to have to prove you are owner of the laptop every time you wanted to use it. And prove it to the OEM.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By sprockkets on 7/30/2012 1:56:01 PM , Rating: 1
You can't make piracy impossible, but you can make it difficult. If it is difficult for the typical person and the DRM system in place makes it easy and fair, the idea is piracy is reduced by a fair amount.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 2:01:24 PM , Rating: 5
No, it isn't.

As I just noted above, there only needs to be 1 person in the world who can defeat the DRM - and then *poof* it's all over. The software is in a torrent, and everybody can have at it.

Making it difficult for 99% of the population to break the DRM is irrelevant - they're not the ones that are going to even try. And it doesn't reduce piracy AT ALL. So long as one person breaks the DRM and posts the torrent, the DRM is worthless.

...and as noted, there has never, ever, been a case where any DRM has ever managed to prevent piracy. And there never will be.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By sprockkets on 7/30/2012 3:01:41 PM , Rating: 3
You can get a torrent, but that doesn't guarantee online play, nor getting future updates.

And if it is reasonably priced like on steam, convenience trumps piracy.

quote:
As I just noted above, there only needs to be 1 person in the world who can defeat the DRM - and then *poof* it's all over. The software is in a torrent, and everybody can have at it.


Not really. Windows 7 was cracked, then MS patched the holes. Then another crack worked, and then was patched. While you can use Win7 without updates, MS has made it inconvenient enough to not make it worthwhile (like not being able to use their a/v).

Also, people jailbreak iphones as well, but it is going to be much harder to exploit with memory address randomization and other techniques to foil hacking. The goal again, is to make it worth while to pay for apps instead of pirating.

You can't tell me apple's encrypting apps and secure app store hasn't affected piracy. Even google is going to encrypt paid apps for 4.1 with the intent of telling developers that they want them to make money selling their apps.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 3:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
You can have an endless cycle of patching and hacking. It will never end.

The fact of the matter is that AT BEST DRM needlessly costs the publisher and consumer more money for no effect at preventing someone, somewhere in the world, from creating a pirated copy and posting it on the internet. At worst, it punishes legitimate consumers with onerous restrictions on what they can do with their product and can make their computers unstable and/or open to attack. That's the best it gets. So why have it?

If you're intent on getting whatever app you want in a pirated format, you'll find it somewhere. The people who buy things from the Apple App Store et al aren't the people who are going to be going looking for pirated stuff anyway - hence, the any and all DRM applied to them is irrelevant.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By SPOOFE on 7/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 3:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
...you're not even connected to the topic at hand, as far as I can tell...


RE: DRM should be illegal
By SPOOFE on 7/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 5:44:41 PM , Rating: 4
Oh, I'm aware that I'm part of a tiny percentage. I'm capable of rational thought, for example, and would test at acceptable levels for usage of the English language - that puts me in some kind of 1% I'm sure.

But more to the point, you're wildly mistaken. Your "salient" point isn't. The "average person" who wouldn't know what a torrent is isn't the person who's either going to work on defeating the DRM, nor are they the person who's going to go looking for a torrent to download and install. Hence, there is no benefit to the publisher of inflicting DRM on them. All the DRM does for that average person is raise the cost of the product (for them and the publisher) and potentially destabilize their PC if the DRM is coded poorly...not to mention inflicting whatever DRM restrictions on said user that the publisher wants to do, like not allowing you to reinstall your game when you later buy a new PC.

For the 1% that *is* capable/inclined to either defeat DRM and/or go and find the torrents, the DRM doesn't prevent them from doing what they want to do...so, again, why even bother with the DRM at all?

No upside. For anyone. All downside. For everyone.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By SPOOFE on 7/31/2012 1:55:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The "average person" who wouldn't know what a torrent is isn't the person who's either going to work on defeating the DRM,

Yes, exactly, that's my point. It's funny that you say my point isn't salient, but then go and re-assert it for me.

Back in the day of early PC gaming - which you clearly don't remember, Mr. 13 Years Old - many games were "pirated" by people who simply didn't realize they were "pirating" them. DRM stops these people, as you admit.

quote:
Hence, there is no benefit to the publisher of inflicting DRM on them.

Except they can't casually spread their games around. Not everyone who pirates a game does so with the intention of actually pirating it... but then, if you were as "capable of rational thought" as you apparently think you are, you'd be able to put 2 and 2 together.

[quote]so, again, why even bother with the DRM at all?[/quote]
To annoy you. That's it. You've stumbled on the Mysterious Secret Answer: The entire gaming industry is specifically geared against YOU, personally. Everyone hates you, so DRM. Obviously. Stupid.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By SPOOFE on 7/30/2012 3:06:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The software is in a torrent, and everybody can have at it.

And the average person is now asking, "What's a torrent?"

If you're even discussing this on the Internet, you are NOT the sort of person DRM works on. But you are a MINORITY.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 3:17:54 PM , Rating: 5
An average person who doesn't know what a torrent is isn't a suspect to get a pirated copy (or make a pirated copy) of anything anyway. Therefore the DRM does nothing but add inconvenience to that legitimate user and raise the cost of the product, both for the consumer and the publisher. Not to mention possibly making that average person's PC unstable and/or open to attack by the DRM.

It's becoming clear that the only minority around here is the percentage of working brain cells in your skull.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By SPOOFE on 7/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 5:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, nice little rant there. I've already demonstrated above that your opinion is wrong. Sticking your head in the sand and pretending that I didn't - and then launching an ad hominem attack - isn't going to change that fact.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By SPOOFE on 7/31/2012 1:58:58 PM , Rating: 2
Oh please, you brainless little puke, an ad hominem attack is merely insults instead of a proper response; not a proper response AND insults together (like chocolate in your peanut butter, together at last!).

You haven't demonstrated anything other than your Brainless Follower mentality. You're just regurgitating the party line that idiotic children like yourself have been WAAAAAAAAAHmbulancing about for a decade. The simple fact that you're capable of ignoring reality simply proves that reality is easy to ignore. Impressed = No.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Captin Crunch on 7/30/2012 7:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
Schooled


RE: DRM should be illegal
By kattanna on 7/30/2012 1:35:49 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
shenanigans


LOL.. that is one of my favorite words to say.. its simply fun to use, IMO


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Solandri on 7/30/2012 6:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
RE: DRM should be illegal
By nafhan on 7/30/2012 1:37:20 PM , Rating: 3
I hate DRM. However, I don't think "making it illegal" would work (even coming up with a good legal definition is problematic). I think this is a great case for when a class action lawsuit should occur. A class action suit hurts Ubi where it counts (the wallet), it would discourage others from engaging in similar behavior, AND it can happen within the existing legal framework - we don't need to wait for new laws in order to punish them.

Also, regarding DRM in general, Steam is an example of DRM done, I won't call it "right", but rather done good enough that I don't hate using it. They provide helpful services as part of the package, and generally improve the PC gaming experience for the users rather than just the publishers.

Onlive is another example of DRM done well (even if you feel like the actual gameplay is lacking). In fact, streaming and keeping 100% of the data server side is probably the future of DRM in general for all kinds of media.

The common thread between "reasonable" DRM like Steam, Onlive, and others (i.e. Netflix) is that the security methods are integrated into mechanisms that also provide an improved user experience.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 1:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
Firstly, it's not the DRM itself from Steam or whatever that's causing you as a consumer to like the service. It's the service itself...take out whatever DRM portions are in there and leave the good stuff, and if nothing else Steam saves money/improves their margins. Whether or not they passed that savings on to you is another issue...

...also I'll just point out that if "100% server-side" is the future for all media, that'd cut your potential market by about 20%. 1 in 5 Americans live in rural areas that have no broadband access...and probably never will.Firstly, it's not the DRM itself from Steam or whatever that's causing you as a consumer to like the service. It's the service itself...take out whatever DRM portions are in there and leave the good stuff, and if nothing else Steam saves money/improves their margins. Whether or not they passed that savings on to you is another issue...

...also I'll just point out that if


RE: DRM should be illegal
By augiem on 7/30/2012 2:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
The current broadband coverage map makes cloud-based services less than optimal, but even so, its clearly on its way here as evidenced by the development of more and more cloud offerings year by year like all of Google's stuff, MS Office, OnPlay, etc. Yes, it's still early on, but it will happen, I hate to say.

Funny how we have come full circle. It feels like we're back in the 70's/80's days of dumb terminals with amber screens.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By nafhan on 7/30/2012 2:51:00 PM , Rating: 2
Agree in regards to Steam. Steam is good enough that it makes the DRM palatable (it helps that they do a good job of making it transparent to the user, too). It's certainly not good BECAUSE of the DRM. I wasn't meaning that. :)
quote:
if "100% server-side" is the future for all media, that'd cut your potential market by about 20%
???
--I said "the future of media", not the "right now of media".
--It seems unlikely that 20% of Americans will NEVER have broadband. Some smaller percentage, probably.
--The US isn't the whole world.
--Current BB penetration is probably pretty close to the maximum penetration rate for cable TV, and that wasn't a showstopper for cable.
--There's a huge difference between "potential market" and "people they actually care about selling service to". For all I know media companies may consider a large part of that 20% to be irrelevant for various reasons.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By augiem on 7/30/2012 2:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In fact, streaming and keeping 100% of the data server side is probably the future of DRM in general for all kinds of media.


Yep, server-side software is definitely the long-term future. It guarantees 100% control by the company and near 0% piracy (near because someone could conceivably get ahold of the server software and run their own pirate server, but...). Not a good thing for the consumer, but for the companies its a win. I personally hate all the cloud crap, but there's really no escaping it.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By nafhan on 7/30/2012 3:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not a good thing for the consumer
Overall, completely agree. It's not a trend I personally like. However, for the non-technical consumer, there are a LOT of advantages to this approach - most of which boil down to "it's easy".


RE: DRM should be illegal
By kmmatney on 7/30/2012 1:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
My son once paid $70 for a special edition of Spore. It installed once OK in Windows XP, but when I tried to install it again after upgrading to Windows 7, the CD-key no longer worked. After 45 minutes with customer support, they finally sent me a new key code, which STILL didn't work. I ended up having to pirate the game just so my son could play it. I will never buy a boxed EA game again... We are sticking with Steam from now on.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 2:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
Spore is the worst/best example (depending on your viewpoint).

I personally was *STOKED* about Spore. Couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Then I found out about the horrific DRM that had been placed on it. So when I got a copy of the special edition from my father-in-law for Christmas, I duly thanked him and then returned it to the store.

And no, I didn't go and get a pirated copy either. I'll just do without. EA made no money on my behalf for that game, and never will again. If it didn't have the DRM, they'd have made $70 on my behalf too.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Digimonkey on 7/30/2012 2:09:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
DRM is a lose-lose situation for all. No one benefits, at all.


People who make DRM software win. Just saying.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Ammohunt on 7/30/2012 2:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
I agree the best thing Apple ever did was get rid of DRM for music downloads.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By ritualm on 7/30/2012 2:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's DRM never completely went away, it's still there, it's just not so common as it was before.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By chick0n on 7/30/2012 2:45:54 PM , Rating: 1
DRM gives the title owners (in this case, UBiSoft) a false sense of security.

just like how TSA gives some "people" that false sense of security too.

these DRM can't find shit and it's easy as shit to crack and use on illegal activities.

It won't be long until someone release a new tool to target this so called "security" software. oh yes, a class action lawsuit is coming.

I wonder if they loose more money on piracy, or giving money to lawyers.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By NellyFromMA on 7/30/2012 4:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
Just curious, because I get the reasons against DRM (I agree with most, especially rootkits) but no one suggests a proper alternative. What are software developers to do when people are stealing their software?

The arguement against DRM isn't even a true arguement if it offers no alternatives IMO.

I loathe (most) DRM engines, but I understand the intent. Piracy IS a real concern for software developers.

Is it enough to say 'it doesn't prevent piracy' and the companies should simply do nothing? Should they throw in the towel and say 'well, they will reverse engineer and/or remove our DRM so let's just use a serial key with 80s encryption'.

One seeming non-start for the most vocal is mandatory internet connectivity. Some software requires an internet connection for strictly license verification but in all honesty, without a live connection, that is a non-starter for any form of real anti-piracy attempt.

My point is I hear a lot of one-sided arguements and no alternatives and to me it falls on def ears because the statement may as well have been made from a pirate itself. It's not substantial without proposing an alternative the consumer would be 'ok' with.

This is effectively exactly why Apple and now MS are moving towards AppStore solutions... again, something SOME are getting bent up about.

It's a serious problem, and I'm not sure I know of a proper solution myself. I just think its premature to across-the-board label DRMs as trash without proposing consumer friendly alternatives.

In short, if you don't want DRMs, maybe consumers should talk about what's appropriate instead of always what's innappropriate. Just my two cents.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 5:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just curious, because I get the reasons against DRM (I agree with most, especially rootkits) but no one suggests a proper alternative. What are software developers to do when people are stealing their software?


Realistically? Give up. DRM is doing *nothing* to prevent piracy. So the simple question is why continue to waste vast amounts of money on it? It's useless. You want an alternative to...what exactly? Since DRM has a 100% failure rate, replacing it with nothing is perfectly acceptable.

Stick to requiring the CD to play and, in the case of online games, you don't really have to worry about it anyway...you either have a subscription or you don't.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By SPOOFE on 7/31/2012 2:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
vast amounts of money

I've yet to see you provide any evidence that DRM costs "vast amounts of money". Hint: Your own blathering assertions on the matter don't count as evidence, you masturbatory loser. :)


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Solandri on 7/30/2012 7:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just curious, because I get the reasons against DRM (I agree with most, especially rootkits) but no one suggests a proper alternative. What are software developers to do when people are stealing their software?

In all honesty, I say (and I'm a programmer) the problem isn't piracy. It's the notion that you should be able to write code once and sell it over and over again. No other industry works like this.

- If I build cars, I have to buy materials and parts, assemble them, and sell the car. If I want to sell another car, I have to do it all over again.
- If I sell burgers, I have to buy the meat, bun, and veggies, fry the burger, then assemble it and sell it. If I want to sell another one, I have to do it all over again.
- If I want to mow lawns, I have to buy the lawnmower, a car to haul it around in, market my lawnmowing services, then spend the time to mow someone's lawn. If I want to make another sale, I have to do it all over again.
- If I want to rent out a car, I have to buy the car, get insurance, find renters, and rent it to them. If I want to make another rental sale, I have to do it all over again.

In all other jobs, you get paid for doing work, and if you want to get paid some more you have to do more work. Only in the IP industries do we have this strange notion that you should be able to work once, and collect money from it over and over again (and your kids should be able to collect money from it over and over again).

It didn't used to be this way. For most of the existence of IP, the cost of duplication and distribution was substantial, sometimes even exceeding the cost of creating the work itself. Once I had written and practiced a song, recording it, mastering it, pressing duplicates onto vinyl records, packaging the records, and distributing them through retail stores around the country still cost a significant amount of money. So it made sense to allow the IP owner to charge money per copy - he was still doing a lot of work per copy. He had to pay a significant amount of costs per copy, and those costs scaled with number of copies, so it made sense to let him charge per copy.

But then computers and the Internet happened, and the cost of duplicating and distributing software (programs, music, books, movies, ideas) dropped to nearly zero. It now costs a musician next to nothing to make copies of a song and distribute it to millions of people around the world. So why are they still demanding they be paid full price per copy even though it entails almost no additional work?

Piracy isn't the problem, it's a symptom. A symptom of an IP system which no longer works. People know it didn't cost the artist any extra money to make that extra copy of the song, so their conscience doesn't really bother them that they copied it. I'm not sure exactly what the solution is - maybe musicians/software authors can be funded via kickstarter, or get paid per job like wedding photographers now do. But letting them charge a lot of money for something which costs them nothing to create, is not a solution.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By Motoman on 7/30/2012 8:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
I have a hard time believing you're a programmer and you just said that.

It costs exhorbitant amounts of money to develop software of any significance. It's not hard to imagine a game having to sell a million copies just to break even.

Your "argument" also applies to movies, books, TV shows, whatever...LOTS of other industries work that way.

There's nothing inherently wrong with our current understanding of IP and the concept of IP producers being paid on a per-copy basis. The problem is that there will simply always be people who want something for nothing...and they will find a way to get something for nothing.

The point of my posts here is that DRM does nothing to prevent the piracy that is simply going to happen no matter what. You will never change human behavior.

...how you start to take that and twist it into some kind of argument implying that IP producers don't deserve to get paid for every copy of their work sold is beyond me.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By augiem on 7/31/2012 4:11:39 AM , Rating: 2
Who is to put the value on what a creation is worth? Who is to say how much money someone should make from a certain creation before you deem that they have fully recouped their costs and have been fully and fairly compensated for the time/effort of creation? Do they release their song/game/movie/painting/book/etc. for say 6 months or 1 year and gather whatever revenue they can, then after that it becomes public domain? Who decides this? Some government body?

You make it sound like you'd prefer it if all creatives only got paid hourly for their work and that's it. (That's essentially what happens for the most part as the company that they work for, not the creatives themselves, usually gets all the earnings ad infinitum.)

quote:
No other industry works like this.


What are you talking about? Nearly every industry works like this. Just about everything that involves any sort of R&D works EXACTLY like this. You pay scientists, chemists, engineers, etc. to develop ideas which are evolved over time from product to product, generation to generation. Do you think it would even be possible to have the technology we have if they had to just start from the ground up every time they wanted to develop something? The only part you really HAVE to do over and over again is the manual labor of manufacturing and distribution and the parts themselves. You're looking this from purely labor perspective. Without the architecht, the pyramid workers would simply be moving stone around without reason.

Not everyone in the world is creative. And believe me, having been in the field, it can VERY taxing, frustrating, and all consuming 24/7. Its not easy. Your point of view devalues those people who create the art and ideas and breakthroughs and puts all the value only on the ones directly executing those ideas.

The chance for for potentially unlimited reward is the driving force beind most of the world's creative people who sacrifice everything over and over again in the hopes of "making it". Most will never achieve anything close to fantastic success, but a world without that possibility sounds horribly dismal. It reminds me of the movie Hudsucker Proxy.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By NellyFromMA on 7/31/2012 12:52:51 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously? All software should simply be open source because essentially profit and software do not go hand in hand?

I have to say I can't disagree more with your opinion (to which you are entitled). I too am a developer and luckily we do not face any real piracy as we have a niche group of customers. So for that, I am thankful... because IF we did, almost surely jobs would be lost.

The thought that someone would invest time and money into something that (if I understand you correctly) essentially returns no profits just isn't sensible from a real life practicality point of view.

You're also assessing the current pay model with manufacturing which in itself is not a good comparison. Maybe we should measure the benefits received as a result of the contribution of the developers/business? If you don't want to pay for it, you must not need it. Or, if you do, why shouldn't the developers/business be rewarded?

Because it doesn't cost to replicate? It actually does almost always cost because ultimately someone needs to be funded to write it anyways.

Idk, I'm not disrespecting your opinion, and I get your basis (I like to play devils advocate and have used that very same arguement to argue the point you are, except it was movies and music) I just don't agree with it at the end of the day.

Because a bueinss model can be more efficient or isn't restricted to the physical contraints of material objects manufactured and sold doesn't invalidate its value. It does not imply it should be free unless the authors/owners decide they want to give it away. We have the right NOT to pay for it and not use. To not pay for it AND circumvent what has been implemented to protect their investment is frankly what is wrong IMO. Not that I agree with those implementations being invasive (like rootkits, which it turns out this is not) but I totally would secure my investment. You'd be foolish not to. It's about profits, not charity (most of the time)


RE: DRM should be illegal
By augiem on 7/31/2012 3:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
I think a big part of the problem in general is that people do not think of digital goods the same as they do physical. Because it can be copied 100% with the push of a button, suddenly it seems as if it took no work to create and its not harming anyone if you just take it. A very small percentage of people in the first world would even steal a candy bar from a grocery store, but a very large percentage of them have, would, and do steal digital goods. Its a dangerous attitude that could ultimately lead to complete devaluation of all art forms that can be distributed digitally. Stealing digitial goods is awesome so long as there is a huge library of good content to steal from, but if the monetary incentive dries up, nobody will be producing those goods anymore for everyone to steal. Rampant, casual piracy has just been a normal part of daily life in East Asia, Russia, and eastern Eurpoe for the last 30 years or so, but they couldn't have had access to that catalog of free content were it not for all the people supporting its production by paying for it in the USA, UK, France, etc. It's kind of like socialism/communism. It works great until your stockpile of rich people on which you have been feeding is dried up. The scary/sad part is, in the first world, especially among the youth, the attitude that digital content has no intrinsic value is only getting more prevalant year after year.


RE: DRM should be illegal
By NellyFromMA on 8/1/2012 7:37:14 AM , Rating: 2
In general, I think the upcoming generation doesn't really have a firm grasp on nor do they seem to place or assess any real value in much of anything.

I agree with all of what you've said though.


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














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