Mar 112013


We were confident Maxis was the studio to deliver a proper sequel, but the studio’s choice of an always online DRM solution has proven to be a complete disaster. Maximum PC online managing editor Jimmy Thang has criticized EA’s handling of the situation, and the company’s PR department has been pulling overtime trying to repair the games reputation.

Firstly EA has clarified that it is not banning customers for requesting a refund, but you probably won’t get one either. The company points disgruntled customers to its return policy, which states in no uncertain terms that digital customers are out of luck. Disputing the charges with your bank weren’t specifically mentioned, but we would guess this would be handled more severely.

Secondly EA is hoping to mend a few bridges by offering up a free game.

READ MORE:  EA Patches SimCity and Throws Free Games at Disgruntled Customers | Maximum PC.




Feb 132013

So far it ain’t so, but some form of DRM in HTML is becoming a more likely possibility every day.

The W3C’s HTML Working Group recently decided that a proposal to add DRM to HTML media elements — formally known as the Encrypted Media Extensions proposal — is indeed within its purview and the group will be working on it.

That doesn’t mean that the Encrypted Media Extensions proposal will become a standard as is, but it does up the chances that some sort of DRM system will make its way into HTML.

The Encrypted Media Extensions proposal — which is backed by the likes of Google, Microsoft, Netflix and dozens of other media giants — technically does not add DRM to HTML. Instead it defines a framework for bringing a DRM system, or “protected media content” as the current draft puts it, to the web.

MORE:  DRM for the Web? Say It Aint So | Webmonkey |




Jan 042013


A newly published patent application filed by Sony outlines a content protection system that would use small RFID chips embedded on game discs to prevent used games from being played on its systems, all without requiring an online connection. Filed in September and still awaiting approval from the US Patent Office, the patent application for an “electronic content processing system, electronic content processing method, package of electronic content, and use permission apparatus” describes a system “that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets.”

Used game sales continue to be a major concern for many big-name publishers and developers, who see the practice as a drain on the revenue they earn from selling new software. Sony’s patent explicitly points out that suppressing the used game market will “[support] the redistribution of part of proceeds from sales of the electronic content to the developers.”

The used-game blocking method described in the patent involves a “radiofrequency tag” and a type of programmable ROM chip that are paired with each game disc and can communicate wirelessly with the game system.

MORE:  Examining Sony’s Internet-free method for blocking used game sales | Ars Technica.




Oct 122011



When illegal downloaders illegally downloaded an illegal copy of the illegal Deus Ex: Human Revolution beta, they illegally enjoyed themselves for the first few illegal levels before the game was all like, “lol j/k” and kicked them out to a Web-based form that started asking them all kinds of probing questions about their illegal activities, courtesy of a startup anti-piracy firm called Anti-Piracy Strategies.

The strangest part, though, was that 90% of the victims actually went and filled out the questionnaire rather than ripping their ethernet cords out of the wall, encasing their hard drives in blocks of concrete, and dumping them into the nearest major body of water like I would have done.

via Anti-piracy company pirates a million copies of Deus Ex | DVICE.

Oct 112011

The standard line that Digital Rights Management (DRM) functions as a bulwark against online music piracy is being challenged by a trio of economists from Rice and Duke Universities. Their game theory research sides with a growing sentiment that DRM technologies which restrict music file copying and moving sometimes encourage illegal file sharing instead.

“In many cases, DRM restrictions prevent legal users from doing something as normal as making backup copies of their music,” contends one of the researchers, Dinahy Vernik, assistant professor of marketing at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business. “Because of these inconveniences, some consumers choose to pirate.”

The paper in question is titled “Music Downloads and the Flip Side of Digital Rights Management Protection.”

Under certain conditions, “we find that eliminating DRM restrictions can lead to an increase in sales of legal downloads, a decrease in sales of traditional CDs, and a decrease in piracy,” conclude marketing scholars Vernik and Devavrat Purohit and Preyas Desai of Duke. “This is in stark contrast to the view that removing DRM will unconditionally increase the level of piracy.”

via A game we all win: Dumping DRM can increase sales while reducing piracy.