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PC Games (Games)

Witcher 2 Torrents Could Net You a Fine 724

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from Eurogamer: "Gamers who download upcoming PC exclusive The Witcher 2 illegally could receive a letter demanding they pay a fine or face legal action. If gamers refuse to pay the fine, which will be more than the cost of the game, they could end up in court, developer CD Projekt told Eurogamer. 'Of course we're not happy when people are pirating our games, so we are signing with legal firms and torrent sneaking companies,' CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiski said. 'In quite a few big countries, when people are downloading it illegally they can expect a letter from a legal firm saying, "Hey, you downloaded it illegally and right now you have to pay a fine." We are totally fair, but if you decide you will not buy it legally there is a chance you'll get a letter. We are talking about it right now.' Interestingly, The Witcher 2 will be released free of digital rights management – but only through the CD Projekt-owned digital download shop GOG.com. That means owners will be able to install it as many times as they like on any number of computers – and it will not requite an internet connection to run."

Comment Re:There's No DMCA Outside The US (Score 2, Informative) 373

"There may be no DMCA outside the US as the DMCA is an American law, but the WIPO Copyright Treaty upon which it is based has been enacted in many other countries. "

Key phrase is "upon which it is based". This doesn't mean everything that is in the DMCA is in the WIPO treaty. For example the protection that controll access is not part of the WIP treaty (and not the EU directive either) but is something some countries, even in Europe has added. But many countries doesn't include protection that controll access to what is covered. Encryption doesn't in itself prevent copying and hence encrypting something doesn't really prevent copying and would thus not be covered. It can be covered when controling the access to the public, but not for copying.

So it in many countries, the HDCP is not a technical meassure that is covered since it doesn't prevent copying, just accessing whatever is encrypted.

Comment Re:It's being done in the US too (Score 1) 193

"Just like Chinese, this is required by Apple too. They say it's so that you cannot buy multiple phones, but you still are required to give them your real name when you want to buy a phone."

That is a really stupid thing since names are not unique. Or are you saying that if Bill Johnson buys a phone from Apple, no other Bill Johnson can buy a phone from Apple?

Comment Re:The Reason for This Subpoena (Score 1) 230

"they were convicted because the court became convinced that they actively encouraged and profited by Piracy,"

The fact that they profited, or not, is completely irrellevant for the question if they did anything illegal or not. It is an issue when determining the ammount of money they would have to pay though.

Comment Re:Come on (Score 1) 230

"you can make copies of anything you own"

Actually you don't have to own it. The only requirement (added in 2005) is that the original you make the copy from was not created in an infringing way and that it is not made available to the public in an infringing way. In addition, computer software is excluded completely as well as complete or substansial parts of books. You are also only allwed to make a few such copies of each work.

Comment Re:Hardcore players (Score 1) 459

"People think they are buying a game (and rightly so)"

Most people DO buy a copy of the game as per normal sales laws. Such a sale has nothing to do with copyright and often the purchase is not from the copyright holder but from a store.

"and game producers think they are licensing you the rights to play the game (usually with lots of DRM to enforce these rights)"

Depending on country that is a nonsens sale since there is no need to purchase such a right, there is nothing forbidding you to play it to start with. Even if one do need such a license, and the sale is of a licnese, one still then needs to get hold of a copy of the game so that one can use the license. How would that be done? Well, as far as I can see, any license is typically sold together with a copy of the game. So one can in those cases argue that they sell BOTH a license and a copy of the game. In the end one to buy a copy of the game in either case.

Comment Re:In Hungary, too (Score 2, Insightful) 265

"Why don't people want to pay for what they use anymore?"

Do you pay the writer som money when you for example borrows a book from someone to read? Or what about when you listen to some music at someone elses house? Or when you sit in a chair doing so. Or do you want to use it without paying for it?

PC Games (Games)

Future Ubisoft Games To Require Constant Internet Access 497

Following up on our discussion yesterday of annoying game distribution platforms, Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "This seems like such a bizarre, bewildering backward step. Of course we haven't experienced it yet, but based on Ubi’s own description of the system so many concerns arise. Yes, certainly, most people have the internet all the time on their PCs. But not all people. So already a percentage of the audience is lost. Then comes those who own gaming laptops, who now will not be able to play games on trains, buses, in the park, or anywhere they may not be able to find a WiFi connection (something that’s rarely free in the UK, of course – fancy paying the £10/hour in the airport to play your Ubisoft game?). Then there's the day your internet is down, and the engineers can’t come out to fix it until tomorrow. No game for you. Or any of the dozens of other situations when the internet is not available to a player. But further, there are people who do not wish to let a publisher know their private gaming habits. People who do not wish to report in to a company they’ve no affiliation with, nor accountability to, whenever they play a game they’ve legally bought. People who don’t want their save data stored remotely. This new system renders all customers beholden to Ubisoft in perpetuity whenever they buy their games."

EVE Online Battle Breaks Records (And Servers) 308

captainktainer writes "In one of the largest tests of EVE Online's new player sovereignty system in the Dominion expansion pack, a fleet of ships attempting to retake a lost star system was effectively annihilated amidst controversy. Defenders IT Alliance, a coalition succeeding the infamous Band of Brothers alliance (whose disbanding was covered in a previous story), effectively annihilated the enemy fleet, destroying thousands of dollars' worth of in-game assets. A representative of the alliance claimed to have destroyed a minimum of four, possibly five or more of the game's most expensive and powerful ship class, known as Titans. Both official and unofficial forums are filled with debate about whether the one-sided battle was due to difference in player skill or the well-known network failures after the release of the expansion. One of the attackers, a member of the GoonSwarm alliance, claims that because of bad coding, 'Only 5% of [the attackers] loaded,' meaning that lag prevented the attackers from using their ships, even as the defenders were able to destroy those ships unopposed. Even members of the victorious IT Alliance expressed disappointment at the outcome of the battle. CCP, EVE Online's publisher, has recently acknowledged poor network performance, especially in the advertised 'large fleet battles' that Dominion was supposed to encourage, and has asked players to help them stress test their code on Tuesday. Despite the admitted network failure, leaders of the attacking force do not expect CCP to replace lost ships, claiming that it was their own fault for not accounting for server failures. The incident raises questions about CCP's ability to cope with the increased network use associated with their rapid growth in subscriptions."

Net Users In Belarus May Soon Have To Register 89

Cwix writes "A new law proposed in Belarus would require all net users and online publications to register with the state: 'Belarus' authoritarian leader is promising to toughen regulation of the Internet and its users in an apparent effort to exert control over the last fully free medium in the former Soviet state. He told journalists that a new Internet bill, proposed Tuesday, would require the registration and identification of all online publications and of each Web user, including visitors to Internet cafes. Web service providers would have to report this information to police, courts, and special services.'"

Comment Re:What if... (Score 1) 233

>What if I already wasn't worried about being sued
>because my country doesn't recognise software patents

What if one would live in a country that do not only recognize software patents but also makes it criminal to infringe them (something for example proposed in Europe not long ago)? Since one doesn't have a license one would still infringe the patent even if Microsoft agrees to not press charges.

Or what if the patent for some reason would end up in someone elses hand than Microsoft? Again since one doesn't have a license, one can be in trouble.

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