dsg writes in with a link to this story about a sneaky new copy protection system from Macrovision that is making its way into various video games. What's sneaky, is that it lets you copy the game and give it out, and even start playing the game. Then, however, things start to break down... just as you get hooked. It makes use of the way CD and DVD readers use error correction to compensate for scratches, by putting in code that acts as a "scratch". The game is designed to look for those "scratches". However, a copied version of the game doesn't include the same scratches, and so it knows it's a fake. In one game where this "Fade" copy protection technology is being tested, the longer you play, the more your gun starts to backfire (not shoot straight and run out of bullets too quickly). The idea is to have the system "degrade" with copies, the way analog systems degrade with each copy. They're hoping, then, that this will actually encourage people to go out and buy legitimate copies - though, it might just make people angry (until they go out and find a cracked copy that doesn't make use of this copy protection scheme).
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