Rockstar Using 'Pirated' Copy Of Max Payne 2 On Steam To Remove DRM?

from the nicely-done dept

A couple years ago, we wrote about Ubisoft apparently using an internet crack to get around its own DRM after an Ubisoft patch screwed up the system and tried to require gamers, who had bought the downloaded version, to place the (non-existent) CD in the tray to prove that they had bought the game. It looks like Rockstar Games has now been caught doing something similar. BigKeithO points us to a forum discussion that suggests Rockstar is using a cracked version of its game Max Payne 2 on Steam, for the same reason (to get around the CD check). Apparently, in examining the code with a hex editor, someone discovered that the official Steam release is ascii tagged by the Scene release group Myth (which hasn't been around for many, many years). No one's quite sure what happened exactly, but the obvious suggestion is that Rockstar chose the easy way out in trying to remove the CD check DRM in the game to put it on Steam, and just found a cracked version online.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 12th, 2010 @ 6:40pm

    Hey!

    Copyright violation! Somebody call the lawyers!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 6:45pm

    They done it for the same reasons pirates do it. Just easier.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 7:07pm

    Is that legal?

    While it might sound stupid... does using such crack-tool to crack the DRM protection of software they own violates DMCA?

     

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  4.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), May 12th, 2010 @ 7:08pm

    99% of the time developers despise DRM as much as the customers do so this isn't exactly big news.

     

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  5.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 12th, 2010 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Is that legal?

    Good question. I guess once it has been cracked, they're not doing anything else (not sure about that) so it wouldn't trip the DMCA.

    So they guys who cracked it could go to jail, while they put it up on Stream.

    Yeah, that seems right.

     

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  6.  
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    Karl (profile), May 12th, 2010 @ 7:34pm

    Re:

    This is true. My brother used to work at a company that made music software (won't say which). I voiced my negative opinions about their software protection (dongle-based, used to cause blue screens).

    His response? "I don't like it either, but the company says we need copy protection." And this is coming from a senior engineer.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 8:30pm

    Re: Hey!

    I wonder if you could ding Rockstar for copyright infringement. They are distributing someone else's (the cracker's) code, almost certainly without authorization.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 8:43pm

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    lol

    Not only are they circumventing DRM and distributing said DRM circumvented software, they're distributing someone else's code. Good thing the DRM circumvention is DRM free.

     

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  10.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, May 12th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

    to ubisoft

    want more cracks
    :P

    hahahaha bet the former members of myth got a GREAT laugh over this.

    anti circumvention laws would make this act they did illegal however.....

     

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  11.  
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    bob, May 12th, 2010 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Is that legal?

    Does using such crack-tool to crack the DRM protection of software they own violates DMCA?
    As the software was kracked by someone other than Rockstar I do not think it has run afoul of the DMCA.
    But it certainly does illustrate the stupidity of DRM.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2010 @ 12:03am

    they should at least own up and give props to the group that did the work for them

     

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  13.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 12:06am

    Reminds me of the situation with the Atari ST. I played a lot of games on that computer as a kid, most of them legally purchased, although there was a thriving pirate scene. But now, with specially formatted disks that are difficult to read in a standard PC drive and easily lost/damaged manuals as "copy protection", it's near impossible to play my original discs either in the original computer or an emulator.

    I can, however, download every pirate collection ever produced. Your game wasn't on one of those collections? Nobody will ever play it again.

    Seriously, this is what people have been saying all along - DRM does not work. One of the first things I used to do when installing a legal copy of a game with a CD check was to install the crack. Glad to see that the current publishers have noticed how stupid it is as well, even if they are using software that their industry has tried to jail people for creating.

     

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  14.  
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    QW, May 13th, 2010 @ 2:13am

    Copyright infringement

    It was pointed out in the comments of the source article that Myth stole their own logo from Bungie's 'Myth: The Fallen Lords' cover art. Presuming that Bungie own the copyright on this image, there's no question but that Rockstar have violated Bungie's copyright.

     

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  15.  
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    Michael, May 13th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    Copyright of the cracker's code

    Everyone seems to be assuming that Myth was not made up of Rockstar developers. It seems reasonably likely that one or more of the developers at Rockstar were actually responsible for the original cracked version, so they may actually be using their own cracked version of the game.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2010 @ 5:42am

    Re: Copyright infringement

    is ASCII considered an image?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2010 @ 8:02am

    Re:

    they did they left the ascii tag in place

     

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  18.  
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    BigKeithO (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 8:50am

    Re: Copyright of the cracker's code

    Really? That is what you took away from this? Obviously the people are Rockstar are the same people from Myth! Why didn't anyone else see that?

    It isn't a copyright violation at all! Back to work, nothing to see here.

     

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  19.  
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    hmm, May 13th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Yes but if future rockstar games are cracked they have already in effect given notice that the code is OK to use.

    This is going to hurt rockstar quite badly as it can be used as a defence strategy.....

    "but your honor I was only cracking the software so that in future they can put it on steam when they go to download-only....see here's an example of where they did it before!"

     

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  20.  
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    jo-jack, May 13th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    thats pretty baller!

     

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  21.  
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    Matt (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Is that legal?

    The fact that the tool they are using was created by someone else is not what absolves them. Instead, it is that they are authorized to get at the underlying content. So the DRM is not "copy protection" or "access protection" as to them.

     

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  22.  
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    Matt (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Hey!

    This is plainly copyright infringement. But they are extremely unlikely to sue, as the owners of the copyright would first have to admit to creating and using a circumvention device in violation of the DMCA. And questions might swirl about whether they also committed independent violations (for instance, by offering the cracked game itself for download after cracking it).

     

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  23.  
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    Matt (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Re:

    I would not want to have to rely on that defense.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Copyright of the cracker's code

    [Citation Needed]

     

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  25.  
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    nasch (profile), May 13th, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Is that legal?

    Use of any encryption circumvention tool is illegal, even if the thing you're using it for is not a copyright violation. It's possible cracking your own DRM is a DMCA violation, but it sounds like somebody else cracked it and they just copied it. They have the right to copy it, so I imagine they're in the clear (besides the fact that nobody would sue them anyway).

     

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  26.  
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    Michael, May 14th, 2010 @ 3:37am

    Re: Re: Copyright of the cracker's code

    No, that's not what I am taking away from this, it just seems like a weird assumption to make.

    As far as a copyright violation - the guys who cracked the game violated the EULA, whoever posted the cracked game likely violated Rockstar's copyright, and Rockstar re-posting it violated no copyright - because it was theirs in the first place.

    I'm not sure what you are seeing. The news in this article is that although Rockstar complains about people violating their copyright and breaking their DRM, when it became convenient, they used the product of the copyright violation to their advantage.

     

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  27.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 16th, 2010 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Is that legal?

    "They have the right to copy it,"

    Arguable. The cracked version may very well be different (however slightly) from the original version.

    Analogy: An artist claiming someone's work is derivative does not get to distribute that work, they can merely get an injunction.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is that legal?

    You Einsteins don't think that a multi-billion company would not check with it's army of layers from hell, before doing something so bold and risky?.... not to mention how touchy pople are about stuff like that.

    They know it's safe to do, otherwise they would not risk it, and all for a prehistoric game like Max Payne 2, c'mon you guys!..lol

    Comon sense people! please!

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is that legal?

    You Einstein's don't think that a multi-billion company would not check with it's army of layers from hell, before doing something so bold and risky?.... not to mention how touchy pople are about stuff like that.

    They know it's safe to do, otherwise they would not risk it, and all for a prehistoric game like Max Payne 2, c'mon you guys!..lol

    Comon sense people! please!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Bradley A, Jul 14th, 2012 @ 4:47am

    They made the game so it's theirs anyway so it's up to them if they wanna download it currant bun!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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