Who Can You Sue When It's Your Own Copy Protection That Hurt Your Reputation?
from the sue-everyone! dept
Video game maker Ubisoft has a rather long history of employing crappy DRM (and then even using someone else’s code to crack their DRM when it caused problems for legitimate customers). However, this latest story involving a Ubisoft copy protection scheme may be the most bizarre. Chris Gruel writes in to let us know that Ubisoft is suing the CD duplicator firm it used to produce the video game Assassin’s Creed, claiming that employees from that firm were responsible for the game leaking to the internet. It appears they have pretty good evidence that this did, in fact, happen (the leak was traced to an IP address controlled by an employee of the firm, and a copy of the game was found at that employee’s home). So you can understand why they’d be upset about that (though, they had to realize that it would be pirated eventually).
However, here’s where the story gets bizarre. Because Ubisoft was afraid that this might happen, the pre-release copy it sent to the CD duplicator included (on purpose!) a bug that would crash the game partway through. That was the copy that the employee leaked, so Ubisoft is complaining that this leak harmed their reputation, because people claimed the game was really buggy and crashed. Try to keep this straight in your mind here. Ubisoft put their own (crude, yes) DRM on the game because they were afraid it would leak. The game was leaked, and the DRM acted exactly as intended, and thus Ubisoft’s reputation was harmed.
It makes you shake your head in wonder.
If Ubisoft had not included this DRM, then it would apparently have less to complain about. Thus, I think the only logical conclusion is that Ubisoft should be suing itself for including such damaging DRM on its own pre-release copies of Assassin’s Creed.