Gears Of War DRM Makes It Unplayable As Of Yesterday

from the drm-in-effect dept

It's almost getting silly to post these examples, but it's yet another reminder of how much damage DRM can do to legitimate customers. The latest victims? Purchasers of the PC version of Gears of War. Paul Brinker points us to the news that due to a digital certificate expiring, PC players of the game have discovered that it no longer works. The only solution? Set your PC clock back to a date prior to January 29th, 2009. Once again, it's a scenario where the DRM did nothing, at all, to stop piracy -- but did plenty to annoy legitimate customers.

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  1. identicon
    Dan, 30 Jan 2009 @ 11:10am

    For everyone who thinks this is DRM...

    Directly from Microsoft:

    [quote]
    Digital Certification

    One of the primary goals of a digital certificate is to confirm that the public key contained in a certificate is, in fact, the public key belonging to the person or entity to whom the certificate is issued. For example, a CA might digitally sign a special message (the certificate information) containing the name of a user, Alice, and her public key in such a way that anyone can verify that the certificate information message was signed by no one other than the CA; the CA thereby conveys trust in Alice's public key.

    The typical implementation of digital certification involves a signature algorithm for signing the certificate. The process goes something like this:

    1. Alice sends a certification request containing her name and her public key to a CA.
    2. The CA creates a special message (m) from Alice's request, which constitutes most of the data in the certificate. The CA signs the message with its private key, obtaining a separate signature (sig) in the process. Then the CA returns the message m and the signature sig to Alice; the two parts together form a certificate.
    3. Alice sends the certificate to Bob to convey trust in her public key.
    4. Bob verifies the signature sig using the CA's public key. If the signature is verified, he accepts Alice's public key.

    As with any digital signature, anyone can verify, at any time, that the certificate was signed by the CA, without access to any secret information. Bob needs only to get a copy of the CA's certificate in order to access the CA's public key.

    A certificate is valid only for the period of time specified by the CA that issued it. The certificate contains information about its beginning and expiration dates. The CA can also revoke any certificate it has issued and maintains a list of revoked certificates. This list is called a certificate revocation list (CRL), and is published by the CA so that anyone can determine the validity of any given certificate. [/quote]

    If you wanna read the whole thing: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms537361.aspx
    You could also look it up on Wikipedia.

    I repeat, this is not DRM. All commercial software does this.

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