| I've not read the said article just yet, but from that direct quote "as
| the copy degrades..." I can already see the trouble with this scheme:
| their copy protection already fails them.  They allow copies to be made
| and rely on the fact that the CDR or whatever media, will eventually
| degrade, because their "code looks like scratches..."  Riiiiggghtt.....
You should read the article - the quote is misleading.  What they are doing is
writing some "bad data" at pre-defined points on the CD.  The program looks
for this and fails if it finds "good" data.

However ... I agree with your other points.  This idea is old, in many
different forms.  It's been broken repeatedly.  The one advantage they have
this time around is that CD readers - and, even more, DVD readers; there is
mention of applying the same trick to DVD's - is, compared to the floppy
readers of yesteryear, sealed boxes.  It's considerably harder to get at the
raw datastream and play games.  Of course, this cuts both ways - there are
limits to what the guys writing the protection code can do, too.

The real "new idea" here has nothing to do with how they *detect* a copy - it's
what they *do* when they detect it.  Rather than simply shut the game down,
the degrade it over time.  Guns slowly stop shooting straight, for example.
In the case of DVD's, the player works fine - but stops working right at some
peak point.  Just like the guy on the corner announcing "first hit's free",
they aim to suck you in, then have you running out to get a legit copy to
save your character's ass - or find out how "The One" really lives through
it all.  This will probably work with a good fraction of the population.

Actually, this is a clever play on the comment from music sharers that they
get a free copy of a song, then buy the CD if they like the stuff.  In effect,
what they are trying to do is make it easy to make "teasers" out of their
stuff.  There will be tons of people copying the stuff in an unsophisticated
way - and only a few who will *really* break it.  Most people will have no
quick way to tell whether they are getting a good or a bad copy.  And every
bad copy has a reasonable chance of actually producing a sale....

                                                        -- Jerry

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