Fail Friday: Ubisoft's Latest DRM Cracked in Hours
Article by George Norman
On 05 Mar 2010
DRM is short for Digital Rights Management, the technology that copyright holders use to control access to digital content. Ubisoft’s latest DRM technology for example requires its customers to be online all the time if they want to play the game they paid good money for. This way Ubisoft wants to ensure that pirates will not play their games. The downside is that if you have no internet connection, there’s no way to play the game.

Actually that last statement is not exactly true – there is a way to play the game. Silent Hunter 5 for example, which was released earlier this week, uses Ubisoft’s latest DRM technology that requires you to continually be connected to the internet. Just a few hours after the game was released, the DRM was cracked. That’s right, within a day, a cracked version was rolled out to file-sharing sites.

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Before the game was launched, a survey amongst potential Silent Hunter 5 customers showed the new DRM technology is pushing them away. A staggering 85% of all the respondents in the survey (members of the Subsim community) said they’ll wait for a DRM-free version to become available.

So how did Ubisoft respond now that Silent Hunter 5 has been cracked? Why it downplayed the whole thing. The company said that all the rumors about Silent Hunter 5 having been cracked are false and that if you download and play a pirated version, you will find that it is incomplete. That’s weird, because downloaders report the game works just fine.

“The bottom line is that their revolutionary DRM invention was cracked in a matter of hours, and although the crack might not be perfect yet, it will be eventually. The end result will be that the pirated version of the game will be more appealing and less restrictive than the actual retail product. Thus, the DRM is encouraging and increasing piracy instead of putting a halt to it,” commented the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TorrentFreak, site that specializes in everything related to BitTorrent and file-sharing.



Tags: DRM, Digital Rights Management, Ubisoft, Silent Hunter 5
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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