Friday Rant - Copy protection on computer game discs

Summary:OK, today my rant - copy protection mechanisms used on game CDs and DVDs which mean that you have to have the game in the CD/DVD drive in order to be able to play it.

OK, today my rant - copy protection mechanisms used on game CDs and DVDs which mean that you have to have the game in the CD/DVD drive in order to be able to play it.

If you play computer games you'll know what I mean.  You install a game, doing a full install so that you get the best performance (and thus devoting a huge chunk of hard drive to the game), but every time you play the game you're forced to have the disc in the drive.  If you don't, you can't load the game.  Game over.

From a business perspective I can understand the thinking behind incorporating copy protection mechanisms into games.  Digital IP is ripped off mercilessly nowadays and it makes sense to try to stop this happening.  But the problem is that the copy protection schemes are easily bypassed.  Think of any copy-protected computer game and there's a crack or patch available that allows the game to be played without requiring the CD or DVD.

So, you can see why this irritates me.  You need the disc because you can't play the game without it, but the copy protection mechanisms are fatally flawed and if you’re willing to bend the law you can easily download a patch or crack to circumvent the limitation.  So what's the point of adding copy protection?  Anyone wanting to pirate a game can do so and the only people inconvenienced are legitimate gamers who just want to frag some zombies.  I find it a pain in the rear to have to keep all my game discs close to hand.  What's worse is that continually handling and shuffling discs puts them at risk of damage or loss.

Thoughts?  And remember, since it's a Friday, you can vent your spleen about anything tech-related that annoys you!

Topics: Hardware

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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