Steam "makes DRM obsolete" ... with more DRM!

Steam "makes DRM obsolete" ... with more DRM!

Summary: Steam claims to have made DRM obsolete ... with more DRM!

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Steam claims to have made DRM obsolete ... with more DRM!

Valve today announced a new set of advanced features delivered in Steamworks, a complete suite of publishing and development tools that are available free of charge to developers and publishers worldwide.

Headlining the new feature set is the Custom Executable Generation (CEG) technology that compliments the already existing anti-piracy solution offered in Steamworks. A customer friendly approach to anti-piracy, CEG makes unique copies of games for each user allowing them to access the application on multiple machines without install limits and without having to install root kits on their PC.

Sure, this scheme won't use rootkits or need to make sneaky changes to the OS, but it's still DRM is every sense (except perhaps as far as Steam's own marketing is concerned). The game is encrypted using a unique key. You connect to Steam's license servers to get authorization to play the game. If anything gets between you ad the license server then you can forget about playing the game you paid for. And if Steam ever goes belly up, your entire games library dies with it.

while I like the idea of ditching physical media in favor of a digital distribution scheme, the scheme makes me a slave to Steam rather than to the disc and serial that I bought.

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Piracy, Security

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130 comments
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  • That's the main reason why I won't use Steam

    If it ever goes belly-up, then I won't be able to play my legally bought games anymore unless Steam is kind enough to provide a tool that strips the DRM from these games.... which they most likely would not do because the game developers would howl at the moon if they did that.
    Lerianis
    • Same here

      Noting beats having the media in my hand.
      Although idiot devs like EA have also released countless games that need to be activated and re-validated.

      It seems like the gates are slowly closing around us.

      I understand piracy is hurting the industry badly, but I'd hope they could come up with a friendlier solution...
      tikigawd
      • Re; I'd hope they could come up with a friendlier solution...

        I don't think they are in the business of being friendly.
        All theese schemes that rely on contact with a server somewhere are notoriously UN-friendly.
        hkommedal
        • And that's exactly why

          they don't get my business.
          tikigawd
    • Make sure to NEVER install Windows then.

      If MS ever goes belly up, no more vista for you!
      AzuMao
      • Thats nuts

        WHy bring MS into this topic? Did you type this on an Apple?
        Baer
        • Nope

          Typed it on XP 64.


          And I brought it up because it was directly equivalent to the problem presented in the article, and in Lerianis' post.
          AzuMao
      • RE: Vista Activation

        Unless you have an OEM copy from your manufacturer that doesn't require activation.
        cgarrett
        • The OEM version of XP I purchased last July...

          ...required activation. It started by saying I had 30 days, but then I did a BIOS update and the system wouldn't boot.
          914four
      • You Idot

        MS is losing ground.
        OldMarine
      • no

        If any company goes belly up, it won't be illegal to hack the security (you can already get hacks for it) and it won't be a big deal. EVERYTHING digital is hackable, it always has been. NOTHING digital is completely secure. Its no big deal, I ran vista for two months illegally before I got given a copy at a conference.
        shadfurman
        • Missing the Point

          It shouldn't require hacking..that is the problem. A standalone product should depend on whether or not the vendor is still in business or not.

          Hacks do not address this issue..they are a workaround,not a solution.
          TheGooch1
        • No.

          This is known as the "abandonware" philosophy, and is just as illegal as any other type of piracy.
          AzuMao
          • Piracy? WTF?

            Piracy is theft on the hi seas. When you pirate something, you take it away such that the owner doesn't have it any more. Copyright violation is something completely different. As , after it happens, both the original owner and the new "owner" have possession of whatever was copied.

            Please do not misuse the term piracy.
            TheGooch1
          • Obviously I was referring to

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_piracy
            AzuMao
          • They're Wrong Too

            Please don't propogate an error that is already too widespread.

            The origin of this mistake is that certain parties felt that copyright infringment didn't carry enough "punch" to serve as a deterrant, so they chose stigmatize it by associating it with the word "piracy" . So many people fell for it, as they did with term "Intellectual Property", that it almost seems like it should be correct, even when it isn't.


            Of course, when there multibillion dollar companies support such misuse of the language, with English teacher who make $20k/year fighting against it, no wonder the bastardization is winning.
            TheGooch1
          • Personally

            I think piracy has less "punch". It evokes imagery of comical scenes in popular movies, like Pirates of the Caribbean. "Copyright infringement" sound distinctly like legalese.


            Why does it even matter either way, though? Everyone knows what it means, whatever you choose to call it..
            AzuMao
      • *sigh*

        Is it possible to read a non MS topic blog and not have idiotic anti-MS posts? I guess not.
        wcb42ad
        • Idiotic

          What's idiotic is flaming for no reason, to a reply that was largely relevant to the topic..
          AzuMao
        • Nope

          Not possible. My apologies.
          TheGooch1