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Ubisoft Steals 'No-CD Crack' To Fix Rainbow 6: Vegas 2

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the fighting-fire-with-fire dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 434

Ariastis writes "UbiSoft has long been against No-CD patches. Referring to them on their forums would get you warned or banned. But now, they have just officially released a patch for Rainbow 6: Vegas 2, which, when opened in a hex editor, can easily be identified as coming from the RELOADED scene group, not from UbiSoft programmers. A picture of hex analysis is shown in the story. See? Piracy isn't that bad! It saves you from having to code fixes for your own games! (Watch the drama on the Ubi Forums before it gets scrubbed clean.)"

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So... (5, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252243)

Presumably the patch has been nuked for Stolen.Crack?

Re:So... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252329)

Last time I ever download anything -Ubisoft!

Re:So... (4, Funny)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252429)

Ubisoft stole a program released by a group who help others to steal theirs?

The monsters!

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252459)

Two wrongs don't make a right, dude.

What cracks me up (pun intended) is the fact that Ubisoft have been UTTER BASTARDS in the past. If you posted complaining about Starforce on their forums, their employees would accuse you of being a hacker, a pirate etc... People get banned for posting links to cracks. HAVE been banned for posting links to THIS VERY CRACK.

This priceless, and utterly UTTERLY hilarious. A major software company relying on a cracking group to fix their stupid issues that their choice of DRM caused.

The only way this could be ANY funnier is if it was Electronic Arts instead, and even that would be pushing it as Ubi's attitude toward their consumers in regards to DRM is a hundred times more offensive than I've ever seen EA be.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252767)

Regardless of what support the company has given its costumers, remember that the crack was made to circumvent anti-piracy schemes.

There wouldn't be any need for anti-piracy schemes if people were trustworthy and didn't steal software.

People use pirated software -> companies lose money -> companies invest in trying to avoid illegitimate usage of their software -> copy-protection schemes are put in place -> problems with copy-protection schemes arise -> people who don't give a shit about the fact that the software was a result of an investment in both equipment, marketing and man hours still keep finding ways to pirate the software.

So everyone uses cracks to go around copy protection schemes when they're not supposed to, and then when that company uses that crack to fix a problem, everyone is outraged. So it's OK if you steal from a company, but it's NOT OK if a company uses, to fix their own product and provide the support everyone cries for, something that was made specifically to target that company's product making it easier to pirate.

You know, people have worked to develop the product. Money has been invested. It's a company, it's supposed to make a profit, not to create software out of pure charity.

And no, two wrongs don't make it a right, you're right when you said it. And everyone should have thought that even if the company sucks at supporting its users (first wrong) that doesn't forgive anyone for pirating software (second wrong). I'm not saying that you shouldn't be able to fully use the product you bought. But does anyone here honestly believe that only the guys that bought the product are the ones using the crack? I don't think so.

This sounds like hypocrisy to me.

Just be glad that now that there is an "official" fix for your problems.

Re:So... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252773)

let me guess, you're a nigger, right? you would have to be a nigger to say something so stupid. good job outing yourself as a nigger.

Re:So... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252833)

let me guess, you're a nigger, right? you would have to be a nigger to say something so stupid. good job outing yourself as a nigger.

STFU

Re:So... (5, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252595)

Ubisoft stole a program released by a group who help others to steal theirs?

CD cracks aren't just for stealing games.

One of the first things I do when I buy a game is download the CD crack so I don't have to keep track of where the install disks are.

I bought the game, it's mine. I can do whatever the fuck I like with it, including disabling annoying shit like DRM.

Re:So... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252763)

Ubisoft stole a program released by a group who help others to steal theirs?

CD cracks aren't just for stealing games.

One of the first things I do when I buy a game is download the CD crack so I don't have to keep track of where the install disks are.

I bought the game, it's mine. I can do whatever the fuck I like with it, including disabling annoying shit like DRM.

Unfortunately, you only bought a license to use the game according to the terms of the EULA, not the game itself.

Re:So... (3, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252805)

That aspect of EULA's has never been tested in court. It's quite possible that it would be deemed null and void.

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252835)

I Would love to see the group of crackers follow a Lawsuit against Ubisoft!!

Now, THAT, would be Poetic Justice.

Re:So... (1)

tchiseen (1315299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252559)

Lol, I knew Ubi were P2P kiddies.

**** THE RIAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252253)

**** THE RIAA

How could they? (3, Insightful)

Jeremy Visser (1205626) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252255)

Stealing the intellectual property of these crackers that they so rightfully deserve -- how could Ubisoft do such a thing?

On a serious note, is Ubisoft actually legally allowed to distribute these cracked executables, because they are of their own product?

Mind, I don't get why, because they would have the original source code anyway.

Maybe NoCD patches are the latest in the industry? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252345)

Warcraft 3 v1.21b patch didn't had any changes in the game except nocd, which was indeed very nice, one do wonder why it took them so long though.

http://pc.qj.net/Warcraft-3-patch-v1-21b-released-with-no-CD-feature/pg/49/aid/113191 [qj.net]

Re:Maybe NoCD patches are the latest in the indust (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252393)

They did it for Starcraft too.... Blizzard probably realized that:
a) These things are so common nowadays that anyone who is going pirate the game can easily find one and
b) They save money in the long run by having to replace significantly less discs as they get old, dirty, and scratched.

Re:Maybe NoCD patches are the latest in the indust (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252415)

But Blizzard doesn't replace them do they? Afaik they ask for money for a replacement disk :(

This is my TFT-CD:
http://cdcrack.istheshit.net/ [istheshit.net]

But I've borrowed a friends instead...
(On a mac ROC CD when you played TFT wasn't enough either, it's in Windows, fucked up because I hate looking for the CD and I never used NoCD crack once I had the original because I didn't wanted to risk getting banned from bnet.)

And no, I have no idea why they bother to check for the CD, it will be broken anyway so why bother about it?

Re:Maybe NoCD patches are the latest in the indust (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252549)

To make sure you had a legit copy to begin with. Even though they charge you for the replacement, they still are probably losing money on the venture as they have to have staff and facilities to maintain the program. Not cheap.

Re:Maybe NoCD patches are the latest in the indust (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252687)

How does it matter? One need a cdkey anyway (atleast to play on bnet, for single player a crack would do), so I'd say it's safe enough to know that I have an original CD. They could even get my bnet accounts and current keys / keys from that case.

And earlier when they required the CD I thought it was a reasonable request to get a CD for free since they have their stupid copy protection to begin with.

Except with programs which breaks the copy protection you can't backup the CD either.

Re:Maybe NoCD patches are the latest in the indust (2, Informative)

grim4593 (947789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252449)

Or you could just rip the cd to a .iso image, mount it in a virtual drive and install/play it from there.

Re:Maybe NoCD patches are the latest in the indust (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252655)

Except if you RTFA(I know,but I got bored) you'll see that they are selling the game Direct2Drive which means you DON'T GET a disc. And now that they have removed the crack it means anyone who buys the game Direct2Drive is getting a non-functional product. I smell lawsuit! Maybe NYCLawyer could weigh in on selling a product that you can't actually use without breaking the DMCA. Would it be fraud or just theft? And as always this is my 02c,YMMV

Re:Maybe NoCD patches are the latest in the indust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252755)

for a whole list of reasons, this does not always work. that is the drm part of the theft prevention

Re:Maybe NoCD patches are the latest in the indust (3, Insightful)

ildon (413912) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252605)

They created the no-CD patches to coincide with their "Blizzard Account" system which allows you to buy their games online and then download them. I'm assuming they wanted a consistent platform for all their users, and it doesn't exactly make sense to have someone purchase and download a game and then have to wait for the CD to arrive in the mail just to start it up.

Additionally, if you already own the game, you can enter your CD key on the site to gain the ability to download them directly from Blizzard.

Copyright infringement still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252347)

And for monetary gain no less.

Add that to the recent assholery displayed by the judge in the Blizzard bot case and ALL ubisoft customers are breaking the law by using the patch.

Re:How could they? (1, Funny)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252363)

Yeah, I'm still laughing at the irony of Ubisoft being accused of "stealing" from the guys who pirated their game.

Those poor pirates! Ubisoft just ripped off their work, downloaded and distributed it for free, and never gave them anything in return. Ubisoft is destroying the pirate industry!

Re:How could they? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252683)

It's more the hypocrisy that concerns everyone. It's like how no-one would care if a seedy pervert was having an illicit affair with a prostitute, but it would be big news if a preacher/pastor/minister/religious-leader was - because of the moral hypocrisy. Sheesh, it's not like the pirates are actually losing money over this.

Re:How could they? (5, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252555)

Just semantics, I know, but UBISoft didn't steal anything. They haven't deprived the originators of any use of their CD crack.
I found the article both amusing, intriguing, and irritating in that they're playing the games of the *IAA on the "theft" side.
What they have done is infringe copyright, which is just not playing fair. And for one of the "big boys" in the industry, who definitely do make money from releases, and continued patching (patches are, or should be, costed into the maintenance cycle of any computer product).

Legally, I'd say UBI are in the wring distributing the patch, as it is comprised of code they have not written. However, the cracker group would have to go and press charges to have this settled. And I'm not so sure they would be so happy to drop their facade of anonymity for this (all the companies that would love to know who they are, for the sake of taking a shot at copyright protection circumvention charges etc.).

As things stand, I don't think UBI will get the full legal hot water, however, they've just taken a massive PR hit, and the whole "holier than thou" stance taken by the games industry on copy protection has also been tainted.

As to why a patch has been released that's copied.. The no-cd cracks are widely distributed, so when they're 'mature', you have a very heavily tested patch, that may just fix an issue you need fixed. You can either spend ages getting the dev to identify the bug, work out how to fix it without breaking other things in the product, get a testing department to exhaustively test it to make sure it doesn't break, pass it through QA to make sure it's not affected any other things adversely, and have it passed backwards and forwards if things don't seem quite right.. Or you can grab some existing highly tested in volume code that does the job nicely.

Efficiency says that the second is the best option. However, to do that, they'd need the ok from the crack group, which the organisation probably wouldn't want to attribute on a release document. The joys of politics getting in the way of progress.
Given that they're not willing to attribute or deal with the 'pirates', then alas, their only option should have been to go their own way.

Methinks someone was a tad lazy and thought "it's all closed, who'll know?" without thinking it through.. After all, how does anyone work out how things have altered without going through patches with the proverbial microscope? You can pretty much guarantee that someone would find out the similarities...

Of course, there's also the option that one of the UBI devs is also in the crack group and simply reused the code s/he wrote in the first place, which would be even more interesting (and from an 'unofficial' aspect, probably more useful for UBI, as they can comply with uninformed investors clamoring for DRM, and at the same time slake the appetites of the masses who don't want the damned DVD in the drive as it's a pain in the arse! Best of both worlds).

Re:How could they? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252809)

They weren't actually arguing that, they just found it funny.....

Lost source? (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252593)

Maybe they lost the source to their own product? It would certainly explain why they've been dragging their feet on fixing the problem the crack addresses.

The patch been pulled, over a week ago! (5, Informative)

Planky (761118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252259)

Someone was either being very lazy or thought it was funny. I'm glad they didn't censor the forums to hell and back ala Apple...

Last post from the now locked thread:

The file was removed from the site over a week ago now and the matter is being thoroughly investigated by senior tech support managers here at Ubisoft. Needless to say we do not support or condone copy protection circumvention methods like this and this particular incident is in direct conflict with Ubisoft's policies.

Re:The patch been pulled, over a week ago! (5, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252721)

Since I work in 3rd tier support now, let me translate that into human language:

The working fix was removed as soon as management of department responsible for actually releasing fixes complained very loud. The matter is being thoroughly investigated, but as of now no easy scapegoat can be found, since "fix" actually worked. Also, manager of sales asked me to retype here the stuff from our business booklet: "we do no support or condone copy protection circumvention methods." Nice. Gamers have to thank some poor chap from support department who put the fix up so that gamers can play the game they have paid money for, but please remember, since you already paid to Ubi, we can care less whether you can play the game or not. Ha-ha.

My theory would be that Ubi support manager had authorized that one of his subordinates would put fix on their site. Because they had a flood of complaints and they had to respond to customers. Luckily, support departments are least responsible for anything. Since it takes that long, the dispute between support, development and D2D folks really heated up. From my experience, I'd say, some manager had intentionally authorized that - just to have a chance to say something (probably about game quality) aloud.

This is awesome. (5, Funny)

ElAurian (133656) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252263)

It's entirely in the spirit of online freedom that all who use cracks live by. It's also a quiet nod to the expertise of those who wrote the crack.

I think we should all take this as a good sign of further co-operation in times to come.

Re:This is awesome. (2, Informative)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252331)

That. Or UbiSoft found the cracked version runs better, smoother and faster.

I heard story from friend whose another friend bought Pro/E, and could not install from the official CDs. Finally, running out of time, he installed cracked Pro/E right in front of their representative which worked like a charm.

Of course he has not asked for refund as he wants to keep the license to show, just in case.

Furthermore (5, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252473)

It's not stealing if the original programmers were not deprived of anything. Whether the good guys ("pirates") do it or the bad guys (the "content industry") do it, unauthorized copying is not stealing and never has been.

Re:Furthermore (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252753)

Not entirely true.

When RELOADED does it they wrote new code and credited Ubisoft for the original game.

When Ubisoft did it, they claimed the code as their own, stealing credit.

It's also just using their argument against them. If they want to say it is stealing, than its stealing when they do it. I'm sure most people in the scene would rather Ubisoft have to admit it is not stealing.

Re:This is awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252747)

Actually, RELOADED, and other scene groups really don't like their stuff being leaked outside their circle of friends.

Is anyone really that surprised? (4, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252267)

Perhaps I'm a bit silly thinking this, but I have a lot of respect for the majority of the cracking scene.
Time and time again they've always proved just how talented and resourceful they can be.
I say props to them! At the very least, Ubi should sack whatever middle-manager that decided to release this as an "official" patch or lazy programmer that decided to submit this rather than build a proper executable and give THEM a job instead. I've had more "official" patches from both Ubi and EA (And a few others) break stuff than dodgy, pirate hacks.

Pot vs. Kettle (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252341)

Ubi should sack whatever middle-manager that decided to release this as an "official" patch or lazy programmer that decided to submit this rather than build a proper executable and give THEM a job instead.

Wait a second. You're suggesting that Ubisoft should be taken to task stealing some cracker's hard work? Sounds to me like fair play. Why waste Ubisoft resources on making a patch when they can just steal one?

Re:Pot vs. Kettle (5, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252359)

It's not that they stole it, it's more that they couldn't be bothered to make an official one.
I mean, when you think about it - what if that crack WAS dodgy? What if it had a time bomb in it that wiped out your hard drive after a certain date? I don't think for a second that Ubi disassembled the cracked .exe and checked it for irregularities or they'd have noticed the cracking group's moniker and removed it. That, plus it would have been easier to recompile a new one from the source they have.
Of course, I trust the group but I know full well that if it DID have something dodgy in it, I'd be fully responsible for it and have to accept that it was my fault.
But in this case, Ubi could have been under some serious shit if such a thing had happened.
There's really no excuse, it's sheer laziness on their part.

Re:Pot vs. Kettle (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252423)

Of course, I trust the group

why? Do you know who they are? where they are from? know the personally? You know who are current members of the groups, and what their motives are?

Personally I do not trust anonymous groups of coders on the internet who cannot be tracked down to run exes on my machine. If ubisoft format my hard drive, I have legal recourse against a known company. The same if my company trashes your machine. Your defence against some random group of kids on the internet is basically fuck all.

I'm surprised how much risk people expose their PC's to in order to avoid having a CD, or (more often) to get free games.

Re:Pot vs. Kettle (5, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252859)

Reloaded has existed for quite a while and as far as I know they've never put malware in their cracks. While it's obvious there is always a risk involved when you run an executable (no matter where it came from), I'd say you are reasonably save using their cracks. Probably more safe than running DRM'ed software, since that software tries to hook itself into all kinds of important parts of you operating system.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252873)

Why is this modded down? He makes a good point. If you're downloading shady EXEs from P2P, then it's just a matter of time before you get pwned, because you are a sitting duck.

The filename says "RELOADED", and you think you can trust them, but is it really from them? If I wanted to get a keylogger on a bunch of computers, I could easily add it to a "no cd crack" for a popular game and put it on P2P. I'd put "RELOADED" in the filename and fake the text files. I'd make sure that the keylogger activated itself after a couple of weeks to maximise my infection rate. If I did this, how would you tell?

Re:Pot vs. Kettle (1)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252811)

I mean, when you think about it - what if that crack WAS dodgy? What if it had a time bomb in it that wiped out your hard drive after a certain date?

Is that much different than any 3rd party piece of software, such as a licensed library?

Just goes to show that even closed source can be open source in the hands of a competent person. Too bad the guy who decided to use the crack was anything but competent, and with any resolution will likely cost his [former] employee a buttload of cash.

Re:Pot vs. Kettle (3, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252383)

This is a No-CD crack, which has a legitimate use. If you lose your CD for instance. The hacking group in question hasn't stolen anything of Ubisoft's.

Re:Is anyone really that surprised? (1)

Shturmovik (632314) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252397)

...I have a lot of respect for the majority of the cracking scene.

Misguided respect. The majority are kiddies of the lowest kind. The vast majority. Overwhelming majority, even. Very few within the "cracking scene" have any real skill. And if they had a little more, they'd be in far more lucrative legitimate positions. (And, no, there aren't lots of crackers earning a fortune working for the Russian mafia, contrary to all reports from the terminally-clueless. Sorry to burst your fantasy balloon.)

Re:Is anyone really that surprised? (1, Interesting)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252409)

its always easier to break and destroy than to fix and create.

I'm sure there are some very talented people making nocd cracks. I wish those people would actually use their efforts to create good new games, rather than just encouraging games devs to spend yet more time and yet more money creating better stronger DRM.
We are all very impressed with their l33t coding skills. Maybe now they could do something constructive with them?

Re:Is anyone really that surprised? (5, Insightful)

masterzora (871343) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252433)

How is this not constructive? Game devs insist on checking for a CD in my drive which leads a a good number of problems that, as a paying customer, I honestly shouldn't have to deal with. These people provide a legitimate service by allowing to play the game without having worry about these issues, a right I should have when I buy the game.

Re:Is anyone really that surprised? (1, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252731)

if you don't like the terms of the game, don't buy it. Nobody forces you to buy video games. But of course, this is slashdot, you get modded a troll for sticking up for anyone who actually creates entertainment. the slashdot hive mind thinks it was born with a right to take everyone else work for free.
Anyone pointing out how selfish this is is apparently *troll*.
This is why nobody makes games aimed at this sort of gamer. Why bother?

Re:Is anyone really that surprised? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252783)

That is probably the most ignorant response I have ever read on Slashdot. Did you accidentally reply to the wrong post?

Somehow I doubt you would be so quick to condemn players who ignored a requirement in the EULA that they play a game in only their underwear. Then again, after that staggering display of ineptitude, perhaps you would.

"If you don't like the developer's arbitrary clothing requirements, don't buy the game! It's their right to tell you how to dress while consuming their media."

Actually, if you are not that monumentally stupid, the only alternative is that you are trolling. It would seem the mods are giving you the benefit of the doubt. If I were you, I'd shut up and take it.

Re:Is anyone really that surprised? (1)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252575)

The programming skills required to make a no-cd patch and the skills required to make a good game are very different. The first thing required to make a good game is a good game designer, who doesn't necessarily even need to know how to program (although it probably helps) - then somebody needs to code it.

Why blame Dilbert? (1)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252483)

Don't shoot the poor guy or gal in the middle who made the snap decision. I guess in an outfit the size of UbiSoft it takes about 6 months to get anything approved.

Top management want answers *yesterday* regardless...

More to the point, you've got to understand the psychology of some management people. Here's an example - "we don't steal software". Five minutes later a request to load a boatload of stolen software onto a customers machine.

The truth is though that a widely used crack has likely seen more testing than any delta a maintenance programmer would cook up - although any sane dev team *already* has at least conditionally compiled code which builds to a No CD or backup CD version.

(You don't really tell *everything* to the people in marketting do you?).

Ubisoft should at least do the right thing a la Epic and some time after the initial release has made enough cash release a real update which doesn't need the CD or at least plays off a CD image . (c.f. Unreal Tournament).

Andy

Re:Is anyone really that surprised? (1)

PhoenixAtlantios (991132) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252497)

I've had more "official" patches from both Ubi and EA (And a few others) break stuff than dodgy, pirate hacks.

I would argue that this is because the dodgy, pirate hacks only attempt to bypass one system whereas official patches tend to correct flawed code, fix missing/damaged resources, etc. You're comparing massive changes to minimal ones; we all know that the more changes there are in a particular patch, the more likely one is to become problematic.

Re:Is anyone really that surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252557)

Au contraire. If those "talented" people actually spent time creating something useful for the open source community I would respect them.

For me they're just a bunch of random lamers who happen to know how to use a debugger. Nothing to write home about.

Glass

Re:Is anyone really that surprised? (3, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252785)

I frankly stopped buying PC games. Or to put it better I have improved my game buying routine:

1. Go to review sites and pick game which has good user comments. Official reviews are written by some score-whores and rarely reflect actual gaming experience.

2. Go to torrent site of your choosing and download the game. If game downloads fast: +1

3. Try to install and play game. If it plays without crack: +5 (== the game is popular)
If crack is needed - continue.

4. Find a working crack. If crack is found easily: +5
If no crack is found or cracks are not working: throw away the game. If it wasn't worth time to crack, doubtfully it would be worth my time to play it.

5. Actually play the game. If game is good: +10

6. If games plays good (with easy to find crack), buy it.

Now it all boils down to simple fact: was game compromised with DRM or devels instead choose to make game better and not waste their time on crippling users' experience.

Unethical? Yes. Illegal? Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252275)

Does Reloaded actually have any legal claim to their program/crack, given that there is no copyright and they freely distribute it for all to have?

Re:Unethical? Yes. Illegal? Hmmm... (4, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252313)

There is copyright. All copyrightable works are automatically protected by copyright, no matter if you display a copyright symbol or not. Registering your copyright can make it easier to prove your ownership, but is not compulsory for protection.

Re:Unethical? Yes. Illegal? Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252425)

OK. But don't people accidentally post images/whatnot on public forums occasionally, only to find out they have no rights to it (think King Douchenozzle Von Crunk)?

When an author uploads a torrent, is that file considered to have entered the public domain?

Re:Unethical? Yes. Illegal? Hmmm... (4, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252439)

OK. But don't people accidentally post images/whatnot on public forums occasionally, only to find out they have no rights to it.

Yes. They've unintentionally violated copyright.

When an author uploads a torrent, is that file considered to have entered the public domain?

No, not anymore than if an author gives a free copy of a book away, that book enters the public domain. Authors (assuming they haven't sold their rights away) are allowed to distribute their own work as much as they want, and in whatever form they want. When someone else does it, they're in violation of copyright (unless they are licensed or copyright has been explicitly waived).

Re:Unethical? Yes. Illegal? Hmmm... (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252611)

Hold it right there!

UBIsoft not only distributed someone else's work without their permission. They didn't just go and do what the usual release group does, taking someone else's work and publish it. At least crackers usually have the decency to keep the producer's name on the product. I can't remember any cracker group claiming they actually made some game.

Looking at it this way, what UBIsoft did was even worse. They didn't only violate copyright and distribute someone else's work without compensating the original author (granted, it would first of all be hard to find him and second, it is distributed for free anyway, so there is no immediate loss for the author), but they didn't even give him credit! This is the problem here, not that they distribute someone else's work. As stated above, this work would have been distributed freely and without any benefit for the creator anyway. They refused him the acknowledgement!

Re:Unethical? Yes. Illegal? Hmmm... (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252689)

I think everyone is missing the point. Ubisoft,by selling the game Direct2Drive,is selling a product that you CANNOT use thanks to their DRM. Now that the crack had been removed from the Ubisoft forum the ONLY way you can USE the product you paid for is by breaking the law,in this case DMCA. So what I want to know is why isn't someone demanding that they quit selling the game by Direct2Drive? Why isn't anyone looking at busting them for fraud,since they are selling you a product that they KNOW that you can't actually use? That would seem to be IMHO the more important questions here. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

Re:Unethical? Yes. Illegal? Hmmm... (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252857)

Is it a copyrightable work though? They directly modified somebody elses copyrighted work. I could understand it if it was a patcher, but not a actual executable file.

Verification? (1)

SEGT (880610) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252277)

I have seen this floating around all day. Slashdot is the first respectable source I've seen that is willing to push this story along... a 4 AM. I don't have the game, but could anyone with it verify this? I'd think grabbing a few Kb of the binary around that offset in the article could be compared to the crack. Or is this a case of someone just editing a random string inside a binary and posting screens? Smear campaign? FP?

Re:Verification? (1)

rdradar (1110795) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252535)

I can verify it did have those tags and was exactly the same exe. Ubisoft just pulled it out of the site when news got out (already some time ago).

License (5, Funny)

Timosch (1212482) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252279)

Under which license is the crack redistributed? Does it allow including it in a closed-source project?

ahahahahahaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252283)

So, we now know what to do to D2Dize Ubisoft's games - ask reloaded. ;-)

Nope, (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252287)

They aren't "stealing" anything, the executable was theirs to begin with. If you spruce up my house with some fancy artwork it doesn't make it your house.

Re:Nope, (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252301)

No, but if you then show off said artwork claiming it to be your own then it does make you a bit of a dick.

Re:Nope, (1)

IntricateEnigma (148093) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252445)

True, I would never want to provide work giving someone other than the author credit, but whether the patch submitter in question is truly a "dick" can be debated.

Hypothetical situation:
Imagine you have a lot of legitimate users who need a patch. You haven't found a fix yourself or the development time is more extensive for you. You want to get a fix in the hands of the users as quickly as possible. You already know of a fix, but management would never go for it because it's from the enemies. The legitimate users may not be looking in these "prohibited" areas to find the fix on their own. Your part of the the support team for the game and the users should be able to go to you for a fix. A link is out of the question, so what can you do?
Quickly disguise the fix and post it as though it's not from your enemies. Granted, your going to have to misdirect who will get the credit, but for you it is a small price to pay to support your customers. You release it under false credentials and cross your fingers. Maybe in a few weeks you'll have a more "official" fix to publish and hope no one is any the wiser. If the truth is discovered,
1) credit will go where it deserves,
2) publicity for where the original fix is,
3) Maybe a miracle of God will let you keep your job, but more likely you'll just get fired as an unsung hero who stole someone else's 'artwork' and were incredibly stupid to post it on a company website.

If this was released by someone in the company, this person is either very brave, miscalculated the odds of being discovered, actually trying to get credit for someone else's work, or insane to the point that they don't understand what their doing.

Re:Nope, (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252405)

They aren't "stealing" anything, the executable was theirs to begin with. If you spruce up my house with some fancy artwork it doesn't make it your house.

The crackers infringe UbiSoft's copyright when they distribute the patch, but that does not give UbiSoft the right to distribute the cracker's derived work. They are also infringing copyright. Or, if you prefer analogies, if I take a book you've written and modify it I cannot distribute my new version without your permission, but you cannot distribute my new version without me permission either - we both hold copyrights over the derived work.

Re:Nope, (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252441)

I think you might be wrong, in that the patch is just that - a patch. If you write a book, and I publish sonething telling people to skip chapters 3,5, and 9, and replace them with something I wrote in order to make the story flow better, then that's not illegal. Someone needs to have copies of both the book and the patch to have the modified version.

Re:Nope, (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252585)

The patch is a separate, derived work regardless of the original.

Re:Nope, (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252601)

I think you might be wrong, in that the patch is just that - a patch. If you write a book, and I publish sonething telling people to skip chapters 3,5, and 9, and replace them with something I wrote in order to make the story flow better, then that's not illegal. Someone needs to have copies of both the book and the patch to have the modified version.

I'm not sure if your analogy is supposed to apply to UbiSoft or the crackers. In the crackers case it probably can't apply because they almost always distribute the entire executable. In UbiSoft's case they may also be distributing the entire executable, it's not uncommon. I don't know if they are or not. Even if they aren't, your analogy doesn't apply because they are still including code they don't own the copyright to. In terms of your analogy, UbiSoft published the original book. The crackers wrote the instructions to modify the book (but almost certainly distributed the final result, in breach of UbiSoft's copyright). But now UbiSoft have published their own set of instructions which include the cracker's changes. That's a breach of copyright in itself, even before those instructions have been applied to the original book.

Re:Nope, (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252589)

It's actually not that easy.

Writing a program that has the capabilities of altering another program can be legal under certain circumstances. Our copyright says specifically that you may reverse engineer software and change parts of it to "establish interoperability". It's also a right you cannot waive, i.e. an EULA telling you you must not is void. You may of course still not distribute the altered version, but distributing a program that automatically alters a piece of software is something different.

Now, I doubt anyone ever tried to defend this in court, but technically, "cracking" is not illegal here. Other countries may have similar rules, so it depends entirely on where that RELOADED group resides, i.e. what place of jurisdiction is applicable.

Simply copying a program and claiming it as your own is illegal, though. So, depending on jurisdiction, they could actually win.

Rogue Programmer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252299)

I bet this is just a case of a rogue programmer trying to meet a deadline. Instead of writing up his/her own fix, they tried to pass off RELOADED's work as their own. It passed QA and was released to prod. Congrats on the fine work form the RELOADED programmers!

Argh! Too many jokes, brain hurts (1)

hejish (852589) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252325)

So I read the... not the article. The forums. Yeah. Before they inevitably vanish. Too many jokes are going through my brain. -- I see comments about open source licenses are already going. -- Jokes about the cracking scene are hopping -- jokes about Ubi (being soft on this issue, etc) Argh.

Stealing? (5, Insightful)

masterzora (871343) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252351)

I can already see the torrent of people coming in to call all slashdot users hypocrites for calling this stealing but defending "piracy" as not stealing and all that, so I figure I might as well clear this up as soon as possible:

Thing the first: Slashdot is not one person, it is many people, so it's not inconsistent for vocal members of the community to call this stealing but piracy not stealing.

Thing the second: "steals" is still a bad word here. "Steals credit" would be better, if anything, but I still think the wording is bad anyway.

Thing the third: most pirates at least hold to the moral ground of giving credit where credit is due, which is clearly not the case here.

Hopefully this will head off those silly comments. Eh, who am I kidding, it's Slashdot. I'll probably wake up to 50 of them. Oh well, I tried.

Re:Stealing? (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252597)

I think that in the books of many /. readers, stealing credit is actually worse than stealing a product. Many people here have an academic background, so they are very familiar with the problems of credit stealing, few, OTOH, are in sales, so the problem of stealing a product isn't so much of a topic.

I have to admit, I'm in the same boat. Personally, I'd give it a shrug and a "turnaround is fair" comment when UBI simply said that they didn't want to reinvent the wheel so they just took an existing crack and used it for their own purposes. Not saying anything and claiming it as their own development is what irks me.

Re:Stealing? (4, Interesting)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252727)

The label of 'stealing' is in the story headline itself. If Slashdot ran a story on music/software piracy with a headline labelling those people in the same way, I am sure there would be far more critical posts.

Re:Stealing? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252843)

Thanks so much for saving us!

My hero!

not news for nerds - close: news for pussies !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252353)

this is not news for nerds, unless you happen to be a pussy-nerd !!

games, cracks - this is stuff of pussies !!!!

stop it !

captcha: vulva

Re:not news for nerds - close: news for pussies !! (1)

Thrashing Rage (157543) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252411)

I've had quite a few games i bought that had media checks in them. A recent game came on DVD-ROM and the media check failed because my only DVDROM drive happens to be a burner. Remember I paid for the game, so whats the alternative then? This wasn't the first program to cause issues because of certain hardware etc, but you get the idea. I had no alternative did I? Also don't waste your time with call the support line, that joke gets old.

NO-CD cracks are what saves the gaming world (5, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252385)

Seriously. If there were no NO-CD cracks, I suspect companies like Ubisoft would make lots LESS money than they do now. I usually buy the game, download the NO-CD crack, and play. I'll never forget how the CD in my previous ThinkPad almost died from overwork before I saved it (and myself from going insane) with the NO-CD for HOMM IV.

It has come to the point that I do NOT buy a game until a NO-CD crack exists for it.

Re:NO-CD cracks are what saves the gaming world (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252581)

I read once that when Jeri Ellsworth developed the C64 direct-to-tv [wikipedia.org] , she did acquire the licenses, but most of the original C64 software was either lost or not usable, and they had to use the cracked versions instead. DRM is bad for nostalgia. Imagine not being able to read any book from before 1990 because the publisher went bankrupt or changed their DRM server (microsoft plays-for-sure).

French? (4, Insightful)

y4h0oo (658404) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252395)

...Why is that, Ubisoft?

(1) You're posting an illegal crack that violates YOUR OWN RULES on piracy
(2) You stole someone else's crack. Couldn't bother making your own? Sheesh. Now THAT'S French for you!



This french surrender business and now this "whatever is retarded is french" is so obtuse!
It's like saying all americans are morons and deserve Bush.

Re:French? (4, Informative)

masterzora (871343) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252401)

Well, Ubisoft is French, so it's not exactly a case of someone saying "whatever is retarded is French" so much as "it's French and therefore retarded". You may still disagree with *that* statement, but it's still a vastly different one than what you said.

Re:French? (4, Funny)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252541)

All ze Americans are morons and deserve Bush.

Re:French? (4, Insightful)

MagdJTK (1275470) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252579)

Very true. Now I hate the French as much as the next Briton, but I feel the American accusation of cowardice during the Second World War is resting on pretty thin ice.

"Surrendering? That's inexcusable! What you want to do is refuse to help for several years even though your supposed friends are getting killed in the millions. Then, if attacked, join the war and pretend that it couldn't have been won without you and that you're so selfless for coming to their aid. Ensure that you become a superpower in the process and enjoy sixty years of fucking over the rest of the world!"

Re:French? (4, Insightful)

abstract daddy (1307763) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252651)

Hell yeah man, the imperialist pigs of America totally fucked over Japan, Germany and the rest of Europe. How dare they.

Re:French? (5, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252801)

What you want to do is refuse to help for several years even though your supposed friends are getting killed in the millions

Damned if they don't

Ensure that you become a superpower in the process and enjoy sixty years of fucking over the rest of the world!

Damned if they do

Re:French? (4, Informative)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252837)

One of the reasons that many Americans were reluctant to get involved in World War II was their experience with World War I. After World War I, British propaganda was publicly exposed as a pack of lies, a cynical effort to mold public opinion at home and abroad, and to get America to enter the war. This destroyed the credibility of European news sources with many Americans, who felt that they had been duped by Allied propaganda.

Higher-ups (2, Interesting)

Exanon (1277926) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252447)

This is the very definition of Irony. I wonder what the press release is going to say about this.

But TBH I have a feeling this was a decision from the higher ups in the organization, there has to have been a programmer that was aware of this but wasn't listened to.

maybe.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252481)

maybe they just wanted to put people using that NOCD crack on blacklist or something more sinister.. (so they used it for comparison)

Cool! (1)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252505)

Since Ubisoft used the crack (presumably) without permission, does this mean RELOADED can sue Ubisoft for copy protection infringement now?

Sounds like some low level employee overstepped (1)

from1900to2000 (1328881) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252507)

his bounds. The summary makes it sound like Ubisoft used the crack in an official patch of theirs. Way to make a big deal about nothing, Slashdot!

DRM for games (4, Interesting)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252543)

It is a real shame that Game DRM hasn't gotten the same bad publicity and force for change movement against it that music has.

mp3's have, despite the music companies best efforts, proven to be what buyers want - not "you can only listen to this track on 2 machines" DRM files. That has been enforced by media coverage and scrutiny - pointing out and badgering the music labels that people don't want DRM junk.

This unfortunately hasn't happened with PC games - I guess they are less "mainstream" as far as media coverage is concerned.

I used to buy a lot of games, and enjoy playing them - but the situation has deteriorated very badly in the last 4-5 years. Games not only have the usual "key & cd/dvd in the drive" requirements, but I have encountered a number, which I paid hard money for, that refuse to install if I have CloneCD installed - others that refuse to install if I have Daemon Tools installed - both programs that I legitimately use (and not for games, just to avoid having to take tens of cd's around with me).

I bought HL2 - but haven't been able to play it for a couple years as I am behind a tight firewall and so can't register it. Consequently I haven't bought Ep2 or 3.

The games companies have to wisen up - I used to by 3-6 games per year - I now haven't bought a single one in the last 2 years - I can't be bothered with games I paid hard cash for treating me like I am a criminal. I am not interested (nor should ever need to) apply the various circumvention cracks to get around the DRM just so I can play a game I have bought.

The farce from Ubi-Soft only reinforces the situation - the same crackers who they decry as "destroying the games industry" are the ones they rip-off when they can't be bothered to write a patch (for a bug caused by all their neurotic DRM crap). Ubi-soft better hope there were no trojans in the crack - or they could find themselves on the end of a hefty lawsuit.

Wolves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24252569)

What a thread that was. All I saw were a lot of whiney people who wanted to see Ubisoft "fail". The thread was complete with some ludicrous reference to the Taliban being "oppressed" by the west. Presumably these people wait in the wings for someone to make a wrong move. What a load of wolves !

Question of the Day? (1)

cryptodan (1098165) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252621)

Are the authors of the CD-Crack suing Ubi Soft for copyright infringement?

Who pirates the pirates? (4, Funny)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252671)

Shame on you, Ubisoft! This kind of rampant IP theft is what is killing the PC game pirating industry!

Commercial Copyright Infringement? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252705)

I sorely wished one of the guys who coded this would sue. I know it'd mean the end of their lives, but it'd be worth it for me :P

The link to forum crashes my firefox (2)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 6 years ago | (#24252791)

I'm the only one here with this problem?
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