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Tecmo Sues Game Hackers Under DMCA

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the no-more-cheating dept.

XBox (Games) 352

blueZhift writes "This Reuters report on CNet states that Tecmo has filed a federal lawsuit in Chicago under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act accusing the site owners and perhaps some users of game hacking site www.ninjahacker.net (now offline) of knowingly infringing on their game software. This should be another interesting test of the DMCA and just how far it can be pushed to restrict what end users can do with/to their software purchases. This might ultimately affect the legality of cheat devices like the Game Shark and even the mere sharing of cheats or exploits."

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DMCA Violations (5, Funny)

kngthdn (820601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628148)

Considering how most American slashdotters (myself included) consider the DMCA to be a violation of our rights, I hope everyone will understand the urgency of my plight...I need somewhere to post this cheat code...

left-right-left-left-B-A-left-down-trigger-left-B

I can only hope Slashdot has the resources to protect my free speech. ;-)

Really, though...the DMCA sucks, but I can't see cheat codes being a violation while game makers keep putting them in on purpose. Aren't they the ones writing code to do different things when we enter the codes in? What next, prison time for opening an easter egg in Word?

Here's [archive.org] a link to the archived site, before it was taken down.

Re:DMCA Violations (4, Insightful)

blincoln (592401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628190)

Really, though...the DMCA sucks, but I can't see cheat codes being a violation while game makers keep putting them in on purpose. Aren't they the ones writing code to do different things when we enter the codes in? What next, prison time for opening an easter egg in Word?

The difference here is that they appear to be filing a suit against a hacking group that modified the actual program code of their games.

This to me is an incredible abuse of the DMCA. Hacking a game is like modifying anything else you've bought. It's not like game hackers generally distribute the developer's code, just a set of instructions for modifying the code that is already sitting on other people's consoles or PCs.

IMO this is the equivalent of a car manufacturer suing the makers of nitrous oxide systems or aftermarket body kits.

I'm not even sure why they care anyway - when I had more free time, hacking games was in some ways more fun for me than actually playing them. I extended the play time of Soul Reaver to something like 500 hours because of my extensive hacking of the PC version, for example.

Re:DMCA Violations (2, Insightful)

Babbster (107076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628259)

I'm not even sure why they care anyway - when I had more free time, hacking games was in some ways more fun for me than actually playing them. I extended the play time of Soul Reaver to something like 500 hours because of my extensive hacking of the PC version, for example.

Hello? This seems like exactly the reason software publishers/developers would want people to be prohibited from hacking their games - they'd much rather you buy the game and finish it in a month (or even less) so that you're jacked up and ready to buy the next one.

That doesn't make them [morally] right, of course, but from a business point of view it makes perfect sense.

Re:DMCA Violations (2, Interesting)

Zwets (645911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628352)

they'd much rather you buy the game and finish it in a month (or even less) so that you're jacked up and ready to buy the next one.

So Valve and ID software must be idiots to make their engine so moddable? Of course not, the more mods available, the better the game sells.

If you buy an expensive game and are bored with it after a short time, you're not likely to buy the sequel, you're likely to go looking for a title with a little more longevity.

Re:DMCA Violations (2, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628407)

The whole thing is idiotic. These guys have an inflated sense of the importance of their products.

I can't understand why they don't embrace the hackers/modders. All they do is piss people off, which is arguably (but not necessarily demonstrably) bad for business.

The other theory is that this new paradigm includes a revenue stream from litigation.

Re:DMCA Violations (5, Funny)

ThaReetLad (538112) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628263)

Well I personally believe this is a serious let off for people who use cheats in online gaming. I've been lobbying for a new amendment to castrate anyone caught using or creating cheats, so this seems rather tame. I'm just not sure it's a big enough deterrent/punishment.

Re:DMCA Violations (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628400)

> I've been lobbying for a new amendment to castrate anyone caught using or creating cheats

Whats the point, coders and online gamers are not likely to reproduce anyways

and masturbating is more fun without the clean up afterwards

Re:DMCA Violations (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628311)

Hacking a game is like modifying anything else you've bought. It's not like game hackers generally distribute the developer's code, just a set of instructions for modifying the code that is already sitting on other people's consoles or PCs.

I supposed the exception to this would be when your game connects to a network and interacts with other people and their systems. Hacking the game can indirectly mean hacking a hosted service or corrupting an experience that's being paid for by other people. The publisher/operator has to meet the expectations of its paying users/subscribers, and if one of the clients on that system is talking to the system outside of the expected behavior (and the publisher's not doing anything about it), then the other paying customers are being abused.

If copyright-related law is the best angle of attack on such cracks, so be it. The alternative may be "unauthorized use" type prosecutions (for using the service's system or peer computers in a way not provided for in the license). In general terms, I can see the game publisher (especially in the case of MMORPGs and whatnot) having a real interest in keeping unauthorized altered versions of their software from running around in the wild.

Re:DMCA Violations (3, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628323)

The real complaint they have is the hacking around of Dead Or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball.

Team Ninja made a blatently sexist load of shite where the main aim of the game is to win the money required to buy the skimpiest bikini for the digital women they spent so much time accurately recreating the chest-bouncing physics for.

However, because they like to have some semblance of decency about what they do for a living, you never actually get to see anything, and they've got plausible deniability that it's really all about the volleyball.

A bunch of fans decided that this was a silly copout, and 'fixed' that problem, thereby making them look as much a part of the dirty mac brigade as some had accused them of in advance. They found this offensive, and want to stop such things.

Given how practically every female main character seems to attract 3rd-party nude patches, and their advertising campaign being entirely based around "Look, Girls!!!", it's hard to believe they didn't see it coming.

Re:DMCA Violations (1)

stefanvt (75684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628455)


Given how practically every female main character seems to attract 3rd-party nude patches, and their advertising campaign being entirely based around "Look, Girls!!!", it's hard to believe they didn't see it coming.


Can't this be a ploy to get more press? More press = more sales (especially because people now know there are "forbidden" nude patches)

Re:DMCA Violations (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628357)

hacking games was in some ways more fun for me than actually playing them

Try playing CS and see if you feel the same way.

Re:DMCA Violations (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628415)

I don't see what hacking a single player only game has to do with CS, unless you're some moronic CS fanboy who doesn't understand what the word "hacking" means.

Re:DMCA Violations (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628439)

When I think of "hacking" as in games, I think of those annoying guys with speedhacks. Most of the time it just means coding stuff to me.

Re:DMCA Violations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628201)

The secret labs have discovered: Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A-Start Be carful, they don't want this getting osfzsdxvzs **NO CARRIER**

Re:DMCA Violations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628255)

it's up up down down left right left right B A B A select start

sheesh! EVERYONE knows that!

Re:DMCA Violations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628242)

bastard beat me to it. I'd mod you up if I had any points.

This is just plain stupid. (2, Interesting)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628285)

No one should be made a criminal in this case. No one is getting hurt. The game makers aren't losing any money. The gamers aren't doing any harm as I can see.

[OT] Re:DMCA Violations (1)

simplypeachy (706253) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628374)

Surely you mean Up, Down, Left Right, A, B, C, Start and listen for the "ring" sound?

Taco sues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628150)

omg I read that as Taco sues gamers :\

Probably off-topic... (0, Offtopic)

bonytony (696466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628153)

but Tecmo Bowl was one of my favorite games.

Wonder who made those cheats in the first place... (4, Funny)

deejaymaxx (253408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628154)

IDDQD

Now sue me.

Re:Wonder who made those cheats in the first place (5, Insightful)

FluffyPanda (821763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628264)

They aren't being sued for the cheats, they are being sued for making skins (including a bunch of nude ones that TECMO doesn't seem to like) for these games.

Apparantly they had to reverse engineer the games to make these skins and therefore they are being sued under the cover of the DMCA (natch).

Personally I think it's a bitch that modifying something that you've paid for, to add value to it so that others are more likely to want to pay for it in the future is seen as a suable offence by TECMO. Bioware, Id, Valve and others make it as easy as possible to make mods since the community efforts can add considerable value to the product at zero cost to the developers.

Counterstrike anyone?

Re:Wonder who made those cheats in the first place (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628371)

Be careful or you'll have an IDKFA suit launched against ya!

First POst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628156)

FP! arse!

Whew, I'm glad I'm not American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628159)

You guys really don't mind taking up the @$$ do you.

and ninjahackers??? Please, if your going to get in trouble don't involve da ninja masta!

Take a stand! (3, Interesting)

mejesster (813444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628160)

I hope at this point, some enterprising and idealistic lawyer will finally take a stand for the right of the individual to use and modify his property as he sees fit.

Sit back down. (3, Informative)

Animaether (411575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628197)

You already can't "use and modify" your property as you see fit.

I.e. you can't drive your car at 200MPh - that is to say, you can. But it's against the law.

You can't mod your car with a spoiler that's twice the width of your car - that is to say, you can. But it's against the law. At least driving on public roads with one is.

What's being argued here, now, is that you can't hack the game and distribute the hack. That is to say, you can. But it may be against the law (the DMCA one).

Btw.. the article referred to is rather short, and people seem to think this is about sharing cheat codes. Not quite.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/02/09/news_61182 20.html [gamespot.com]


Filed in the US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, on January 25, the lawsuit names Mike Greiling and Will Glynn as "creating, hosting and contributing content to a forum created to foster and facilitate the knowing infringement of Tecmo's proprietary software for its video game titles." The lawsuit claims the pair trafficked in technology designed for the purpose of circumventing copyright protection systems built into the games, which violates the US Copyright Act, among other laws.

The complaint also addresses violations that include "various modifications to the source code for Tecmo games" including the creation of "several skins...designed to make Tecmo Characters appear naked." Games the alleged hackers are accused of applying their energy toward include Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive 3, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, and Dead or Alive Ultimate.

Are you trying to be stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628232)

You can do whatever the fuck you want with your car. You just can't endanger other people by bringing an unsafe vehicle on the public roads. Naked skins on your own xbox doesn't endanger anyone.

No, but you did a great job of it :) (1, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628258)

Aren't you contradicting yourself ?

You just said you can do whatever the etc. you want with your car. Next you say that you can't endanger other people with it.

What if I -want- to endanger other people with it ?
Oh shit. I can't. Rather, it's against the law.
That's the whole point - you CAN'T do whatever you want with your car, as there are set limits within the law within which you have to operate - or risk the consequences.

And no - naked skins on your own x-box won't endanger anyone*. That's why the DMCA is being invoked here, and not e.g. reckless driving. Any more than that state troopers would call upon the DMCA when you're speeding.

* Tecmo obviously argues that it hurts their public image, for one, so that's open to intepretation.

Wow, a winner is you. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628284)

I cannot believe I am saying this, but I think you have just demonstrated that you are in fact the stupidest person on slashdot. This is an amazing feat, I hope they give you a good prize.

The only question I have, is how can you grasp that the limitations on what you can do with your car are only for safety of other people, but the limitations on what you can do with your game are arbitrary rules that exist for no reason other than being abused by large corporations, and yet still be stupid enough to think this is good, and that it proves your point?

Re:No, but you did a great job of it :) (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628345)

I think your missing the point here, you CAN modify your car and do what ever you want to it now if you want to drive this car on the freeway you must abide by the set of rules they set, now there is nothing that stops me from modifying my car and driving it on a track that has no set of standars and is personal, now when you put it to what is here, if you want to modify the game and keep it on your own set of rules like just on your xbox now if you went online, you must abide by their rules but I don't see a single reason why you can not do it to your own product you bought.

Re:Sit back down. (3, Insightful)

kngthdn (820601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628241)

From the Slashdot article:

This might ultimately affect the legality of cheat devices like the Game Shark and even the mere sharing of cheats or exploits.

The other article might not make upsurd claims like that, but this one does!

Re:Sit back down. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628262)


I.e. you can't drive your car at 200MPh - that is to say, you can. But it's against the law.

You can't mod your car with a spoiler that's twice the width of your car - that is to say, you can. But it's against the law. At least driving on public roads with one is.


both of these are 100% legal acts. I can remove all the emissions equipment, upgrade a yugo to 1500 horsepower and even remove all the seatbelts and there is nothing that anyone can do to me.

at least until I attempt to drive that car on a public roadway where it will put other people at risk, but I certianly can drive it at the local racetrack or deagstrip. Thousands of people do this every single day.

the laws telling you you can not make extreme modifications to your car, hooking up 60,000 volts to your doorknobs in your home, placing landmines in your yard to take care of the neighbors pesky cat, and modifying your telephone ringer so that it produces 208 decibles are not anywhere remotely the same thing you are talking about.

Those are things that violate SAFETY and other public laws that affect other citizens. they fall under the premise that you are doing harm to others by allowing you to use these things in a public place. (ok the landmines are probably illegal everywhere)

there is NOTHING done to a software package except for copyright violation that harms anyone in any way possible.

if I change the characters in a game from green to blue the company that made it does not suffer financial loss, they do not have a developer drop dead, and they most certianly benefit from my tinkering.

this issue is that Techmo writes utter crap games. the only way they can sell them is to introduce boobs and soft core porn. In any other instance their games suck horribly and would not sell at all.

they know this, and they are full of shit simply trying to get publicity at someone elses expense.

Re:Sit back down. (4, Insightful)

MooCows (718367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628267)

So?

Of course you can drive your car at 200mph.. On a closed track.
Just like having a massive spoiler is perfectly legal, unless you go out on the public road.

There's (obviously) a big difference between "What you may do with your property" and "How you may use your property in the public area".

Making a massive spoiler and selling it is perfectly legal.
Hacking a game and distributing the hack should also be perfectly legal. (in a sane world)

It becomes more complicated if you use a hack in a multiplayer game, which is a service with rules. Break those rules and you can lose the right to use the service. (makes sense)

Getting sued for altering your own property in your own home is an abuse of the justice system.

Re:Sit back down. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628376)

But making bombs is illegal. You can buy all the stuff to make bombs perfectly legally, but putting those parts together is legal. I guess they're just looking out for your safety, and perhaps the safety of your unknowing family, when they arrest people for building bombs in their garage.

Re:Sit back down. (2, Insightful)

Confused (34234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628281)

you can't drive your car at 200MPh - that is to say, you can. But it's against the law.

Here you're completely wrong. You can modify the car, and it's not even against the law to do it. There's a whole series of motor sport events that let people doing this compete with each other.

The only thing that you may not do, is drive your modified car on public roads without having your car recertified by the authorites.

Your analogy is good, only the conclusions you reach from it are wrong.

Re:Sit back down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628402)

nope, the analogy isn't even correct. As you so eloquently point out, you car is your property and yours to modify in any way you like. There's no DMCA against modding your car. What the law prohibits you from is using your modified car (on public roads).

Re:Sit back down. (1)

rkcallaghan (858110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628287)

Incorrect.

The law says I can't drive on public roads at speeds above the speed limit.

I can modify and use my car at 200mph, for example, on a private race track.

The example you give of cars is more akin to saying I can't cut my Tecmo Bowl Nintendo cartridge in to a knife, and stab someone, because stabbing people is illegal.

You can modify your Tecmo Bowl game to have new players, and you can tell other people how to put new players in their games too.

Just as you can put a rice kit on your car, sell rice kits, and tell others how to install rice kits.

~Rebecca

Re:Sit back down. (4, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628289)

The keyword here probably is nude. Aren't those US lawyers fun ?

Next time make a skin where they wear spacesuits.

Re:Sit back down. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628294)

[sarcasm]Im really sure these "hackers" broke into the dev machines, ran off with the "source code" (which, BTW, has nothing to do with the contents of Skins), modified it, recompiled it, ect.[/sarcasm]

More than likely they just did what any other modder does.

So, they created/distributed a No CD crack. I guess they forgot to build in a disclaimer and got caught. How does that make news?

[rant]
DMCA fits right under the same umbrella as PATRIOT. I really wish our senators would yank those butt-plugs out of their asses and do something intelligent. Like maybe doing something for the People, instead of their pockets. And no, its not the Republicans or the Democrats or the Libertarians, its ALL OF THEM!
[/rant]

But: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628351)

Tampering with your car (or driving too fast) is against the law because it poses a thread to yourself and most likely others (Well, we german may disagree with the "driving to fast" part, but that's another story). Tampering with a game you have installed on your harddisk does not harm anyone, and I don't see any reason why this should be unlawful. In fact, here in germany, it isn't ;-)

It is a nice trick to compare computers with cars, but most of the times the implications of such an analogy are just plain wrong.

Re:Sit back down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628367)

You can't mod your car with a spoiler that's twice the width of your car - that is to say, you can. But it's against the law.
At least driving on public roads with one is.
That's the whole crux of the matter. If you want to drive it on your own land, nothing is stopping you. That's what we call "common law property rights" -- basically you can do whatever you like with your own property, including that you are automatically privy to {but bound to keep secret} any secret embodied in any article which you rightfully own. The only thing you don't have a right to do with your own property is destroy it -- it's a defence to theft that the former owner intended to destroy something that you took from them with intent to use it for its rightful purpose {unless its rightful purpose is to be destroyed}.

Re:Sit back down. (1)

Ulven (679148) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628405)

"The only thing you don't have a right to do with your own property is destroy it -- it's a defence to theft that the former owner intended to destroy something that you took from them with intent to use it for its rightful purpose {unless its rightful purpose is to be destroyed}."

I can't quite make sense of this, what is the poster trying to say?

Re:Sit back down. (1)

kg4gyt (799019) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628387)

But when you play a game and use cheats you're not in a public area as your car would be. You're in your own home, with your own stuff. If I owned a drag course I could very well drive it 200 MPH (Assuming it could go that fast in the first place) and add a spoiler.

Computers are private, and modifying one single player game that doesn't affect anyone else is unrelated. If its an online multiplayer game. Just ban the known cheaters off of the servers and check for more exploits and fix the ones that people find. No need to take legal action because amateur programmers are smarter than they are.

Re:Sit back down. (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628429)

But the point is this is not the public highway. It's helping people to modify their own personal games. If I only use the car on my own personal racetrack, I can and should be able to legally do all the things you mention. The same is true of a game I only use on my own personal computer.

The only reason modifying your property is illegal is when it affects others, as in the example you give, or with building codes.

Re:Sit back down. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628456)

Car mods are a restriction on what you do with government property. i.e. roads.

Re:Take a stand! (1)

gavinchappell (784065) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628355)

Correct me if I'm wrong (I don't read EULA's), but the game wouldn't be your property? You would have a license to run the game whenever you choose (on a single machine), but you don't own any part of the game itself?

Serious comment btw, I always understood that this was how software licensing worked in general (at least for commercial software).

I suppose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628162)

They must have been mad over those hacks to DOA:EBV. I wonder if anyone here will know what I'm talking about... hehehe

"Now offline" (5, Informative)

FirienFirien (857374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628166)

Hooray for google. Click on the caches. [google.com]

Cheats? (4, Insightful)

cybathug (561017) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628181)

Nowhere in TFA or the ninjahacker page (Even though I only skimmed it) are cheat codes mentioned. The article says "hacking into popular games... to change their codes" which doesn't have ANYTHING to do with cheating, sounds more like cracking/reverse engineering. You guys are exactly right in saying using the DMCA against cheat codes is ridiculous - hence why this has nothing to do with it.

Another reason (4, Insightful)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628186)

to stop using proprietary software. There are a lot of amazing free software game projects that need our support (like e.g. WorldForge [worldforge.org] ) that not only allow but in fact encourage hacking. Proprietary crap is good for uneducated people who want to have a one-size-fits-all black box. For thinking people who want to learn by tinkering, free software [gnu.org] is the way to go.

Re:Another reason (4, Insightful)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628209)

What about those of us who just want to play a fun game?

Sorry, but most open source games are just not very good. The ones that are fun, are almost without exception the ones that are just ripoff versions of commercial software.

Have fun with your open source games; I like to play games with production value, which (unfortunately) limits me to commercial software. There are small commercial houses that produce cool stuff (Introversion, ChronicLogic), but even they are closed-source and commercial.

Enjoy FrozenBubble while I go play Metroid Prime. Enjoy TuxRacer while I get down to Galactic Civilizations II. And we won't even start with MMOs.

Re:Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628225)

Won't even start with MMOs? You mean MMOGs? Why does everyone insist on shortening acronyms into nonsense? Lets just call them Ms, same thing right? None the less, I hope you don't start with them, as they prove you wrong. Commercial MMOGs are universally crap, and there are at least some decent free MUDs out there.

Re:Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628234)

Won't even start with MMOs? You mean MMOGs? Why does everyone insist on shortening acronyms into nonsense?

MMOGs? You mean MMPOLRPGs? Why does everyone insist on shortening acronyms into nonsense?

Read it out loud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628240)

Massively Multiplayer Online Game. MMOG. "Massively Multiplayer Online Games are boring". See, that makes sense.

Massively Multiplayer Online. MMO. "Massively Multiplayer Onlines are boring". This does not make sense.

You don't do stupid things like through in extra letters from single words, to create extra long acronyms like your "Massively MultiPlayer OnLine", and there is nothing Role Playing about most of these games.

Re:Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628238)

What about those of us who just want to play a fun game?

Those OBVIOUSLY want a one-size-fits-all blackbox if they don't want to tinker with it, don't they? (have you even read the post you are replying to?)

Re:Another reason (0, Flamebait)

Quobobo (709437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628250)

Oh. I didn't realize that those games I'd been playing for years are for uneducated people. Does this mean I should go find some GPL'd software and start tinkering when all I want to do is play a video game?

I don't usually flame on Slashdot, but you come off as a complete prick. Normal people do not care about tinkering with a game, they'd rather spend their time playing it. If you think that makes them "uneducated" or dumb, then you're a bigger jackass than I thought.

Re:Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628312)

If all you need is bread and circuses then it's your choice. Don't be outraged that there are still people who want to create. Just get over it.

Re:Another reason (0, Flamebait)

Quobobo (709437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628427)

Yes, and if I read books instead of writing them, I'm part of the ignorant masses, right? Same goes for listening to music instead of playing it.

My point is, in any given field, there's going to be a lot more consumers than creators. This is natural, and it's no reason to take on such an elitist air. Just because you would rather mess around with a game instead of playing it doesn't mean you're above people whose talents/interests lie in other areas.

Re:Another reason (0, Flamebait)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628265)

Right, if you want to play a FPS, writing it is the way to go!

You don't want to be like those uneducated people who buy already grown food, or already assembled cars do you ?

Re:Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628306)

You don't want to be like those uneducated people who buy already grown food, or already assembled cars do you ?

If you buy food from someone who tells you that he will sue you if you tinker with his food (like Monsanto [sourcewatch.org] ) and THEN you tinker with it anyway and are surprised that you got sued, then you are equally stupid as those "hackers" in this story. If, on the other hand, you only want ready consumer goods and will gladly give up your rights to do anything with them, then good luck. Your examples are flawed because proprietary software is not like already grown food -- it's more like Monsanto seeds. Proprietary software is not like already assembled car -- it's more like a car with welded hood when dealer tells you that he will sue you if you dare to open it, in a shrink-wrap "license" you find in your trunk after you already buy the car. Free Software is not like growing your own food but like sharing the recipes and not suing anyone who "steals" your idea of a good meal. It's really sad that even people on Slashdot fail to understand that not-so-subtle difference.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628394)

I've followed the monsanto link and this is the most insightful post in this thread. Why is it moderated as Score:0?

Re:Another reason (4, Insightful)

Mant (578427) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628344)

How the parent got modded as Insightful is beyond me. OK, the proprietary software = bad idea is popular on /. but that post is just daft.

People, educated and otherwise, play games primarily to play the game. A very small subset like tinkering with them, hence the mod community for games, which is big, but very small compared to the total number of people playing games.

I'm a coder, I write software for a living, but when I come home a play a game to unwind, I want to play a game. Generally I don't want to hack and tinker.

I followed the WorldForge link, the status of the games listed was In Development, Deprecated, Planned, Future, Status is unknown. None actually listed as finished.

Also, giving the quality of proprietary games vs free (as in speech) ones, I'm amazed at them being called "proprietary crap". Sure, some are crap, but all the really good games are proprietary too (although some have been copied by free versions). Not just good because of graphics either, but game play.

If your principles really don't let you run any proprietary software, fair enough. But don't pretend that for the main purpose of games, playing them, free software offers much yet, and it certainly isn't close to the proprietary stuff.

Re:Another reason (1)

Dr.Opveter (806649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628353)

Proprietary crap is good for uneducated people who want to have a one-size-fits-all black box

You really show off your education there, don't you.

Re:Another reason (2, Insightful)

tesmako (602075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628399)

Worldforge has not been an argument for open-source game development since 1999. It is at this point rather a shining example of how dysfunctional the typical (large-scale) OSS game project is.

Except as a legal test, this is an irrelevant case (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628191)

If you look at those caches, the greatest number of people on the site was 88 in mid-2003. The lawsuit is almost certainly designed to test the boundaries of the DMCA in courts, rather than to stop 20-odd people from fucking around with their DOA costumes.

Brilliant! (2, Interesting)

kyojin the clown (842642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628194)

a couple of hundred people sharing nudey skins for Xtreme Volleyball now becomes the WHOLE INTERNET!

way to protect your IP there Tecmo...

Clearly, this is a pathetic attempt to stir up a bit of froth for what is essentially a dog-shit game.

no-one will get sued, 14yr olds will break their xboxes trying to make the naked women do handstands.

Re:Brilliant! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628251)

Maybe it's just a marketing ploy. After all, a lot of people have now heard of the game, and the fact that there are skins. Probably not going to do their sales a lot of harm. Gamers aren't typically puritanical.

I hate cheaters anyway (0)

whyzee (838097) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628206)

I would let'em do anything they want to extirpate cheaters - those MFers ruined my day yesterday (two cheaters clans on my favorite CS:S server - that really sucked).
And I wide-eyed astonished at some cheaters who readily corrupt their gameplay (by removing textures etc.) just to be able to piss people off.
That is weird, isn't it?

Re:I hate cheaters anyway (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628214)

Whine Whine Whine Whine Whine Whine Whine Whine

Not only are you a whiner, but you're stupid as well.. [some could argue that they are linked].

"ruin their gameplay by removing textures".. Yea, I suppose graphics is all you need to make a great game..

Re:I hate cheaters anyway (2, Insightful)

loqi (754476) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628224)

Digital Franklin says: He who would give away essential software liberty for a temporary safety from l33t h4x0rz deserves neither.

Re:I hate cheaters anyway (1)

whyzee (838097) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628252)

CS:Source is like drugs for me. So it's not about liberty . Addicts don't need freedom so much. But I do prefer Debian to Windows for my job, which I am not insane of so much.

Re:I hate cheaters anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628227)

Very bad troll. Stop your whinning please. And what the fuck are you talking about? Removing textures? You don't even know what you're talking about...

J00 D0N'+ eV3n KnOW WH4+ Y0u'RE 74lk1NG 480U+... (1)

whyzee (838097) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628392)

I doN'7 PrOb4bLY bEc4U53 1 n3VeR CHeaT. 4nD J00 do, r1GH+?

America's Army (1)

Kentsusai (837912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628212)

Is something similar happening with America's Army?

Someone enlighten me as I don't choke under pressure.

Re:America's Army (4, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628282)

There are nude skins for AA ???

Eww.

Re:America's Army (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628343)

Yes. You'll find them in the Al Ghraib Prison module.

Hold on a sec... (3, Insightful)

zalas (682627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628221)

I haven't been able to access the site, and the article doesn't say much, but how is hacking games to have new graphics breaking copy protection? Or is there another part of the DMCA they're using? Unless they were distributing hacks to disable CD checking, then maybe, but if they're just altering gameplay, how is that breaking copy protection? Heck, if the patches are done normally, they wouldn't even need to contain any copyrighted material.

Re:Hold on a sec... (2, Insightful)

clymere (605769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628277)

hard to say. one of the sideeffects of the DMCA has been companies putting copy protection anywhere they possibly can to protect whatever they wish. if they are invoking the DMCA, i am guessing this os one of those cases. i'm told those who've looked at CSS(and DeCSS) said essentially that its crap encryption, and only really designed to give legal recourse against those who copy DVD's..not to physically stop them from doing it. considering some kid broke it with just enough lines of perl to fill a t-shirt, i'm inclined to believe this is true.

Just to add to the flurry of jokes (0, Redundant)

towzzer (733077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628233)

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A B A Start

Re:Just to add to the flurry of jokes (4, Funny)

kyojin the clown (842642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628279)

The Ataris named a song after that cheat code. Are Konami going to sue The Ataris? Will the RIAA step in to protect their artists rights? What about Atari? Who are they going to sue?

Oh God, I'm being sucked into a whirlpool of recursivity!

Ignore the speculation of the article (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628247)

The DMCA notice was due to cd check removers or some other thing to allow the games to be pirated.

That these people also have cheat codes is irrelevant.

Re:Ignore the speculation of the article (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628268)

I wonder how seriously would DMCA apply then :)
I mean, 90% of users of Morrowind used the NoCD crack. Including great most of owners of the official, legal CD. Simply the CD check mechanism was so crappy that it created really serious overhead. The game with the crack, not checking for CD, ran about 30% faster.

Definitely the "solemn purpose to circumvent copy protection" wasn't there.

Re:Ignore the speculation of the article (4, Interesting)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628276)

The company specifically stated that one of the things they objected to was the custom skins availiable on the site. A spokesperson said the company is seeking $1,000 to $100,000 in damages for every custom skin swapped over the website. More information in this register article [theregister.co.uk]

Who appears to be winning here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628260)

Seems the only people who are gaining from the DMCA are lawyers. Curious!
Que for debasing lawyer jokes.

Lawsuit in response to online or offline hacks? (2, Interesting)

EvilJoven (312050) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628293)

Does anyone know exactly which hacks Temco is suing over? Hacks that only affect how you experience the game is one thing, hell, I own a Gameshark myself simply because I hate the 20 hours of leveling you have to do in RPGs. Hacks that affect online play are a completely different ball game. Online gaming can be ruined when codes hit the wild. I'm sure a lot of people remember when the SOCOM gameshark codes were released and suddenly there were thousands of invulnerable players running around firing automatic sniper rifles.

Yes, developers can implement systems to combat online game cheating but to be honest, they shouldn't have to. Unfortunatly we live in a world where a good percentage of parents never successfully taught their children to grow up and stop acting like idiots. It's a shame that going after individual cheaters isn't viable and cost effective, like gun manufacturers, the people who release these codes shouldn't be held accountable for what people do with them.

Re:Lawsuit in response to online or offline hacks? (2, Funny)

iainl (136759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628338)

They made a game DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball, in which a bunch of digital women run around in skimpy bikinis while the XBox performs millions of calculations per second to ensure their breasts bounce in just the right way.

Then some people came along and made texture patches for those with chipped XBoxes (so someone else did all the hard copy-protection-removal stuff) that removed said pieces of string. This makes Team Ninja look like the dirty little pervs they clearly are, and it's all rather embarrassing for them.

Re:Lawsuit in response to online or offline hacks? (1)

pixldood (858121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628368)

No, the lawsuit involves the package files that TECMO uses to "package" the graphics in. They are claiming it is "source code". he also claim that they circumvented the protection scheme built into the disc to access the graphic files. Pretty much it end up being that they are getting sued for making skins that are blemishing the "wholsemness" of the DOA characters... These are the same people that are advertising their games by using their characters to attempt to induce fits of horniness in every potential customer that sees it. They also claim they lost untold amount of money because of it.. It's all B.S since all of those hacks "require" the use of the original game, not used to circumvent it. So they may have actually sold some more games because of it rather than lost.

Console games... (5, Insightful)

MagnusDredd (160488) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628295)

This is one of the reasons I will never buy a console. Console games are geared to be throw-away games. i.e. You spend $50 on a FPS, and you are stuck with whatever maps the publisher sees fit to let you have. Even those games on the Xbox that have downloadable mods. Mods on Xbox live see: here [xbox.com] are limited to publisher produced material. This means that you will never see a candyland map for Uneal Championship, or the gigantic burger joint map for that matter.

I have a few hundred megs of Maps for games like Unreal Tournament, Doom 3, Red Faction, Starcraft, etc, etc, etc. that were created by fans. I have a friend who is really into Morrowind, which is over 3 years old, and mods that offer nudity, god mode, extra locations, extra equipment, skins, and anything else some fan has the imagination and inclination to produce. He has been playing this game off and on for 3 years... I'm still playing Neverwinter Nights.

And for the game companies: attack your customers at your peril... We don't care about IP, we don't care whether you are too puritanical for nude skins, or whatever. A new game is a toy to us that will be used as we see fit. If you want to clamp down, many people simply won't buy from you. I sure as hell won't. And furthermore this makes me feel like I have made the right decision in avoiding the console market altogether.

Re:Console games... (1)

masterQba (699425) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628404)

on the other hand too much expansions can be also bad for the game. this was the case with me and bf1942, a great game on it's own but I was overwhelmed by the ammount of mods and addons one could download for it. when it comes to games I really prefer to have everything handed to me: Xbox Live is great, Steam is also awesome. I don't want to follow the scene to know what kind of mod is the shit these days, just want to sit down and play.

Re:Console games... (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628459)

This means that you will never see a candyland map for Uneal Championship, or the gigantic burger joint map for that matter.

But at the same time it means you'll never see Tekken, R-Type Final, Metal Gear Solid, Dead or Alive, TimeSplitters Future Perfect... I could go on forever.

The games you list are designed for the PC. The games I've listed are designed for Consoles.

You don't seem to understand why people prefer to play games on a Console than on a PC. Try making your argument less biased next time.

Will mattel and EA sue next?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628339)

My favorite part in their complaint was "Most of the skins posted on the Message Board by defendants show Tecmo Characters with appearances that are different from the original Tecmo designs," the complaint notes. "Several... are designed to make Tecmo Characters appear naked."

So when does Mattel start suing all those people who have made Barby appear "different from the original designs" by undressing their dolls and making her appear "naked"? And what about EA games and sims nude patches?!

Re:Will mattel and EA sue next?? (2, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628449)

Mattel has been suing people for doing this for a long time now [google.com] . They often lose but they don't care; they keep doing it.

Contact Tecmo (4, Informative)

neoThoth (125081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628386)

We are the target market for these companies and you should take your outrage to them. Here is some contact info. Remember to be polite but firm :)

Public Relations
PublicRelations@tecmoinc.com

Customer Service
CustomerService@tecmoinc.com

Game Counselor
GameCounselor@tecmoinc.com

Business Accounts
BusinessAccounts@tecmoinc.com

Public Relations
PublicRelations@tecmoinc.com

Corporate Opertunities
Jobs@tecmoinc.com

Webmaster
Webmaster@tecmoinc.com

Contact Us Via Snail Mail:
Tecmo Inc.
PO Box 5553
21213-B Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503

Contact Us Via Fax or Phone:
Phone: 310.944.5005
Fax: 310.944.3344

Contact Us Via Email:
Contact@tecmoinc.com

Summons Details & Comments from NinjaHacker Ad (1)

faceless (91137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628406)

since some people are speculating on some details, here's some more info
Feb 2 2005, 07:13 AM


okay after reading through the summons several times, i have summed up their 70 some statements into about 5 accusations... keep in mind that these aren't in their exact words.

1) The source code that we posted on the message boards (namely the xpr/cat files) constitute copyright infringement. They state that such files can be taken from the website and that copyrighted model and texture files can be extracted from them.

god i wish we had switched to the .bos patch format earlier...

2) The tools developed soly for use with dead or alive to enable modifications to the source code (that is their definition of source code), are a violation of copyright. They go on to say that although we are building tools to open specific filetypes (xpr, cat, afs, etc...), the tools were made with dead or alive in mind because the would have little or no practical use outside of DOA modification.

I had always believed that creating such tools was not an illegal practice. Could anyone find a legal document or another case to back up my assumption?

If we are to be allowed by the court to continue producing such tools after the case has reached conclusion, we need to proove beyond the shadow of a doubt that producing such tools is legal.

3) The modifications available to be made to the executable code (namely the "copyright circumvention" in doax and doau) constitute copyright infringement...

any thoughts?

4) The modifications to the game have irreperably damaged the "goodwill" (they actually used that word) and reputations of the DOA Characters. They also go on to say that we misled the public into believing that these modifications were "created by, approved by, sponsored by, or somehow affiliated or connected with Tecmo".

This is one of the accusations that i completely disagree with beyond any "grey" area.
We did not mislead the public, and someone would have to have a brain the size of a pea to believe that these modifications were endorsed by Tecmo. The very method by which the modifications are applied is a dead giveaway... What company would require game owners to open up their xboxs and transfer over files in order to manualy upgrade their product?

5) The posting of such modifications constitutes "unfair competition".

While i can understand what they are getting at here, the simple matter of the fact is that you cannot recreate the game form the small percentage of the games content posted on the message board. It also requires an original copy of the game to run, so if anything it has encouraged sales.
Such an opinion might be dismissed, however, and i don't know if the judge will necessarily see this the same way.

Anyway, i'm looking once again for clear examples of what is defined as legal and illegal practice with regard to such tools and modifications to other's works. People ranting about what *should* or *should not* be illegal does not help me any.

I would like examples of similar court cases as well as legal documents. Some of those that FM77 posted earlier come to mind, so i will be reviewing them. If anyone finds more, please post it here.

This post has been edited by cypher35: Feb 2 2005, 07:16 AM

Source: http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=3 47209&st=100&p=2277454&#entry2277454 [xbox-scene.com]

Goodbye fair karma... (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628422)

I figure its worth pointing out that the statement that this will be a test of how far the DMCA can be applied to software people purchase is inaccurate. Its a test of how far the DMCA can be applied to enforce the fact that people have purchased media and an associated license for the software, and as such have no rights beyond what are granted by the software owner. I'd doubt very many people on /. have ever really bought software.

The publisher can't tell you that you can't use their CD as a coaster, or pop it in a microwave because you bought the CD. They can restrict in any way they want what you can do with the software, however, because you do not own that.

There are bad aspects of the DMCA, but people need to keep in mind that the means of protecting intellectual property and enforcing licenses may be wrong, but the concept is quite valid.

It's all a bunch of crap (1)

pixldood (858121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628432)

TECMO seems to think that their characters wholesome image are being corrupted. The Ninjahacker site hosted files that allowed for the modification of "packages" that contained graphic files, and some teen pervs made some nude skins with it. The majority of the skins were tastefull and some even surpassed the quality of the ones created by TECMO, only a small amount were nudes but those always seem to get the most attention. They claim that the package files that were used to package said graphic files were protected and considered "source code" thereby the protection had to be circumvented in order to be modified. I thought a copyright didn't give you a right to keep that IP from being used by fair use? Which obviously said protection is doing?

DMCA is sorta dumbfounded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11628436)

DMCA is very reminicent of one of life major examples. you buy a car and the motor company put a locking large steel wall over the engine so you can't fiddle with it, they also added a latch to prevent access. You then circumvent that by pushing a button and pulling a lever. is that also illegal? i bypassed protective mechanisms

From a forums post I read (0, Flamebait)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11628437)

From a forums post I read by the owner of ninjahacker.net apparently someone posted a modified game file and not just a PPF file on there without him knowing and it was found by Tecmo and now they are suing him
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