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IGN Leaks Bioshock, Sends threatening letters

Anonymous Coward writes | about 7 years ago

PC Games (Games) 0

An anonymous reader writes "IGN Entertainment(a subsidiary of News Corp) accidentally allowed pre-order customers of their service direct2drive preload, activate and thus play copies of the hotly anticipate PC-game Bioshock(due out today) this past Sunday. Because D2D isn't encrypted, anyone who had preloaded it basically had the game sitting on their harddrive, waiting for their activation keys and for the activation servers to go live. When they did, word spread, and people started buying D2D copies of bioshock to get activation keys(viewable from your purchase window or sent to you via e-mail).

Upon realizing their mistake, they cut off the preload downloads. The file was set to restrict to their download client only and could not be downloaded because it reported itself as 15EB. Anyone who went to this site(google cache, 2nd result on google for "direct2drive bioshock preload") Sunday evening and began downloading the preload, was awoken this morning by a rather pleasant e-mail. Searching for that download was disabled around the same time(you can no longer find that particular one via fileplanet search).

That letter was sent to people who *paid* for their copy of the game, mind you, and whose only crime was attempting to preload it. I can personally assure you that an activation attempt was not required to recieve one, as I recieved one, and all I did was attempt to preload the thing.

Some kotaku users paint this as a bit of an exploit in "l33t" hackerdom, in one case characterizing it as breaking into a store to grab your preordered and already paid-for copy. In actuality all you had to do was go to fileplanet, click search, and type in bioshock(or go to google and type bioshock direct2drive preload). The "security" was not linking to it off your order page, and the "exploit" was using their own site's search or google. The result was the preload(which had been reported on, to keep D2D even with steam). Alternatively you could get there by someone sending you a fileplanet link.

Is my understanding of this flawed, or is IGN asserting copyrights they don't possess, and attempting to enforce a TOS/contract that would be violated by using their service via a rather unpleasant e-mail?"

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