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how do they tell if a CD is burned?

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Okay, all of you know you''ve pirated software too. Sometimes when you use a burned CD, the game asks you to insert the CD on startup. How do they tell its not the original CD? Clone CD and Nero supposedly copy the CD bit for bit and don''t put in a new serial # or anything! Proceeding on a brutal rampage is the obvious choice.

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Sure we may have burned/pirated something at some stage. But that was probably before we knew how hard it was to make a piece of software.

But here is NOT the place to ask it.

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umm, he was asking how the copy protection is done, not how to crack it. theres stuff like safedisc and other schemes out there, the problem is that they often dont work in some older cd drives, and are nearly impossible to make _legal_ backups of. i believe panasonic(not sure though) boycotted this technology

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I do not condone piracy in any form, but to answer the original question, the way this is done is usually the same way its been done since back in the old Apple II/Commodore 64 days. Basically what they do is they put deliberately bad data on the medium (CD now, floppy disks before). For example, data with a bad corresponding CRC checksum. They put this data on some unused part of the disc, but when the program runs they specifically go seek the disc for this area and check to make sure the data is bad.

When your copy program makes a copy, it sees this bad data assumes its a due to a scratch on the CD or some other problem, and decides to 'fix' it for you, giving it a proper CRC checksum. Thus when the program goes to seek out the bad data its going to find it has been corrected, know you're running a copy and then exit.

There are many variations of this theme, but the vast majority use this basic principle of: put bad data on disc->seek the bad data when program run->if data isn't bad in the way we expect, don't allow the program to run.


[edited by - gmcbay on August 26, 2002 11:48:35 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
So I guess it''s best that nobody knows how this all works, otherwise someone might make a CD burner which ignores bad data and copies it exactly anyway?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
and no one will know how to make cd protection, theres always two sides, chose wisely

Master no one

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There are always a troupe of crackers ready to rip the lastest unreleased releases... and to crack the top-secret beta versions... how do they do that??

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Guest Anonymous Poster
theres cd burners that copy the cd with the protection too, but theyre very expensive.

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I backup my CD''s all the time.

It is perfectly legal, and allowed by law. Even if the EULA''s explicitly state that this is not allowed, it is still allowed, because it is a provision in law that cannot be taken away by a private contract (in fact, that provision automatically invalidates the EULA as a valid contract).


You can download a crack, which basically causes the program to skip over the copy protection verification. Allowing us to excersize our legally given rights.

copy protection does nothing but annoy legitimate users; pirates aren''t annoyed by this shit.

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quote:
Original post by Mithrandir
You can download a crack, which basically causes the program to skip over the copy protection verification. Allowing us to excersize our legally given rights.


While fair-use copying is legal, the above is not because of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We can have a legal backup, but we cannot circumvent any protection mechanisms to obtain or use one.


[edited by - wayfarerx on August 27, 2002 5:32:39 PM]

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There''s already a coupe of programs out there that can burn copy protected cd''s and still have the copy work correctly and as somoen else stated there''s always somone that''ll make a crack to enable the program/game to be run on a wrongly copied cd too.

The problme with copy protections is that it costs a lot to develop but then is cracked in a matter of weeks. Any software copyprotection is doomed to be cracked sooner or later, and in most cases it''s sooner.
Forsulantely I hear that they have compe up with hardware protected cds. The cd''s are suposed to carrry a small smart card that will make copying the cds imposible. How that''s suposed to work without changening the cd readers I can''t possible imagine though.

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quote:
Original post by WayfarerX

While fair-use copying is legal, the above is not because of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We can have a legal backup, but we cannot circumvent any protection mechanisms to obtain or use one.





Therein lies the contradiction. Two laws directly oppose each other.

It is illegal to prevent someone from making thier backup copies, and yet it is also illegal to make the backup copies?

Ah well. Either way, a law is being broken.

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quote:
Original post by Mithrandir It is illegal to prevent someone from making thier backup copies, and yet it is also illegal to make the backup copies?


It''s not illegal to say "You are forbidden to copy this." As you said the EULAs say it all the time. You''re simply allowed to do it regardless of what they say if you stay within the bounds of fair-use. However, it is explicitly illegal to circumvent any form of protection, ever; regardless of what other rights you may have when it comes to the protected data. This basicly puts the ball in the copyright-holder''s court when it comes to allowing fair-use rights.

All bass-ackwards I say.

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It is not necessarily illegal to dowenload a crack, but I''m fairly sure that it is illegal to put a crack on the web for download.

In the end, most of the copy protections just keep the honest ones honest. Die-hards will usually find their way around the protection.

Value of good ideas: 10 cents per dozen.
Implementation of the good ideas: Priceless.

Proxima Rebellion - A 3D action sim with a hint of strategy

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There''s an interesting article on how the copy protection was handled on Spyro the Dragon 2. Pretty interesting. It actually set the pirates back several months.

You''ll need to log in to view the article:
http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20011017/dodd_01.htm

-TSwitch

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I think protecting software is useless and in some way stupid. People who has the money to buy, not only the software but the add value of the box, manual, technical support, updates, and most important: the feeling of "doing the right thing", those people will always pay. And I belive it''s enogh money for any company. The rest will pirate and I think it''s ok too. In some way Microsft is what it is because of piracy and I really think this also applies to the game industry.

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What can be done can be undone

the best protection so far is SafeDisc, it puts errors on the CD, whcih cannot be copied by a burner. the exe is wrapped with a program that screws up the DLL imports and encrypts it. so of course it won''t run withoumt a CD and is ''hard'' to crack

But it still takes 2 minues to download a crack! it still stops stupid users from making copies though (90% probably)

Another controversial statement: It is MY computer, since I own it I can do ANYTHING I want with with it. If a program does something I don''t like I will change it, its only data. This does not include stealing programs though, that is still a crime. making copies and hacking is my right to use my computer, and no greedy publisher/developer can stop me (ex. one guy put code to delete Ad-Aware when you install his crappy spyware-ridden shareware)

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quote:
Original post by Mithrandir
Therein lies the contradiction. Two laws directly oppose each other.

It is illegal to prevent someone from making thier backup copies, and yet it is also illegal to make the backup copies?

Ah well. Either way, a law is being broken.


Fair use backup copies are an exception to the copyright laws. If you look at the actual language of the law, it says something like ''Personal backup copies are not a violation.''

This is _not_ a declaration that you have a right to make a copy, just a statement that making one doesn''t violate copyright laws.

However, the code doesn''t say making a copy isn''t a violation of some other law. Nor does it say that companies cannot impose protection schemes to prevent you from making a copy.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I am pretty sure it is not illegal to put a crack up on the internet, check out www.gamecopyworld.com I use it all the time for backing up my games. And a lot of times I use no CD-Cracks so that I don''t have to look through my library everytime I want to play a game.

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Cybertron, you make a good point re owning your computer and doing what you want with it, but I would point out that you don''t own the software on it. The software reamins the property of MS or whoever - you just get a limited license to use it.

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the thing with copy protection as it is these days is that the games are developed copy protection free and then it is just added on at the end. so just as easily it can be removed. if companies really cared they would actually build the copy protection into the game itself. what codemasters did with operation flashpoint for example where it performs some mysterious checks as well as the standard safedisc protection. what''s with id distributing their own cracks? i''m not sure about quake but for qII and qIII the patches removed the copy protection. i suppose once they made enough money they let people have it for free. well that was almost completely off topic but i don;t care

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quote:
Original post by NeverSayDie
Cybertron, you make a good point re owning your computer and doing what you want with it, but I would point out that you don''t own the software on it. The software reamins the property of MS or whoever - you just get a limited license to use it.


More controversy: The license does say the terms of using the program (ex. the introductory edition of VC++ says you can''t distribute the EXE). But it can''t limit the filesystem access to the program. The program and contents are property of whoever makes it, but the filesystem is property of my computer!!!

Thats probably not true, im not a lawyer!


Now back to the topic: The best example of a game is Half Life, its WAY to old but people still play it! It also has some very good copy protection: the CD key is checked buy the server, so a generated key won''t validate with the WON server. you can run the game without a CD and a keygen, but it is impossible to play online, which is the whole point of the game

So if you are making a multiplayer game you are in luck!!! Forget the CD check and give a random key to each user. It won''t let a user with a fake or borrowed key play because the server checks, and there is nothing in the EXE to hack, its all server side. and best of all the user doesn''t need to see that awful "Insert CD" message

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quote:
Original post by WayfarerX
While fair-use copying is legal, the above is not because of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We can have a legal backup, but we cannot circumvent any protection mechanisms to obtain or use one.


that''s ridiculous.. thats like saying you cant cut the tag off
of your matress after you''ve bought it, or saying you cant
take off the factory alarm from your new car. once it''s mine
i can do whatever i like with it (except make illegal copies
or distribute it).

call me lazy, but i dont like digging through my library of games
trying to find a cd just so it can verify i''m a legitimate user.
so when i install a game, i put one of those no-cd patches on it
and i can play it whenever i want without the cd. not because i''ve
sold it or made copies, but because i''m lazy- and that''s my right
as an american

-eldee
;another space monkey;
[ Forced Evolution Studios ]


::evolve::

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