Ubisoft Violates Consumer Rights

By Julio Franco
Dec 12, 2003
  1. Ubisoft released the promised Rainbow Six 3 : Raven Shield 1.5 patch yesterday, but they failed to mention their new copy protection scheme.

    It turns out that Ubisoft implented code into the RVS 1.5 patch which checks PCs for ANY clone or virtual drive programs and then fails to launch the game if such devices or programs are found. What this has in turn done is disabled thousands of consumers who use programs like Daemon Tools, CloneCD or Alcohol 120% from playing their Ubisoft games even if they have their own physical cds in an actual drive.

    Read more: Evil Avatar.
  2. Qun Mang

    Qun Mang TS Rookie

    This is definitely the wrong way to go.
    1. It treats honest people like thieves.
    2. It doesn't stop the real pirates.
    3. They have no business checking what hardware and software are installed that are not pertinent to the operation of the game.

    Of course, 1&2 can be said of any copy protection, but then most copy protection schemes don't go as far as to not run even if you have the actual CD in the drive just because some other software is on the system.

    Oh, I forgot one:
    4. It stops users from buying their products as long as they have this scheme in place. So much for Prince of Persia. Yes, I know. I don't like Rainbow 6 anyway so there is no use boycotting that. Instead I have to boycott a product I would actually buy.
  3. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I understand why Ubi is implementing this copy protection scheme to minimize piracy. Anyhow, this in not good enough to stop pirates. I m pretty sure Ubi's gonna lose a lot of profit when consumers start to boycott their products. Ubi should really think twice.
  4. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Ubi isn't the only one who uses this, they just failed to tell anyone, which is probably a worse move than implimenting it in the first place.
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I wonder if Ubi is having financial problems making them resort to desperate extreme measures like this. Unbelievable.

    For example ImageDrive comes bundled with Nero, so people may have absolutely no idea they are housing "bad" software on their PCs.

    I wonder if someone has the guts to take up a lawsuit based on unfair competition. Ubi is basically forcing people to uninstall completely legal products that they may have purchased for a lot of money. Also, knowing that my RVS will stop working if I buy a certain product will certainly make me think twice about obtaining virtual CD drive software to help me better handle my charity of producing multimedia CDs to be given to orphanages.

    Imagine this:
    You buy a TV set and take it home. It won't work because you have a VCR (an evil device used to make bootleg copies of "A-Team" reruns) in your bedroom.
  6. Shnig

    Shnig TS Enthusiast Posts: 170

    Nice analogy the other one is the radio and cd player wont play because it detects a tape recorder.
  7. agrav8r

    agrav8r TS Rookie Posts: 103

    While i agree with your points, they are going after the low hanging fruit. It is easier to stop virtual drives than to invade china and crack down on the piracy. this is also easier than having a team constantly search for warez and bring them down ( which probalby isn't illegal as long as they have the disclaimer like game copy world does)
    do i agree with this , no, but i do understand why they do it. UBI has been producing questionable programming for some time( quality not content) so they decided to step into the content area:D
    Personnally, my experience with their software have left me not wanting to buy their software, which truly isthe only way to affect things like this.
  8. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 173

    all the above points are spot on, so i won't repeat them. all it will do is get ppl to burn the copied games and use a nocd crack, as i assume there is one. also, challenging crackers is pointless, i guarantee there will be a new cracked .exe game file or loader or whatnot within a few days. i bet virtual daemon and the other program makers would have something to say about this.
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I disagree - the way you stated it puts the weight heavily in your favor cause you align piracy with a few people vs a nation. Do you think there are several tens maybe even hundreds of people in China that crack these things? I doubt it - intensify the efforts on following the source not on punishing those that dl it. If you can't focus on the first couple links then it begins to resemble my major point on the MPAA - go to the source - not after the thousands that reap the benefits from the source.
  10. Strakian

    Strakian TS Rookie Posts: 136

    I think it's kinda ridiculous really. You have to consider all the 'new' anti-piracy technology on the market.. there's a lot of them.. but what do they all have in common besides the obvious? They have all been cracked. Regardless of how companies do it, someone out there will break it. It's the way our world has become.

    Most of the time it's just technologically aware kids that want to do it for fun, to see if they can... can you blame them?

    On a side note, I buy all my games legitametly, but I sometimes lose my cd, like everyone does, so I have no-cd cracks for some of my .exe cuz I'm not a fan of disc swapping/treasure hunting. My cd tray opens every time I install a new game or piece of software. That's it. Cracks aren't necessarily negative, although often thought of as such.

    Remember back in the Wolf3d days? you didn't need the floppies in the drive to play... same with doom... all the classics. Most people are impatient I would think, spending 30 bucks on another stick of 512MB DDR because it shaves off 2+ seconds on their game load time. These same people probably have no-cd cracks on legitamate software like I do. This also goes for people with virtual drives. (I just don't have the HD space)

    If you read this far, I hope this made some sense, it kinda fell out on the keyboard on the fly. :grinthumb
  11. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Your o-so very right Strakian! Your post is what I was just about to type. I have cracks for all my programs and games not necessarily because they are pirated but because its such a payne swapping discs in and out of my cdrom.. much less finding the damn things.

    This was such a bad move I recon, because it wont stop piracy one bit and its screwing over tons of people that have legal copys. I dont think this will cause people to stop buying their products, as long as a mistake like this is their first and last to make :)
  12. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I can understand why Ubisoft would be doing this, as they are just trying to cut down on the amount of piracy that is going along with their games. But this gives them no right, IMO to put the anti-piracy settings in the update that they did. Personally I use Daemon-tools and love it. I don't think I would give up using one such program because a company decided to get all gung-ho about cutting back on piracy. It would simply drive me away from them and go elsewhere.
  13. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 173

    this reminds me, though on a much smaller scale, of what Intuit did with last years tax program, requiring activation and such to combat piracy. turned off thousands of users, to the point where they've abandoned that in next years version. RIAA take note, when combating piracy angers loyal customers, it's gonna be a net loss.
  14. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I believe Operation Flashpoint by Bohemia Studios allready does that.

    If CLoneCD is detected, the game will not launch. I'm not sure whether is Bohemia Studios or Codemasters who insisted on using that system.

    Flashpoint Gold edition

    They also have a copy system, where if you successfully do a copy of the game, that copy will work & then deteriorate over time.

    With PC sales figures only fractions of what companies can sell for consoles, no wonder everyone is ditching the PC.

    Support PC game makers before it's too late.
  15. agrav8r

    agrav8r TS Rookie Posts: 103

    So how does an american company force china to crack down on the individuals that hack the software?
    UBI is going after the easiest form of cracking. It is relatively simple to create a virtual drive and load the whole program onto it and trick the copy protection. Then you pass the game to a friend or 10 and they all do the same. This is who they are targeting, forcing the friend to buy a game instead of borrowing one, or at least making them wait until the buddy is do, possibly getting a sale, as they build anticipation.
  16. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    That is what I said exactly. They are probably hoping that people get hooked and then they take their 'free' game away from them, and force them to buy the real thing. It's a great strategy if it works the way they want it to, but there is a good possibility that it can backfire big time and they get burnt by it.
  17. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Treating consumers like criminals is not a very wise practice, it is bad enough that games require the Cd just to make sure you have it. Most of my games load everything to the HDD, so there is no use for the CD other than it checking to make sure you have it. Its a pain in the a** to have to find the CD everytime I want to play some of the things I don't play very often. For me, it is the principle of the thing, not so much that I have to put the CD in, its just that they are assuming I might be trying to get away with something.
    This tactic is a further extension of that, not only are they assuming you might install the game, then sell/giveaway the disc, but now they assume that if you have certain types of software on your machine, then you are going to make copies of their game and give/sell it to others.
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I'm sure there is something about international copyright laws :). Just because I live in the US doesnt' mean I can take some Nigerian's research in a particular topic and publish it as my own - there are international laws against this type of stuff.
  19. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 173

    international laws? there'd have to be an international legal system/court system/governing body then.
  20. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Or a group of countries working together. What I was speaking of was established during the Berne Convention - I suggest you look into it before trying to make me look like I don't know what I'm talking about. Maybe you should start here:
  21. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    There are international laws and agreements, it's just that there is absolutely no way you can force a country to play nice besides financial measures and military intervention. And these are something you do not want or dare to do with China.

    Like Soviet Union broke the international copyright laws for 70 years and noone did anything.
  22. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 173

    hey thanks for the info, thats what i was wondering. this is a msg board, i was making a statement. it was kind of what you might do if you were remarking outloud to yourself, like... hmm, interesting, there'd have to be something setup to govern all that wouldn't there...
    and then you say yea, in fact there is, and i say, oh well look at that, i never knew of such a thing, and the conversation progresses. there was no sarcasm in my post, simply a statement with an unspoken question at the end, being 'is there such a thing?' if you look at all of my posts in the last few days you'll see i don't attack people or cause trouble, so if you thought thats what i was doing it wasn't.
  23. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Alright, thanks, basically I am to blame too I think, I have an established membership here and maybe took advantage of my status...
    Sorry about it looking like a personal attack - but that was just in defense of myself.

    I know lots of people are here for the contest now, and thats fine, thats why we encourage the contest and have it, but at the same time us regulars that have been here for many years still like to be known :)
  24. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Any protection scheme can be cracked. I think the best solution to reduce piracy is to supply lots of *goodies* with boxed versions of the software. Printed manuals, strategy guides, and solutions to levels (all printed), would cut down on casual piracy. It's too time consuming, and costly, to copy these items, and many gamers would have to buy the original game if they wanted all the extra goodies. This would relegate most of the piracy to large pirating operations, that have the resources to produce copies of all the items, and their production costs would be significantly higher than simply producing CDs.
  25. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    But the only downside of including all these things is that there is nothing saying that a few people don't copy it and put it on the web, like it already is right now. This would mean that people still wouldn't need to buy the game if they would just wait it out until someone puts the material up on the web. I don't think there is a way to keep this from happening.
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