Christ.. I can DL The Matrix: Reloaded off Kazza!

The Matrix: Reloaded has been out for not even a week and I can DL it off Kazza for nothing. No wonder the movie industry is shitting bricks.

Since you can DL this movie off Kazaa for free, I wonder if this will affect ticket prices?

Time to download Battle Cruiser off Kazaa!!! :D

j/k Derek! I luv ya!

Oh yeah, the Matrix reloaded in sub-VHS quality in a 320x240 window. Sounds like fun.

I think a lot of movie downloading is more for collecting than anything else. I could see watching, say, an Adam Sandler flick downloaded off Kazaa. But somethink like the Matrix? I didn’t see The Two Towers at the theater, but I didn’t even consider grabbing off Kazaa. The experience would be… sub-optimal.

(Admission of stealing: I did download Shallow Hal from Kazaa and convert it to watch on a Pocket PC on the airplane – part of my research for a “how to convert video to the Pocket PC” column. That’s the kind of flick that seems more likely to lose to file sharing. That said, I’d have never bought or rented Shallow Hal, despite being a Jack Black fan, so my thievery caused no monetary damage.)

More distrurbing to me was jumping up to try a multiplayer game in Rise of Nations, which I got a gold of yesterday from Microsoft, and seeing all the chat conversation about swapping the game ISO. Lots of people playing multiplayer already, with stolen code.

No.

More distrurbing to me was jumping up to try a multiplayer game in Rise of Nations, which I got a gold of yesterday from Microsoft, and seeing all the chat conversation about swapping the game ISO. Lots of people playing multiplayer already, with stolen code.

That’s disguisting. Isn’t their anything that PC game developers can do to protect their investment? It seems that it’s to easy to hit Kazza and start downloading. They need to figure out how to alter or stop this downloading bullshit or else the PC gaming industry will be completely ruined in a couple of years.

I don’t think the movies hitting the 'net the day (or before) they hit theaters is affecting ticket sales. They’re generally quite poor quality.

Hypothetically, I’ve downloaded 34% of Reloaded right now, but I still plan to see it in theaters at least twice more, It’d just be hypothetically nice if I can listen to the Architect’s speech a few more times on my own.

What I think DOES affect sales, are the higher quality DVD rips that come from screeners like the Two Towers DVD screener sent to the Academy that got distributed on the net early this year. I’m still not sure what the real world impact of this is, but around my college campus tons of people download those DVD rips instead of buying or renting the DVD’s. Kids are watching their DVD’s on their computers anyway, and everyone knows that one geeky guy who knows where to find these things on the internet. It’s really quite widespread, much more than I would’ve guessed initially around my campus anyway.

There are three versions of Matrix Reloaded currently available, all three suck ass generally as far as quality goes (all three are cams); for the record, the first showed up on Wednesday morning or late Tuesday.

As for piracy in general, except by a huge concerted effort by the US government, involving billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-hours, not to mention in-depth cooperation with every single producer, manufacturer, distributor, and developer, as well as wide-ranging draconian legislation, very little can be done to prevent it.

Folks will always find a way of getting around things – the only thing that has been done so far that even goes a little bit in preventing some piracy is the idea that you have to connect to a host server to play online through a CD check, or have a massively multiplayer online game (which is essentially the same thing). Anything built around the capability of validity in the user’s hands is susceptible to being copied.

I guess you could use some sort of public key escrow, where a CD key would have to be bought & acquired online through the publisher, and used to individually unlock your game disc (otherwise it’s all heavily encrypted) could work.

In any event, to say that it’s a global undertaking (though most groups except for the bootleggers in foreign countries make any money) would be an understatement. Quite literally everything is available days, sometimes weeks before the retail date.

‘Piracy’ in some instances are considered an ‘acceptable’ though grey method of distributing entertainment. Music composers allow out-of-print, rejected, or “complete” copies of soundtracks and the like be published and distributed outside of publishers and music groups. Fansub’d anime is frequently available in the United States soon after release in Japan – the general rule being distribution stops once officially licensed versions are available in the States (most groups honor this rule, though people on a whole don’t).

Anyway, it’s interesting to be on the fringe of it and see it unravel from an outsider’s point of view. The methods of delivery, distribution, and group awareness is somewhat staggering.

— Alan

need to figure out how to alter or stop this downloading bullshit

It’s simple-- require a server-side authenticated cdkey for multiplayer. I don’t know if there’s any viable way to prevent people from pirating the singleplayer portions of games, though.

The only real way would be to lock down the PC hardware console-style, at the BIOS or chip level. This is that MS Palladium type stuff that is talked about in hushed tones. You know, to “protect” the “valuable data” of “customers”. Yeah. I love the way they spin that.

You could still get around Palladium with yet another console import, the modchip. At that point you’ve raised the bar fairly high and prevented the vast majority of any piracy that would occur anyway-- mission accomplished.

I think you could be right on this account, depending on the annoyance factor of the ‘screening’ lettering appear or scroll by, or the fact that it’s across four discs (DVD-Rs are becoming more prevalent anyway), and of course it’s not quite DVD quality. Speaking of which, the theatrical DVD release has already made it out onto the pirate market (it won’t be available till August).

That being said, I won’t buy it, but I will buy the Extended Version. I bought both last year and wasn’t too happy with myself, but then again, I did get a free ticket to the Two Towers.

— Alan

Not even that works consistently, there are often cracks allowing users to run their own servers that allow pirated copies to join. Your multiplayer options are limited to certain servers, but you can probably still find a game.

Obviously, there are always going to be ways to pirate things, I can’t imagine anything being completely safe, the object is just to raise the difficulty or annoyance factor high enough that enough people find it more convenient to buy than steal your game/program/whatever that you remain profitable.

Certainly there’s already some of this going on. In my campus IRC channel, there was a lot of nervous laughter this semester when one of our regulars, a Resident Advisor, let us know that campus judicial services were sending out warning letters to people who were downloading certain things from Kazaa. I think I heard it involved some new CD’s, the Two Towers copies, and Macromedia products or something. These companies, or companies they hired, were tracking IPs on Kazaa to see who downloaded things, then firing off letters to ISPs. The part everyone was laughing about was that it would mostly be the casual users who were getting hit with these warnings, the crowd in IRC is mostly the comp-sci-geek crowd. Arguably they pirate and download far more than the casual users that were getting caught per person, but they’re more careful about their sources and how they get things.

Not even that works consistently, there are often cracks allowing users to run their own servers that allow pirated copies to join. Your multiplayer options are limited to certain servers, but you can probably still find a game.

Sure. There are two solutions to that.

One. Don’t allow users to host their own servers. This is the Blizzard / Everquest model. It’s flawless, but you have to crack down hard on the reverse engineering crowd (BNETD).

Two. Assuming you have a master browser (so everyone can ‘see’ what servers are available without walking every IP on the internet), write an automated process which periodically iterates through all the servers, and randomly checks to make sure users playing on the servers have a valid entry in the master cdkey database. Obviously, any player without a valid cdkey authentication is playing on a cracked server. If you get enough violations over time (say-- ten or more in the same day), grab the IP of this server, look up DNS information and e-mail the hosting provider letting them know that someone is running a cracked game server on their network.

If they keep the servers private, there’s not much you can do, but a private non-visible server isn’t going to siphon off huge numbers of potential game buyers anyway-- Joe User won’t know how where to look for pirated servers.

I downloaded the last Star Trek. The movie was so bad, it wasn’t even worth that price.

Well the ‘other’ solution the industry has come up with is basically to force-feed the elephant: conduct denial of service attacks against large-scale aggressors (IRC hubs for instance), flood file-sharing networks like Kazaa with fake content, and trojan large files. In fact, it’s already happening.

— Alan

Nintendo has the 3" DVDs for Gamecube games. It has eliminated piracy altogether on the Gamecube as far as I’m aware.

–Dave

This is a really funny thread. “SOFTWARE IS DOOM3D!!!”

That’s true, there’s probably someone somewhere who’s done some crazy soldering job to patch in an external drive to his Gamecube or something like that, but there is no gamecube piracy “scene” I’m aware of like there is for the Xbox or PS2.

I’d certainly attribute that to the difficulty involved, but the antagonist in me can’t help but wonder if piracy would be bigger on the Gamecube if more people wanted to play it Dave :)

Yeah, I’m not aware of one either.

— Alan

I’d certainly attribute that to the difficulty involved, but the antagonist in me can’t help but wonder if piracy would be bigger on the Gamecube if more people wanted to play it Dave

There’s certainly the possibility that a large number of Xbox machines and PS2 machines were sold to people that have never bought more than a single game or two and simply pirate their entire library. They wouldn’t buy a Gamecube in that case because they can’t get the free games they’re used to.

Frankly, it’s good for Nintendo that the crowd that’s into piracy probably isn’t into playing their games. If I were them, I’d be happy to have it that way. Keeps the money coming into your pocket instead of disappearing into thin air. Though I’m sure the rampant GBA piracy doesn’t make them very pleased.

–Dave

How rampant is the GBA piracy?

There’s no question about it-- piracy is directly proportional to popularity. It’s a perception and ego-driven “scene”, and the more desirable something is to a large audience, the greater the prestige in cracking/distributing it.

It’s pretty common. Most the people pirate GBA games to play them on their home computers or their handheld devices. However, you can purchase Rom burners pretty inexpensively so that you can play your pirated GBA games on an actual GBA. Not sure how directly related it is to GBA pirating, but the fact that its been “hacked” as a platform also means we’re seeing homebrew applications and games released for it now.

Oh, and about the whole downloading movie part of this thread. Not sure if anyone read about this last week. This guy obviously did more than pirate movies, but that was after he was busted. And the whole “I wasn’t going to pay for it anyway so they didn’t lose any money because of me” is one of the arguments people use for pirating games and other software. Is that an acceptable excuse for pirating movies, but not one for pirating software? Just curious if that argument goes both ways or only applies in the case of movies.