View Full Version : FS2004 and Digital Right Management (DRM)
06-18-2003, 03:05 PM
I saw a post on a Lago forum last night suggesting that FS2004 will come with Macrovision SafeCast (C-Dilla) copy protection.
I've been looking forward to fs2k4 for some time and this makes me very unhappy. I'd planned to be near the front of the line with my $$ in hand but now I'm not so sure.
SafeCast is a very system intrusive thing that I first crossed paths with when I bought TurboTax this year. It has properties like a virus including doing undocumented writes to a supposedly unused sector on the boot track (i.e. beyond what's supported by the OS). One implication of this is that a normal system backup, using DriveImage for example, will not restore copy validation info. The marketing BS makes it sound as though SafeCast is a troublefree, user transparent system for doing DRM. My own experience with TurboTax is that this isn't the case. At one point I had to reactivate. I was able to do so without buying another licence but some people weren't so fortunate. After filing my tax returns, I uninstalled TurboTax and killed SafeCast including the ugly "C-Dilla" directory at the root level of the system drive (unlike some, my system root is not cluttered) and the permanently installed and running service required for its operation. I've vowed to never buy from Intuit again. I won't belabor this here but if you want to see some of the issues people have with this hateful protection scheme, Search the Google Groups with "C-Dilla".
I guess I won't be near the front of the line to get FS2004 after all. In fact, unless I hear a lot of reassuring feedback from those who do get it, I suppose I'll be flying FS2002 for a very long time. After my experience with Turbotax, I'm not at all inclined to let C-Dilla back on my system.
06-18-2003, 03:34 PM
What someone may have "suggested" aside, why don't we wait and see what MS is really using, rather than potentially worry folks over nothing.
Rumors like this often serve no purpose, unless the person making the suggestion was validated as an employee of MS, and I highly doubt that. ;-)
06-18-2003, 04:18 PM
I really hope there's no cause for concern. The info came from a quote attributed to Steve Small at FSD-International.
06-18-2003, 07:40 PM
See this is why I hate DRM.
Fair enough, they are protecting their software. I got no problem with that. But putting all this ##### on my machine, without my authorisation, and phoning home when it wants (who knows what else it is reporting?) I do NOT like.
Down with paladium as well.
06-18-2003, 10:15 PM
yes, I saw this too, he is a reliable source. Maybe he is not correct but coming from Steve, it is somthing to think about. Your concerns are correct, I know our company had very major issues with this 'scheme' on our company network - a real nightmare.
check this link
06-19-2003, 03:12 AM
>In fact, unless I hear a lot of reassuring feedback from those who do get it, I suppose I'll be flying FS2002 for a very long time.<
Well, not necessarily. Even if such technology is included, you still wouldn't have to live without FS2004. Contrary to public opinion, MS software does generally comply with national laws, and in a lot of countries such intrusive software violates privacy legislation, in others, even simple copy protection is illegal. Just buy your copy from one of those countries - it may cost a bit more and you may have to wait a bit longer, but you will have it without any undesired side effects.
06-19-2003, 03:59 AM
What countries are those? Any ordering sites?
06-19-2003, 07:33 AM
As Lou said, let's not start mass hysteria here. This is nothing more than rumor ( at this point in time ) and there's no need to jump the gun and even consider suggesting you purchase your copy from a different country until the facts are in....of course, you are free to do what you want, but let's not get everyone wound up without cause ( remember the whole Y2K hype ? ;-) )
06-19-2003, 08:44 AM
Having a plan to avoid potential problems, waiting to determine if those problems are real, and acting sensibly as the situation unfolds is prudence.
Properly exercised it is not hysteria!
06-19-2003, 04:04 PM
LAST EDITED ON Jun-19-03 AT 04:09PM (EDT)[p]LAST EDITED ON Jun-19-03 AT 04:07 PM (EDT)
Hi HP and Bob,
as far as countries go, Russia is a good start, as well as various EU countries (although EU-wide legislation is in the making, currently it's different in individual member states).
I agree with Bob on the 'hysteria' point, so let's consider the likelihood of something like C-Dilla being included in FS2004.
First, a program that calculates US income tax is not an attractive software title for customers outside the US, therefore serves a limited market, and thus only has to concern itself with US law.
MSFS, however, is a title that is marketed world wide. As any business, MS would like to make a profit, and considering their size and expertise in producing a wide variety of software, I find it unlikely that they would include third-party DRM software with their products, especially if that software has the potential to fall foul of foreign legislation. So, not only would MS have to pay royalties to the third party, they also would have to produce different versions of FS for distribution in different countries. This would considerably reduce their profit margin. It would seem much more likely, that they would include some proprietary form of DRM, which is adaptable to various needs, like the Windows XP activation technology. There, it is the serial number that determines, whether activation is required, if so, how much information is retrieved from your computer, if installation on multiple computers is permitted, and if so on how many etc. etc. - but the content of the actual CD is identical. Plus, MS wouldn't have to pay a licence fee to a third-party developer.
So, how do those rumours get started? Discounting pure malice (which obviously is a possibility), C-Dilla or something like it may well have been included in the beta versions of FS2004. After all, it is a limited distribution title (I would imagine a few thousand copies), and beta testers and reviewers are not customers in a legal sense. For such a small and time-limited distribution, it may make perfect sense for MS to pay a licence fee for some third-party DRM software, rather than spending time on developing their own, or integrating it into their existing technology. I guess a few months after the release, we'll get an idea of how many illegal betas made it into circulation, when people start posting questions on the forums like 'FS won't start - I get an error message saying 'sotware expired''... :).
So I agree with Lou and Bob, let's see what happens first, and if, against all the odds, unacceptable protection technology is indeed included, we can either grin and bear it, or try to find a reputable Russian online vendor :).
06-20-2003, 08:50 PM
Folks, remember FS2000 and the NODISK program?
Well I personaly do not think MS will do a so hard copy protection for a product that will cost less than 100 bucks.
But certainly, and unlawfuly (I quote), some hacker will broke the code, and voilá, no problemo.
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