Posts Tagged 'drm'

Spore: more to the game than just DRM issues

If you’re one of the gamers who eagerly awaited the game “Spore” you either love it or hate it. Personally I’m not a big sim-game person but I do have to admit that there are some very good elements to the game. For sim fans it offers several different levels of sim games in one, expect more hours of gameplay compared to regular simulation games. Most of the negative feedback stems from the DRM issues. Yes, DRM. You only get 3 installs, Internet activation required then you have to call EA to explain why you need a 4th. Just check out some of the customer reviews on Amazon.

Now the 1 star rating is a bit of a backlash and harsh. The game isn’t bad but it’s not amazing either. I expected a bit more from the game play for something that was 10 years in development. It’s an above average sim game, if you like the concept you’ll enjoy it regardless of what others say.

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Pandora going to fold soon?

Buckling under the weight of the Internet radio royalty hike that SoundExchange pushed through last July, Pandora may pull its own plug soon. Despite being one of the most popular Internet radio services, the company still isn’t making money, and its founder, Tim Westergren, says it can’t last beyond its first payment of the higher royalties.

SoundExchange offered a potential reprieve from the royalty hikes, but that turned out to be a red herring to sneak DRM onto web radio. In the end, SoundExchange was able to initiate a massive (and retroactive) royalty hike on Internet radio stations, imposing per-user fees for each song. Adding insult to injury, the royalties on Internet radio will double for big stations by 2010, to an estimated 2.91 cents per hour per listener—far higher than the 1.6 cents that satellite stations would pay. Radio stations don’t pay fees like these yet, but don’t worry. SoundExchange is working on fixing that problem. (link)

Yahoo: DRM is dead, here’s a coupon

Yahoo Inc. is offering coupons or refunds to users who find songs they bought inaccessible after Sept. 30, when the company shuts its music-download service.

The decision to close the Yahoo Music Store had added fuel to criticisms over copy-protection measures known as digital rights management, but Yahoo promised it won’t entirely abandon loyal customers.

The company said Wednesday it is offering coupons on request for people to buy songs again through Yahoo’s new partner, RealNetworks Inc.’s Rhapsody. Those songs will be in the MP3 format, free of copy protection. Refunds are available for users who “have serious problems with this arrangement,” Yahoo said.

Spokeswoman Carrie Davis said a “small number” of users are affected by the change. Yahoo wouldn’t disclose the actual number. (link)

Microsoft finally fixes 360 DRM bug

There are a few different reasons you might not be playing on the same Xbox 360 system that you originally bought. You might have upgraded to an Elite system for the bigger hard drive and black HDMI. More likely, your original system died and you were forced to have it replaced. Gamers who received new systems were in for an unpleasant surprise when they redownloaded their Arcade games or hooked up their old hard drive: the games they paid for would only work when connected to the Internet. No network connection, and they all reverted to demo versions. Microsoft has just released a tool that allows you to move those licenses over to a new console, but the question remains: what took so long? (link)

Canadian MP offers opinion on WIPO treaty

As Canada considers a new copyright bill with some apparent similarities to the US DMCA, one MP is trying to clear up misconceptions. New Democratic Party MP Charlie Angus has written an open letter to Industry Minister Jim Prentice, arguing that Canada can ratify a key WIPO treaty without passing draconian DRM legislation. Here’s a taste: “Parliament must also stay away from the more hysterical claims that we need to start banning circumvention devices. This is like saying we need to ban axes because they could be used to break down a door.”

For months now, rumors have swirled about a new copyright bill being prepped by Prentice (though the text has never been officially introduced). The bill was pulled from Parliament’s calendar late last year after a popular uprising against several of its leaked proposals. Critics charged that the bill was simply a “Canadian DMCA,” while proponents often claimed that the bill was necessary since Canada had signed (but never ratified) some key World Intellectual Property Organization treaties in the 1990s. (link)

Zune problems?

It’s been reported that the software update for the Zune has been causing problems. No word from Microsoft whether it has anything to do with DRM preventing downloads or what. But for now click on this (link) to downgrade.


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