Oculus breaks promise, uses DRM to kill app that let you switch VR systems

As recently as 5 months ago, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was promising his customers that they could play the software they bought from the Oculus store on "whatever they want," guaranteeing that the company wouldn't shut down apps that let customers move their purchased software to non-Oculus hardware.



But now, Oculus has changed its DRM to exclude Revive, a "proof-of-concept compatibility layer between the Oculus SDK [software development kit] and OpenVR," that let players buy software in the Oculus store and run it on competing hardware.

The company billed the update as an anti-piracy measure, but Revive's developer, who calls themself "Libre VR," points out that the DRM only prevents piracy using non-Oculus hardware, and allows for unlimited piracy by Oculus owners.

According to Libre VR, what seems to be happening is that Oculus’ DRM now checks to see whether an Oculus Rift is connected to the PC when playing a game bought from the Oculus store.

“While this helps prevent piracy from people who didn't buy an Oculus Rift, it doesn't do anything to prevent piracy from those who did buy an Oculus Rift,” Libre VR told Motherboard. “And this clearly excludes anyone who bought the game, but didn't buy an Oculus Rift. Even if Revive wasn't targeted, they were probably more than aware of the collateral damage.”

This is not surprising considering that after first learning about Revive in April, Oculus told Ars Technica that "This is a hack, and we don’t condone it. Users should expect that hacked games won’t work indefinitely, as regular software updates to games, apps, and our platform are likely to break hacked software."

Oculus DRM Kills Hack that Ports Games to Competing Headsets
[Emanuel Maiberg/Motherboard]


(Image: Palmer Luckey (Founder, Oculus) holding up Oculus Touch prototype Half Moon at Step into the Rift, eVRydayVR, PD)

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