Owners of Tron: Evolution game can't play it because of DRM fuckery

Tron: Evolution is a Disney video-game that comes with the notorious Securom DRM (previously). Thanks to unspecified DRM issues, anyone who bought the game but didn't activate it can no longer do so, a situation that has been known since at least October. Disney says they're working on a patch but won't commit to a release date. Of course, people who didn't pay for the game and downloaded a cracked version instead aren't having any problems. (Image: Disney) (via /.) Read the rest

Brain Chef: game pits zombies against game-show hosts against DRM vendors

Nick sends us Brain Chef, "A fun addictive browser game.

Simple to play, choose to be a human or a zombie and move around the map hunting other online players.

Humans want to kill zombies. Zombies want to kill humans. Everyone wants to kill SecuROM."

Brain Chef: Fight zombies, gameshow hosts, and copyright abuse. Fight other online players too!

(Thanks, Nick!) Read the rest

Electronic Arts releases DRM-removal tool

Electronic Arts has released a de-activation tool for removing the SecuRom digital rights management that the company earlier deployed on several of its games. SecuROM is known as the most Draconian DRM tool for games, apt to screw u your computer and harm your ability to play the games you bought. It's also entirely ineffective against piracy: Spore, the SecuROM-crippled game released to much fanfare in 2008, was also the most pirated game of 2008. It seems like the decision was driven by the massive, global negative publicity that SecuROM attracted, and by the rumblings from the FTC about regulating DRM.

Electronic Arts has posted a SecuROM de-authorization management tool. Once downloaded, the tool will search your drives for EA games infested with the draconian online DRM system, and help you download their respective individual de-activation tools. This isn't a perfect solution, since it's still possible to run out of activations in the event of hardware failure or other source of data loss, but since the announcement that this particular DRM system will be dropped for The Sims 3 , it would seem that EA has had a minor epiphany about DRM.

EA Releases DRM License Deactivation Tool

Previously: Amazon reviewers clobber Spore DRM - Boing Boing FTC wants to hear from you about DRM - Boing Boing Live notes and streams from the FTC's hearing on DRM in Seattle ... FTC gets an earful from the public on DRM, practically all of it ... DRM should be disclosed on game-boxes - Boing Boing Read the rest

FTC gets an earful from the public on DRM, practically all of it anti-

The FTC's public hearing on DRM is a smash sensation -- they're being flooded with anti-DRM comments, mostly from gamers:

The Federal Trade Commission wants to know about DRM, and it's hosting a March conference on the topic. The agency looks set to get an earful–today is the final day to file public comments, and more than 700 individuals have already done so. Surprisingly, the main concerns in the comments don't appear to be about DVDs or protected music files but about video games. If FTC staff didn't know much about SecuRom, Spore, install limits, and activation codes before the conference, they will soon be experts on the topics.

The big players in these sorts of public hearings follow a predictable plan: they hold their filings until the final day for submissions, apparently out of a desire not to tip their hand to opponents and give them a chance to directly address their arguments. The strategy appears to be in play in the DRM proceeding, with only a fistful of corporate or think thank names appearing among the 700 current submissions.

700 comments tell the FTC "No DRM!"

Previously: FTC wants to hear from you about DRM - Boing Boing EFF asks the FTC to protect the public from Digital Rights ... Read the rest

BioShock game bundled with DRMalware

BoingBoing reader David Hayward says,

2K's BioShock is easily the most overhyped game so far this year, though it is quite beautiful.

What they're no doubt underhyping as best they can is the fact that the PC version of the game is packaged with SecuROM copy protection, a piece of third party anti-copying software that phones home and prevents installation on more than 2 PCs.

The PC demo of BioShock causes AVG to go nuts at it for containing trojans. It wouldn't install or load on a winXP partition until AVG antivirus was completely uninstalled. *Presumably* this is due to SecuROM, which also demands that other perfectly legit processes stopped: Link.

The response on the 2K forums has been a pretty uniform "Yarr!": Link.

Anonymous adds,

Worse yet, game maker 2K is telling people to call Securom, and Securom is telling people to call 2K. Steam is affected as well. You can only install the game on 2 PC's, period. (Confirmed by steam employee.) So, if you use your steam account on 3 PC's, you'll only get to play on 2. You're required to right click the game in the steam menu and choose 'delete local content' before you can transfer the game to another PC. If you delete the game without following this procedure, you may end up in the same ordeal as retail buyers. Details for the steam issue can be found here: Link.

Patrick says,

This isn't entirely correct. If you follow this link to Kotaku's post you'll see that the game can be installed on as many computers as you want, it just can't be installed on more than two at a time (i.e

Read the rest